Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Re: Riches in Mobile Ads, Just No Profits – The Wall Street Journal

April 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Action Ads
Instead of branding, the most valuable ad experience in the mobile space will most likely be a combination of demographic and geo data aimed at inducing a desired action at the moment the ad is shown.

This is all possible by integrating the social sign up (log in via facebook), identifying the location of the person via triangulation, gps or other methods, and remembering their behavioral history. This mixture would allow for highly targeted ads that request an action, such as increasing a sale amount at the checkout lane.

Take for example someone waiting in line to pay at Walmart. The phone can identify the user through the background running walmart app, which knows who the user is, what has he purchased before, what matches his interests, current specials, current store inventory, etc. The union of these variables can be used to determine convinient action ads, which can automatically generate a personal coupon or suggest to the user an item to buy.

Another example would be from a third party app. In this case, the same user at walmart is not running the walmart app in the background. Instead, a user is reading the news via an app like wavii, which both uses facebook login and maintains personal information of the user. That user within the wavii app can also be shown an action ad from walmart, suggesting the purchase of an ideal product match or coupon.

It needs no explanation that an action ad’s impact can be measured almost instantly. This allows marketers a more direct understanding of their ad performance and cost analysis. From an app owner perspective, action ads can serve as higher revenue sources than CPMs or CPC arrangements, given that an action ad can be tied to a commission on the sale.

An Internet of Things
The whole action ad strategy gets even better with the introduction of RFIDs into products. With this “Internet of things”, mobile business becomes the center stage of a large chunk of commerce. In this scenario, a person’s smartphone can identify the products in a household in realtime and keep a history of typically available products. An app can determine when there is a shortage of a product or whether there are special sales on the internet or nearby stores of commonly purchased products. Again, action ads can trigger the purchase of these items, like generating an online order with delivery.

Action Ads can also be beneficial for the travel industry. When arriving to an airport, action ads can display nearby hotel rates for booking, available taxi and drivers (ubercab), individual housing (airbnb), or available dining seats at the hottest restaurants (opentable) targeted to a user’s preference.

BTW: this response was written using a smartphone and the WordPress app after having used the WSJ app to read this article – Riches in Mobile Ads, Just No Profits

The Value of a DOT US

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

It is of common knowledge in the domain investment community that .us domain names are not the default choice for United States companies seeking to have an online presence. It is also of common knowledge, that as a result of american’s preference for .com as their national domain extension, .us domain names are assigned a value far below their ccTLD counterparts, such as Germany’s .de ( $725,000), UK’s ( $130,000) or Australia’s ( $100,000).

This week, the DNJournal will most likely announce the purchase of a .us for mid four figures. The amount of the sale is almost insignificant, but I was the buyer, and in this post I will explain my reasons for believing that the .us is highly undervalued and carries a potential for companies seeking to develop an online presence with a prime generic name.

There are two main factors for which I think the .us ccTLD has lagged in value. First, as I said above, americans prefer .com – they associate it with their national extension. Even if a .com weren’t available, it is fair to assume that there will be a preference to choose another gTLD such as .net or .org, over the official ccTLD for the US, .us. This assumption can be easily corroborated by the number of sales and dollar amount per sale for gTLDs vis a vis .us.

The second factor is the restriction for .us ownership. Only American citizens or permanent residents are allowed to own a .us, and this is exactly the population that rejects .us domain names. If a european citizen saw value in a .us, there couldn’t be a way for that person to acquire such a domain name without much hassle and risk. Thus, the small population that can purchase the extension is its worst customer.

But then, why do I think a .us carries much more value than the market is currently assigning it?
The answer lies in the fact that there is a global perception on ccTLDs, which extends the relationship of any ccTLD to one not circumscribed to the specific ccTLD population, but rather as a geographic presence towards the global community. In other words, when a portal from Russia opens with their ccTLD .ru, like, they are not just communicating to the Russian community about their presence. Rather, becomes a portal for all global citizens searching for contact with Russia. All of the world -not just russians, will recognize and seek when wanting to communicate with the russian community.

Outside of the US, it is evident from all the local media that ccTLDs are the default choice for companies to communicate with users. Thus, all internet users outside of the US have a psychological tendency, reinforced by local media, to see the web through ccTLDs. It is only americans who predominantly only experience the web through gTLDs, primarily .com. And so, therein lies the opportunity.

