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Fraud October 19, 2011

Social Storytelling (Part 1)

All good storytellers, whether their story is fact or fiction, have one trait in common – they pay attention to the details. Details are what engage the audience. They make the story vivid and believable. And if the storyteller is really talented, he shares just the right details, the ones that the audience can relate to (and the ones they won’t question).

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Better Ecommerce August 22, 2011

Letting New Users In

Growing your community is probably one of the hardest things to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re new or have been around for a while – attracting, retaining and engaging with good users who create quality interactions is a must if you want your community to thrive. The last thing you want when you’re in this situation is to have an imposed limitation on your ability to accept anyone who wants in. Obviously, this desire for user acquisition creates an opening to abusive users, specifically spammers and spam-bots. You don’t want to find yourself battling with hoards of the bad guys, either, and especially if you’ve been hit in the past you’re looking for a good preventive solution to this problem. So what have we found that publishers do to control new users?

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Fraud August 7, 2011

Fighting sock puppets – a cat and mouse game

The Urban Dictionary defines Sock Puppet as “An account made on an internet message board, by a person who already has an account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously.” If you manage or participate in a community you’re bound to see accounts that seem like sock puppets – they sign up one day and automatically start replying to discussions with knowledge that can only be based on long-term participation in the community – appearing to be new while channeling veteran participants’ opinions.

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Better Ecommerce July 31, 2011

The vicious cycle of reputation systems

One of the interesting things we noticed when we started looking at social interaction abuse was how reputation systems were built and evolved. A need for some kind of reputation score usually appears when your site becomes popular and you want to help users find quality content and interesting users quicker; but some destinations (such as marketplaces) use them to actually facilitate interaction. Either way, very soon it becomes
very lucrative to be ranked high – whether it brings you more sales, better SEO or just respect and a sense of self fulfillment.

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Better Ecommerce July 20, 2011

What is your TTA?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the idiom says. In online communities, sometimes there’s even a more sincere form of flattery – users trying to abuse your site and the content in it. You discover abuse cases when you start to attract more users, have more content and appear higher in search results – but that’s also when abusive content and behavior can kill your momentum. Exactly at that point where even your best users start to complain that “things are not as they used to be”, you want to be able to maintain quality and stop sockpuppets, scammers and social media “experts” who mess with your reputation score.

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