Watch Out For Sneaky Spammers

I’ve noticed a new tactic with spammers lately… they are awfully complimentary of your content, your blog and your writing style. Flattery is hard to resist, I know. So here are some tips for keeping the spam out of your comments section.

  • If the comment seems to be over thesaurus-ized – common words turned into $5 words that aren’t quite used right – you’re probably looking at spam.
  • If the comment could be related to any blog, any post, anytime? It could be spam.
  • If the commenter asks about your fabulous layout and how you did it – yup, spam. (I fell for this one, hard!)

If you’re not sure, check the possible inputs on the comment form for consistency and legitimacy. Individually, they might not raise any red flags, but combined can tip you off:

  • Name: By itself this might not be a problem one way or another, unless it’s clearly not a name.
  • Email: Look for an email that lines up with the name entered and with the URL
  • URL: This is the big giveaway, usually. The point of spam is to get linkbacks to the spam site in question through comments. So check the URL, visit it to make sure it’s a real site.

Elli here has some pretty obvious problems. Her name is ok, but her URL is a dead giveaway. Line that up with her email address that has nothing to do with either thing and we’ve got a spammer. Click “spam” on the comment and move on.

Look for ways to get real people engaged with your content. Much better for the ego in the long run.

Are You Active? Including Social Media on Your Resume

The first term my students blogged, I was thrilled if they completed the assignment and seemed to enjoy it. A few did (my favorite was Stu Holdren’s blog, Stu’s Clues), but almost no one kept the blog up longer than the end of the quarter. That’s been the case most terms since then.

Of course there are a few (extremely notable) exceptions. Staci Stringer, Jessica Lomelin, Sarah Essary and Beth Evans all come to mind immediately.

But for the most part, the blogs are abandoned after the 7 weeks assignment.

Twitter seems to get a little bit more traction and become part of the students’ routines. But I would be lying if I said it was more than 25% of students that continue using twitter after it’s not required.

There are lots of reasons for letting your blog and twitter profile to go seed. Students (and young professionals) are busy people. But recently a student came to me to help edit her resume for an internship. She listed “social media” in her skills. In her case, she seems like she’s in it for the long haul, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, it got me thinking about when you should list “social media” on your resume as a skill – especially as a student.

I asked my twitter friends and got a ton of response.

My point wasn’t wording, specifically, but whether someone can claim social media as a skill if they aren’t actively participating (with the assumption the individual would not explicitly reveal that the blog was abandoned or the twitter stream had run dry). I’m going to share the replies here and then follow up with another post and my own thoughts on this subject later this week:

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