Twitter is limiting SMS for Europeans, nobody noticed??!

December 14, 2007

Since a couple of weeks, I was not getting any SMS tweets anymore from Twitter. I had not changed any settings, they just didn’t arrive anymore. I double checked my settings, but the phone SMS notifications were still on. And I also did not have any times specified that the notices should be switched off.

But then I saw one difference: there is now a new field at the bottom of my twitter home “Received SMS”:

 Twitter stats

So what is that? That wasn’t there before! After some searchin’ I found out here that when you’re using the UK number for tweets, there’s now a weekly limit of 250 SMS messages you are allowed to receive. The reason is that Twitter is trying to negotiate a better rate for sending SMSs. This because in most of Europe you don’t have to pay for receiving SMSs (and thus Twitter has to pay for it.

To get my tweets going again, I had to send an SMS with the text “ON” to the UK number, even though I had it switched on before. Which costed me an SMS while it shouldn’t have; I mean the cost for 1 SMS is neglectable, but it’s the way it’s done (no announcement whatsoever) that bothers me. 

So I finally figured it out. It would have been nice if they’d put it in their newsletter!

And now we know why they needed the funding: to be able to keep their sending of SMSs affordable! You can send quite a lot of SMSs for such a funding amount ;-).

 Anybody seen any limits on the SMS outside of Europe?


3 ways Google knows you’re clicking on your own adsense ads…

June 17, 2007

Have you ever wondered how Google knows you’re clicking on your own adsense ads? There are even people who email Google that they accidentically clicked on their own ads, afraid of being banned.

But Google says that it’s no problem, you don’t need to report it, they’ll find out themselves! So how do they do that? Here’s my guess:

  1. If you are still logged in to Adsense, they know who you are via the Asense cookies.
  2. They track the IP of the computer from which you are doing your Adsense administration. If any clicks come in via that IP, they’ll most likely mark it as suspicious. Even for dynamic IPs, it gives them at least a pretty good guestimate.
  3. They track your behaviour on your own site, and detect it matches “site owner” behaviour. Probably in  combination with Google Toolbar if you got it installed.

BTW, you can easily prevent accidental clicks during testing by adding this to your adsense-code:

google_adtest=’on’;

Any clicks will be ignored, as long as it is set.


Dutch social bookmarking site trying to pull a Calacanis (sort-of)

March 16, 2007

In Holland there are a bunch of social bookmarking sites which are focused on the Dutch speaking market (Holland and Belgium).
Now this is one of them and it is based upon the open source project Scuttle. It has made quite some mods to the original Scuttle, like voting and tracking activity of users.
And now (in Dutch, check here for the auto-translate link) they are starting to pay users for submitting bookmarks. Or, to be more precise, each month, they reward the most active user with a gift certificate. It is their way of saying “thank you” for your User Generated Content I guess. The amount is not much (20euro, about 26usd), but it could be attractive enough for competitors’ users to move for that reason. (really?)
It is not so blatant and obvious as Netscape did with Netscape versus Digg/Reddit/Flickr/Newsvine submitters (see here), but I can see the resemblance.
Tagmos says they purposely keep the amount of the monthly prize low, such that the effort for trying to game the site would not be worth it.

Curious if they will pull it off…


Comparison CSS cleanup/compress/optimizer tools

February 10, 2007

Introduction

This article gives a quick overview of the different features of several CSS cleanup and optimisation tools (so no manual cleanup tips are given here).
For each a list of features is given and any other related useful links. The one I found the best suitable for what I wanted to do (cleanup) is at the top. But definitely check the other entries too, they are in no particular order, and they might be fitting your needs.
At the end of the article a bunch of generic tips are given.
Note the distinction you need to make between tools that cleanup your CSS and tools that compress your CSS before it is sent to the browser.
CSS cleanup (often also called optimisation): cleans up the CSS, for example by removing comments and unnecessary spaces and newlines.
CSS compression: before the CSS is sent to the browser, it is compressed with for example gzip.
Both reduce the amount of data for the CSS that is sent back to the browser. The cleanup does this by reducing the size of the plaintext CSS file. CSS compression does not modify the plaintext contents of the CSS, but compresses the CSS contents before it is sent over. When it arrives at the browser, it is decompressed
Thus, for optimal minimal CSS size, you should first do a cleanup and have it compress before it is sent to the browser.

Here we go

Tips

Below are several tips when considering any of the CSS cleanup and compression tools:

  • Double check the tool for what it does with browser hacks! Some tools might delete them!
  • For performance reasons, it is not recommended to have the cleanup done dynamically. That is when you would let for example run CSSTidy over the CSS *each time* a user requests a page.
  • When using compression, make sure you check all the browsers you want to support with your site actually do support compression.
  • Caching can be an issue was reported somewhere… forgot where 😦
  • Validate your CSS before and after you cleanup and/or compress it at: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/

Other stuff

And finally, here are a couple of other articles that do some comparisons between cleanup/compression tools.

  • This one
    • Here are 4 optimizers (cleanup) listed and compared in their compression rate.
  • And this one
    • Another CSS compression site referenced plus Javascript and HTML compression. Also a reference to an article in the comments that HTML zipping not always works, at least not for IE5.

Soooo…

What do you think? Any tools I missed that you use?

Post of this on digg.


Ref to digg post results

January 28, 2007

And here’s my post about the results: Dutch Web2.0 Awards 2006 Results.


Ref to Digg post

January 25, 2007

My post on Digg from a while ago about the Dutch Web 2.0 Awards 2006.


Lessons learned during building your own website

January 25, 2007

Below are a couple of things I learned when creating my own website. The points mentioned are mainly about things you really need to think about in advance as much as possible, *before* you start.
It will save you quite some thinking and issues later down the line… Not that they are unsolvable at a later stage, just nasty to do afterwards, for example when the site is already live.

– Have a square icon/logo. This way people can put it on their sites/blogs etc. They are more willing to do this if the image is relatively small, compared to your full sized logo. Make sure it looks still pretty good in favicon.ico size and in 16×16 and 24×24 (firefox extension image size).

– Think in advance whether you want users to be able to resize your whole page (fluid), or have it fixed size.

– Get a framework. For PHP think about PEAR and CakePHP. For Java, get Spring.

– Here’s a good link: link

– And another one: link