First, it can be speculated either way on the adoption of the American community on a .us. One can argue that american users will be confused and tempted to type in the keyword and then .com. Others can argue that branding will be harder and carry less prestige than the .com. I, on the other hand, have confidence in the ease of branding that carries a prime keyword .us. It further resonates on the prevalent patriotism that distinguishes americans.

However, there is another way of looking at the opportunity, and that is as a portal for the rest of the global community. It is much easier for a foreign citizen to understand and to recognize a portal using the .us extension as an american portal. Therefore, foreigners will want to participate in a .us portal with the understanding that they are participating in an american environment. The .us is easily perceived as American soil by the rest of the world. And that is where the value of a .us rises. If we consider the .us extension as a window to the US for the rest of the world, where our customers are not just Americans, but the global population seeking contact with Americans, we find that a .us can hold a huge market outside of its borders.

Ignorance is the Highest Cost in IT Deployments for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

October 16, 2011 Leave a comment

As I become aware of efforts to create technological platforms or to mechanize operations, the dominant theme across the board seems to be the lack of understanding of the evolution in IT resources and the dramatic cost reductions it offers to enterprises looking to create or manage their IT departments. One possible explanation for this is the chasm that exists between management (business educated), IT engineers (university educated), and current technology. Management appears to have been taught that IT is expensive, complicated, and incomprehensible to all except IT engineers. College educated IT engineers, on the other hand, appear to have been trained and polished in programming languages that were hot five to ten years ago. Current technology, however, has migrated mostly to the cloud and developed the tools and solutions necessary for most small and medium sized organizations, in order to allow them to create their projects on top of the cloud for a fraction of the original cost.

As such, the current modus operandi of small to medium businesses seems to be circumscribed to the acquisition of local technology consulting resources, oftentimes headed by IT engineers who hold on to the retrograde assumption that IT platforms must still be programmed from scratch and deployed in local (and oftentimes expensive) server farms. This presents three mayor costs – 1. Time from conception to deployment rises by a factor exponentially higher, relative to current pre-packaged cloud solutions; 2. As a result, monetary cost of the project also increases drastically; 3. And third, because the solution is custom programmed on the spot, operational and security bugs pose a continuous inconvenience, risk, and recurring cost and dependency on patches, which can render the IT project obsolete in a short period of time or exorbitantly costlier across time.

To visualize this conundrum, let us see an example of a real project currently being launched for a medium sized business, whose name I will not mention for obvious reasons. They are in the service industry and currently run a proprietary software solution that has been customized to serve their HR, CRM, and accounting needs. The solution runs in a local server farm, hosted at company headquarters, managed by the company’s IT office and assisted by the external consulting expert. Apart from being highly sophisticated, making it impossible for most users to make any use of most of the features the software has, the software is in continuous needs of interventions by the external consultant and of periodic upgrades. To get an idea of cost, the price tag on the next upgrade is a little over $1 million.

It is unquestionable that such software was the obvious and right choice at the time of its deployment, nearly ten years ago; but to continue investing in that solution now is pure economic madness and an evident example of complete ignorance in the current state of technology. For one, there is an enormous cost in the daily operation of maintaining the servers up-to-date. Then, there is the huge upgrade price tag, which usually comes around every two years. And to top it off, the software still requires constant support from outside consultants. A modest estimate in dollar costs for this project is around $1 million per year.

The Cloud is here to Stay

Cloud solutions are real, they have been with us for several years now, and they are not just the future of IT – they are the present. Similar HR, CRM and accounting solutions are already available through SaaS and PaaS solutions. Such alternatives represent clear benefits that outmatch those of local IT deployments in almost all of the times. Companies like, one of the pioneers in this industry, revolutionized the software industry years ago, yet very few recognize it. Many IT engineers are trained in programming locally and have turned a blind eye in the reality of current IT solutions. And it is perhaps because they have failed to learn the single most important lesson in IT, and that is that a year in technology is equal to 10 years in any other industry in terms of change. Ferociously fast change is the only constant in technology. This means, that whatever you thought was best five years ago, it is most likely obsolete or highly inefficient by now.

