When trying to set up Facebook Connect for our Android Forum site
, we got a nasty error after people completed authorising the site:[#1090091] An error occurred while trying to authorize this Facebook connection
There are plenty of people who write about this problem if you Google for it, but not many solutions. Luckily IPB support is superb and solved our problem for us. So if you are getting the "[#1090091] An error occurred while trying to authorize this Facebook connection", go to your Facebook App Advanced settings, and under Migrations disable everything except for Remove Deprecated APIs.
If that doesn't work try IPB Support, they are really on the ball.
As with all industries, the online ad industry is constantly innovating ways to make money. In online advertising, a good number of players are chasing after the lucrative market to bring publishers incremental revenues without dipping into existing inventory (aka their banner inventory).
Lately I've started noticing two promising potential avenues of revenue, each with companies contacting me to implement their services on our sites. One is the attempt to monetize image views with ad overlays (I'll talk about these another time), and the other an attempt to monetize Captcha's by serving ads instead of gobbledygook in the Captcha field.The Opportunity
This "Ads in CAPTCHA" model is actually pretty brilliant from the perspective of a publisher, and potentially very low impact from the perspective of users. Here's why:
- CAPTCHAs are on a lot of sites and are generally something users expect to find. This means inventory already exists.
- Content engagement in CAPTCHAs is naturally high, because users need to decipher the CAPTCHA to post. Users would concentrate more on the ad content in the CAPTCHA in order to complete the captcha test.
- CAPTCHAs are normally notoriously hard to read, and take a while to type. A Captcha ad would be the opposite: advertisers would want to make the CAPTCHA intentionally EASY to read so as to maximize the impact of their message, and the message would be in natural english, which would be faster to type.
- If done right, the user will be subjected to quality sponsor messages which they resonate with, which I think enhances their experience compared to a string of random letters or weird words.
Offsetting the opportunity for publishers is the risk of driving away user engagement:
- CAPTCHAs are in a much more intimate and involved part of the usage chain. You are basically subjecting users who want to engage on your site to a forced ad message.
- If the CAPTCHA ads are annoying or unprofessional, you drive away potential commenters
- There are some users who are morally opposed to ads, who may refuse to participate in CAPTCHA protected items simply on basis of principle.
- Adblock plugins may automatically block your CAPTCHA, leading to loss of engagement with users using such plugins.
I think the Ads in CAPTCHA model is pretty good, but I see current implementations as seriously flawed. Firstly, the ones I've seen so far are HUGE. Easily 5-10x bigger than the CAPTCHA we use on Neoseeker, and something like 50% bigger than the already massive reCAPTCHA
Secondly, the few ads I've demo'd go about it all wrong, they are confusing and require typing ridiculous messages. They also contain tons of text, like 2 phrases, or a slogan and a short message "Prices are right, get your lowest price always!"
Thirdly, there appears to be a ridiculous experimental foray into video captcha's, whereby the user has to watch a video and type something "revealed" by the video, said video being a TV like ad of course.
Fourth: the market is young, and I see alot of defaulted inventory on the example sites I see. Like many nascent ad formats, this is a chicken and egg problem, and my firm belief is that premium publishers should NOT donate their inventory to help establish companies trying to break into this type of ad market.
Fifth: as with many other form factors, I fear advertisers trying to get too much out of the medium. I am certain the huge CAPTCHA module has to do with the need for ads to stand out. I also worry advertisers would like the time spent per user on ad to be high, resulting in ads that require quite a bit of time for the user to decipher.
Lastly, I consider CAPTCHA to be a necessary evil, but one that I'd like to see done away with altogether in favour of better filtering, or other methods. Turning CAPTCHA into a revenue stream puts publishers at odds with making their sites as user friendly as possible, which is to say, zero captcha, while still filtering out as much spam as possible.Doing it right
I think ads in CAPTCHA can be done in a way that respects users and also helps brands engage their audience and bring them meaningful brand messages.
This requires resolve on both the publisher and the CAPTCHA company's parts, as well as a healthy partnership with the advertisers. Here's what I'd love to see:
- Users have the ability to disable CAPTCHAs from brands they do not want to see with a single click (learn from the Facebook model)
- Users can disable branded CAPTCHAs altogether with a single click
- Both of the above would execute NETWORK wide, so that every site using that CAPTCHA system will stop serving that specific brand or stop serving ads altogether.
- Publishers need a publishing back-end on which they can selectively decide what brand categories they wish to have on their CAPTCHA, as well as the ability to withdraw from brands they do not want represented.
- The CAPTCHA module has to be very small, certainly no bigger than reCAPTCHA and preferably slightly smaller
- The CAPTCHA ads must appear natural and inobtrusive. They should not have fancy colours, flashing animations, and annoying attributes.
- The CAPTCHA ads should preferably contain a very simple and straightforward message and as little text as possible, not a slogan, or jingle quip. The most ideal would be a single word, or 2-3 words. If INTEL is a CAPTCHA sponsor they may ask you to type "Intel Inside" and nothing else would appear on the ad.
