What is the difference between spam and ham?
Well, if you have a blog or a social media platform of almost any variety, you are sure to be familiar with comments such as “I’ve been trying to lose weight for years, but I finally accomplished it using fat-buster” or “This was very interesting to read. You will also find my website interesting.” These comments are spam, and they can damage your digital presence because they can dilute the quality of comments from your real audience.
Real, user generated comments are the ham, or the meat of genuine dialogue. This is what you are trying to achieve, but how can you tell the difference between the spam and the ham?
Here are three dead giveaways:
• Spam is always too good to be true. The spammers want you to click on their names, links and emails and they will do almost anything to get you to do this, including using flattery, intuitive robots (see the next point) and by magic (i.e. lies)
• Spam is generic. Spammers will send the same comment to thousands of people using a robot that takes your post tags to fill in a template comment so their post may apply to you. If it looks like someone didn’t pay attention to their reply and hit ‘comment’ with their eyes closed, then chances are they probably did.
• Spammers want your click-backs. They will always attach a link to their user names. When in doubt, check their email addresses. Nonsensical domains such as firstname.lastname@example.org are a dead cert for identifying a spammer.
The best ways to combat spam posts are to use API comment filters such as Akismet (for Wordpress) as well as enabling the ‘pending comments’ feature on your chosen platform so that you can personally vet your comments to make sure that only the ham gets through. You are sure to receive repeat visitors if you run a community where users can view other’s honest comments and feedback.
Blog Post written by Erika Clegg