B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Strange New Requests From Strangers

without comments

Strange Things Are Happening
Strange Things Are Happening

For the last year or even longer, I’ve periodically received email from strangers purporting to be fellow bloggers asking me to update old posts with a fresh link to their content. I’ve maintained a blog for a long time,1 thus I have lots and lots of posts and pages of posts by date and by category. I’ve always gotten “spam” comments, Akismet has protected your site from 1,571,626 spam comments but these new requests baffle me. Before the blog format was commodified, and commercialized2, I received lots of daily traffic, but I haven’t been a high traffic blog for a while now. I’m confused by this new, frequent request to update links – it isn’t as if Google ranks links from me highly these days.

This new category is labor intensive, so doesn’t seem as if it created by a bot. 

Emails such as this one:

Hi,

You’ve had a couple of emails from me recently, but I’ve not heard back.

I wondered if the resource was of interest, or is there someone else I should contact instead?

I’ve included my email below for reference.

On Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 8:36 AM, Paul Turnbull <paul@aob-mail.com> wrote:
Hi,

I appreciate you’re busy but I wondered if you had a chance to check out my earlier email.

I’ve included a copy here –

On Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 8:48 AM, Paul Turnbull <paul@aob-mail.com> wrote:
Hi,

I noticed you have a link to the Rebecca Blood post on the history of weblogs here – http://www.b12partners.net/mt/archives/2006/04/.

That post was published way back in 2000 so is missing everything that has happened in the blogosphere since.

We’ve got an updated history of (we)blogging here – artofblog.com/history/

Perhaps you’d consider adding a link to our piece as well to serve as additional reading?

Thank you for your time.

Paul

Or another one I’ve also gotten today:

Just making sure you saw this. Hope you are well! 

P.O. Box 135, Whitianga 3510, New Zealand | To unsubscribe please reply with ‘Unsubscribe’ in the header

On Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 9:04 PM, Jesse Miller <jesse@jenreviews.com> wrote:
Dear Editor,

I was searching the web for information on how to choose a bike and saw your great post here: http://www.b12partners.net/mt/archives/2005/05/

I noticed you mentioned http://www.bikethedrive.org/ in your post, and just wanted to give you a heads up that I recently wrote a blog post you might like. It’s a detailed, up-to-date 7,000 word guide on how to choose a bike according to science, that details 10 factors to consider and is packed with tips and advice.

If this is something you’d be interested in, here is the link to the blog post: jenreviews.com/bike/

This is completely free and if you like it, all I ask is for you to link to or share the article on your site. In return, would love to share your post with my newsletter subscribers and followers on social media.

Either way, keep up the great work!

Cheers
Jesse

Here are some of the raw email headers for reference:

From: Jesse Miller <jesse@jenreviews.com>
In-Reply-To: <CAFrQzFYz8cX6jx=o047FxoSK1Lq7ELRVhLZAVW5hZoN-f6BTrA@mail.gmail.com>
References: <CAFrQzFYz8cX6jx=o047FxoSK1Lq7ELRVhLZAVW5hZoN-f6BTrA@mail.gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:12:37 -0400
Message-ID: <CAFrQzFa52QJeHTZ0rVkQz0HcGzLdhcdDjty-WMuuLfVbZ29UfA@mail.gmail.com>

Strange News From Another Star
Strange News From Another Star

I’m skeptical of the motives of these requests. Why would someone request an update to a page which is a month’s worth of blog posts back in 2005 (or 2006)? Why not the specific individual post? In a moment of weakness, I responded to one earlier this year requesting money to make these links. That particular emailer didn’t reply again. 

As I mentioned before, I do still frequently get automatically generated “spam” comments, ones like:

“Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it”

which links to  proxieslive (dot) com/free-proxy/ etc   

Those kinds of spams are irritating, and clutter up my blog’s databases, but they are obviously generated by bots, and not hand-crafted emails. 

These new super-targeted requests are strange. Did some SEO eBook suggest reaching out in this way as a means to increase traffic? Or are these Spambots 2.0?

Footnotes:
  1. longer if you include even earlier years when I hand wrote crap on my webpage without a CMS []
  2. by organizations like Huffington Post and the Gawker enterprise, for instance []

Written by Seth Anderson

July 16th, 2017 at 9:28 am

Posted in blog

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