Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 90,556,196 Issue: 161 | 8th day of Collecting, Y6
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

Beating Spam into Mince Meat!


by plushieowner

--------

You must have SEEN it!

Or perhaps even DONE it! Even though it may not have been intentional.

ADMIT IT! Don’t make me get Master Vex to lock you up in a dungeon for the next trillion years.

SPAM HAPPENS! But I would like to refer especially to spam on Neopets guild boards and Neochat boards.

What is spam? Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages. Don’t get me started about what spammers are! How many spammers does it take to change a light bulb in a Nova Lamp? Actually they can't - they all expect it to remove itself.

If the answer was as simple as that, it certainly would not make up my 1000 word limit. I am about to acquaint you with spam, especially in reference to guild boards, and how to grind it into mincemeat.

Little word of advice: be careful - that message begging for help might be genuine, so try and be kind of about it. Everyone was a newbie once; even you may have asked silly questions when you were one. Don’t automatically think straight off a message is spam. It may not be. If something’s a minor error, you might not need to say something it at all in some cases.

Three Typical, Trivial, Time-consuming, Terrible Types of Spam

One-liners

I’m crackers, do you want to put some cheese on me? I’m not talking about corny jokes and humour. Messages that are a line long or very short are usually pointless. But not too big a deal to cope with.

Rating: 3/10. Not that bad, could be more unpleasant.

Repetitive/Double Posts

Double posts can be intentional but also be posted by mistake. Guild posts (just like Neomails) often get stuck in the servers - sometimes messages get sent more than once. Or people accidentally press the ‘post message’ button twice by mistake.

Fair enough if this happens once every so often but if you have someone do this regularly then it isn’t right. The call goes out to any Defenders of Neopia member, as there is crime here to mop up.

Rating: 2/10. Double posts aren’t always intentional, therefore they aren’t always classed as spam.

Chain letters/Excessive posting of auctions

A chain letter and excessive posting of an Auction lot are two examples of what can be counted as spam. Oh sure, as if I’m going to win a Faerie Paintbrush if I post this message on 10 different chat boards.

I’ll do it if you give me the paint brush first! Hard luck if you failed to attract me with your offer if you can’t spell the word faerie correctly.

Rating: 8.888888/10. How’s my spamming? Chain letters are just deadly, they tick people off faster than a rapid plague of neck biting Mootix.

Attention Seeking/Boredom Spam

“LOOK AT ME!! I’m bored, can you talk to me?! or “HELP?!? How do ya get Neopoints?” Usually these kinds of posts are ignored in most guilds. You have a better chance sticking up your thumb in the Lost Desert and catching a ride, however:

A) There are no cars in Neopia.

B) Neopets don’t have thumbs. They have hooves and paws, don’t they?

Well for one point, it can get annoying. Almost as bad as a flood level on Hannah and the Pirate Caves.

Frankly the point I want to bring across is that spam is annoying and a waste of time. Also it is against Neopets Rules. I’ll quote unlucky rule 13 of the Chat rules:

“Do not spam the message boards, guild boards, or other site areas. This includes Chain Letters of any kind!”

How come there is no Neopets support group for distressed guild council members called ‘Codename Operation Canned Spam’? I’d create one if I wasn’t so busy deleting messages.

Guild Boards

A while back I got a council position (after six knockbacks for guild positions and many bags of Neopoints slipped to the council) and then shortly after I was bestowed administration powers (or admin for short) from my guild leader.

Having Admin powers means you have the power to be able to change the guild settings. Other than that, you don’t get any special privileges. You get a nifty blue star on the guild members’ list which screams ‘My Neomail is open 24/7 for you to pester me regarding questions already answered in the Guild FAQs’.

There are six options if you have full admin powers e.g. Guild Layout, Guild Members, Guild Council, Guild Board and Guild Poll. You may only have 1-5 of those, it depends on what your guild leader gives you.

It takes a fair bit of time deleting every single message if someone decides to go on a spamming frenzy. One at a time the guild council/admin member has to press delete one message, then its refresh the page etc.

Wash, rinse and repeat the process until board is squeaky clean.

Say someone posted 50 messages in a day. I know that is a lot, as this is just an example. (Unless someone got a bit rowdy from a few drinks at the Golden Dubloon that night.) If 47 out of the 50 messages someone posted were spam or messages that could have been said in one long chain or were totally useless, it would be easier to delete 50 messages in one go than 48 messages individually.

Yeah, wiping the whole board gets rid of the bacteria known as Spamicus asparagus but also gets rid of Normalus messagus. I don’t know about everyone else but I think some members of the guild might actually want to know about lil Chet’s birthday party.

How to Stop the Spam and Spread the Awareness!

Some people don’t realise there is an art to posting messages. This can lead towards the dreaded problem of canned meat. Always make sure you follow any guild rules about posting e.g. if you use chatspeak in a writer’s guild your messages may not hang around for long.

  • Find your own personal style to posting then stick to it. If possible post your replies in a chain with a paragraph mark between each person, say like this:

    -Fudge: Thank you so much for the birthday present! These codestones will help my Faerie Ixi train for the next war.

    -jellyllamarock: Congrats, Jelly, on your first submission published! Here have a fruit basket! *throws you a banana*

  • KISS=Keep it simple, silly! Plain text is easier to read and easier on the eyes. Some glowing and scrolling fonts freeze the computers of some of my old guild friends. So, your message may be deleted because of that.

  • If you see a particular person spamming on the guild board, try sending them a polite Neomail to tell them to stop as it is against Neopets rules. If they have been in the guild a long time enlighten them that their behaviour might encourage new members to do the same thing because they think the guild is unruly and it’s just a spamming smorgasbord.

  • Take note of people’s time zones. The world doesn’t revolve around NST time. It’s rude to grumble about people not posting. People are not always online when you want them to be.

    For example, I live in Australia which is about 18 hours ahead of America which is where most of my Neofriends live. So if I pop on the computer before I rush off to school to send someone a Neomail, it is the afternoon after school for someone in America.

Chat Boards

Let’s face it. All over the Neopian chat boards spammers have an absolute field day! It’s an all-you-can-post fest! It’s a Neopia wide holiday for spammers that happens everyday and no-one else gets a day off from dealing with it.

If people want this much attention, they should really be doing something good with their time, such as spamming the Writer’s Boards with Goth poetry about the Grey Faerie? *cough sarcasm*

As much as people like dobbing on spammers to the Report Team, spammers still persist even after they have their account closed.

It’s not cool to get your account iced even if it gives you a strange kind of thrill. Why do people do it then? Thrill of the chase or pure stupidity? Maybe both.

On the Neopets chat boards you can’t do much about spam other than reporting it. Even if you spent 24/7 doing that, there are at least 20 boards to patrol at the same time.

Unfortunately, spam will always be with us as long as some Neopians fancy the taste.

I think it should all be fed to a pack of savage Meepits.

Author’s Note: Dedicated to Ollie, the Spam Eater. XD

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

Hotel Report
Stuck choosing between Cockroach Towers and Astrovilla (like that's hard), or falling for Presidential Palace?

by cherry_blossom_43

---------

The Good Days II: The Search for Glenda - Part Two
Renaline awoke that morning to a great shock. The typical feeling of the rowboat rocking back and forth through the waves was gone.

by puzz1ed

---------

An Encounter With Elzzuf
"Yes, I'll do anything you ask. Anything at all! Just name it!"

by ladylupin3

---------

The Search for Petpet World: Part Four
"KL is Kiko Lake! Now all we have to do is go to Maraqua and get the ruby!" said Jobo.

by darkfaerie700



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.