Friday, July 26, 2013

I, Spambot

So, I blogged the other day about automated tweets = not a fan. But the aspect of Twitter that REALLY gets me riled up is spambots. What purpose can they serve? Seriously?

That's great, spambot. Thanks! I owe ya one

For one thing, I have no idea who that "person" is. So, why would a complete "stranger" be doing me a favour by direct messaging me a link to something I have no idea what it is, with no subject, context or reason?

There's NO WAY I'm clicking that link. The end result will probably be me having a hacked Twitter account (or worse, computer) and then all my contacts get a nice DM from "me" encouraging them to click on something half-disguised as useful.

Where do spambots hang out? Do they message each other, thus creating an infinite loop of DMs, swirling into a Twitter wormhole of egg-shaped avatars, bad grammar and loads of SMILEY FACES :-)

Now, I've been around the block. Before e-mail came along I travelled a great deal and -- because my parents were separated -- wrote exactly the same postcard to them both and sent them one each so the other wouldn't feel left out. Early spam?

Hotmail got swamped. Gmail is getting swamped ... but their spam filter seems to cope pretty well. (Side note: I wrote a post once for the company blog when I worked at GCI Canada hinting that, sometimes, when you send an e-mail using Gmail, a spam comes in immediately. The conspiracy theorist in me senses that ... maybe ... the spam comes from Gmail itself to justify the filter and demonstrate its success. Nah! Couldn't be! Right?)

But, all these years later, spam still exists. Nigerian princes have tons of cash to give you; really good penny stocks that are cheap now but will only go up in value can be bought; medicines to cure what ails you are on offer aplenty.

Sign me up!

Someone must be making money somewhere. I don't believe people send these for a joke. Waste of time. There must be an ROI (Return On Idiots) otherwise why waste their time?

It's more of an annoyance than anything. Clutters up the really good content from smart people with utter crap and drivel. Wonder how long spambots will continue to thrive?

Not too many years I hope. Otherwise we could be in trouble!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This Is Definitely The Best Way To Get Clicks On Your Content

See, it worked. Thanks for clicking.

I forgot to mention there's no actual content of value. Feel a little cheated? Sorry -- the title explained the whole post ... and that was my point.

The aim is to get clicks to the content. Whether people actually read it is another matter entirely. I could list tomorrow's lottery numbers here and if you don't get that far, well, your loss.

Sounds like I'm being an arse. That's not my intention. I'm trying to highlight the disconnect of those link-bait headlines that flood Twitter all day, but have no real value. Like this.

I see so many similar links scrolling down my TweetDeck stream all day. Those in the early hours (I'm a night owl) are the worst as you just know they're automated = lazy.

If I was to respond to one of those links with a question, there's probably no one actually there to answer me. Very disrespectful. Don't treat me like an idiot or a stat to add to your ROI ("Look! We had 259 clicks on this link at 2:00 a.m.! My invoice is in the mail.")

/Rant. Normal service resumed soon.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Twitter Is NOT A Cocktail Party

I meant to write this post as a follow-up to a thread Danny Brown (Scottish, but he's OK) wrote on Facebook about the whole "social media, join the conversation etc." angle. He's been around the block and I have to agree, social media -- and Twitter in particular -- is NOT (shout that) like a cocktail party.

Granted, I don't go to many cocktail parties. Not my scene or crowd. But the ones I have attended have been ultra-polite. Guests hover around in their little groups, murmuring over a carefully-crafted beverage, chatting about this and that, sprinkled with occasional bursts of laughter. All fine and dandy.

If I equated Twitter to a cocktail party, all I would have to do is wait for one guest to start chatting to another guest ... and then barge in, unannounced, and start talking to them. No introduction, No, "May I?"

I would certainly never do that. Too polite, old chap.

But I do on Twitter. I see strangers chatting to each other and just jump straight in. I don't waste my allotted, precious 140 on introducing myself or saying what I do for a living. My bio handles that for me.

Rude? My conscience says no. It's just the way Twitter works, which is why I love it and can't understand the "cocktail party" comparison.

So, jump straight into my conversations. It's your round anyway.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life Is Like A Train Journey

Life is like a train journey. Hopefully it will be a long and eventful one, but after a while, you can’t recall where you boarded. Certain people will begin that journey with you, but not last the distance. Others will accompany you for the whole trip, and you may even travel further than them.

Yet more passengers will get on at various stages and others may realize that they have reached their stop, and depart. Quite often the train will run into the sidings or hit trouble -- then you should put your faith in the driver to see you through.

But don’t ever jump off a moving train, no matter how long the tunnel seems to last. There is always light at the end of it. The scenery that you pass through should remain in your memory forever, even when it’s something that you would rather not witness.

If you have bought the right ticket, then the journey should pass happily and with success. Above all, you should bear in mind the destination that you hope to eventually reach.

More intense thoughts in Beer and Bagels for Breakfast.