Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Most users online

Forums usually show at the left bottom figures how many users were online within a set time frame, and at which date they had the most users online. Some admins do think high figures there would give prospective members the impression of a really interesting and active forum to join. From that viewpoint mods were developed to manipulate this figure. So it isn't really a figure to care about, unless you're sure the site's admin is honest and not so dumb to believe, that "telling lies" were a good way to compete.

A few days ago a friend asked me, what I think of a certain forum all of a sudden having changed the time frame for the users online threshold from 3 hours to 24 hours. And above showing numbers "just not likely at all". A short look there made me remember what I had read about that "fake users online mod". It was just too obvious that the admin kept playing with that. About every two hours 25 users more kept opening that site. Now, I'm familiar with the internet. So I looked up other sites collecting data about webtraffic. And they revealed that the amount of visitors to that forum had actually decreased. Something I found very credible, since my webmastering experience of seven years told me that at the beginning of the hot season the interest in Thailand-related websites vanishes for a few months due to the Winter expats going home.

Well, what advice could I give to that admin who lost his credibility by not well-thought-of "tricks"? Resetting the values were one thing possible, but it could hardly keep people from chuckling every time they see his users online figure, knowing it just can't be true. Looks like he has to live with having made a fool of himself again!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pretending info – doing unethical competition

Advertising by the means of media does cost money. That’s why some companies have changed to running media themselves to reduce costs. The internet makes it possible for a company’s own website to be as accessible as professional media. It can give general information to keep people looking it up via Google search results etc. Nothing wrong with that – so far!
But people are being deceived when links on a website pretending to give general information are denoted wrong. The person viewing that website might think by the denotation of a link, clicking it would lead to the business’ website indicated there, unless he first checked the lower left of his browser showing the real url when hovering with the cursor over a link. That’s the only way people can protect themselves against deception on dubious websites. But more severe is the search engines’ assigning the keywords words used for the name of that company with the link it has been assigned with by the programmer of that site with their indexed search results, leading to deception by the search engine results – just as they have been “designated by the deceptor”. Company names are trademarks not allowed to be abused for unethical competition. It is legal to include the names of competing companies on one’s own website to show prospective customers what alternatives there are. Giving them as links that do not lead to the right websites, but one’s own or one is associated with is not only unethical, hijacking internet traffic by deception, stealing customers by hijacking, is definitely illegal. But what does a person mind, who claims to be educated in laws?