My publishers said I’d need a website if I was going to be a proper author. Lots of people are clever enough to do it themselves, but I engaged a lovely chap to set mine up. Being somewhat haphazard in my techno expertise, I have him add stuff like new releases, links, book extracts, media mentions and events or appearances (when we could do those!) All I have to do is add my blogs every few weeks. And monitor the emails. This, however, has recently escalated into a mammoth time-consuming task. It’s not that I am inundated with fan mail meriting a grateful reply (which would be nice), it’s more clicking ‘Bin’ on the hundreds of emails from bots which increasingly pour into the site daily as blog comments.

At first it was all offerings of cybersex or videos involving bizarre partners (e.g. Mormons, ‘families’ and the curious ‘back-page ladies’) plus multiple variations of ‘male enhancing’ Viagra-type drugs without prescription, and a scattering of offers for antibiotics like Amoxil. The latter I assumed were intended for the clinic-shy blogger with VD (or STDs as they are called nowadays). Within a few months came offers of bitcoins and gambling opportunities. But 15 months in, there are new trends: Keto diets, Air conditioners, Hair Growth remedies, watches, and skin tag removers. Today’s batch took the biscuit (sadly no one offers me bargain biscuits. Now that would be of much greater interest).

If the website links offer products or services, the attached ‘luring’ emailed comments increasingly seem to be emanating from deranged content-generating gremlins in Botland. But they are hilarious reading. I am saving these ‘reviews’ for my blog viz. I am ‘rattling great’ (but need Viagra) I put on ‘clever work’ (but need hair restorer) My website ‘tastes good’ (attached to bizarre invite for ‘non-drug’ seizure-control advice). My favourite today was ’You are my inhalation’ (coming with ‘male enhancement’ promo). A lone ‘From where I be capable of in fact’ comment defied analysis and ’This article content is a critical case’ was open to several interpretations!

There are variations noticeable in grammatical correctness depending on the country of origin. Dutch, Belgian German and Danish sites appear marginally more coherent. Most Russian ‘lures’ are largely gibberish, some in Cyrillic even being indecipherable to the Western eye. If this is the sort of thing that they’re using to try to influence elections and referendums on independence/Brexit I am not sure I believe they will be that effective. Though I do see on occasion that some comments have been attracted inadvertently by my use of a particular keyword. I wouldn’t nowadays head this ‘Viagra and the internet’ for example!

One email urged me to ‘to keep it up all the time’ (what ‘up’ was unspecified, but for once it wasn’t viagra-related, coming alongside an earplug promo) ’ Another said ‘Gladioli observed this’ while weirdly  another gladioli synonym popped up in ’Sword lily I noticed this.’ By then (at no 54) I wasn’t bothering looking at the origins or links. I do wonder whether anyone ever does click on them?’ Though I was almost tempted by ‘Mystic Style Cream’ – what was it styling and why was it mystic? I will never know.

We live in a strange wordy world today, where myriads of miscellaneous mutterings and musings like this fly round the internet in texts, blogs, ads and multiple media or verbalised on TVs, radios, YouTube, TikTok and goodness knows what other platforms appear daily. The human-generated content is largely understandable- apart from those side-splitting fat-finger text typos we’ve all sent at one time or another. But I harbour disquiet about machine-generated gobbledegook with an approximation to dialogue which is being produced by number-crunching marketing morons intent on selling me something I have no interest in.

Above all, you’d think Artificial Intelligence might twig that a site with a female name as title sporting a female pic is probably run by a female uninterested in enhancing males! I doubt few girls would value a website link to ‘how-does-one-naturally-make-my-penis-bigger?’ Especially when, as an ex-medic, I think they’re on a hiding to nothing for that…

Come on McVities- tell me you like my promo in this blog and send me an offer for free chocolate digestives! And I won’t care if it is accompanied by ungrammatical tosh. Plus the keto diet folk can desist from pestering me.  Ketones like acetone are best kept for nail varnish removal. In the blood they can damage your kidneys. Chocolate digestives don’t.

Be interesting to see what comments are generated by the keywords I’ve chosen for this blog’s title. Antacids maybe?

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