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Friday, 05 March 2010


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Peter Allen

Andrew, I'm a newcomer to the delights of your blog, so yes it's the first time I've seen a picture of you! (It's not that bad!!)

So far I've been enjoying your musings and, as a fellow narrow boater of 30 years, I'm constantly learning new things through your site.

And it's good to find someone with a decent sense of humour who'll respond in the right way to a somewhat cheeky comment! (Note to self: try not to make blog comments straight after coming in from the pub!!)


Andrew Denny

Peter, have you not seem a picture of me before?

I'm ugly as sin and hate the out-of-proportion way I look, what with my huge double chin (I'm naturally thin) and strange square head.

However, I do regularly post photos of myself, when I find one that's not too weird. This one is fun. It shows me guzzling a Pukka Pie.


Peter Allen

Fair enough...bring back the logo!! Just got back from playing golf, so this is the first chance I've had to see you in all your glory!! (and now I'm hungry as well!)


Andrew Denny

Nic, I get maybe three or four spam comments a week. Typepad is good at stopping them, it picks up the prime offenders. I leave comments open, you don't have to log in to say something, and I don't moderate them - they go live immediately.

Nic Chilton

So has it come full circle now? In the 90's people used mailto links to display their email addresses in web pages and the rise of email-harvesting (bots searching for email addresses to add to spam lists) made people change, in ways you describe, as although spam detection systems came up, they weren't as accurate. Gmail IS very good - you can set one up to purely pull in emails from several accounts, filter, wash, etc and then sort and send out messages to other email accounts as appropriate without ever needing to log into that account again!

I'm not sure publicising email is good, spammers get paid for sending emails to valid accounts irrespective of whether it reaches your inbox. It is feasible that some method of circumventing the spam detection systems. What is important is allowing a human visitor a method of being able to get intouch after reading your blog. Whether this be old-skool mailto links, image renders, or purpose build contact CGI scripts with anti-spam measures, isn't important, so long as its easy for the end-user.

Does your blog get spam comments? I get 3 or so each post! Luckily me "system copes with it :)

Andrew Denny

OK, another photo of me is up, just for you. I'm shown eating one of my favourite Pukka Pies. Hope you like it!

Andrew Denny


Well, I'm not so much 'hiding behind a logo' as sparing you the full horror!

I often do put up my image, sometimes for weeks at a time.  I change the picture regularly.

But since you mention it, I'll get another pic of myself for you to admire. 


Which side of me would you like to see?  I've got two faces.



Peter Allen

If you're happy for people to be able to contact you via all of the media available, why not go the whole hog and display a picture of yourself on your front page so that we can see what you look like? Why hide behind a logo?

I think, in reality, that we all like a certain amount of privacy. The degree to which we keep ourselves private/public depends on many things, mostly irrational, but that's what makes us who we are!

I agree that some people are too timid, but we all draw a line somewhere.


Andrew Denny


One thing you can do is use a Google Mail address as a public email addres, and then set it to simply redirect to your address.  That way, you'll benefit from the Gmail spam filter - only the stuff that reaches the inbox will be redirected.

Andrew Denny

I don't feel at all guilty making my email address public. You might as well feel guilty about contributing to the number of bad movies being made by encouraging more people to go to the cinema.

I'm not sure if the total volume of spam in the world is growing. But certainly the amount in my spam folder is decreasing. About 5 years ago it would be 3,000 a month. Now it's one-quarter of that.

Feel free to contact me direct if you like. The email address is, my mobile is 07788 973733.


Lots of reasons. One, I use my work email address, and even if stuff does go straight in the spam folder, it still counts towards filling up my inbox. At present I get hardly any spam, and I attribute that at least in part to the fact that I've never (afaik) put my email address on the web. In fact I stopped using the old (shared) one because it was getting so much spam.
Mainly though, because I value my privacy and I'm a control freak. I don't even answer my phone unless it's someone I know because I don't like being ambushed. Just a difference of personality I guess. How can I be private, I hear you ask, if I blog? Well, because I control that and I choose exactly what I do and don't put in the public domain. I'm happy to get responses and feedback and hear from people; I love it, but I'd really rather not hear anything they wouldn't be prepared to say in front of others.


Funny, I managed to send a comment with my wrong e-mail address, not trying to cover it in this case, just hit the wrong key!


Andrew, true good anti-spam systems generally shield you from the problem, but you have acknowledged the problem yourself by saying how many e-mails are in your spam folder. The e-mail systems around the world would run a lot better if they didn't have to cope with all the spam (estimated by Microsoft last year to be 97% of all e-mail). Openly quoting e-mails on webpages just allows the bots to add to that number.

Andrew Denny

Are you talking about 2-3 spams a week in total (including your spam folder) or just in your Inbox?

I guess my point is twofold:

1. Keeping the email address 'under the radar' is time-consuming and leads to worry about where it's being seen.

2. It deters nice people from contacting you when you'd appreciate the contact. I've met a lot of nice people from being liberal with my contact details.

Hardly any of the bad contact I've had has been due to being open with my contact details.


No, its not, but that's when I keep it private!

Andrew Denny


Surely two or three spam emails a week isn't a problem?  Gosh, I get two or three unwanted junk mail letters through my front door every day.



Despite keeping my email address relatively private: its on my facebook page and only as an image on the blog, AND using Gmail I still get spam! maybe only 1 or 2 a week, but it makes me worry that I'd get more if I didn't keep it private. Also, my email is based on my surname, which I don't really want to be too public either. You clearly disagree, but its force of habit for most I guess!

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