Today I came across an interesting MySQL problem. I needed to SELECT data while also returning the row number of each row of data. Normally to do this you do the following:
But in my situation I needed to ORDER BY the data using multiple columns, and when you do this the row number gets completely broken (the order goes completely crazy). So after searching and finding nothing I played with the query and came up with the below solution, which is to basically sort the results using as many ORDER BY criteria as you want, then SELECT it again and sort that using the row numbers:
The above works in MySQL 5.1.x and should work in 4.1+.
I just picked up the Richmond Review, a local newspaper for our city, and read that Aberdeen Square is 90% sold after only 9 days (it sold 75% of units on the opening weekend). That's 160,000sq ft of space split into 6 floors snatched up as quickly as I've ever seen any development in the Vancouver area.
The building is an extension to the already existing Aberdeen Center, an "Asian" mall, and is situated right within meters of the Canada Line station. We were considering this location for our office and took a look at initial plans and the building models back a few months ago. The price was steep however, initial estimates were for $500+/sq ft for office units with windows, though later we were told that the price per sq. ft would start at $295 (presumably for less desirable retail or office space).
Other details include: 1 parking pass for tenants with 1 unit, with no option to get more. Limited and unknown visitor parking. Parking spots are first come first serve, so no reserved spots and all parking will be "rooftop" parking, adjacent to the existing rooftop Aberdeen parking. To get to this parking you have to drive up 4-5 parkade levels through the already congested Aberdeen Center parking. This means that not only is the parking hard to get to, you are not guaranteed to find a spot easily once you're up there.
Overall the sales appears to be an overall success, though the paper does report only 30% of the buyers know what they'll do with the space, with the rest being investors or thinking about starting up a business. With residential real estate hitting some sales challenges, an uncertain economic outlook in Canada and BC in general, and a still high unemployment rate, I wonder just how those investments will turn out, but this is a very interesting building and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
Source: Richmond Review
We're looking for a WordPress designer to make a wicked theme for TalkAndroid
Here's what we need:
- A really standout, but clean design suitable for a content blog
- Cool logo
- Android themed.
- I need this made as an actual "theme" for WordPress (eg all the files necessary in the themes folder), not just a static mockup
- Gotta have room for top of fold 728x90, 300x250, 160x600, and other ad spots
- It's got to look GREAT compared to other Android blogs.
If you have samples of past work just link me to it, or email me via my contact form, or tweet @howard_ha
I'm testing the OpenX hosted solution out right now on a site with some decent ad impression requirements, and so far I'm not convinced its a viable alternative to Google's Admanager (now known as Doubleclick for publishers).
We're only using one single position right now, a custom size, delivering about 135k impressions a day (all told the site has many positions that require an aggregate total of over a million ad impressions a day), and I'm noticing that delivery is not always smooth. Sometimes I get broken ads, sometimes the space is empty. This is not a user error, it is definitely an unreliable ad delivery situation.
What's worse, is that the stats system is constantly failing to load, with dreaded server errors. In the past 3 days I've been trying to access stats with only 10% of my attempts working. This from a company set to expand to Japan today? Their support forums have users who are complaining about problems with no one responding.
Truly I want OpenX to succeed, the PhpAds platform it evolved from has been in use for over a decade on many sites, including some of my own. However, right now the service has left alot to be desired in terms of reliability - I can't get stats to work on a measly 135k impressions a day, what happens if I need to deliver a million, or 2 million impressions a day? Doubleclick for publishers is EASILY handling this volume right now with no problems for me.
Has anyone else got some positive things to say about the OpenX hosted solution?
Apparently Google is working on yet another social network to compete against Facebook. Previous attempts with Orkut and Buzz failed to gain any significant traction and Facebook continues to make strategic decisions that entrench it more and more as a power to be reckoned with. Some are as bold as to say that Search is "over" and social marketing and realtime search (a la Twitter) are the new paradigms moving forward.
I think one reason Google has failed to really break into this space so far has to do with both Facebook's critical mass and Google's lack of a coordinated push into the space (or maybe it was never a priority and they haven't even really tried yet :P). Facebook is a powerful social platform based on relationships, and Google is a collection of many services, some which enable collaboration, but lack a compelling personal and friendship element.
Google still has a very strong chance to turn it around and create a significant social network if it can come up with a coordinated strategy. There are still a number of users who are unwilling or unable to use Facebook, and there are a number of users who are just hanging on the edge, willing to try something else. If Google made the perfect alternative with just the right balance of social and networking features, it might turn out to surprise the naysayers.
Consider the following things Google can draw upon:
- A massive network of Android devices whose owners are constantly in touch with friends and relatives, a platform growing by 1.4million devices a week
- a huge number of Gmail users who already manage contacts, both personal and business
- a collaborative document system
- an absolutely mammoth user reach via Google search and Adsense, that happens to also give them huge profiling capabilities of a large proportion of web users.