And so, going back to the million dollar yearly operation of the midsized business IT department, that same operation can be ran on Saas and Paas solutions for less than $250,000. Aside from the economic benefits, there are the benefits of generally higher uptimes and lower costs in IT equipment purchases and maintenance, since users can run on thin clients.

To sum it all off, if you are a medium or small business, you should push your IT consultant to find a ready-made, cloud-based solution that fits your needs, rather than spending the time and money having a custom program developed for you. The cloud solution will upgrade itself without your business having to invest any further resources, and you can increase or migrate into larger or different solutions as your needs change, only paying fractionally more as you grow.

In the end, I like to compare the current change in IT to that of a car. Asking for someone to build you a platform and program you custom software to meet your IT needs is like asking an engineer to build you a car, because you need to get from point A to point B, when instead you should be shopping around to buy the best car that fits your needs.

Internet Investment Considerations: Groupon and Facebook

August 21, 2011 1 comment

As new investment opportunities arise in the internet sector, several factors must be considered in the proper evaluation of these companies. Many parallels from the Internet bubble can be drawn, with slight differences. On the one hand, some companies are attempting to disguise their numbers with new fancy terms, in order to divert attention from the fundamentals. Yet, on the other hand we have a more mature internet than back in 2000, which can significantly influence the leader position strength in these current companies.


No, ACSOI is not the new EBITDA circa 1999 Amazon. The reality is that businesses have to make money and Groupon has become an expert at burning cash, at a rate of $100 million last quarter. Despite being touted as the fastest growing company ever, there are serious flaws which make Groupon an extremely risky proposition.

First of all, their model requires a massive number of salespeople. Thus, in order to grow, Groupon has been hiring thousands of employees, pushing Groupon’s numbers further in the red. Then there’s the issue with entry barriers for competitors – there are none. Groupon’s service can be, and is being replicated by thousands of competitors eating away from Groupon’s market. Then there is Google and Facebook, which both are in more intimate positions with potential customers, which can serve as an incentive for these giants to enter Groupon’s turf. The lack of an entry barrier for competitors, and the astronomical valuation that the company currently has, makes Groupon a poor choice for an acquisition.

At this point, only a secret, innovative approach can save Groupon – and that is highly speculative. Even an alliance with one of the Internet giants is not enough to reverse the downward spiral that Groupon appears to be following. An alliance might just delay the process of failure, as was the case of MySpace when it signed with Google. It ultimately went under, once the Google contract had expired.

All in all, I see Groupon as a poor investment.



With Facebook, there is something powerful that goes beyond any rational analysis that one could make – and that is their vast pool of talent. Back in the 90’s, Bill Gates was asked which competitor he was most afraid of. He said, Goldman Sachs. His logic was that there is a competition for talent and whoever attracts the most talent will be in a position for success. Facebook shines in their aggressive history of attracting talent from all the top companies.

Talent together with the enormous power held from their network effect is a combination which could yield many good results. Unlike MySpace, which was the first social network to capture mainstream, Facebook is growing roots, deep roots within the Internet fiber, which places the company in a unique and monopolistic position of controlling the social layer of the internet.

This control of the social layer is the single most valuable asset the company currently has, and much consideration must be given to their capacity to retain control of it. In order to determine whether Facebook is a good long term investment, there must be an understanding of how well and for how long Facebook can control the social layer. There are various ways to see the evolution of the web, which can draw some possible outcomes. In a recent paper, I proposed one possible outcome which predicts that control of the social layer will cease, and an open format will come as a replacement:

“Facebook has done the job of transitioning the social layer element of the Internet and as history shows, we will eventually come out into the open web again. Instead of logging into Facebook, the social layer will permeate throughout the whole web – think “like” buttons. Instead of a singular social place, the entire web will be social and the social intelligence will be distributed – think Diaspora. The social component will feel natural to the average user because of their experience with the closed Facebook system, and the user will easily navigate and interact with this new integrated component.”

It is my opinion that a transition to an open format will occur. However, it is too early to predict when this will happen. Attempts like Diaspora have gained little traction and Google+, despite its stellar opening is losing steam as well. Thus, the timing for Facebook might be just right.

