lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Monday, July 02, 2007

The mystery of the missing spam

Google is a part of our lives now. We Google; therefore we are.

I find it is simpler these days to Google something than raid my shelves, whether it's a quote I am looking for or a definition; it involves no heavy lifting after all. Calamity Jane or Cassandra, Modesty Blaise or Helen of Troy, Google can lead me to astonishing places, as I found out searching for the Banana Boat Song.

But it works the other way too; people searching for things and finding me. It is amazing what people look for and what Google says Larking is the answer for. My site tracker just told me that I am Google's answer for the definition of secret admirer.

I also seem to be the answer if they want to know the meaning of Neha, Lalitha, and all about Lalitha Sahasra Naamam. Google suggests my blog for people looking for the low-down about Sugriva having sex with Tara, sex stories in Telugu online and Namitha's waistline and suchlike too.

Run and fell seams and sewing sari falls or constructing diagrams for cutting salwars all will be explained at my blog, says Google to hapless searchers. Google also says I am the repository of sensual / sensuous poetry, sarasamaina kathalu and when women mean yes when they are saying no. Slow songs and lessons for playing Anandabhairavi geetam? Larking will provide.

Sadly, I have an idea that all these searchers never venture more than a page if that and never return either. I shouldn't complain, really.

But it is nice though that Google recommends me to people looking for cryptic crossword solutions, help with particular clues or Araucaria's latest. I was touched that someone looking to solve nine letter clues for birds was directed to my blog yesterday, in less than six hours after the puzzle was out. I have solved it, of course, but I am not going to talk about it until the solution is out, it is a prize puzzle, after all.

Gmail though, is baffling.

There was a time when I used to clear my Inbox obsessively, delete junk mail and sort all mail into folders. When storage was a measly 2MB and important mails had to be saved on my hard disk, I used to have an Inbox that was clear and empty as soon as I dealt with the mail.

Then spam filters and dedicated folders for bulk mail happened, Gmail with its huge storage happened, and things became easier. Inbox could stay clear or not. I could delete spam and empty trash at leisure and less often; say once in three or four days. I found that leaving mail unsorted and sitting in my Inbox didn't nag at me all that much.

Recently a whim seized me. I know it is irrational and silly, but I wanted to see the number 111 against a folder. Now apart from my mailing lists and groups, I don't get much mail. Since there is no hope of that number against my Inbox, I decided that I'd let spam accumulate.

It took some doing. I'd trained myself to be meticulous in deleting spam and emptying trash, and to stop doing it was hard going. It used to bother me to see so much spam, but the desire to see 111 against the folder kept me from dealing with it and deleting the stuff.

Yesterday, the number stood at 109. So it was with some anticipation that I logged on today. I wouldn't say I was rubbing my hands with glee and chuckling, but I was definitely looking forward to seeing 111 against the spam folder.

The number showing was 99.

What happened to the rest? What did Gmail do with it? I didn't delete any, so where did it go? Did I acquire some kindly spam-subtracting virus? The mind boggles.



Blogger Alien said...

well... just that even spam is emptied automatically after some days...

9:11 pm  
Blogger dipali said...

Nice to know that even Google knows you as the repository of much and varied information:) Great claim to fame, despite the disappearing spam!

10:13 pm  
Blogger Shirsha said...

While I have little idea abt the disappearing spam mails(!!), 'people searching for things and finding me.' is quite the reason I enabled invitation only blogging. Though it was fun while it lasted, to know ppl looking for so many varied stuff landed up on my blog reading how I cooked cabbage and had it with tomato rasam, I'd chuckle!!! And maybe hand them out a apology!

10:22 am  
Anonymous Ash said...

So you were serious about your new motto, it seems. Come on Lali, this is such a pointless post it's not fair.

11:10 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Alien- I'd figured that out, ET. But it's more fun to speculate about spam nibbling bugs, no?

Dipali- Hey when did you start a blog? Why can't I see details?

Shirsha- It is baffling what search terms lead people to which blogs, isn't it? My theory is that these readers probably skim one page, and when they don't find what they are looking for curse Google and move on, never to return.

Ash- Of course I was serious about my new motto. You think this post is unfair, I think you are unfair, so there.

11:52 am  
Blogger dipali said...

Haven't- it's just for commenting on some blogs which don't allow for anonymous or other commenters

2:50 pm  
Blogger Sivaram said...

Hey, you forgot to mention - people looking for Gilgamesh also find you.
And having found, they stay on to peek, periodically.

3:20 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Dipali- Ah, another mystery solved. Seems to be the day for it.

Sivaram- Well, I was talking about visitors who flit away, not those who linger and are nice enough to take time to leave comments. But Gilgamesh is an odd search term to bring me a reader, I must agree.

3:39 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

I didn't say the post is unfair. That doesn't make sense. I said that this post is so pointless it's not fair. To your readers.

4:06 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

@Ash- Stop nitpicking. Auntie Lali rocks. I see a trend emerging here. if she writes anagram stuff and Google stuff it is clear her RA is acting up.

Lali what does your doc say now? Interesting? And what of the T3 T4 TSH?

12:05 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Ash- Refer back to my reply. Pointless Albatross is my name now.

Rajesh- Child, I can defend myself still, but thanks all the same. Reports are esoteric as usual and my appointment got rained upon. *sigh* Be that as it may, I lark on. Heh.

11:25 pm  

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