Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free Dating Advise

So, I promote this free online dating site and I was wondering if any of you webmasters can suggest how do I deal with the following:

I would like to attract singles from a specific area, but when they come in and see that I don't have many members from this area registered, they don't even register.

So you see, it is a catch 22, so how do I deal with it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cyberscams Befriend Social Networks

Now fraudsters may log on as your "friend." How Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites are fighting a rise in scams

Remember the associate of that deposed dictator who needed your help transferring a few million dollars from a Swiss bank account? Well, he's back. And he—or one of his ilk—may show up soon posing as your "friend" on Facebook.

Someone bearing an eerie resemblance to those ubiquitous perpetrators of so-called Nigerian scams ended up in the online social network of Australian citizen Karina Wells. Earlier this month Wells received a message on Facebook from someone she thought was her real-life friend Adrian. He wrote that he was stranded in Lagos, Nigeria, had no access to a phone, and needed Wells to wire $500 for a plane ticket home. "Adrian" even pleaded for help in a real-time conversation over Facebook's chat service.

Wells didn't buy it. She alerted Australian authorities and Facebook, each of which is conducting an investigation. Although the details have yet to be confirmed, Facebook officials believe someone obtained Adrian's log-in credentials through a "phishing" scheme, luring him to a dummy site where he was asked to enter his Facebook password. The incident was initially reported by the Sydney Morning Herald and later confirmed by

Wells thwarted the apparent ruse, but officials and security experts warn such scams may become more common in an online world where millions of people interact daily, often sharing intimate details with widening circles of friends.

"Implied Trust"
While e-mail is still the most common online method used by scam artists to contact potential victims, fraudsters are increasingly turning to Web pages, a category that includes social networks, according to the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. Last year the total amount of money reported lost through Internet crime in the U.S. rose 21%, to a record $239 million, according to those agencies. The victim was contacted through a Web page in 32.7% of those cases, up from 16.5% in 2005. Social networks are partly to blame for the increase, officials say. "There is an implied sense of trust, and there's not the sense that we can be physically harmed," says Shawn Henry, assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Investigations division.

Social networks are also more ubiquitous, Henry notes. "Many [criminals] have now moved to computer networks because that's where the victims have moved and, therefore, the opportunities." According to comScore (SCOR), the number of unique visitors to all social networking sites worldwide reached 689 million in October, up 35% from a year earlier.

It's not difficult for a savvy Web surfer to impersonate someone else in cyberspace, as a high-profile cyber-bullying trial now under way plans to show. On Nov. 18 jury selection began in a federal court in Los Angeles for the case of Lori Drew, who prosecutors say passed herself off as a teenage boy in a widely publicized case of impersonation on a social networking site. Two years ago 13-year-old Megan Meier hanged herself after receiving messages from "Josh," an older boy she had befriended on News Corp.-owned (NWS) MySpace, who allegedly later told her that the world "would be better off" without her. According to prosecutors, an investigation ultimately revealed that "Josh" was a fictitious online persona of multiple people, including Lori Drew, the mother of one of Meier's teenage rivals. Drew now faces one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing computers without authorization.

Fooling Security Experts
A pair of online security industry consultants carried out an experiment recently to demonstrate just how easy it is to masquerade as someone else on LinkedIn. Shawn Moyer of FishNet Security and Nathan Hamiel of Idea Information Security got permission from a friend to set up a phony profile page on the networking site aimed at professionals. Together, they posed as Marcus Ranum, a consultant renowned for building the first e-mail server for and who now serves as chief of security for Tenable Network Security. Moyer and Hamiel used Ranum's name, résumé, and photo (all of which they found on the Web without any help). Moyer and Hamiel then set about seeking to connect with chief security officers and chief information officers of large companies, an editor-in-chief of a security trade magazine, defense industry professionals, and other people whom Ranum might know in real life.

Despite their online security expertise, most accepted the request. And once the fake Ranum had several authentic connections within the industry, he looked even more credible to the next target. "I would have expected that the security community would have been a little more paranoid," Ranum says. The experiment proved to Moyer and Hamiel what they had suspected: Users of social networking sites expect little more proof of a friend's identity than a name, a photo, and a few bits of knowledge about their real life. "What if I wanted to get inside IBM (IBM)?" asks Moyer. "What if I had wanted to get inside the [U.S. Defense Dept.]? Who else might Marcus know?"