Given the uncertainty of the above, there is still relative calm in the medium term future for Facebook’s control. Facebook still has the talent, and they are still growing at a healthy rate. In terms of monetization, they have much room for growth and their Facebook Credits can be a formidable source of revenue. Ad targeting is generating significant revenue, and I see room for improving and expanding on this segment also.

Finally, there is the basic consideration of psychology. Never in the world has a company touched so closely the lives of so many people. Facebook has connected the world, and many individuals will certainly be very interested in buying a piece of stock. Average Joe’s won’t think twice about Facebook’s market cap, rather they will just buy. In this frenzy, I cannot help but think that those who entered early through SecondMarket will stand to reap many profits from their investments. Facebook’s valuation at their IPO will most likely be comparative to Palm’s IPO launch.

Facebook stock at current $80 billion appears to be a good investment, given the quick pop potential it has on its IPO mania. Obviously, more consideration must be given on the long term viability once their numbers are out. However, given that Google extracts much of its revenue from a very similar model (contextual advertising), and Facebook has captured much of the web’s traffic, it can be reasonable to assume that Facebook could sustain a valuation close to Google’s current $160 billion.

*This article is not financial advice, nor is intended to recommend the purchase or sale of any stock or investment. Please consult your financial advisor for investment guidance.




Categories: English Tags: , ,

Social Media and Technology Trends Video from The Economist

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Short video on the direction of technology and the Internet and how powerful it has become in comparison to traditional media.

Where in the world is dot com?

I have just returned from a trip across several countries in Latin America and Europe and noticed a consistent trend – ccTLDs are dominating the visual space of major cities outside of the US. Yes, in the US dot com is king, but not for Argentina, Chile, Greece, nor Spain.

Argentina and Chile

In Argentina, dominates almost completely in all forms of commercials and billboards that I saw. The local extension is very popular, even though it has had the limitation of not allowing second level registration (i.e. .ar).

The same popularity for the Chile domain extension can be seen throughout their capital, Santiago. Unlike Argentina, the most popular form of the domain is the direct second level domain. Dot com or any other domain extensions other than the .cl are almost non-existent.

Greece and Spain

At Greece I had the opportunity of visiting several places mainland, as well as several of their islands including all of the most popular ones. Again, the ccTLD .gr was by far the most dominant in all the places I visited. In Athens, I saw a few dot com addresses, but possibly no more than a 10%.

Finally, in Madrid and Barcelona I continued to see the same tendency as the other places. One significant difference was Barcelona – which might be indicative of what’s to come. The official extension in Barcelona was not the ccTLD .es. Rather, the gTLD of choice is .cat, which is short for Cataluña – the region Barcelona belongs to. Aside from the government using .cat as their official extension, and many businesses using .es, there was also a few .com and .info domain names used by businesses.


Important regions like Cataluña could push for having their own regional extensions (and they currently are), opening the opportunity to register domains under those new gTLDs. The new CEO of ICANN has expressed ICANN’s path towards the creation of new gTLDs.

“For example, the chief of the Zulu tribe, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, recently sent a letter notifying us of his intent to register the dot-zulu domain name so that different but related businesses and other groups can be linked by their domain name to the entire Zulu community. According to His Majesty, “We believe that the .Zulu TLD, as conceived and proposed by the Dot Zulu Project Inc. represents the best interests of the Zulu community and will be able to provide a viable structure for us as an evolving community.” New York City and the city of Berlin have expressed a similar interest in their own domain names. It is impossible to imagine the possibilities that could occur when these and a multitude of other TLDs are opened.”

If we extrapolate from Barcelona, when trying to enter a local market outside of the US, descriptive or generic domain names including the region or country ( will most likely be less desirable or useful than the new forms of gTLDs covering those regions ( I can see a dot com as being more desirable if it is in the travel industry, where the visitors are not the locals, but rather a population of foreigners.

There are many countries out there that still have high value generics available for registration. There are also still relatively low prices for premium generics in the secondary market for some countries. However, one big impediment has been the management of these domains, scattered through multiple NICs all having their own particular ways of renewal. So, if you are willing to deal with that inconvenience, then ccTLDs and new regional gTLDs could be a good pocket of growth for Domain Investors.

