No one is asked to forget yet another dismal performance, costing us three more points in a match we never remotely looked like saving, let alone winning. Malcolm Dawson will be back with some thoughts on the 2-0 defeat at Everton. But I believe this deserves an airing (adapted from the version at Salut!) because Stephen “Squinny” Wilson was a passionate Sunderland fan who would have been at Goodison, or watching somewhere, had he not been murdered. To the grief of those who cared for Squinny is added the insult of having a tribute sullied by a web parasite …
Who was Stephen Wilson and who is Andrew A Sailer?
The answer to the first question is easy. Stephen, pictured (far right) with fellow Sunderland supporters at a pre-season trip to Amsterdam, was an amiable man who met an end he did not deserve. He was killed in an attack outside a pub in Bishop Auckland.
My friend Pete Sixsmith, who is seen on the extreme left of the picture, wrote an eloquent and touching tribute to him at Salut! Sunderland, entitled simply “Stephen Wilson RIP”.
And Mr Sailer? Well, the name is given as belonging to the author of the most recent of the 20 comments that appear beneath Pete’s article.
Some more moving thoughts about Stephen? A stimulating comment on the violence afflicting modern society? Condolences to Stephen’s family?
Not a bit of it. What “Andrew A Sailer” wrote was: “TVI Express Is A Great Home Based Business -TVI-GAT TEAM.”
Beyond saying it seems to be some sort of get-rich-quick scheme, I leave it to readers to investigate TVI-GAT if they wish.
But further inquiry does reveal a lively interest by Mr Sailer in the subject matter of any number of blogs.
At an Irish fashion site, whatshewears.ie, he offers this helpful observation: “Alright (sic), just read your blog, very informative. I will definately (sic) be coming back. I have added your Rss feed to my RSS feed reader, can’t wait to read more .cheers.”
Poor “AnneMarie P” at whatshewears fell for it, replying: “Hey Andrew, thanks, glad you found it informative. stayed tuned!”
Andrew clearly stumbles across lots of sites that provide great information or are awesome (or assorted other adjectives of exaggerated approval). At cracked.com, his imbecilic comment to a posting about an old David Bowie sex education video – “Great info, I appreciate it!” – was followed by a link to something to do with video advertising. Look him up on Google and you’ll find him all over the place; you’ll see nothing in his trite comments to indicate any genuine interest in each site’s content, or even evidence that he has actually read it. Just the hint of plausibility that fooled AnneMarie P.
The idea is to say something intelligible, even though our Andrew appears to have trouble with spelling, and presumably build up one’s own website/s in some way.
But Andrew is acting as a robot, which is why such a staggeringly irrelevant comment was posted to the Stephen Wilson tribute.
This makes it even worse, but probably only by accident, than whoever is behind the comments signed “Fashion Dissertation” which appeared over the weekend on two old Salut! postings: one about the legroom, or lack of it, on Virgin long-haul flights, the other on the blogger-turned-author Petite Anglaise.
In fluent gibberish, Fashion Dissertation added these words to each item:
well its soo good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the thing which i was looking for my research.
With the time to do it, I’d go through all my sites and delete every one of these messages. I haven’t that time and they consequently remain among the genuine comments, as they must do at thousands of other sites. They are not automatically deleted in the way that the Nigerian bank deposit scams are when consigned to the trash box; it needs a little more effort.
For all I know, TVI-GAT and even Andrew A Sailer are also victims of this form of junk mail. They may be completely innocent; others may have appropriated their names for these odious ends.
It may be another Andrew A Sailer entirely who posted this comment to yet another site, this time actually speaking for himself, if without much clarity, of the topic of “Search Engine Optimization”: “It exists like this, a client researches for a keyword on Google. You have written an article which targets this word and get rendered it to a website which Google likes. The client finds your clause on page one, shows it, clicks on your internet site link, and jaws your website. All going best, you will have about affiliate link click-throughs, and some sales in there! That’s the beauty of affiliate marketing.”
All the same, I did take some comfort in identifying one character who seemed to be involved with Mr Sailer’s activities and writing this e-mail, to which there has naturally been no reply:
“You or your team must feel there is some value in doing this. But I’d feel a complete shit if I posted junk emails, devoid of context, wit or humanity, to a blog posting recounting the sad and violent death of a decent man.”