Archive for November, 2006

Spam Problem

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

As a lot others experienced as well, I’ve been flooded with spam this month.
I think I’ve lost some important email because of it (deleting legit email by accident, spam filter trashing non-spam email, etc).

I’ve migrated my mailbox to another server which (hopefully) has stronger and more accurate spam-filtering capabilities (no, not Gmail).

If you sent email to me and I have not answered it, do please resend it again.

My apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

Blog and Get Paid :: ReviewMe.com

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Do you love writing, especially reviews, and pretty good at it ? Now, with a service called ReviewMe.com which has just been launched, you can get paid for doing it.

As with any other good Web 2.0 websites, it’s pretty straightforward.
Advertisers can browse a tag cloud of topics, and see a list of available blogs, along with its cost. Several bloggers than got chosen by the advertiser.

The selected bloggers then got notified via email by ReviewMe.com. They’ll be given information on what to write, and the deadline. Note that at this point, the bloggers can chose not to review it.

Once the review has been written, notify ReviewMe.com via the website. It’ll be then reviewed, and approved (or not). Once approved, payment will be deposited to the blogger’s account.

A new form of blog spam ? Well, I don’t think so. It’s because advertisers can NOT ask for positive reviews. Any advertiser using ReviewMe.com will better be prepared for both positive and negative reviews. This is very important, and as long as this point stays, I’ll be happy to work with ReviewMe.com. (otherwise, goodbye folks)

Actually this is better for the advertisers as well. Customers tend to be silent when they found fault with your product, and just use your competitor’s product instead. You’re left confused, as to why almost nobody is buying.
With help from ReviewMe.com, you’ll get high quality reviews from those who are concerned about the topic, and will enable you to find out the fault with your products. As a producer of several products myself, I personally think this is really great. No more scratching your head in the dark.

However, note that not all blogs will be able to join it. There are certain criterias that must be fulfilled to be accepted. Some of them, I think, are current traffic (from Alexa), Pagerank (from Google), Technorati rank, number of RSS feed subscribers; and probably a few other criterias as well.
It’s not really easy to get in, so don’t be disappointed if they can’t accept you yet. Build your blog, create good content, and who knows, they might invite you instead.

Good luck ! And oh, this is a sponsored post from ReviewMe.com.

Why XHTML ? Why the pain ?!

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Why indeed. From a writer’s point of view, XHTML is a pain, because it’s stricter than HTML. And a few (or many, depending on whether it’s XHTML Transitional or Strict) rules changed too.
All these for what ?

Even the crowd in Slashdot seems to be having problems getting a clear answer to this.

However, XHTML actually does have a huge benefit (in addition to other benefits listed in the discussion above) — it makes your website viewable on mobile devices.

PDA and smartphones nowadays are no longer a rarity. From teenagers to corporate executives, they’re now have and use them on daily basis. And browse the Internet with them.

And only more of them will browse the Internet from their mobile phones.
Even here in Indonesia, I can browse the internet freely using my Nokia 9500 with flat monthly fee of just about US$ 25. And I do browse a lot from my mobile phone

You definitely don’t want to alienate these people.

Adhering to XHTML makes it easy to make your website viewable from mobile devices; actually, pretty much from any browsers. You can even change the whole layout completely in a snap, literally.

So many websites nowadays are not getting traffic from us, mobile Internet users. Their websites are beautiful in Internet Explorer, but shows utter crap or plain nothing on our smartphones.
Don’t let your website to be one of those too !

JavaScript weirdness

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

I was trying to setup a “Save This” link so visitors can easily save any article into their del.icio.us account. However, it didn’t work.

After checking on Firefox’s Javascript console, I saw this error message : “missing ) after argument list“, pointing to the encodeURIComponent() function. It must be me, because after I contacted del.icio.us support, they said they never encountered error like this before. I probably should have informed them that I’m using Firefox 1.5.0.7 on Ubuntu, it might be specific to this configuration.

Anyway, the solution is to use these code instead :

<a href=”http://del.icio.us/post?v=4&noui&jump=close&url=<?php rawurlencode(utf8_encode(the_permalink())) ?>&title=<?php rawurlencode(utf8_encode(the_title())) ?>” target=_blank><img src=”http://images.del.icio.us/static/img/delicious.small.gif”> Save This Page</a>

Hope it helps someone else out there.

“Boleh saya posting ulang artikel ini di blog saya ?”

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

Kembali saya mendapatkan pertanyaan ini, yang (kembali) mengingatkan saya untuk segera memasang informasi lisensi isi situs ini.

Terimakasih kepada mas Denie, kini saya sudah detilkan lisensi dari isi situs ini, yaitu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.

Secara ringkas; ya, Anda bebas untuk memposting ulang artikel-artikel disini tanpa perlu minta izin :)
Anda hanya diminta untuk menyatakan dari mana asalnya (sebuah link ke artikel aslinya sudah mencukupi).

Selamat menikmati !

catatan :

1. Bagi yang tertarik untuk memilih lisensi yang cocok untuk content-nya, silahkan bisa dengan mudah melakukannya disini : http://creativecommons.org/license/

2. Sebuah artikel bagus bagi kita semua, terutama bloggers : Ten Common Copyright Permission Myths.

Slashdot Wisdom #2 : On Spam

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Another interesting comment — it’s funny, but may also contain some truth in it. In any cases - spam suck.

Quoted from comment #16672295 :

Right now, spam goes past spam filters by including a large amount of random nonsense text that resembles English language reasonably well. So we will get spam filters that detect large amounts of random nonsense text. So spam will include text that makes actual sense. Give it twenty years, and your average spam email will consist of 300 pages of text that is better than anything Shakespeare has ever written, followed by two lines begging you to buy viagra. Thirty years, spam will be two hour Quicktime movies better than anything you can watch in the cinema today, with the hero using viagra bought from the spammer in the right places.

Anyway, the real solution to stop spam is to use multi-tiered filtering system.

Bayesian filter, captcha, blacklists, user-submission etc are no longer effective when used on their own. But when combined (example: SpamAssassin, Spam Karma 2), their effectiveness will goes up surprisingly high.

You’ll need to pay attention on the order of deployment though — incoming email should be received by the blacklist filter first. This will cut the number of spam tremendously, so other filtering engines (which are also more resource-hungry) won’t be overwhelmed / won’t overwhelm the server they’re on.
User-submission (example: razor) should be last, you don’t want to annoy your users too much really.