Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

February 27, 2008

Protect Your Identity – For Free!

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 1:36 pm

http://reborn-babies-dolls.com/baby-doll-lingerie-emphasises-and-supports-your-bust-as-well-as-showing-off-your-rear/ UPDATE: Since this post was written, freeidentityprotect.com has been sold to a new company. I have no idea if the statements below are still accurate or not, if it’s still free, or if it still does what I said it does.. but they were at the time of writing.

If you regularly read my blog, you’re probably heard me complain many times about why almost every laptop in America seems to contain thousands of social security numbers right out of the box. At least, it would seem that way from all the “lost laptop contained SSN and CCN” stories that pop up daily.

The sad truth is that identity theft is rising and not likely to stop soon. With that said, Demoxi (my employer) is proud to announce the launch of freeIDENTITYprotect.com. freeIDENTITYprotect consolidates the best free identity protection services out there into one easy to use website – complete with instructions and videos.

Services offered include access to credit reports, the ability to set fraud alerts, do not call list access, credit card offer reduction, and even junk email reduction – all free!

It will also include a paid service, called premiumIDENTITYprotect, that will include card monitoring and $25,000 of AIG indentity theft insurance as well as restoration services and a $1 million dollar service guarantee.

So go ahead and check it out. Now, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be protected.

Disclosure: Ryan works as the Sr. manager of product marketing for Demoxi, which owns freeIDENTITYprotect

February 21, 2008

Another Identity Protection Failure

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:18 pm

I’ve been reading a lot of identity protection blogs lately as part of my job, but today I ran across one that actually made me say “WTF” out loud. It’s actually just an announcement by a web hosting company saying that they will no longer accept customers with free email accounts. The reasoning is that most ID thieves use free throwaway accounts from hotmail, yahoo, or gmail.

While it may be true that most ID thieves use free accounts, banning free accounts does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop ID theft. Think about it. Is it really that hard for somebody to create a paid email account if they already have your name, credit card, and billing information. If they have all this, chances are pretty good that they already have YOUR email account too.

Like somebody in the first comment said, my bank, insurance company, and even credit card company let me use free email providers. I still use a free email provider (gmail) for most of my non-work related things.

The major problem with paid email accounts is that they change more often than free accounts. When I set up my 401k it was through a work account. When I switched jobs, I stopped receiving email notifications for months until I realized to change it.

In the last year I’ve switched jobs, sold a website, and switched internet providers. All of these changes brought about new “paid” email accounts, but I’ve still had my same Gmail account.

Requiring a paid email address for a service will not add any protection, but it will piss off a bunch of customers – especially if you can’t even get your own paid email solution to work.

February 13, 2008

Startup Review: Spottt – Free Link Exchange

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:57 pm

Part of working for an internet startup company means that I sometimes get inundated with beta invitations to all kinds of new things. Right now, I’m trying out about 4 or 5 different websites / companies. When I look at them, I always think of a few questions: How does this solve a new problem? How can they make money? Will I use it?

Today’s site is Spottt. Spottt’s tagline is “Free Link Exchange”

The concept is simple:

  1. Tell us your website and pick a category
  2. Upload an image (125X125)
  3. Put some code on your site
  4. We’ll show others ads on your site, yours will show on theirs. For every 2 impressions you give, your ad will give 1 impression on somebody else’s site. The stats show real time impressions, clicks, and credits.

To me, it sounds a lot like bannerexchange from the early 1990’s – only now we’re doing buttons not banners.

Will it be popular? Probably – everybody is always looking for ways to drive traffic and get links, and 125X125 isn’t much room to give up to do so…. but what’s the path to monetization?

Also, who the hell wrote their HTML code that they provide?

It takes all this code:

<style> table.spottt_tb, table.spottt_tb tr, table.spottt_tb td, table.spottt_tb a, table.spottt_tb tr a img { margin:0; padding:0; border:none; background:none; position:static; text-decoration:none; display:block; width:125px; vertical-align:top;} .spottt_thumb, .spottt_thumb img, .spottt_thumb a, .spottt_thumb td { height:125px; } .spottt_label, .spottt_label img, .spottt_label a, .spottt_label td { height:21px;}</style>
<table cellspacing=”0px” class=”spottt_tb” id=”sp_code_table_a7orqp69wwg8cock”><tr class=”spottt_thumb”><td><a href=”http://click.spottt.com/sp_click_a7orqp69wwg8cock.php”><img src=”http://view.spottt.com/sp_image_a7orqp69wwg8cock.jpg” border=”0″/></a></td></tr><tr class=”spottt_label”><td><a href=”http://home.spottt.com/sp_index_a7orqp69wwg8cock.php” ><img src=”http://view.spottt.com/sp_label_a7orqp69wwg8cock.jpg” border=”0″/></a></td></tr></table>

To make this:

They’re using tables for layout still, and they’re putting the styles right in there instead of linking to an external style sheet.

It’s just a mess. What do you guys think?

February 11, 2008

Comcast.net Gets More Traffic Than Facebook?

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 2:08 pm

That’s right. According to website magazine’s top trafficked website list, Comcast.net comes in at #14. That’s higher than Facebook (18) Amazon (19) CNN(21) and Apple(50).