- A news platform in Google News that is still highly sought after
- a HUGE network of publishers and sites that run Adsense and already rely on Google for traffic, every single such publisher already has a Google account.
- Arguably the defacto destination for public video content on the web.
The basic picture I'm seeing is that Google's got a tremendously broad reach as far as users who already have Google accounts, and this may allow them to overcome the dreaded registration barrier to entry other networks are faced with.How Google can drive adoption:
- How easily could Google convince websites to adopt their own variant of "Google Connect"? As a web publisher myself, I'd support it if it was made properly.
- How easily can Google encourage "Google Like" buttons? Depending on what they do, it can happen overnight (what if Google Like buttons influenced SERPs , for instance, even at some miniscule level balanced for gaming, who could risk not using them?)
- What would happen if the social networking capabilities that Google offers spanned across all their properties to some degree (and yet remains non-invasive)?
In fact, if done right, Google can have its users using its social network without them even really thinking of it as a social network. Maybe they don't even need to make a social network, but instead keep integrating and coordinating deeper social features into their entire portfolio of services. I'm not arguing that Google's social network is the next big thing to happen in social networking. I'm saying Google has a lot they can draw upon to make it succeed where others may not. Unfortunately, as I heard repeated by many recently at GrowConf 2010, success is sometimes a mix of doing all the right things and just plain having a large dose of dumb luck.
Sometime in 2008, around Wordpress 2.6 or so, the Wordpress team made an update to "fix" a bug with how "Read More" works in the RSS feeds. Apparently the "Read More" feature was not intended to work in RSS feeds when you chose to show full posts in feeds (Settings > Reading > For each article in a feed, show > Full text
). Some users seemed to really like this "fix"
but for TalkAndroid
it was a nuissance because sites were using our RSS feed to reproduce our entire content on their own pages and the "Read More" tag was useful for splitting up our more original content.
After many hours of tooling around I found a reference to Customizing Read More
and this handy post here which mentions enabling the "Read More" on pages aside from the main page
of your blog. Even those two pages were not enough. I had to track down exactly where the RSS pages were and then hack them specifically to make it work. Here's how to do it:
- Look for the wp-includes/feed-rss2.php and wp-includes/feed-rss.php scripts in your Wordpress folder
- Look for code that looks like "<content:encoded><![CDATA[<?php the_excerpt_rss() ?>]]></content:encoded>" and replace it with: "<content:encoded><![CDATA[<?php the_content('<strong>Read More...</strong>'); ?>]]></content:encoded>"
- Add <?php $more = false; ?> right before the content encode portion of the RSS files. This part is necessary because the the_post() function sets $more to 1 and this prevents the Read More from working.
The final code looks something like this:
Twitterfeed is a handy RSS to Twitter service that reads your blog's RSS feed and submits it to Twitter and Facebook. We were using it on OverclockersClub
to sync up our news with our Facebook fanpage and Twitter account, but I was less than thrilled with its performance.If you have a Wordpress blog and use Twitterfeed Stop Now! Here's Why:Reliability
Several times over the summer we had "feed" outtages where users complained that Twitter and/or the Facebook updates stopped. Both times turned out to be Twitterfeed related. The problem with Twitterfeed is that if you're not watching your feeds you won't know you had any problems until someone tells you. Twitterfeed may have solved these outtages, but if it does strike again when will you know? It only checks every 30 minutes at best for your feeds so you won't know for up to 30 minutes whether the updates will even happen.Speed
Twitterfeed's highest speed setting is to check your feeds every 30 minutes. If you're competing against other bloggers and sites, 30 minutes is a huge lag between when you write something and when your Twitter followers and Facebook fans get the news. Alternatives:
we never used Twitterfeed at all, instead we opted to go with a plugin called WP to Twitter
for our tweets
. WP to Twitter sends the tweets the moment you publish a post, and also supports your Twitter API key if you've got one. If it fails to tweet you'll also know right away because you get an error box in your Wordpress admin interface. That solves both of the problems I have with Twitterfeed right there.
For our Facebook page
we're using Steve Atty's excellent Wordbooker
plugin. It too posts instantly to your Facebook page or Facebook Wall. It's a bit tricky to setup and might take some patience, but Steve is amazingly responsive on his support forum on Facebook
If you run a Wordpress site and are using Twitterfeed, dlvr.it or another such service try the above two alternatives. If you're running custom blog software I strongly suggest rolling your own API calls to Twitter and Facebook, which lets you brand yourself too by linking to your site instead of another service with each Tweet/FB post.Addendum:
OverclockersClub is a custom CMS so we can't use these plugins. We do use dlvr.it now, but ultimately a custom system to send the tweets and FB page shares via official APIs would be the "ideal" solution.
In Invision Power Board 2 you could hide text in their templates by preventing it from showing to logged in users. The code looked like this:
<if="$this->ipsclass->member['id'] == 0">
In IPB3 templates this didn't work at all. Instead, to limit your code to show only to guests and not to registered users use the following:
<if test="$this->memberData['member_id'] == 0">