This Is Why Vine Is Stupid


This Is Why Vine Is StupidI don’t get Vine. I don’t give a looping turd about it. Every video I’ve seen so far is six seconds of jerky concentrated idiocy. I may be too old for this crap but I’m not alone—thanks, [Willa via Laughing Squid via Petapixel]

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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 news No Comments

Most Product Reviews On Amazon Are Crap


amazon boxes

Those glowing reviews you see on aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, according to a study performed last year. 

Tech entrepreneur Filip Kesler and Cornell professor Trevor Pinch, found that more than 80 percent of the reviews on the site were positive all because 85 percent of prolific reviewers receive free stuff to review. (Hey, everyone loves a freebie.)

“Amazon’s top reviewers do receive some sort of direct material reward, however small, for their endeavors,” wrote the authors. 

This was particularly true in the book realm. Reviewers in the top 1,000 rank told the authors they received a large number of Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) of books from small agencies and self-published authors. Those in the top 500 rank said they received even more, and so it went up the totem pole.

One member of Amazon Vine, the site’s members-only review program, described how his rank attracted more freebies in the study: 

“I started getting offers at about rank 800 (Classic Rank). When I got to 500, the offers increased, but I did not get many until I got to about 250. Under 150, it increased some more. At that point is was an average of one offer per week (not including Vine). When my New Rank appeared, placing me in the 50s, I started getting several offers per week, mostly for books.” 

For consumers looking for a deal and great products, it might be better to go the old-fashioned route, i.e., asking family and friends for suggestions. 

SEE ALSO: Surreal photos of America’s housing crisis > 

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Facebook Scam Artist Fined


Facebook Ad Scammer Fined $100K for Ruining Our NewsfeedsAdscend Media is the jerk ad agency responsible for many of the “OMG LOL THIS VIDEO IS SO GOOD JUSTIN BEIBER” links on Facebook that, when clicked, spam the same crap link to your friends. It has just been fined $100,000 by a Washington court for spamming and scamming Facebook users.

The thing is, that $100,000 fine looks tiny compared to the $1.2 million that Adscent Media brings in every month; 80 percent of which comes from the scammy links that, really, should be punishable by orbital bombardment. Facebook itself is trying to legislate stuff like this out of our lives, and this decision is a step in that direction, but there’s still a lot of lawyering left to do. [Venture Beat]

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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 digital No Comments

Inside Google’s Secret Search Algorithm


Wired’s Steven Levy takes us inside the “algorithm that rules the web“—Google’s search algorithm, of course—and if you use Google, it’s kind of a must-read. PageRank? That’s so 1997.

It’s known that Google constantly updates the algorithm, with 550 improvements this year—to deliver smarter results and weed out the crap—but there are a few major updates in its history that have significantly altered Google’s search, distilled in a helpful chart in the Wired piece. For instance, in 2001, they completely rewrote the algorithm; in 2003, they added local connectivity analysis; in 2005, results got personal; and most recently, they’ve added in real-time search for Twitter and blog posts.

The sum of everything Google’s worked on—the quest to understand what you mean, not what you say—can be boiled down to this:

This is the hard-won realization from inside the Google search engine, culled from the data generated by billions of searches: a rock is a rock. It’s also a stone, and it could be a boulder. Spell it “rokc” and it’s still a rock. But put “little” in front of it and it’s the capital of Arkansas. Which is not an ark. Unless Noah is around. “The holy grail of search is to understand what the user wants,” Singhal says. “Then you are not matching words; you are actually trying to match meaning.”

Oh, and by the way, you’re a guinea pig every time you search for something, if you hadn’t guessed as much already. Google engineer Patrick Riley tells Levy, “On most Google queries, you’re actually in multiple control or experimental groups simultaneously.” It lets them constantly experiment on a smaller scale—even if they’re only conducting a particular experiment on .001 percent of queries, that’s a lot of data.

Be sure to check out the whole piece, it’s ridiculously fascinating, and borders on self-knowledge, given how much we all use Google (sorry, Bing). [Wired, Sweet graphic by Wired’s Mauricio Alejo]

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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