Enforcement Hurdles
There's no easy solution for the social networking sites themselves. Each major networking site contains terms of service that prohibit posing as another user. "The rules of impersonation are pretty much the same on the Internet as off the Internet," says Gene Landy, principal with Boston-based law firm Ruberto, Israel & Weiner. In both places the severity of punishment hinges on how much harm is intended. Pretending to be an ex-girlfriend and posting embarrassing photos on Facebook, for example, would likely constitute a civil offense, Landy says. But almost any serious attempt at fraud—pretending to be someone else to obtain money or retrieve sensitive information—would likely be tried as a criminal offense, he explains.

Enforcing the rules online can be tricky for social networks that don't want to put off would-be users with a rigorous authentication process. Facebook maintains a long list of blacklisted names that bars users from registering with fictitious names such as Donald Duck and Evil Spock, two of the most popular false IDs, says Facebook's head of security, Max Kelly. The site also prohibits suspicious activity such as spamming users with hundreds of messages. But mainly it falls to users to be vigilant. "If you use Facebook the way we intend people to use Facebook, which is to model your real-world interactions, people won't be able to impersonate someone else," Kelly says. Still, he adds, "I'm not ruling out that we may look at other ways to verify people's identities in the future."

Security expert Moyer admits it would be pretty difficult for LinkedIn to have measures in place to thwart his experiment, but says it and other sites should take some steps to authenticate users. For one, he recommends that new user profiles get stamped with some kind of "born-on date" that displays when the account was created. That could impede scammers who cycle through many new accounts every day. Also, sites should develop some kind of peer warning system that lets users flag others' suspicious activity.

Still, the best prevention method remains educating Web users to be more cautious of people in their networks. "When I get a friend request, I tend to ask people what T-shirt [they] wore the last time we had dinner," Moyer says.

A simpler way to check identity is to spend some time on the person's profile, see how long they've been active, how familiar their friends appear to be, and whether the messages and multimedia they post reflect their personality.

When all else fails, it's probably best to be leery of requests for money or bank account information—especially when they emanate from deposed dictators.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Major Cleanup on the Free Dating Profiles

You may have noticed, but the users and members count have dropped drastically over the past couple of days. This is nothing unusual as we performed a major cleanup in preparation for the new Beta design that is in the works. Almost 100,000 free online dating profiles were deleted.

You may ask why?

Well, it would be a good question and the answer is: we do not want to mislead the public and falsifying our counts. We rather have good quality over poor quantity. Profiles are still manually approved and profiles or users that haven't logged in in over a year are being deleted. Hopefully this would help you as well in your search for the perfect date

The team

Friday, November 14, 2008

All web sites are International

Tip O'Neill, the late Speaker of The House of Representatives is often quoted as saying "All politics is local" meaning a politician that helps a constituent with a problem is likely to win that vote based on the personal assistance provided, irrespective of that politician's stance on the larger, more weighty, geo-political issues. What then of business, is all business local or international?

Shopping Is An Experience

The world has changed dramatically since the days when neighborhood shopping was the main option, and people relied on their local merchants for products and services. The world of commerce today seems to be divided between two competing scenarios: on the one hand, people are more mobile than ever before, and more willing to travel to buy what they want, even with wildly fluctuating energy costs; and on the other hand, people are busier than ever and use the Internet to seek out the companies, products, and services they want and need. What seems to be consistent is the underlying need to feel something, to experience the process. The higher the value, the greater the psychological component to the buying experience. The same is true for products and services that are considered non-essential.

People Wonder Why They Can't Sell More Stuff

We all have our favorite stores and websites, where we know we will be looked-after with more than the ubiquitous and perfunctory, "have a nice day," but sadly that sense of service is all but lost in a misguided rush to pseudo efficiency. Brick and mortar stores with their part-time, minimum wage time-fillers whose only talent seems to be a vacant blank stare accompanied by "that's not my department" is bad enough. But what of websites that don't accept phone calls, or any other kind of inquiry other than a form email that you can be assured will be answered in a week or two, along with a request for more information that generally corresponds to the information you've already provided - that's what passes for website service today. And people wonder why they can't sell more stuff.

