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Kama Sutra Wrote a Great Post Today

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Quick thought…

Google needs to think less about lowering the relevance of blogging to curb scrapers, they need to think more about how to give us the power to remove those that are subscribed via RSS. Actually, all feed readers need to give us that option. We might then be able to make a dent in theft by feed. Just a thought- but why is it that feeders do not give us the option to see the total subscribed by list of “who is subscribed” just like wordpress does on the backend. Then we could use feeders as a measure for various things and chose to remove/block those subscribed that are only subscribed to steal. This one tiny measure would make all the difference in the world.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Jeff Brown

    November 28, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Oh sure, BE logical. 🙂

  2. Todd Carpenter

    November 28, 2007 at 2:44 am

    I’m no lawyer, but I think there’s a huge opportunity opportunity to build a class action lawsuit against Google. They encourage RSS feed theft by offering their AdWords program, then making it far to time consuming for any one blogger to push through the red tape of getting the splogger ejected from AdWords.

    Splogs could end in mere days with a simple splog flagging system, but Google would loose millions.

  3. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Call Sellsius, let’s get it on…

    Yeah, logic never seems to equal reality…

  4. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Good to see you over here, Jeff…

  5. Athol Kay

    November 28, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Wouldn’t solve anything. All that would mean is that fictional “gentle readers” would sign up and just cycle the feed away to the splogs instead of “megaspamXXXhot.com” signing up for the RSS feed.

    Do people seriously click on Adwords at these splogs anyway? I had had Adwords on my orginial blog and no one clicked on them once. I don’t see how my butchered content suddenly turns into an Adwords goldmine for someone else.

    The only time I manage to even come across them is when I’m fighting them.

  6. Athol Kay

    November 28, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Oh I keep hearing about RE bloggers “spending hours a week fighting stolen content”.

    We’re tiny little blogs people. If it scales with blog size, people like Scoble, PostSecret, Techcrunch would have to spend hundreds of hours a week fighting it.

    I’m not sure they do that.

  7. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Well, couldn’t I still then block the gentle reader from the list? It would just be a tool to remove the automation of the insta-scrape.

    As a rather confident A type male, I am beginning to get a complex- hrm… viagra or cialis…

  8. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 10:22 am

    I spend about 5 minutes a day at most, but it is increasing furiously when I factor in we’ve only been live for about 47 days.

  9. Athol Kay

    November 28, 2007 at 11:32 am

    But thats the my point Benn. Unless you’re willing to check out every person that gets your RSS feed, anyone could be a sock puppet siphoning off the feed.

    How would I know that a “Benn Rosales” was the real BR getting my feed? Or a “Hotgrl25” could just as easily be a 25 y/o party girl looking for a first home as a balant spammer.

    I also suspect that if people reading the feed have to hand over personal information to a blogger to get the feed, then some readers won’t subscribe.

  10. Teresa Boardman

    November 28, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    It happened to me again last week. someone taking my whole blog via feed for a splog. Took me all week to make it go away. Would have been nice to cut them off.

  11. Benn Rosales

    November 28, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Athol, your point is valid, and the fluffy bunnies can scrape away.

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WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.

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WeChat app icon on an iPhone screen

WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.

“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.

The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.

Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”

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Instagram makes IGTV videos more accessible with automatic closed captions

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature for Instagram opens avenues for viewers who don’t or can’t use audio on IGTV videos, creating more accessibility for all.

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Instagram live being recorded will now feature auto captions.

In an effort to expand accessibility efforts, IGTV videos on Instagram will now include an auto captions option. While its parent company, Facebook, has included auto captions on uploaded videos since 2017, this new-for-Instagram feature is expected to widen audience viewership and increase potential viewing by those who prefer watching sans-audio.

In a statement by Facebook, the company states: “While there is no shortage of information, not everyone can access it. It needs to be available to the hundreds of millions of people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.”

Current events have made the need for auto captions even more critical for inclusion. “The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in both the supply and demand of public health information. Several local and state governments, that were accustomed to holding live press conferences but didn’t have the resources, staff or technology to record, stream, and caption their live events, turned to Facebook Live. Several governments also discovered that video captioning was not just a nice-to-have, but imperative, especially in the absence of available sign language interpreters,” states the company.

Currently, Facebook provides auto captions for videos in 16 languages and has announced that Instagram’s IGTV will have access to the same features. The caption accuracy is determined by the video’s audio quality, although AI technology is constantly improving in both precision and speed.

Additionally, branded content ads are likely to see an increase in consumer interaction. Recently published data by Facebook shows ads visually designed for watching with the sound off have 48% more relevance to viewers and a 42% higher purchase intent. As auto captions normalize across social media, users can expect ad content to utilize this feature to the fullest.

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New tool organizes your Reddit feed (and makes it actually usable)

(Social Media) Reddit’s UI hasn’t always been super intuitive. ‘Deck for Reddit’ organizes your feed into themed columns, making it way more user-friendly.

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Deck for Reddit on display on laptop on desk.

Love it or hate it, the mass collection of forums on Reddit have some form of content for everyone. The simple UX design places content straight down the middle of the screen and the infinite scrolling feature allows you to view a limitless amount of content from cute puppy images to cringe-worthy videos. However, its simplicity isn’t very practical, and is something that I think should be voted down.

Yes, Reddit has come a long way from its previous text-heavy form, but there is still a lot to improve on. Charles Yang, a frustrated Reddit user, has created a web app that could change all that: Deck for Reddit, a desktop optimized, alternative way to browse your favorite forums.

“I built it to show as much content as possible at a glance, while respecting your screen real-estate,” writes Yang.

Currently, the web app is in open beta. With a very similar experience to Tweetdeck, this Reddit tool seems to hold some promise.

On the far left side of the website, there is a list of icons with all the subreddits you’ve subscribed to. Clicking on an icon will take you directly to that subreddit column. This is very convenient for users with a bunch of subscriptions. Additionally, by making several subreddits visible on the screen all at once, Yang succeeds in his goal of taking advantage of the vast empty white space that Reddit failed to use.

From this display, you can click on a post, and it instantly expands to show all the comments. Hit the back button, and the post collapses. Now, you are back to seeing all the posts related to that subreddit. And at the top of each subreddit, you can easily sort the content by what’s new, popular, and trendy. Engagement has never felt easier.

Along with everything else, this extension also adds another great feature in setting customizations. The theme can be switched from light to dark mode. Fonts, text size, and even the shape of the subreddit icons can all be adjusted. Preferences can be changed to hide viewed submissions and reduce animation motion. And if you’re slacking off at work or want to chill, you can set it to hide NSFW content.

Overall, Deck for Reddit makes the user experience smooth sailing, and it truly makes Reddit the “front page of the internet.”

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