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October 28, 2013

Stuff you may have missed: Monday, October 28

Remember that whole situation where Dick Durbin accused a GOP leader of being a jerk to Obama? Durbin admits it didn’t happen, but that a miscommunication led to the gaffe.

Have a friend who owns a pair of Google Glass? You should probably be really nice to him or her over the next few weeks.

Obama doesn’t like leaks. He dislikes them so much, in fact, that his dislike has set a historic precedent.

Soon you’ll need a list to track the best “best college” lists.

Want to make a digital marketer lose their marbles? Send ‘em this article.

20:26 // 9 months ago
January 23, 2013

The Curation Battle: The Verge vs. The Huffington Post


Here’s what happened. The Verge wrote this great feature and The Huffington Post “curated” it. Editor-in-Chief of The Verge was not pleased.

Matthew Ingram of GigaOm jumped in to ask this very important question:

Huffpo’s one-paragraph pull of a much longer Verge piece full of graphics, visuals and well-considered content doesn’t take away from a transformative original piece. The question is, do people click the link on HuffPo and realize that there’s a much better transformative piece out there?

12:14 // 1 year ago
February 24, 2012

More on “reply girls” and why they do it

metamorphoseandbodhi asks: What’s the point of the fame? Do they get paid?

» SFB says: Yeah, they do. As the clip notes, Gaitan or others can earn hundreds or thousands of dollars for a video that’s well-placed and receives a lot of views. It’s a get-rich-quick scheme in some ways, but one that seems to be effective. And some of the clips can link to affiliate sites, boosting their income in other ways. The “fame” is actually somewhat questionable in nature, as their videos often get many dislikes. The phenomenon is super-fascinating either way. — Ernie @ SFB

23:51 // 2 years ago
February 13, 2012
10:54 // 2 years ago
January 3, 2012
22:28 // 2 years ago
October 19, 2011

A follow-up to our Tumblr likespam post from last night: One of the things pointed out to us by one of our readers, Paulo Ordoveza, is that the blank profiles also have a payload, although it’s not obvious (we initially said the blank profiles were merely holding spots for future backlinking). We just did a check of the source code on one, and here’s what we found. Click with care, guys.

11:23 // 2 years ago
2:06 // 2 years ago

A suggestion for Tumblr: Try to figure out a way so spammers can’t use this black-hat SEO (search engine optimization) technique. It’s dead simple to take advantage of, and as a result, some sites (such as our own) often drown in it. Today, for example, we got a ton of fake traffic from bots doing an obscure search on Google (see screenshots). Here’s a quick explanation as to what’s happening, as far as we can see:

  • first Black hat SEO types hit Google and type in this specific phrase — “ ‘liked this’” — a common phrase on Tumblr due to the way it handles likes. 
  • then Then, sketchy bot types will create hundreds or thousands of fake Tumblr accounts whose URLs forward to a sketchy-looking site not on Tumblr.
  • result These sites end up getting hundreds or thousands of backlinks to their sketchy sites on Google — and all they had to do was like tons of people.

» But we have a temporary solution: Are you, like us, getting a lot of spam on your Tumblr? This is a likely reason. We’d like to offer a suggestion to solve the problem. If you know how to edit your theme in HTML, do a search for the phrase “{PostNotes}” and replace it with this: ”<!—googleoff: all—>{PostNotes}<!—googleon: all—>”. This prevents the notes from getting crawled by Google, which is good because it focuses your content, but bad, because any relevant content in reblogs won’t account for what shows up in search engines. This is really a problem Tumblr needs to look at — if they take out common phrases or make them invisible to search engines, everyone wins. But we hope this at least helps your sanity. It’ll help ours.

1:39 // 2 years ago
July 24, 2011

HuffPo wins the award for most crass article on Amy Winehouse's demise: "Amy Winehouse's Untimely Death Is a Wake Up Call for Small Business Owners" 

Dear Tricia Fox: Don’t use a person’s death to offer up small-business-friendly advice like this: “But whether you are a pop star, a plumber or a business consultant, the same rules still apply: you are the product. And if that’s the case, you are going to need to take really good care for yourself if you want your business to succeed.” It’s crass SEO-hoarding. BAD HuffPo.

16:39 // 3 years ago
May 13, 2011
14:19 // 3 years ago