When you first start a blog, it’s a glorious day when you begin to get comments. You realise that a human has actually read your words, and was influenced enough to write a note in return.
Then the spam bots find you. These are preprogrammed by some distant mastermind to leave generic comments on sites in order to promote their own sites/clients. These comments have nothing to do with your article usually. Naturally they never see the light of day on our sites. Navigate down to the bottom of the post to see the best of these (in italics).
Then, when your readership grows, you begin to reach enough people that you eventually offend one or two. These are the interesting ones because in real life, we rarely have confrontations with others where strong words are spoken, yet on the internet, people are somewhat braver.
One of my first regular, negative commenters was a guy who called himself Mr Wonderful. He used many colourful terms when referring to me. I found him quite amusing, to be honest. His general writings indicated that I had a possible homosexual tendency that I had not yet confessed to Rachel. On his own blog, which no longer exists, he called me Jimmy the Gent and slowly softened towards me. I miss Mr Wonderful. Some of his readers now think he’s dead.
Over the years you stop paying attention to the people who have little more to do than troll sites. I suppose you develop a thick skin and realise that the more public you become, the more open to criticism you make yourself.
I recently had a gentlemen refer to my photos as ‘children’s drawings’. I was very polite in my repost, and other commenters responded better than I was able to. Yet I can’t help but wonder what it is a person is getting from giving a negative comment.
A couple of months back I received an email from someone who called me the antichrist to photography for creating HDR One.
On flickr the other day a guy emailed me personally to ask what Rachel has to do with photography and why on earth she features in my description (in the daily journal entries) when she clearly isn’t very interesting. My reply wasn’t very professional, but I decided that it would be the last that I made to people of his ilk.
Even this morning, when I posted a picture of Rachel that I’d morphed in Photoshop, a woman sincerely urged Rachel to divorce me and encouraged others to dislike my facebook page. She said it was a disgrace that I would treat Rachel this way.
What I suppose doesn’t come across is that Rachel and I love this style of humour. We make fun of each other every day. Obviously I would never post anything that she would find offensive, and if by accident I did, she would very quickly tell me to get it off or my testicles would disappear in the night.
Here is the offending picture which I entitled ‘Why did I marry this woman? What a weirdo.’
Fortunately, everyone else seemed to take it in good humour. I don’t feel negatively towards this woman. She simply has a different sense of humour to us, and her unliking my facebook page is certainly good for her because I’m not sure my sense of humour will change anytime soon.
The spam bots are the true stars of the comments section. In order for the comment to be published the masterminds behind the generic comments have to be creative. It no longer works for them to write ‘nice article’ and then leave a link to their site. We’ve become savvy to their ways. They’re not difficult to spot, to be honest, since they’re usually written by someone with a poor grasp of the English language.
Here’s a few of my favourites that I’ve saved over the years:
“I summize by your conclusions that evidentially the point is of less important than you originally thought. Why did you bother?”
“You got yo shit together and I aint even recognise fool.“
“Even my ass can get this point”
In my photo essay of Prambanan temple:
“Some photos would really spice up this article on a very important point”
“Your word smell like diarrhea”
“When I came to your site I think good, but now I know amazing. You amaze me. Where you learn amaze?”
“Have you ever thought of killing yourself?”
“I know why your penis is so small”
Like anything else in life, you just have to laugh at these things.