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Showing posts from January, 2008

Top Digg Users: "It's really not about the community"

The NY Times has a great article on a battle raging over on Digg between the site operators and some "Power Users" on the site. Digg, for those unfamiliar, is a social news site. What does that mean? Basically, people find stuff from around the web, including news stories, blog posts, photos and video, submit it to Digg and the community deems whether or not it's worth viewing. There's a bit of controversy as to what stories are dug(g) and which are "buried", meaning deemed irrelevant or not important by the community. For example, this post by Neil Patel documents stories about certain web sites or submitted by certain people are being buried by Digg employees. The Power Users are claiming "censorship", but much like the Google PageRank/PayPerPost story, once you mess with a company's business model, or in this case algorithm, they have every right to correct it. The Power Users are planning to boycott the site and not submit new stories.

So w…

How to Rick Roll Someone

I've noticed a lot of traffic to my blog from a post I did on Rick Roll. In particular, people are looking for how to do it. So, without further adieu, here's a quick 1, 2, 3 on "How to Rick Roll Someone."


Pick your target. This should be someone not suspecting a peculiar link, email or heads up. Works great if you're the guy/girl in the office known for sending YouTube links via IM
Grab the URL. The YouTube video is probably the easiest to snag, because the URL isn't a dead giveaway. Sites that truncate URLs like SnipURL and TinyURL are handy if you want to send folks to yougotrickrolled.com.
Pick your delivery method and send! IM, email, blog (wink!), what-have-you.


Please, feel free to get creative. Our programmers used a "Can someone test this site?" email to the office to Rick Roll the entire staff. Or better yet - send the URL along to unsuspecting family members as "Our newest family pictures!".

Another fun way is via conference or phon…

John McCain's Campaign Resorting to Spam

I noticed that a domain name I had purchased was expiring but I hadn't received any notices from the registrar, so I logged in to my old Yahoo email account. Sure enough, I forgot to switch the account settings with my domain registrar and there were a few notices for my old band's domain.

Another batch of emails stood out as well. They were from GOP front runner
John McCain, asking me to "get out and support him" during the Michigan primaries. A few problems with that, John:


I no longer live in Michigan.
I haven't voted for a Republican Presidential candidate since Bush Sr. ran against Dukakis, and I certainly didn't have a Yahoo email address back then.
I haven't ever given you or the GOP my email address.


This is, on every level, spam. There's a lovely opt-out note at the bottom, saying that I could visit a page if I wanted to remove myself from their list. Hmm... considering I never opted in, how about I just post the fact that you spammed me and tell…

My first Facebook spam!

Well, that didn't take long. I was spammed twice today via my Facebook profile by someone named Andrea Rowe, saying that she likes my profile picture (flattery is my weak spot) and wanted to chat. She's promoting a site through one of the TinyURL-esque sites and let me know that her username is "foxy_hotty". Here's her follow up message:


hi there David, how's it going? i wanted to chat with you, but they don't have that here, whatever. if you'd like to, you can check out my other profile at http://snipurl.com/XXXXX my username's foxy_hotty. we can chat there, just dont mind the bad pics, lol. soooo, ya, see you i hope.


Yes, I edited the SnipURL ending because I refuse to give spammers free promotion or even worse, the click through. For those unaware, sites like SnipURL and TinyURL allow you to send truncated versions of URLs, which is particularly handy when you're posting URLs to your blog (formatting) or SMS-based tools like Jaiku and Twitte…

Ethics, Social Networks and Make up

After watching Loren Feldman's live show tonight, I've decided that I don't want to bother discussing the Facebook/Robert Scoble incident. There's nothing more to say than this - the site has terms of service and if you break them you can get your account deleted. Or in this case suspended and then reinstated. And Plaxo looks really really unethical and dishonest for asking bloggers to scrape data from Facebook on their behalf. Good luck with that auction, maybe the future users of Plaxo won't mind turning over all of their information to skeezers.

But I digress. This post isn't about about public social networks like Facebook or MySpace. I was following, and later joining, a conversation between Chris Brogan and Christine Lu on Twitter about closed social networks. I think they're the future now - engaging enthusiasts in a closed community makes a hell of a lot more sense, and is a lot more economical, than spamming around on MySpace or Facebook looking f…