So how do they do it? Perhaps it has something to do with the default homepage setting that all comcast cable modems pre-set, but I have a different idea. Recently, Comcast (and my provider: Wow) started redirecting all 404 errors to their own ad filled pages. It’s rather annoying, but over a large scale I’m willing to bet that it’s making them a ton of cash.

Shady? I think so.

By the way, if you wanted to know the top 10 according to website magazine, they are: Google, MSN, Yahoo, Live, Youtube, Microsoft, AOL, eBay, Myspace, and Google.co.uk (wikipedia comes in 12th)

February 9, 2008

The Mircale Beer Diet!

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 5:06 pm

Caution, NSFW

February 8, 2008

Calling All Potty Mouths

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 3:57 pm

Have a potty mouth? Like to swear or cuss? Are you a racist son of a bitch? Do you just know a lot of bad words?

If you answered yes to any of those, I need your help.

I’m finally getting around to doing some updates to a long forgotten project of mine called noswearing.com – a bad word list, filter, translator, etc.

So I need your help to add some naughty words to the database. You can add a word using this form. It’s very crude looking right now, but I’m more interested in getting data than making it look pretty.

I’ve got a ton of new features that I’m working on in my spare time, but in order for them to launch I need a decent sized database for them to use. That’s where I can really use your help adding words.

NoSwearing is just the latest in the line of NoSlang.com inspired sites. If you haven’t been following, the site family already offers Internet Slang, Drug Slang, and British Slang, as well as a slang search engine which is still very very beta.

Again, thanks for your help.

3 Questions That Prevent People From Switching To Linux

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:34 pm

Don’t get me wrong, I love Linux and use it daily (and for all my web hosting) but when it comes to Linux on the desktop, there’s 3 main concerns holding it back.

  1. What can this do that Windows can’t?
  2. How does it make my daily computer usage easier?
  3. Will it work with all the popular computer games?

Until all of these can be answered convincingly to a newbie, Linux just won’t succeed as a viable windows alternative. (again, we’re not talking geeks here.. we’re talking sold along side machines at Best Buy)

February 4, 2008

Posting on the Demoxi Blog

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 3:05 pm

Just a quick update to let people know that I’m also writing articles on the Demoxi.com blog as well. My topics there will be about Identity Theft, Privacy, Security, Voting, and general company news.

If you’ve missed my past posts there, you might want to check some out. Here’s some links:

Choosing Good Security Questions

Keeping Your Accounts Secure

What Are Privacy and Security

FYI, new posts I make will also show up in my “Thought Blog” feed (Twitter) – found on the sidebar of this site.

Do We Really Need .post ?

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:36 pm

I was reading on slashdot earlier about a plan for the .post internet address. It would be open only to actual post offices – attempting to build trust.

But why?

Is this really the best approach? Should we count on every post office to make their own website and then make it work? That sounds like a great plan for failure to me.

The post office is owned by the government. What’s wrong with using .gov? Why not have 1 website where everybody can go to. Let the website figure out where you’re at and what city you need to do it for. That way, all the customers see the same thing no matter where they are. If a new rate hike or policy goes into effect, it’s 1 file to update.

Keeping the user experience the same seems like a good idea to me. Besides, having to learn a new URL depending on what city you live in just seems like a great way to cause confusion to me.

How about instead we come up with some new extensions that would actually be useful. Here’s my suggestions:

.lame for all the stupid websites out there. This way, when somebody emails me a “funny” site, I’ll be able to decide not to visit it based on the URL.

.fail – This should be mandatory for most of the current web2.0 startups. Perhaps any company not making money after a set time period gets moved to the .fail domain so that somebody can do something useful with their name.

.wiki – for no other reason than the fact that I own dotwiki.com and would like to make some money.

.porn – critics say this will make porn easier to find. Well, yeah, that’s my point too.

.valley – should be required for all the A-list blogger never leave the valley crowd. You know the people I’m talking about. The ones who think Facebook banning Scoble is national news when in reality nobody east of the Rockies even knows who Scoble is.

February 3, 2008

My Thought Blog (ok it’s just a twitter feed)

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 3:57 pm

If you talk to me on AIM or MSN you’ll know that I’m constantly saying little things like “wow, look at this news article” or “heh, check out this quote.”

I’m sure I annoy a lot of you, but if you’re somebody who actually likes my tidbits of information you’re in luck!

Starting today, I posted on the right side of my blog something I call my “Thought Blog.” You know, all those little things that aren’t significant enough to justify a whole blog post. I’m basically just using Twitter, mashed up with the Google AJAX feed API. I’ve let Google cache my Twitter RSS feed, and then used some clever AJAX to show it on the right. If you want to do the same, it’s basically just a modified version of this script.

It seems that I’ve finally found a use for Twitter – the web2.0 app that ScoobyScoble seems to love so much.

If you want to subscribe directly to my Twitter RSS feed, please do so. Here’s the URL:
http://twitter.com/statuses/friends_timeline/806623.rss You’ll notice that it will also include an entry for every blog post that I do here (as well as on shoutwire.) It’s like 1 feed you can use to see links to everything I’m writing!!

To do that, I’m actually using a wordpress plugin called Twitter updater.

So check it out, and let me know what you think. I hope it makes reading my ramblings a little easier.

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