The Web Is An International Venue

The Web of course presents one additional wrinkle to the service issue, one that puts a premium on communicating your message effectively: the Web is an international venue. No matter what you do, or where you're located, you can be sure people from all parts of the world are visiting your website if you have something of value to say. This then puts a premium on your ability to articulate a coherent message, one that eliminates the need for visitors to phone Mumbai, Beijing, or Lickskillet, Ohio.

English speaking companies have a hard enough time communicating effectively, but what of non-English speaking companies trying to break into the North American market? You find websites in many different languages, catering to local markets, but if you're looking for North American exposure, you best deliver your message in the language of the Web, and like it or not, that language is English.

Words Have Meaning

Far be it from me to criticize CBS news anchor Katie Couric, who generally does a fine job, but when she refers to the Democrats winning the House, Senate, and Presidency as "single party rule" it raises the hackles on the back of my neck. Words have meaning and presentation has impact. But I am not just talking about proper grammar, syntax, and usage, something many of us stumble over at times, but what of idiom, metaphor, and voice; elements that are just as important in effective marketing communication as proper usage.

Years ago while visiting London, England I passed a store with the sign that read "Fags and Mags," a disconcerting message until I got acclimatized to the British slang. When it comes to marketing, you can get away with a lot, but even countries that speak the same language have different patois, slang, and cultural references.

One of the great advantages of being from Canada with its proximity to the USA, its historical ties to the British Commonwealth, and its multicultural population is that we understand these differences and can translate them into effective North American marketing campaigns.

Crafting Your Web Marketing Message

What do you sell? A seemingly simple question any business executive should be able to answer, but can they answer it accurately? Ask yourself: do you sell a product, a service, or a concept? Does a shoe store sell shoes, or comfort and status? Does an accountant sell auditing services, or legitimacy and security? Does a politician sell tax cuts, or a better future?

When it comes to marketing you have to think concepts; if you build your advertising around products or services rather than concepts you will never be able to develop an effective campaign, let alone an effective website presentation.
Take Target and Walmart for example: they both sell similar products for the most part, a problem many retailers and most distributors have but refuse to face. Target markets itself as the leader in low priced, designer-styled merchandise, a distinct marketing position compared to Walmart that markets itself as the low priced leader and the heck with design. Each company delivers a unique marketing concept, one targeting consumers interested in price alone, the other aimed at shoppers who want a little style with their bargains: two different concepts, two different brand positions, and two different marketing strategies.

We All Sell Concepts Not Products and Services

One way or another we all sell a concept no matter what the product or service. When a client approaches us with the question "why aren't we selling more stuff?" a quick review of their site usually provides the answer: their website is not articulating in any meaningful, memorable manner, the conceptual premium their product or service delivers.

Before you invest in a new website or Web marketing campaign, decide what concept you are actually delivering. That concept is the basis of your marketing strategy and it informs what you say and how you say it.

Selling Concepts Is All About The Presentation

The recent US election is a great example of how to sell a concept. Putting all political bias aside look at the difference between how Obama approached his speeches and how McCain approached his. Of course both men talked about their policies and how they would handle different domestic and international situations.
McCain spoke to his constituency and delivered what they wanted to hear, but his words and presentation style fell far short of motivating the undecided or converting non-believers. Accusing a fellow Senator and Harvard Law alumni, with red baiting language like "redistributing the wealth" was obvious code language that failed the sniff test to all but his staunch backers.

Compare McCain's efforts to motivate through distrust and fear to Obama's message of hope, with his "Yes We Can" catchphrase echoing the American 'can do' spirit and traditional approach to solving problems. Not only did Obama say the right words to motivate his audience, he delivered his message with the motivational rhythm and cadence of an inspirational preacher.

Whether you're selling a political agenda or carbonated sugar water, you must learn to communicate your marketing concept in a way that people will understand, remember, and act upon.

Concepts Are Universal

The Web is an international venue. If you have something of value to say or sell, you will attract an international audience. Foreign companies that want to access the USA market must learn to speak "American" or hire a marketing communication company that does. American companies that want to grow beyond their local markets must learn to think concepts, the universal language of sales.

Microsoft combines email and social networking

As web portals like Yahoo and AOL try to open up to the rest of the web by incorporating content from third-party websites, Microsoft has taken a bold step in the same direction by redefining its Windows Live software and websites as a social network.

The software giant re-launched several of its Live websites on Wednesday, combining its popular email and instant messaging services with other web applications.

