Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back in Business

Okay, we're back in business after a couple of weeks off-line. My first warning that I had a problem was coming to this blog to be met by a warning - "FORBIDDEN!" - and the playing of the  JAWS theme. When I called the people who administer Redstatebluecollar, I was told the amount of traffic my blog received was messing with their server.

Seriously? This little backwater of a blog located somewhere in the farthest reaches of cyberspace, the tiniest blip in the blogosphere, was creating an internet traffic jam? I would have considered it a compliment had I believed it.

Credible or not, I was informed that I would have to upgrade to a dedicated server. No longer would I be paying a minimal annual fee but instead would switch to a recurring monthly charge. "Send us your credit card number and we'll take care of everything".

So, that's where I'm at now although I'm still pondering whether I think the the additional $$ are worth it because of the kind of off-the-wall traffic I mostly get.

I admit being a computer dummie. This blog is bare-bones because that's really all I know how to do. It revolves around writing - stories, opinions, information. I totally do not understand how or why spammers decide to bombard a blog with junk.

First, I get hundreds of comments in foreign languages, mostly in Cyrillic script (I think). I understand that there is a translator program I could install but I don't know what language I'd be attempting to translate! If I thought any of the comments were legit, I'd probably make the effort to try to find out but I don't think they are, so I mark them as spam and disappear them.

And, man, oh, man, did I ever make a mistake writing about new kinds of designer drugs. Ever since, I've gotten a ton of entreaties to buy pharmaceutical products of various kinds. Most of these are many paragraphs long. They list medication after medication and the prices for which I can purchase them. Many of them also contain a series of useless dots that have the effect of causing the comment to take up half a page. I don't know what the writers (or more likely, automatic response mechanism) hopes to achieve. Do they believe that if they bombard me, they'll wear me down so that I finally publish them or even order something? Not likely. Instead, I sigh and delete, delete, delete.

I also get lots of porn responses. They are often in a foreign language too except key words like "porn" itself. The ones in English describe what I'll see if I respond. Maybe they think they'll intrigue me into replying. And I admit that I was somewhat curious about "double anal penetration" but not enough to actually click. If I had thought it would be a one-off, I might have gone ahead rather than spending the rest of my life wondering but I was afraid I'd simply open the flood gates to a flood of new blog-busters.

I'll be retiring this August and my plan was to spend more time learning about the various facets of blogging then. You know, importing pictures and videos and inserting text blocks and, well, all that other stuff professional bloggers do.  That will be even more important now that the ante has been upped.

Blogging is like everything else in life, eventually it forces you to declare your intention - you can either plink around for your own amusement without much commitment of time or money or you make the investment to learn and grow.