“Thanks a lot for sharing that valuable information. I like how you describe hedgerows.” (Link to an exterminator in new york, commenting on a hedgerow post)
“WOW! That is really interesting about the radioactive contamination. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing!” (A link to a tree retailer, commenting on the recent sunflower post)
“I think it is not Satan’s house plant. That plant is really good for our health. You shouldn’t consider it as evil. Thanks for your insights anyway.” (Link to some virtual office scheme, commenting on our post about the evil asparagus fern, which I refuse to believe is good for anyone’s health.)
“The in the (sic) Barrel3-speed geatures (sic) a simple-minded color scheme with complex geometric frame design to form the utopia of cruisers Comfort Bikes” (Link to a beach cruiser bike, slapped on some totally unrelated post–no mention of bikes at all.)
Simple-minded color scheme? Form the utopia of cruisers? It’s pure Dadaist poetry!
This one may be a robot, or ESL, or both:
“Usefulness and significance of your ides(sic) is awesome. Examine most wanted infinite treasure of online deals, coupons and much more for your dearest brand name. “(A brazen full URL followed this, and it was left on the Bee Hotel post.)
“Most wanted infinite treasure”–lovely! And which brand name is my “dearest brand name”? Arm & Hammer? Something to ponder.
All of us who are in business, whether we be writers or importers or dog trainers or electricians, are encouraged to have a web presence. Books and blogs tell us to go forth and comment upon blogs to raise our profile. So spam doesn’t consist entirely of weird, faceless offshore corporations selling sexual enhancement drugs. Some of it comes from smaller businesses which have paid to have their URLs sprinkled among the the comments of the blogosphere–like those first two examples above from the exterminator and the tree retailer. And some, no doubt, are even generated by the business owner themselves.
Comments planted on our site by businesses are not offensive in their content, but are offensive in themselves, because they are irredeemably false: false discourse, false community. Community is something we treasure, and try to build, so we cannot let false comments stand.
Real human presence cannot be outsourced to sweatshops. It takes lots of time and a deft touch to be a positive internet presence. Not everyone can do it as well. I think the most important thing is to have good product, and professional interactions with your customers. They’ll talk about you on the internet, even if you don’t talk about yourself.