The Curses of A Contact Form

The Curses of A Contact Form

Okay, now I know that I could do research and find a spam free contact form or something along those lines. But it involves a lesson that took me a long time to learn. Chasing every bug and plugging every hole as it comes up will send me off track. I have to step back take a breath and look at the whole picture every once in a while, make a list and check it consistently. If I am not doing something on the list, I need to put myself back on course. I will be investigating hiring out soon so that some of these lists won't be my job.

I put up a contact form so that people could contact me without leaving a comment. I didn't want to put an email address out there just for it to become a spam magnet. I have an email address for that. I have had it for at least 5 years. I have used it on every form possible. I have signed up for so many things that I never start by registering a site. I start by testing my email address. I just found out I have a tumblr account through Google. I Google myself every once and while. I helps with the ego and it helps to know which sites that pick up my feeds have the most link juice. The end result in that email account is that gets over 1000 messages a day. I filter this down to about 100 messages a day which I only scan the titles of before hitting delete. People I haven't heard from in 5 years reach me through this address.

So the contact form is set up on my Gmail account and it has been fun to watch what comes in through it.

For one, there must be spam software out there that can't tell the difference between the contact form and the comment form. I get about 4 or 5 of these a day. Long lists of urls.

But sometimes I get long lists of keywords that seem to be people thinking it's a keyword tool like the one I just got as I was typing this sentence:

handbag gucci gucci sunglasses with handbag watches gucci gucci vuitton gucci gucci replica gucci gucci gucci replica gucci bags lyrics gucci handbags gucci wallets gucci perfume watches eyeglasses 2008 gucci 1 designer gucci air boots mens layouts cologne gucci gucci gucci original gucci gucci medium gucci lunette envy gucci wholesale watches wholesale watch waist glasses belts gucci gucci gucci eclipse jewellery location glasses designer gucci gucci gucci gucci prada gucci timberland the custom watches handbags gucci nobile mens gucci frames sun the gucci gucci hats gucci gucci mane kong gucci paolo gucci discount gucci gucci gucci storess gucci hangbags watch italy speedy gucci handbag gucci vintage totes one bags cologn what handbags gucci hologram gucci about gucci eyeglass rss baseball icy cruise abput of cellphone belt handbags watch black stallion women and outlet handbag frames gucci gucci prada discounted gucci baldinini pony scully for gucci belt shoes bags gucci gucci vintage girl gucci necklace logo gucci discounted guccio evening loafer black and gucci city watch tag gucci dress locations gucci diamond titus gucci kong gucci cap gucci jolicoeur gucci gucci shoes indy gucci knockoffs 2548 signature gucci wallet 1900l gucci watch gucci bags gucci paolo gucci belt 7200 gucci shirts gucci gucci gucci same bowling cheap saddle prescription gucci mens gucci gucci gucci gucci gucci gucci clothes fragrances heels sun saddle gucci clothes gucci gucci repair watches zealand hobo gucci collection gucci group diaper gucci gucci

Yes, that's the complete message.

Sometimes I get messages that need a translator.

But for the most part I am not sure how to say no or have a problem gauging how much I have on plate. One way to tell if an advertiser contacting is legit is to take a line from the email and search for it in Google. This has saved me 3 or 4 times so far. You usually will find someone posting about it if it's spam.

I don't know if I am taking the term "legit" too far, but the way I see it: If you use a form letter, you don't give a crap if your ad is on my site or someone else's site. Please go elsewhere.

Another, I have pretty much taken paid reviews off the plate. I don't like them. Too many rules. If I was going to be someone's bitch, I wouldn't be attempting to completely and totally work for myself. I like affiliate programs and I usually can find more than one good product that does similar things. I like giving choices and I like products with trial periods. Devoting a post to a product would have to mean it was the "God" of that niche. Which is why I recommend Fruitful Time Manager, because you have time to see for yourself if it will work for you and I promise to get to a post on software that helps with productivity.

I don't think I have the depth of knowledge on blogging yet to give an adequate site review. I can throw out a few pointers. I can recognize intensity and transparency like Mirjam, a great analytical mind in Tim but I want to learn more about applying SEO tactics to Wordpress from Andy Beard before I even think I have the right. Plus I have gaping holes in this blog that would only make me a hyprocrite. But I would love to do it once I myself consider this site bullet proof, because I have found a few diamonds in the rough that will give me a run for the money if given the right direction. Not that I am that quick at building traffic. I am slow but stable. I was waiting for my old knack at putting ideas to words to lubricate a little.

And this has had side effects. Yesterday I had the epiphany that I am a complete idiot. I have been looking for ways to get things done quicker. One way is to pry the padlock off of my wallet or at least redirect some advertising dollars to things that will make my job easier like paying for a theme. But I will be turning that into a new twist on a contest. Speaking of contest, check out Tim's site. The list of prizes is longer than this post and has more variety than it's sharp tangents.

Outsourcing will help a lot I think. I told the only client I ever had to try ScriptLance. I never tried it, but I heard good things. He would come back with complete sites built for $500. It would take months, but it took me months to create the theme for this site. Speaking of that, he is looking for a Drupal developer to finish up a social network. If you are one, leave a comment. It will probably be worth your while.

A post like this is what happens when your to do box explodes all over the place. It's not that I have a problem with organization. The problem is with "no". On one side, I can be a push over. On the other, I just want to see if I can pull it all off.

A few things done that I wanted to get to in one fail swoop and too finish off with the last curse of a comment box: this is normal for me. The post isn't but the things I have in lists everywhere is.

Stephan Miller

Written by

Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

Twitter | Github | LinkedIn