1-13-2017 Update: The spam blocker, Clean Talk seems to be working just fine, and I am happy with it. I see where it is catching a lot of spam, but my hope is that it doesn’t catch anything from one of my readers and throws it into the Spam folder. If you have not had a response from me on one you have written, please forgive me, and try again. I will answer it, if at all possible.
1-4-2017 Update: We added a spam blocker, Clean Talk, compatible with WordPress, so we are now accepting comments again. Please let us hear from you. Sorry for the inconvenience.
1-2-2017 Update: I wrote the following article last week when I was overwhelmed with spam. Since then I have been in touch with my web host and some friends. Upon my web hosting provider’s recommendation, we are trying some new plugins to control the spam, because I really want to hear your comments, even create a forum for discussion. Please be patient with me until we get this straightened out. Thank you.
With sadness and a touch of anger, I just turned off the “allow comments” feature to my blog site. Recently, I noticed the visits to my site were rapidly increasing, and I was overjoyed that so many people were reading my work. I felt accepted and valued.
But then I came home from a trip out of town and found over 600 emails waiting for me from the blog site. I read and answered as many as I could, but more kept coming. A few were comments from people who had read an article and were pleased with it. I liked that, but there were so many discussing real estate or testosterone, subjects I have never talked about. The blog counter listed over 3,900 hits over the last 24 hours. What the heck?
I called my friend who knows about computer stuff, and asked her what was happening. She said computer “bots” had found my site and were listing me on their search engines. For advertisement, I guess. She showed me that even when I thought I was getting friendly messages about a job well done, a computer-generated message was being sent when the wording was almost the same, but under a separate name. She said the URL numbers would usually be too long to be an individual. My happy bubble of excitement over a growing readership burst.
But she said it was good when the “bots” found me, because it would help spread the word that my site was out there. All advertisement helped, she said.
However, I feel a little betrayed. And angry. More falseness in a deceptive world. There should be a law against computer companies being allowed to do this. Or are they hackers? I’m not sure who is doing this. I just know I can’t delete the spam out of over 600 comments each day. We looked into stopping the spam by using their key words, but found the “bots” were allowed to come from their end of the internet. So I turned them all off. The little “bots” can crawl around all over my site, but they can’t talk to me now. If that doesn’t stop them, then I’m making a call to my congressman about making some laws to stop them.
I got one message from some people who told me a little girl read my article “Growing up Like Daddy,” saying it showed her how writing could help others by giving information in everyday situations people face. I hold on to that comment, and the others ones that sounded genuine, as something precious in my sight. I don’t want anyone to take that away from me; that is why I do what I do.
I will continue writing each day when I can. Please know that I appreciate everyone out there who reads my blog for the thoughts I share. Should you want to contact me, please fill out the newsletter form. I will try to give future contact information there. I feel like I was becoming friends with many of you, and that is what I want. Let us continue from whatever parts of the world we live. If you are a child of God, we are already brothers and sisters. May God bless you.
Update: After contacting DreamHost (WordPress), I have decided to research how to accept comments from readers without being overwhelmed with the spam. When I speak with them and figure out something, I will tell you on this site.