Last week, I discovered one drawback of having some of my favorite blogs link to us. With the increase in traffic has come spam. Lots of it. Occasionally, an obvious spam comment slips past our filter, but it doesn’t bother me. I delete it, and life goes on. It normally involves male enhancement or someone willing to do something that’s illegal in the deep south.
It looks like some new lawyers have jumped into the fray. Taking a cue from viagra vendors, some scumbag attorneys have decided to spam my poor little blog. They put up stupid comments talking about how great they are and linking to their website. The spam comments were completely unrelated to the posts. I won’t provide a link, as it will just encourage them. If they’re attacking little-old-me with spam, they are probably big enough to have more visitors than I do. A small number of people will notice me complaining about their marketing practices, but my link will probably just make them look more important. I’m pretty sure it’s a losing fight, but please correct me if I’m wrong.
I’ve purposefully avoided discussing marketing here, as I don’t really have much to say on the subject. When I started this blog, this was my thought process: I like writing. I need an outlet to complain about the things that frustrate me and make me eager to get to work each day. I want to learn HTML and PHP in my spare time. Blogging seems like a good way to combine all of that, right? I vaguely thought it might somehow serve as a marketing tool and possibly bring in a client or two if the content was good enough.
Well, I turns out I’m bad at marketing. I doubt the firm has gotten a single client because of this blog. I haven’t learned HTML or PHP very well either (try using the search function on this blog). On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed blawging, and I think I’ve written some decent posts. Blawgers seem to be a fairly close-knit community, and I’ve had a good time meeting and communicating with other blawgers. I learned there are some things I didn’t think mattered that do matter (like giving your blog a promotional name), and things I did think mattered that don’t matter (for some reason, I thought it was common courtesy to ask someone before putting them on your blogroll). I think I’m pretty aware of blawging customs at this point.
What those spamming lawyers did is more than just against custom. I view it as tantamount to spray-painting the outside of my office building with their name and number. It wastes my time cleaning it up and tells me they are either unethical or too incompetent to properly supervise their staff. If it’s an ethics issue, I think it will self-correct. An attorney who trolls blogs and self-promotes with comments-spam is probably nearing the end of his or her legal career (or so I hope). If I were an inadvertnently-spamming lawyer, I’d still be worried about my state bar ethics committee if I didn’t address it ASAP. If my marketing guy went too far, I’d rein him in or fire him. It’s the only honorable thing to do.
I won’t pretend to be all high and mighty. I also won’t try to shame spammers in general, as plenty of far better blawgers have already done that. On principle, I’m not putting any links in this post. Check my blogroll for people with good things to say on the subject. All I have to say is the following for the sleazy attorneys who spammed me: if you messed up and hired a shady SEO guy, you should be prepared to apologize and fix the problem. If you’re so desperate for clients that you resorted to spamming other lawyers’ sites, you should probably focus more on the quality of your legal services. I didn’t appreciate taking the time to delete your irritating comments, and I bet you didn’t earn yourself a single client doing it. I think I’m not alone in saying that under no circumstances would I ever consider recommending you or your network to anyone.