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Archive for the ‘CSS3 Fantasy’ Category

Scribd is useless

I used to use Scribd. Both for reading and posting. Not very often, maybe a couple of documents every 2-3 months. It’s useless now.

In the old version I was able to use it with every browser. Now it cannot be used with Opera. I am an Opera addict, so I cannot use Scribd. When you try to read a document, the document will simply not show.

Nevermind. I tried to use Internet Explorer 8. Sorry, I cannot read on screen such a document.

So, I tried do download it. I clicked on the green button and a modal popup appeared, inviting me to login with my Facebook account. Ok, no problem. I have not 1, but 3 Facebook accounts: one it’s my personal account, another one is a fake account created especially for such login purposes (and to keep my online activity private!) and the last one, also a bogus account… just in case. So, I tried to log in with the “forlogin” account. Apparently it worked, but when I tried to download again the document the application asked me one more time to login. Unfortunately, Facebook login doesn’t works with Scribd (and I tried with Opera, too).

Nevertheless, I opened a normal account. It was very easy (no confirmation required) and in few seconds I was able again to press on the green button. But to my surprise I stil wasn’t able to download the document. The modal popup told me that I must upload a document before the download – otherwise I have to pay for it. Ok, I started to upload a document, something about CSS3+HTML5. When the upload was finished the screen inviting me “to pay or to upload” disappeared and only a modal window with the message “Download as .pdf / .txt” remained. I was very happy, almost thinking that my download should start in few seconds. Instead of this, a new page displaying the same unreadable document opened up. In the page’s head was written: “You must pay or upload a document.”

Fuck you, Scribd.

5 Myths about Twitter

I must admit: I have a bad taste with Twitter and my experiences with this micro-blogging bullshit are somehow contradictory. As I said earlier, I have several accounts. Now I’m partially in charge with another account, one with 5000+ followers, and the most deceptive results are coming right from this account with 5.000+ followers, while the most encouraging results are coming from an account with only 50 followers. But there is a slight difference between those accounts:

  • The first one was initially setup by somebody who is a “pro”. In short time, using automated technics (but not bot posting), the pro gathered over 5.000 unresponsive accounts. The accounts are real, no doubt about this. But most of them are junk. They are not in our target, they are not really interested to follow us but to get one more follower, and so on. I browsed through their profiles and I was shocked: all of them are followed by thousands and following thousands. If we apply my twitter follower value algorithm, these are useless followers. You can have 1 million such followers with no results for your brand, business or marketing goals. They are useless, GOD DAMNIT!
  • On the other hand, the little account is used to promote a free classifieds website from New Zealand. I choose to gather only kiwi followers and to interact only with kiwi followers and position this account as a kiwi account – which in fact, it really is. In one month, traffic went up and so the interest towards this website, which is now ranked as 3rd kiwi free classifieds website (my team’s goal is to make it 2nd). Although we used automated technics, we didn’t over do it. And our goal wasn’t to gather thousand of followers, but to get responsive and attentive followers.

Based on my experience, and not only, here are the 5 myths that anyone should know about Twitter:

  1. “Twitter can make you famous.” Wrong. You are famous on Twitter if you are already famous on real life. Build your personality or your brand on real life, than jump with it into Twitter. Browse this list of the most followed accounts and observe that they are, in fact, real life celebrities.
  2. “Every Twitter follower is a potential customer.” Wrong. Be assured that somebody who follows more than 5-600 Twitter accounts (with you between those 5-600) has no interest in any account. “Potential” customers are only those who spare their attention carefully and don’t just follow to be followed.
  3. “Your customers are on Twitter.” Wrong. Your customers are right where they were before Twitter was invented. And in order to reach them, you should use classic advertising techniques: coupons, flyers, tv ads and so on. For internet audiences, use what works better: pay per click advertising. Google Adwords is the king of online advertising and will stay so many years to come, but you can also use Yahoo! Advertising, Microsoft Adcenter, Chitika Ads and many more.
  4. “The most precious Twitter accounts are those that have many followers”. Wrong. The most precious Twitter accounts are those that have the most targeted, attentive and responsive followers. For a brand like Dell (that sells millions of computers each year, worldwide) it’s normal to have several successful accounts on Twitter, each one with millions of followers (check this one, taken randomly). For a small software house like CoffeeCup, is normal to have a Twitter account with only 2100+ followers. For a startup web service, is normal to have an account with only 50 followers. There is no “success recipe” for managing a Twitter account, just develop naturally your brand and followers will come in.
  5. “Twitter is an online conversation tool”. Maybe for perverts. A conversation is an intimate, private communication act betweeen two or more persons. When in public, this communication act becomes a debate or a public answer, but not a personal conversation. Many people think that twittering something @userA will engage a personal conversation with userA. No, it will trigger at most a public answer.

Invitation to phishing: Facebook Connect

I worked these days on a “Facebook Connect” implementation. While working on it, I suddenly had a revelation: this Facebook Connect it’s an invitation to phishing!

Let’s take a look at Digg.com, a website that uses Facebook connect. When you click on the button: “Connect with Facebook”, a pop-up window like in the screen below will appear:

Problem is, that even a script kiddie can very easily emulate this pop-up window. It took me only 1/2 hours to get this button to work (click on it, works only on CSS3 browsers):

I’m wondering, how many time would need somebody really interested in phishing accounts to setup a perfect clone and start asking for “Facebook connections”? 2 hours? 3 hours?

People think that this is not so bad, as long as the phisher’s website has nothing to offer, but a smart phisher will be persuasive enough in order to make the people think that they should provide their login credentials. For example the phisher could pretend that he gives on his website the next lottery’s winning numbers.

Very, very bad for Facebook. Facebook really, really sucks with this.