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The Blogging Experience

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The irony is that my own blog has turned me into something of a voyeur.

The blogging experience has been very interesting in unexpected ways—like stepping into a hidden world.

It wasn’t long after I started that I began to receive numerous comments, and I was initially very pleased. Of course, some came from people I knew but there were also nice personal comments from what seemed to be intelligent newcomers.

Then the numbers began to multiply rapidly, and the input was coming from all over the world, some even in foreign languages. It was clear occasionally that people were struggling with English, and others seemed retarded or even irrational.

There were insults as well as compliments: “This is the worst post I have ever read.” And then, “You really are a great blogger, and you should enter a contest.” Some were kind of parasitic, attaching the same comment to every post and following me for weeks. Often it was obvious that the writer had not read the post.

Occasionally there would be a request for information or advice or the opportunity to work together, and I quickly realized that it would not be wise to engage. However, every now and then I would respond to a stranger who had clearly read a post and was offering an earnest observation. In one case, there was a second very pleasant exchange.

It did become obvious as the activity burgeoned that there was a strategy afoot to use my blog as a mode of advertising, and there would be waves of similar business addresses—music licensing firms, payday loan operations, accident lawyers, and companies selling flooring, purses, eyeglasses, etc.

The dynamic was intriguing and occasionally humorous. I wrote an early post on “The Magic of Three,” which was about numerology. I got a nice response from a man saying that it was interesting but misleading, and I saw that his own site pertained to sexual threesomes.

The post on “Medicare Non-Fraud” received a lot of attention, including from individuals offering fraud protection. The two posts I wrote on the phases of the moon were very popular for some reason, as was the one including a recipe for “Manly Pie.” That was followed by a wave of greetings from gay hotels in Florida.

Of course it wasn’t long before I installed protection from spam, which is a nuisance for serious people who would like to make a quick comment. It has sidelined almost 3,000 entries since April. Amazing. Now the sources seem largely to be promoting drugs I can get without a prescription, I presume. Amoxicillin, Xanax, Cialis, and Viagra are a few.

The irony is that my own blog has turned me into something of a voyeur. Here I am trying to write these thoughtful, provocative, and kind of literary essays; and then my own shadow comes up. All I have to do is tune into the spam to take a look at an international array of weirdness and potential corruption. I should print some of it out for my cousin, Merrill Heath, who writes mystery novels. There’s a story in there somewhere, I’m sure.

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