Category Archives: Spam

The shotgun approach to recruiting is counterproductive

> Hi Matthew,


> I'm very impressed with your rating/experience.

> At the current time, I have a few clients that are looking for experienced

> Ruby Rails developers (both contract & permanent) like yourself. There

> is

> lots of room for creativity and growth at these places.


> So, my contacts are below if you're still looking. Also, if possible, can

> you pls forward me

> your current resume?


> Thanks much!


> Leslie Doan

> ******************

> Managing Partner


> 2570 North First Street

> Suite 200

> San Jose, CA 95131

> C: 408.386.7246

> E:

> W:
Hi Leslie Doan,

I know it's tough to be a recruiter.  Cold calling is difficult and much

of recruiting is a volume game.

But you aren't doing yourself any favors with this email.

You're starting this relationship with me by lying to me.  You say you've

looked at my working with rails profile and been impressed.  But that

can't be true.  I've never worked on a real rails or ruby project.  I have

no ratings or experience, so how can you be impressed.My resume is also clearly linked from my working with rails profile.  If I

can't rely on you to know that, how can I trust you with my career?  I've

worked with a lot of recruiters, and I know that high volume folks treat

you like a tiny number. They are usually more interested in getting you

hired anywhere at any price so they can collect a commission.  I smell

that big time in this email.

If you show any level of familiarity with who I am or any of the many

links on my profile, I'm so much more likely to work with you.

Hope this helps you, and good luck in the recruiting game,


p.s. To make this letter worth my time as well as yours, I'm putting it up

for my pals on my website.  Don't worry, I don't have a very high


As you might imagine, I haven’t gotten a response from Leslie. I don’t think she’s interested in investing time in my career.

Turn Ads into Art with AddArt

What if fox news could just be more blatantAnother great idea from the folks at Eyebeam.  Take the idea of one of the most popular extensions for Firefox, AdBlock, but remix it to display art placeholders instead of blank space.

Instead of crappy banners, Fox news gets an eagle flying with an American Flag!

Now, this isn’t a final product – it’s still being worked on.  I’ve sent them a mail offering development help if they need it.  I love this idea.

The problem of spam

Been reading a lot about spam problems lately.

It isn’t a problem for me, since I’m not a high value target for spam. The other reason is that I’ve raised the bar by a very tiny amount. CAPTCHAs (those type the letters in the picture tests) are designed to raise the bar for spammers, and I’ve got kind of a unique one on this blog.

My comments aren’t hosted on blogspot, but rather on a site called haloscan. That tiny little difference has meant that I have never displayed a single comment spam ever. Automated comment spam occasionally is done, but it is always done using the normal blogspot comment fields. I get notices of these when they happen, but they aren’t a worry because they aren’t displayed ever or crawled by search engines.

This works because spam is a problem of economics. It takes very little work to be not worth the effort.
This is also a reason that firefox tends to be more secure than ie6. Fewer folks use it and therefore its less lucrative to write firefox exploits. So one of the surprising things that would tend to make ie6 and the web more secure is if opera, safari, and firefox took off!