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Personalized Mass Marketing

I'm working with a top internet ad-serving company to create a web advertising solution that will result in "personalized mass marketing."

Instead of website visitors drinking from a firehose, you'll only get the types of ads you want, when you want them.  After all, if I'm a car lover between 25-40 years of age, I wouldn't mind seeing an ad, or even better, being contacted by a car company about a hot new model they're rolling out, but it's doubtful I'd want to hear about the new line of Depends undergarmets that Kimberly-Clark is rolling out.  Today, I don't have much of a choice in the matter.

The point is, we've become so jaded by useless advertising that it's become a bad word.  But it doesn't have to be this way.  Think of the brands you are loyal too.  If I had more interaction with, say, BMW, and I could provide them with feedback on their new models, and be invited as a "VIP guest" to their showroom, I would welcome the high-touch experience.  The key is to know what brands, products and services people want to be associated with.  For some people it's cars, for others it's pet-related, or beauty product related, or clothing related, etc.

We're creating a 'personalized mass marketing' solution by teaming up with the ad-serving company to build a profile of the sites people visit.  Over time, as we learn people's likes & dislikes, we can target the ads they see based on their browsing preferences.

I have most of the team in place, but I'm looking for a really good senior database programmer to help me create a database that can withstand millions of visitors per day (yes millions).  If you, or anyone you know, might fit the bill, please email me with a few paragraphs detailing your experience and qualifications.  You should also be ready & willing to work in an entrepreneurial environment.  That means little sleep and lots of innovation.

I'm working with a top internet ad-serving company to create a web advertising solution that will result in "personalized mass marketing." Instead of website visitors drinking from a firehose, you'll only get the types of ads you want, when you want them.  After all, if I'm a car lover between 25-40 years of age, I wouldn't mind seeing an ad, or even better, being contacted by a car company about a hot new model they're rolling out, but it's doubtful I'd want to hear about the new line of Depends undergarmets that Kimberly-Clark is rolling out.  Today, I don't have much of a choice in the matter. The point is, we've become so jaded by useless advertising that it's become a bad word.  But it doesn't have to be this way.  Think of the brands you are loyal too.  If I had more interaction with, say, BMW, and I could provide them with feedback on their new models, and be invited as a "VIP guest" to their showroom, I would welcome the high-touch experience.  The key is to know what brands, products and services people want to be associated with.  For some people it's cars, for others it's pet-related, or beauty product related, or clothing related, etc. We're creating a 'personalized mass marketing' solution by teaming up with the ad-serving company to build a profile of the sites people visit.  Over time, as we learn people's likes & dislikes, we can target the ads they see based on their browsing preferences. I have most of the team in place, but I'm looking for a really good senior database programmer to help me create a database that can withstand millions of visitors per day (yes millions).  If you, or anyone you know, might fit the bill, please email me with a few paragraphs detailing your experience and qualifications.  You should also be ready & willing to work in an entrepreneurial environment.  That means little sleep and lots of innovation.

Guide to WordPress Comment SPAM

On Zach Browne

As your WordPress blog gets noticed and generates traffic, it becomes a natural target for spammers. If you’re noticing posts on your site that you don’t expect, or see users in the Dashboard that you didn’t create, you have other security problems. Most likely, your blog posts will accrue a variety of spam comments as a side effect of being popular.

You can recognize spam by a list of links within the comment or content-free comments saying that the poster enjoying your writing, with an attached URL or source address that invites you to a less-than reputable destination. In either case, the goal of comment spam is to generate more web content that points back to the spammer’s site, taking advantage of the page popularity ranking algorithms used by Google and others that give weight to incoming links. The best way to deal with spam is to simply get rid of it, denying spammers the opportunity to use your site to boost their own visibility.

There are three basic approaches to dealing with the problem: make it impossible for anyone to leave comments, increase the difficulty of a spammer sneaking a comment onto your site, and enable auto-detection of common spam patterns. Obviously, disabling comments (through the Dashboard) is a bit harsh, and defeats the goals of establishing conversation with your readers. On the other hand, if you decide to take this drastic step, remember that changing the settings for posts on the control panel only affects future posts; anything already on your blog will still have comments enabled unless you go through the Dashboard and turn them off individually. If you don’t mind an even greater bit of brute-force effort, you can remove the wp-comments.php file from the WordPress core, which somewhat unceremoniously puts an end to the ability to comment on your posts.

One approach to comment spam is to slow down the spammers; however, the simple approach slows down valid commenters as well. You can require commenters to register as site users before being allowed to post comments, as we discuss later in this chapter, but that has the downside of preventing passing-by users from adding their thoughts. It also requires that you stay on top of the user registration, as you may see seemingly valid users that are created purely for the purpose of posting spam to your blog.

Moderation is another tool in the slow-but-don’t-stop vein; you can hold all comments for moderation or require all commenters to have a previously approved comment. In effect, you’re putting the burden of spam detection on yourself, looking at each comment as it appears and deciding whether to post it to your blog or flush it. Again, an innocuous looking comment may be the approval stepping stone for an avalanche of spam later on from the same user. As with many security mechanisms, the bad guys are continually getting smarter and more automated, and testing the edge protection and response of the systems they want to infiltrate.

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