Before proceeding further, I would like to make it crystal clear that I value all my followers irrespective of how you follow this website. The majority of my followers choose to follow this blog using the WordPress Reader, while others subscribe via Twitter or Facebook. A small percentage receive posts via email. Its important to me that those who have neither a WordPress blog, a Gravatar, don’t use Twitter or Facebook have the opportunity to easily access my content, hence the presence of the button enabling people to subscribe using email. Indeed I subscribe to many sites using the email button and (as I’ve already said) value the ability to receive posts by email.
Turning to the matter in hand. Approximately 10 days ago I noticed a steady increase in email subscriptions, all of which emanated from the outlook.com domain. I was, of course delighted to have new followers (who wouldn’t be?). I did, however think it somewhat odd that all these new subscribers where subscribing to Newauthoronline using the same domain (outlook.com). Yesterday (Saturday 21 January) all became clear. I received an obviously spammy comment from a user at the outlook.com domain. I duly deleted said attempt to spam my site. As of now I have received 9 spam comments (all of which have been deleted). Every one of these attempts to spam came from entities using the outlook.com domain which does, I feel sure explain the unusual spike in email subscribers using Outlook.
I have no intention of removing the ability to subscribe to newauthoronline.com via email. There are many good reasons why a reader might choose this method of subscribing, including not wishing to utilise social media/not having a WordPress site and/or Gravatar. I will continue to treat each comment received on its merits irrespective of whether it comes via a Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or email follower and I’ve no intention of changing this practice. I will, however be keeping a sharp eye out for unusual activity such as a spike in subscribers from a particular domain whether that be Outlook or any other provider. Of course I have had spam comments from WordPress users. These are, however extremely rare but, again I shall be keeping a weather eye out for spammy comments irrespective of their source.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I welcome all subscribers irrespective of how they choose to subscribe. The vast majority of people who follow this (and other blogs) do so for genuine reasons. Likewise the overwhelming majority of comments are from those who truly wish to have their voice heard/make a contribution to a post. Finally, I don’t assume that anyone who uses the outlook.com domain to subscribe is upto no good. You are welcome to subscribe using that or any other method – but not to spam!