January 13, 2013

Is YouTube Allowing Accidental Ad Clicks By Design?

Like many creatures of the web, I've been known to watch YouTube videos every now and then. For the last year or so, I've noticed something strange going on with Google's advertising approach within YouTube. Initially, I just thought I was witnessing a mistake that their developers made, and I waited to see when they'd fix the issue. To my surprise, that day never came - so today, I'm going to describe the problem, as I perceive it. Let's start with a screenshot: An example of the pre-roll ads that appear on YouTube, with a countdown. Notice the message to the bottom right? It says "you can skip to video in," and then has a countdown, in seconds. There's nothing wrong with such an approach…
July 28, 2011

Detained While Reporting Spam in Livemocha

Ah, yes, Livemocha. If you haven't heard, Livemocha is a site that allows you to learn languages with the help of a community. While it does offer exercises and quizzes that are similar to Rosetta Stone, the most powerful feature is the fact that other users review your submissions. That alone is worthy of a recommendation, so check it out if you haven't already. The community support goes a long way towards motivating a person, and also ensures only native speakers of a language are the ones reviewing. This idea is a very powerful one, but unfortunately, the interface that they offer - the website - is flawed in many ways.┬áToday, I'd like to share my experiences with one of these flaws, which, in my…