Acquisition Opportunity for Yahoo or Google- Marchex

October 20, 2008 1 comment

Last time I analyzed CNET’s individual assets, the company was acquired 4 months later. Now, amidst the current economic nightmare, there is a fresh new opportunity to grab a gift – Marchex (MCHX). Yahoo, who’s recent conflicts have left many asking for Yang’s head and who’s stock has lost almost 50% since failed negotiations with Ballmer, has a small opportunity to vindicate themselves.

Of course, there’s also Google who needs to continue increasing their revenues in order to support their generous stock PE. Although I would insist that this is a more logical acquisition for Yahoo! to build themselves into a more attractive position for Yahoo! to be acquired, possibly still by Microsoft.

So, what does Marchex bring to the table?

High quality traffic and prime Internet Real Estate.

By its own, Marchex is priced slightly below their current value. However, when you take Google or Yahoo’s advertiser base and traffic sources and fuse it with Marchex’s high quality domain portfolio you get a multiplier effect.

Marchex has made two brilliant moves:

1. Spanish domain portfolio acquisition

This portfolio contains over 100 of the most attractive Spanish domain names and was calculated to generate more than one million unique visitors per month. Of course, these are mostly visitors coming straight to the sites, because of type-in traffic. Take a look at the jewels: ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (kitchen or ( ( (

The whole list is found here

The value of these domain names are like a slow curve that quickly accelerates exponentially as the Spanish market (Spain, Mexico, Caribbean and South America) online advertising solidifies. One must understand that this market has been extremely slow to develop, mostly because of the number of computers available in each household and lack of understanding from old school marketing executives. However, the panorama is changing quickly and will fuel advertiser dollars to the ‘net.

The Spanish domain portfolio could be easily worth $500 million to $2 billion in a 5 year window, depending on the development of all these domain names into fully usable content and social portals.

The second source of value in Marchex is their 2004 acquisition of UltSearch’s domain portfolio.

In this portfolio, there are over 100,000 domain names of high search traffic value. There are also a few generic jewels in the mix like,, and

It’s hard to value the whole portfolio and I suspect that most of the names would probably not be of any significant worth. However, assuming even 1% of the names are of the quality of and would make the portfolio highly attractive.

I wouldn’t doubt that this portfolio had at least $100 million in value (Marchex paid over $150 million a few years ago for the portfolio).

Finally, someone over at Marchex decided to accumulate zip code domain name. Wrap them up, put a bow on top of them and sell it for a few million to some telephone company still figuring out their online strategy. I’d also garage sale the auto content generation technology.

Marchex is currently priced at $300 million. Year-to-date they are down almost 30%. This is exactly how much it is worth.. a 30 to 50% premium on its current price.

RE: DNZoom

Sahar Sarid is one of the most active voices in the Domain industry and a leading domain investor. Recently, he launched a contest to determine the best features needed for domainers, to be incorporated in the recently launched DNZoom service. As a domain investor, I’d like to jump in with a few suggestions of what I believe is needed to improve the domain investment market:

These suggestions are in no particular order:

1. Have active offers with expiration dates or without expiring. I have seen way too often in the domain forums how sellers of the domain claim that they once received a “$x,xxx” offer for the domain once. Well, make this process transparent. I want to buy, I give them a $xx,xxx offer that will expire in 2 months. I give them a $xx,xxx minus $x,xxx offer that will never expire. This offer is visible – it is active. Other buyers can see the active offers on the domain. The seller can choose to execute the sale based on these active offers any time they want.

This adds value to the market by establishing floors on demand for domains. This further increases the amount of data available for calculating the value of comparable domains. Active offers by reputable buyers could even serve as collateral for the owner of the domain to take out a loan.

2. Expiration dates for domains should be active. By this, I mean that there should be buttons for me to click on and have it add the date to my calendar. Palm, Google, Outlook. This way, as I search for domain names, I can click on this active link and instantly integrate it into my calendar system which will remind me when that domain is going to expire.

Furthermore, you could have a paid service of receiving an SMS alert when a domain is close to or has expired.

3. Group data on an industry and provide a perspective to domainers on how well they are performing on their monetization. (OK this is a bit hard to do) But imagine if I was in the  “travel” industry. How are my travel domains performing relative to the entire pool of travel related domain names? Which parking service is performing best for that industry. Perhaps lead generation by xyz parking company is proving to be more lucrative in this industry. Perhaps it is Cost Per Click by abc company.

