A super-quick one today, as I’m back in Italy, back at work (albeit at the kitchen table), and have a pile of stuff to get through before the weekend. Also a pile of stuff to get through at the weekend…
One thing that takes a lot of time is managing multiple websites – we have somewhere between twenty and thirty, including the club, the school, EIN, the two shops, and various sites offering free content.
Were we to hire someone to keep them tidy, we’d have been bankrupt decades ago, so I do the job myself.
It’s not complicated these days, if you know the basics, but it does take time. To update platforms, plugins, and themes whenever something changes, and to monitor the sites for comments.
We get masses of automated spam comments and reviews, with a few genuine ones mixed in, which means I have to scan through all the rubbish (a lot of it is in Russian, or sexual in nature, or criminal, or all three), mark 99% of it for deletion, and publish the remaining fraction.
Sometimes, when the mood takes me, I’ll reply, depending also on how much time I have (hence working in the evenings and at the weekends…)
All non-automated comments and reviews are considered for publication, and almost all of them are ‘approved’ by me, which makes them visible to website users. The exception, at the moment, is stuff from Russian troll farms.
The Russian state pays people with excellent Italian to hassle us everytime we mention the war in Ukraine, or whatever wicked thing that Putin has done.
But Russian trolls are not typical trolls (think bad-tempered beasts that live in caves and come out to smash things up with their clubs, or devour passersby). These guys always have perfect Italian, which makes them easy to spot, as virtually no one else does, including me.
And they’re always very polite and reasonable, so not like me there either. For that reason, back in the day, I used to publish their comments, ‘for balance’. It took me a while to realise that no one with such perfect Italian would be following our sites unless it was their job to do so. Silly me.
Much more normal are the idiots, cave-dwelling or otherwise. We get mainly political idiots, almost always right-wing, political idiots (where are the antifas?), and, I’m guessing here, American, right-wing, political idiots.
They pop up in the comments section when the topic is immigration, vaccinations, abortion, Trump, mass shootings, gay marriage, or similar.
You’d think the most powerful country in the world could get by very well without having its citizens hassle poor little me, sitting at my kitchen table, defenceless except for the delete button, which for now I’m only using on bots (automated spam) and RUSSIAN trolls.
But no, fortunately for put-upon American christians, gun owners, and billionaire politicians, we have culture warriors like Gus, who wrote to complain that writers at EasyItalianNews.com are biased. As proof, they didn’t mention that the most recent mass shooter was transgender. Gus rests his case.
Wow, I didn’t know that, thanks Gus! All the newspapers I read just said it was a woman, and that this was unusual, which it is, fortunately.
Thank the Lord that there aren’t more angry females, cis or otherwise, who pick up their military-style weapons and blast away. With a wife and two daughters, I wouldn’t last long!
That said, I live in Europe, where citizens, of any gender or sexual orientation, are not permitted by their governments to stock up on automatic weapons. Hunters can still get hunting rifles and shotguns in most places, even in Europe. OMG ragazzi, watch out for trans hunters! Though at least they won’t have extra-long magazines…
So there you go. I could make plenty more jokes, but won’t. Shooting people isn’t funny. Though at the stand up comedy place we went to in London on Sunday, the host was asking the audience in the front row where they were from, and making jokes about them.
“You’re American? Don’t shoot me.”
You can read Gus’s comment, and my considered reply, on the EasyItalianNews.com site, here, assuming you’re in the mood to get depressed about the state of the world, and the people in it. Many thanks, by the way, to everyone that sent a donation.
Talking about comment spam, I once compiled a poem from it. It was funny! At least, I thought so. Unfortunately, I can no longer find it. It’s not in my 2019 ‘capolavoro’, No Permit’s Required.
And no, the apostrophe in the title is NOT wrong, as anyone who could be bothered to read the introductory poem on p.4 of the FREE sample chapter (.pdf) would see. It’s IS, not a genitive.
By the way, did you know that in Swedish they don’t bother with the genitive apostrophe? It’s because they don’t use -s for plurals, I suppose, so don’t need to. Daniels hus, for example.
No wait, that’s Norwegian… Jättecool! I’ve just discovered I can read Norwegian, as well as Swedish.
Languages are good like that. Some of them anyway. If you can get by in Italian, why not have a go at Spanish?
There’ll be a 20% coupon code, valid on everything, which I’ll let you have on Monday.
If you’d rather not hear about the promotion, stop reading until Wednesday April 12th, or unsubscribe. There’s a link to do that in the footer of every ‘bulk’ email sent out, including this one. Scroll down, click the link, and follow the instructions.
Don’t be shy about unsubscribing. There are about fourteen thousand club members, and when I looked yesterday, an amazing 39% of them had opened the email with Wednesday’s article. I’m aiming to raise that still further!
Which means getting rid of anyone with no sense of humour…