For those of us residing in WordPress Land, an exciting new development has been afoot. That being, the sudden increase in email followers subscribing to our sites, all using highly suspicious Outlook.com addresses. Addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org, or, whyisitsodifficulttowriteacoherentemail@outlook, etc.
The discussion on said topic has been riveting.
Full disclosure: I myself was pleased when I first received the email notifications and found nothing to be concerned about. I figured I’d finally found my tribe and was proving quite popular among Microsoft users who choose highly complicated email addresses.
It’s a narrow audience to be sure, but an audience nonetheless.
Then Ray over at Mitigating Chaos wrote about his outlook followers and I thought, alas, they’re not that into me.
But then… but then folks, one of these mysterious Outlookers took the time to comment on my last post, the one on money. Not once, not twice, but THREE times!
Here’s the first comment my new friend Alex felt compelled to share:
I am now not certain where you are getting your info, but great topic. I must spend a while finding out much more or figuring out more. Thanks for great information I used to be in search of this information for my mission.
You’ll see that he opened with a bit of constructive criticism, pointing out that the source of my info was not clear. I found this odd as my very first sentence begins: “I was at Costco…” so, you know, Costco. But then I realized I didn’t give the address of Costco.
So there you go. Helpful.
Also, did you notice how Alex has a mission? I ask you, how many of you have a mission? Hmm?
I have to confess I did not respond to Alex’s comment in a timely manner, beings how the email was labeled “Please moderate” and it was the weekend. (The Feeding on Folly Comment Moderation Committee meets on Tuesdays.)
Did this stop Alex from commenting again? No! Using a different (though just as baffling) email address, three hours later, unable to contain himself, Alex wrote:
Wow, amazing blog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you made blogging glance easy. The whole glance of your site is magnificent, let alone the content material!
My heart soared. His admiration for my blog, yea, the very glance of my blog, cannot be denied.
That’s when it occurred to me. This is what I’ve been lacking!
Tell me, faithful readers, those of you who have been following this blog and reading my posts and commenting here and there and — dare I say it? — beginning to take Feeding on Folly for granted? Tell me this: When have you ever commented on my structure? Or ever once thought to ask how lengthy I’ve been blogging for?
Honestly. I’m beginning to wonder if you care.
And as I mused on your neglectful ways, Alex commented again! From yet another Outlook email!
You actually make it appear so easy with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually something that I feel I might never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely vast for me. I’m having a look forward for your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!
Oh dear! Alex is confused! My post on money was too complex and he’s expecting me to write more on the subject. Poor Alex!
To rectify this situation, until the Moderation Committee convenes (last I heard Francine wasn’t sure she’d make it and she was in charge of bringing the donuts), I decided to showcase Alex’s comments and address him directly.
ALEX: What follows is a simplified explanation of my previous post.
Save More, Spend Less
I truly hope that takes care of things for you, my dearest Alex.
But what’s this?! Another comment has landed in our moderation queue, this time from Yvette:
I simply couldn’t go away your web site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual info a person supply on your visitors? Is going to be again steadily in order to inspect new posts
Oh… um… gosh. I see you’ve got a question in there, Yvette. I’d like to help you out, but I’ll need some time to figure out what it is you’re… um… asking?
Tell you what. As soon as I’m done here, I’ll start diagramming your sentences. I should have an answer for you in about a month or so.
As for the rest of you, you know what you need to do. Look over this presentation, comment on my structure, admire the glance of my blog. Show a gal a little support now and then, okay?
Also, write yourself up a mission. You could use one.
FYI to Fellow Bloggers: From one of our WordPress “Happiness Engineers” regarding these strange followers (taken from the forum linked at the top):
There is no way these spam followers can put your site, your content, or your private account data in any danger. (…) You can remove the spam followers under My Site ->People, but that won’t prevent new follows from coming in. You might also consider temporarily disabling email notifications of new followers in your account settings until we manage to get these blocked. (…) Please don’t email these addresses back – another potential reason for this is that someone is fishing for emails which they can then use to try and spam directly, and emailing them back will only provide them with your personal email address – something they cannot get hold of by merely following your site.