I don't usually have much good to say about Blogger. So to be fair and give credit where it's due, I'll repeat that — in addition to being free without requiring advertising of any kind (a big plus to me) — its spam filter works very well. Frankly, I can't recall a single instance of robot messages getting through since I opted to turn off word verification on comments earlier this year in the wake of the service's switch to a much uglier, more onerous CAPTCHA format.
While the blog has been getting more spam than it used to, all of the spam is getting queued up in a virtual folder to await my attention as it should. I think that more spam comments made it through in the past, in fact, which leads me to suspect that in a rare instance of foresight Blogger worked to shore up its spam filtering in anticipation of users ditching verification after the recent change.
Most of what used to make it through was strings of Chinese hanzi that translated to some vaguely poetic phrase and linked to images of scantily-clad women if not outright porn. And porn is, no surprise, still the #1 destination for most of the spam that the filter catches, but to my surprise for every few blatant "comments" that hawk pics of nude celebrities there's one that pretends to be actual conversation with poetry of its own — in English; often broken English to be sure, but therein lies much of the skewed poetry.
"You can definitely see your expertise within the paintings you write," one slice of spam read. "The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart."
I was almost touched.
Here are some more excerpts from my favorite entries. Not all of them even pretend to directly reference the post on which they're "commenting"; rather, they're blatantly selling things. A few just sound like the earnest but syntactically mangled ravings of my friend Joan.
"Goodness evening! Skeddadle to me insert myself. Information describing my creation is indeed completed — proceed to step implementation."
"Ladies I am sorry to go off topic, but I am really pissed at the election result being forecast by this frigging horoscope site. I for one hope they are frigging wrong. Should I just pack up and move to Costa Rica?"
"In case anxiousness will be frequent or maybe too much to handle, if this interferes with your associations in addition to actions, them puts a stop to becoming functional — that's when you have surpassed the road from regular, productive anxiety in the place of hysteria conditions."
"Today is documentation poorly, isn't it?"
I have to agree.