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Motts and Motts of Bots

May 13, 2010

A great literary scholar gave me a piece of eloquent criticism recently, in the form of a comment on an article I wrote. It said, and I quote:

“sucks”

Aha, I thought. Now I have an insight into all those rejections I’ve received over the years. It’s not my diction, or my choice of subject matter, or my stupidly submitting a 4000+ word story to a publication that only has space for 3000 words total. (In my defense, their guidelines said they didn’t have a specific limitation on word count.) No, obviously the problem is the overall suckiness (forgive the technical terminology) of my work.  Additionally, thanks to this poster, I can forget my fears that my writing blows, stinks, or bites the big one.  This anonymous literary scholar clearly values economy of language, and chose the word “sucks” for a reason.

But enough sarcasm. In a way, it’s nice to know that there are real people out there reading my stuff, even if they hate it with passionate vagueness. Usually, when I get comments on my articles, they look like this:

“Fgfrjaeltua4otui494tojerlflajgklfnhjkjhkrjtylrjot035urfd”

Now, maybe a lot of people reading stuff on this site are so amazed by the caliber of literary talent that their jaws are dropping onto their keyboards, accidentally pressing a series of random keys. But I think a more likely explanation is that the above is a bot commenting on something because it can. The majority of comments I receive look like this, which is unfortunate because I used to get excited when I saw I had received a comment. Once, someone commented on a pet article I wrote and said it helped them with their cat. That was awesome. Ever since then, it’s all bots and the “sucks” guy.

Usually, I get really annoyed when people start bitching about bots. I play a lot of word games online when I’m procrastinating, and there are always people complaining about some player who uses a word generator or a bot. I really could care less. I just want to play the game. I’ll play people using a bot or a generator and lose. Whatever. I’m playing to beat my own high scores and I enjoy that endless competition.

In this case, however, I get paid for click-throughs and bots lingering on the site, wherever they may come from, are probably committing some kind of click fraud. Or maybe I’m just paranoid. Either way, I want the bots to go away for purely selfish and petty reasons. I get to manage my own comment page (hahaha, “sucks” guy), so on a regular basis I have to clean up their random strings of letters and numbers, like digital bird poop.

Ok, I’m stuck on the digital bird poop now. I can’t decide if it’s a horrible metaphor or if it’s apt. Let it go, Greer. You’re sick (again) and ranting, so naturally poop was going to come into it eventually.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    May 14, 2010 6:46 pm

    “Digital bird poop” is perhaps the best metaphor ever to grace these fine internets. Good work! And feel better.

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