Just like a standard social network, users can now build their own profile pages, but Microsoft also lets users incorporate content they've made on other websites, including Flickr, DailySlides, LinkedIn, Pandora, Photobucket, Twitter, 160Tag, WordPress and Yelp.

"Our customers have friends across the web," said Chris Jones, VP of Windows Live Experience Program Management in a press release. "They communicate through many unconnected web services and want access to it all from a single location -- without worrying about how it's done."

Windows Live users are automatically logged on to the Windows Live Messenger IM client to communicate with friends. Other services include an online movie making program and a "groups" service that lets users share photos and documents and chat with each other online.

The new Windows Live also includes several elements that come straight from the most popular social networks, including the "what's new feed," a feature very similar to Facebook's newsfeed.

While AOL and Yahoo have both been moving toward a more open and social internet, Microsoft has seemingly passed both of them by. It also puts Microsoft in position to wrestle away advertising dollars from its biggest rival, Google, which also offers email, chat and document sharing services.

as reported by iMedia Connection

Google Finally Starts Firing Slackers?

Sluggish economy is catching up with the big players as well. Times are changing at Google: You can't slack off and expect to keep your job anymore, reports a reader who says he's an employee:

Here is what he had to say:
'Recent change in behavior here at Google... it used to be nearly impossible to get fired for general underperformance, but about a week ago word went out to managers that this was a good time to get rid of any people who were underperforming. There have been a couple people I know who got called into meetings with HR and told they were being let go and given a week to "say goodbye to people and come up with whatever story they wanted about why they were leaving."

This isn't the predictable letting contract recruiters go when you aren't hiring anyone, although that's happening too.

It's also clearly reasonable and fair that if you don't do much work you will lose your job, but it's a dramatic change in how Google operates that hasn't even been publicly announced to employees

This seems plausible. Analysts say Google (GOOG) could be going through a rough quarter, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Bloomberg that Google had begun cutting costs. Also, there's been a sudden rash of new ad products and policies aimed at turning up new revenues.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Layoff increase as we get close to the holidays: AMD, LinkedIn, Veoh

Chip maker AMD reduced its workforce by 3%, or roughly 500 staffers. In April, the company laid off 10% of its staff.

LinkedIn has announced that it’s cutting 10% of its staff (about 36 jobs). LinkedIn recently raised $22.7 million in funding (in June it raised $53 million).

Veoh, an online video-sharing site, also announced layoffs – roughly 20% of its staff, or 20 people. While revenue for the company is reportedly growing, the gloomy economic forecast was blamed on the cuts. In June, Veoh received a $30 million round of funding.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Is FaceBook headed for a financial ruin?!

TechCrunch today has no treats—and no joy, no, not even Almond Joy — for Facebook in reporting about its projected financial woes. For a company once valued at $15 billion, things are looking grim as the cash supplies may dwindle long before Facebook is ready or willing to go to IPO. Does that mean that the popularity of free online dating sites such as will actually increase?

There’s no denying that Facebook continues to enjoy incredible popularity worldwide—but that could be part of the problem. Facebook’s worldwide growth has been strong over the last year, with 118% growth in monthly unique visitors and 74% growth in page views. But its US growth hasn’t been as impressive, up only 32% from 31 million to 41 million. Don't get me wrong, this isn't bad at all, but still, where are the rest of the users? Are they now seeking dating websites and not social networks?

As most of Facebook’s growth is outside the US, you’d expect that most of their revenue comes from advertisers targeting international audiences, as well. But that’s not the case. As TechCrunch pointed out months ago, many, many countries generate little to no advertising revenue per user. And that’s just the beginning of growth woes:

to make things worse, bandwidth costs in those countries is generally much higher than the U.S. So the users cost more, and they don’t bring in any revenue.

That international growth might be ok if U.S. growth remained strong. But the U.S. market just seems to be tapped at this point, and gaining market share from MySpace is a battle.

And not only is bandwidth a problem, but storage is a major issue (and major cash drain) for Facebook as well.

Despite raising probably over half a billion in cash over the last two years, cash reserves are quickly depleting the future may be even more grim for Facebook as the economy slows. Advertising dollars may be one of the first things to be cut. However, as TC points out, Facebook CFO Gideon Yu is in Dubai, looking for more funding for the company.

What do you think—will Facebook survive?