4. On that same note, let domain holders know when specific industry domains are being sold. If I have a strong portfolio on “car” domains, it is more likely that I will pay a premium for a domain related to “cars”, because among other reasons, I have a multiplier effect in income when I hold many domains from one industry. So, identify or ask domain holders which industries they are interested in, and notify them when a domain has been put on sale or expiring auction.

5. Transparency on traffic and revenues! Offer the option to share certified income reports and/or traffic with prospective buyers, or simply to share it in a public space. If publicly shared, then integrate it into the whole search experience. This way, people can search the whois and see the field for traffic and revenue of that domain. Or search by traffic and/or revenue. Buyers can then make their offers in the style of Suggestion #1.

6. Open is the new black! Once you have gathered enough data, put it out to the world in the form of APIs. This will make the industry stronger, unleashing valuable data for bright minds that want to build applications we haven’t even imagined.

I hope many of you choose to participate in this contest and make this industry better.

Fraude en la Internet

January 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Ya sea que está haciendo negocios en la Internet, o solamente es un usuario navegando, el fraude en la Internet es un área que hay que entender y saber distinguir. Dado a la facilidad con la que cualquier persona se puede conectar y permanecer anónima, el fraude por Internet se ha convertido en un sistema muy lucrativo. Para evitar momentos desagradables y pérdidas económicas, conocer los tipos de fraude más populares en la Internet los ayudará a sacarle mayor provecho al Internet.
Tipos de Fraude Común por el Internet:

  1. Compradores pidiendo formas de pago inusuales. En mi tiempo operando una tienda virtual, recibía esporádicamente correos electrónicos de personas en países lejanos, como Nigeria, que deseaban hacer una compra de mis productos. Por lo general, necesitaban la dirección porque solo podían pagar con un cheque, o con un giro postal. Usted recibe el dinero y lo deposita en su banco. Varios días o semanas luego, el banco le informa que el pago se identificó fraudulento y le remueven el depósito de su cuenta, posiblemente enfrentando otros dolores de cabeza. Ya para ese tiempo, usted habrá enviado la mercancía y ni espere recuperarla. Otro sistema popular es ofrecerle un giro por una cantidad mayor del precio que usted pide. Luego le piden que le envíe la diferencia.
  2. Pescadores de data personal “Phishing”. La forma más común de phishing es por medio del correo electrónico. La persona envía un mensaje en la forma de una advertencia que requiere usted visite una página para verificar sus datos. Sin embargo, estas páginas son copias fatulas diseñadas para confundir al usuario en pensar que está en la página oficial y entrar los datos personales, como seguro social, número de cuenta bancaria, y otra información personal que le permite al criminal tomar su identidad y robarle su dinero.

    Hay muchas formas de protegerse de un ataque de phishing. Siempre tenga sospechas cuando reciba un mensaje que le requiera confirmar sus datos personales y llame a la compañía para confirmar que en realidad la comunicación es de ellos. Por lo general, las comunicaciones oficiales de su compañía van a venir con su nombre completo. Muchos de los correos fraudulentos no se refieren a usted por su nombre completo, sino que está escrito en un lenguaje genérico sin proveer ningún dato suyo. No obstante, debe de también sospechar hasta de aquellos mensajes que vengan dirigidos a usted con su nombre completo y llamar a su compañía.

  3. Sistemas de dinero rápido (HYIPs). Estos sistemas han existido desde mucho antes del Internet, pero han tomado una popularidad grandísima con la llegada del Internet por la facilidad con la que es llegar a las víctimas. De la forma que funciona, es que crean un sistema de pagos acelerados, que promete unas ganancias muy atractivas. Suelen prometer que su dinero se va a multiplicar varias veces en muy poco tiempo. Comienzan pagando bien para que se riegue la voz y usted siga enviando más dinero, hasta que llega la masa de personas a “invertir”. Cuando esa masa entra, ellos suspenden los pagos y desaparecen. Conozco personas que han perdido decenas de miles de dólares, y más importante aun, han perdido amistades por haberlas referido. Sea racional con sus inversiones y no caiga en esta trampa.
  4. Vendedores de súper gangas. Seguro que a todos nos gusta una buena ganga, pero en el Internet hay que tener mucho cuidado con las ofertas demasiado de buenas. Afortunadamente, en el Internet hay muchísimos recursos para confirmar con bastante probabilidad la veracidad del vendedor. En lugares de venta como eBay y Amazon, los más populares medios de compra y venta en línea, existen sistemas de reputación que indican cuan responsable es esa persona o comercio vendiendo y comprando. Muchas veces los vendedores de súper gangas tienen un historial de ventas bajísimo, inclusive hasta en cero. Cuando vea un anuncio de venta por una persona o comercio con una reputación de cero, déjele esa ganga a otro loco y no lo piense dos veces.

