– Tech Connoisseur

Blogging ’bout Bing

Posted in SEO, Technology by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 27, 2009

I’ve got two new posts up at my company’s blog explaining how I predict Bing will change SEO strategy. The series is aptly titled The SEO Implications of Bing.

Part I: Algorithm
Part II: Features of the search engine results pages (SERPs)

Go ahead and Sphinn them, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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Twitter update removes spam users

Posted in controversy, Social Networking by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 24, 2009

Apparently, Twitter removed all of the spam followers yesterday, possibly inadvertently removing some legitimate users as well. Personally, I only lost about 10, all of which were (as far as I can tell) spammers.

Twitter is making an effort to combat spam accounts… Obviously, they didn’t go through and hand pick millions of fake accounts, so there must have been some type of standard for throwing them out. I’d say that users with less than 10 posts, more than half of which contained links, who follow 20 times more than they are followed – these may have been the metrics for who got thrown out. Who knows? I realize that more than a few sources are saying that the majority of the followers got removed, including some definitely legitimate ones, but I haven’t heard of any actual person complaining that their (non-spam) account was deleted.

…but they did it with poor communication. We’re left to guess about how Twitter distinguished spam accounts from real users. There’s a blog post on Twitter Status, but it’s short and obtuse:

“In particular, those with large followings may see significant changes as we correct for spam accounts and data inconsistencies.”

The phrase “data inconsistencies” strikes me as so ridiculously vague, I get the impression that Twitter as a company doesn’t know how obsessive their users are about followers. “Spammers Perish” and “How Many Followers” are trending topics about which hundreds of thousands of Twitterers are talking. The tone of the conversations is generally irritated, and more than a few nasty blog posts have already been published about the topic.

The questions that remain (for Twitter as a company to answer… soon) are:

  1. How did you decide which accounts to delete?
  2. Did any real accounts really get deleted?
  3. Is this the beginning of a larger initiative or did you just do one massive sweep? Will it be harder to make an account now?
  4. Using these same strategies, could Twitter one day be fully spam free?
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iPhone Stuck in Bluetooth Mode

Posted in Gadgets, Technology by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 14, 2009

My iPhone (3G) is afflicted with a rare disease. No troubleshooting site or forum has been able to help the problem thus far. I’m getting no audio during calls, meaning I can’t hear the person on the other end and he or she can’t hear me.

The strangest part is that I’ve never owned a Bluetooth headset nor had Bluetooth turned on in the Settings. As you can see in the screen shot, the Bluetooth logo is nowhere to be found (it’s usually on the top right, by the alarm indicator) but the call audio pop up (when you press the volume control during a call) shows that audio is being sent to a Bluetooth device:

My iPhone stuck in Bluetooth mode

My iPhone stuck in Bluetooth mode


Is Hulu’s show expiration script quick on the draw?

Posted in Uncategorized by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 11, 2009

I’ve been catching up on season 1 and season 2 of American Dad on Hulu the past few days. They were set to expire tonight, apparently before 2:00 am (Central Time), which was when the site showed that the episode was to expire. There was even one period in time where the timer said “Expires in One Hour,” but the video wouldn’t play. I took this screenshot – the timers are located under the thumbnails near the bottom.

Hulu removes American Dad before timer expires

Hulu removes American Dad before timer expires

It may simply be that the timer script uses a different time zone than the script that actually pulls the video. Hulu engineers also probably didn’t expect anyone to be counting down the hours until a show expires. But it’s broken, and – for a company with about $500 million in venture capital – it should be a quick fix.

Collins English Dictionary’s big publicity stunt

Posted in Uncategorized by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 9, 2009

The Collins English Dictionary lost all authority earlier this week when it announced that Twitter (both as a noun and a verb), Twitterati, and Twitterverse will become entries alongside such conventional and long-established terminology as ‘Google.’

collins entry on google - twitter

Collins English Dictionary on Google - Twitter


Craigslist Spammers

Posted in Uncategorized by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 3, 2009

Even with Craigslist’s strong flagging and removal function, spam posts make using the site a pain from a buyer’s perspective.


Bing cashback on eBay

Posted in Advertising by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 3, 2009
Bing gives cashback for some PPC clients

Bing gives cashback eBay now

MSN always had a “Cashback” program, but it’s greatly expanded with the release of Bing. Around June 20, everybody started noticing that eBay was one of its affiliates.

I don’t know about everybody else, but I consider eBay one of the most advanced marketplaces that exists. Supply and demand seem to be perfectly matched in thousands of deals a day. It’s also where I get the majority of my sneaker collection, most of which gets resold for a 20-35% profit. (Much better than most of my stock picks – forget about it.)

The problem is I have to wait at least a year for shoes to appreciate (demand increases as an already limited supply of unworn sneakers dwindles), mainly due to shipping costs that I need to cover. If I can save 8% on an order, I may be able to save myself some time and closet space, too.

Coors stand-up comedian commercials insult my intelligence

Posted in Advertising by Anthony (Tony) Emerson on July 1, 2009

I saw this commercial for the Coors, which is a stand-up comedian making a joke about the color changing cans, followed by a run-off-the-mill spot also for Coors. These cans, by the way, enjoyed the lowest usefulness to ad spend ratio of any product ever until June, when Microsoft launched Bing.

I can understand advertising being low brow. You don’t want to waste any impressions on morons by using a creative execution that’s above their heads.