I’ve Found A New Way To Procrastinate

November 21, 2006

 . . . which would be to catalog all of my books on LibraryThing. I’ve had an account since July – and had a great deal of fun playing around with LT during the summer. However, life demanded my attention elsewhere after I entered about 40 titles. After listening to a presentation given by Abby Blachly at Nelinet’s Annual Bibliographic Services Conference (on Friday, November 17th) on LibraryThing, I was inspired to put some serious effort into getting all of my books cataloged. Over the past three days, I’ve gotten about 475 more titles added. I’m thinking that I will need to resist the urge to keep adding books since the end of the semester is rapidly approaching.

On a more serious note, Abby Blachly’s presentation at Nelinet’s conference was great. She is very enthusiastic about LibraryThing – and that definitely came through while she was at the podium. I was already very familiar with LibraryThing, but definitely learned some new things. There were many people in the audience who had never heard of LibraryThing – and I sensed that people were interested in the product. I actually had a great discussion with some people at my table who were really intrigued and wanted to know more.

I so want to keep adding books to LibraryThing even though it is way past my bedtime . . .

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A New Breed Of Personal SPAM

November 21, 2006

Catching SPAM for either email or blogs is a never-ending battle that is constantly in flux. SPAM seems to be reduced when filters learn patterns and develop successful blocking strategies. At this point, of course, SPAMmers then change their strategies in order to circumvent filters and see that their massive amount of wicked useful content is delivered to end users. It is a cycle that can be humorous when I am in the right frame of mind. Today, I have to admit that I was highly amused by the following SPAM email disguised as a personal missive (which did not get labelled as SPAM by the mail filter at work):

Hey,

It’s no secret the gifts you’ve gotten your partner over the last few years have been not so great. Most people at the office know you don’t like to spend. That is fine but you get a bit of a bad reputation for being so cheap.I have an idea if you are willing. A few of us have bought off this one website the last few years. The products are charming and work awesome. Everyone who has gotten/given a gift like this has been super thrilled. The selection is very affordable for the quality and name you get. I know everything I have bought over the past few years works great. I will put the website below so at least you have any idea of how to spice up Christmas this year and get some credit you probably finally deserve.

NOTE: URL for spicing up Christmas was originally here.

We should also hookup for dinner and a few drinks after the staff Christmas party this year. I’m sure we can swap some stories about that. Talk to you soon.

Mike

Of course, I wasn’t as amused a couple of weeks ago when I received a similar message from a SPAMmer masquerading as a coworker who felt the need to confidentially tell me that everyone in the office wanted me to know that I am fat and need to go on a diet. Supposedly the URL that the sender was pointing me to was a suggested weight loss plan. That one I promptly deleted. Several days later, there was a SPAM email about the fact that my coworkers didn’t really like me very much – the sender was offering to help me fit in around the office better.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this new breed of SPAM in which I am called cheap, fat or unlikable. The emails themselves are pretty comical. However, do we really need people we don’t even know insulting us? Don’t any SPAM type people think they might make us happier with praise? Send me all the SPAM you want if you are willing to tell me that I am a good gift giver, skinny and/or well-liked by my peers. Anyway, I’m sure that I will have plenty of time to mull this over while I’m waiting for this mysterious Mike to show up after my work Christmas party so that we can go out for dinner and drinks. I hope he has some good stories to tell me. Maybe I will learn something from him and be able to make all of my family and friends “super thrilled” this holiday season.

UPDATE: For what it is worth: while writing this post, I received 15 SPAM emails (fortunately none with personal slights to my character) and 2 SPAM comments on this blog.