    Otra forma de gangas se da mucho en productos electrónicos como las cámaras. Los comerciantes inescrupulosos ofrecen el producto a un precio muy por debajo para lograr la venta y luego le incluyen muchos accesorios a precios altísimos. Si usted se rehúsa a comprar los accesorios, prepárese a una pesadilla de inconvenientes que el comerciante le tiene guardada. Es muy fácil corroborar las prácticas de los comercios haciendo una breve búsqueda en los sistemas de búsqueda cómo Google y Yahoo.

  5. Ayuda a un extranjero con su fortuna. Termino con mi favorito y el que más personas se creen. La historia comienza con que necesitan su ayuda. Hay un rey o un ex presidente, alguien de mucha importancia y muchas riquezas que te ha identificado como la persona que le va a liberar los millones de dólares que tiene en un banco. A cambio, el muy generoso le va a dar parte de esos millones a usted, cuando logre sacar todos los fondos. Por favor, cierre ese mensaje tan pronto lea la primera oración. No existe tal rey. El criminal utiliza eso como una forma de entrada para sacarle sus datos personales y/o robarle dinero de su cuenta bancaria.

Idea on Spam Reduction

January 18, 2008 Leave a comment

This is an idea that just occurred to me on dealing with Spam from a large email provider, such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Hotmail. Back in 2005, I had written a post on how effective Gmail had become on spam and how they could use that understanding to offer an attractive option to domain owners to have mail on their domain (which as we know now is a Google offering).

Currently, Google’s Gmail is ideally positioned to benefit from a largely ignored market of e-mail outsourcing. To that effect, the implementation of effective spamming tools, together with Gmail’s clean and organized web-format would benefit many individuals. More importantly it would benefit businesses, both large and small, for which Gmail could handle all of their e-mail traffic, hosting and storage needs.
The question then becomes how to extract the maximum value out of move to significantly reduce spam? To maintain Gmail’s current business model and improve their companies image Google should still maintain their free individual email accounts. However, to address the business communities’ needs for an efficient anti-spamming email service, Google could offer a subscription email solution.
Technically this would involve Google setting up private label paid accounts where companies and individuals could set Google as their mail server and view their e-mails in a Gmail’s online interface or through the clients PC based email programs; such as, Eudora and Outlook. (read more)

Despite advancement in this field, spam reaching our Inbox is still much higher than desired. Following on that note, I believe that an effective spam blocking tool could actually be your users. In a large enough pool, employing your users in a style similar to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, spam filtering could actually make your spam machine more precise in reducing spam. Here’s how I envision it:

  • Identify the spam reporting activity of your user base
  • Separate the x% of most active spam reporters within your user base
  • Analyze your active spam reporting group’s precision in actually reporting general spam, rather than personal specific mail which they report as spam incorrectly and filter out those who use the spam reporting tool incorrectly.
  • Now you should have a clean spam reporting pool (SRP) of users at a 9x% confidence level
  • Plug in those users who you identify from the SRP to be online, into your spam filter engine so that emails with a high spam score that are not high enough to be discarded in the automated process are first sent out to your online users in the SRP.
  • You should then receive a percentage response of Spam from these users that would tip over that email message into the Spam pool, before it is sent out to the general population.

This method can be most effective from a large user pool like that of Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo Mail, because many Spam efforts are directed to the email provider domain (, Gmail is in an even more advantageous position, given their management of Gmail for your domain, which could serve as an extra window on spammers focusing in a more heterogeneous domain attack.

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