I Think I’ll Have the Lobster Thermidor!

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Just yesterday, I installed what I thought was a really excellent WordPress plugin that allowed readers to submit guest posts directly to my WordPress dashboard.

The plugin looked to be exactly what I needed. It submitted posts into the pending queue for moderation, automatically tagged them as Guest Posts, assigned the author and added what I thought was a really slick facility to the site. Today, just 24 hours later, I was genuinely surprised to find over 200 spam ‘articles’ deposited in my pending queue.

Many of those ‘articles’ – I use the word very loosely here – did not even have titles written using words! There were hundreds of entries with titles such as ‘xghgjh w mxnb zxbvc fh gfsg’ – what do you make of that? Clearly someone has written a ‘tool’ – again, very loose usage of the word – that permits people to submit these junk entries to blogs that have the plugin installed.

The only reason I can imagine is that some people may have their plugin set up to automatically publish content rather than to submit it to the pending queue. Thank goodness my blog was not configured that way or else, this morning, it would have been full of rubbish.

Looking inside a few of the posts just to see if I could get my head around what these people are trying to achieve, I found what I had expected – all kinds of links to dodgy websites. What puzzles me is that, for the most part, there was no attempt to disguise the submission as an article at all.

There was just one submission that might qualify as some kind of article, though not the kind we are looking for here. Needless to say, that plugin is now toast! So, for guest post submissions, we are back to a manual process and I think this may be the way it will need to stay because, in fact, it was working quite well.

To submit a guest post, all you need do is use the Contact Form to send me your proposal. If it looks interesting, I will contact you and let you know how to submit the article. Until we find a better way, this is how we will continue to work.

And for aficionados …

Customer: Morning.

Waitress: Morning.

Customer: What have you got?

Waitress: Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, egg, spam, spam, bacon and spam; spam, sausage, spam, spam, spam, bacon, spam tomato and spam; spam, spam, spam, egg and spam; spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam.

(Choir: Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Lovely Spam! Lovely Spam!)

Or Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce served in a provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and spam.

Spam, in all its forms, is a truly irritating commodity.

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