Is Facebook discriminating FB Pages!?

While doing some routine boredom visits on websites in social media, I realized something peculiar. The company I used to work has a FB page with over 170K followers. While I still have some access on their information channels, I realized that the visibility of a post on their FB page was very low. I checked the latest posts and it was never mora than 1000-4000 visitors and (almost?) never more than that!!

This seemed strange, especially since even my stream of statuses have been hiding their info for some time. I had to test if this makes any sense for other smaller pages as well.

So I decided to compare the reach and attraction of 2 different pages, a big and a small one. Just had to find a smaller page with same profile and see what happens. So I recalled an old friend who is a Radio Moderator and has a FB Profile (there is no Radio moderator without a FB Page as I know). I knew he would have a couple hundred of visitors. All I needed to do was to follow his statuses and launch a similar status for the FB Page with 170K visitors. He had a 10K followers! Great for my test.

So at a certain moment of the day, the Page with 10K followers pushed a status with a poll which definitely would attract attention since it was referring to a hot topic! As we had discussed we launched that same status on the page with 170K visitors and the results was astonishing! The 10K page had double the visibility of the 170K page… This had to be wrong! This virtual world of FB does not respect its own rules!

This probably is not new to many social media experts. I found out that this thing has been going on for some time. I found it totally unacceptable!

People join Facebook with the attention to follow their friends, or the prominent activities (such as FB Pages) which have information relevant for them. Some might say that Facebook and social media is about following people! I have a different perspective, we use Social Media to get new relevant information.
And if we decide that a certain source of information is relevant for us, than this is what we expect to follow. This is the promise where social media’s where born upon! You follow who you are interested! This is the never-written promise that made social media pages popular (and the vanity of our souls of course)!

Yes! I know what some might be thinking! A page which made it to 170K visitors did not made it by posting one status in 3 days! They did so by posting 10-20-30 statuses per day.

But it is up to the followers to decide if these statuses are becoming boring or not. Believe me, we all have removed people who post irrelevant noise on the social sites from our following streams… It is also expected that FB wants to tweak their algorithm to provide visibility to new pages as well. But this changes should not be discriminating… Especially to portals which have a lot of followers. Unless Facebook categorizes these pages as potential buyer for their ad system, and we are in another dirty discussion…

 

Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe / Chomsky, Tyshchenko and Albanian

This chart shows the lexical distance — that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence — among the major languages of Europe. The original research data for the chart comes from K. Tyshchenko (1999), Metatheory of Linguistics. (Published in Russian.)

 

Was reading this article which was immediately recognized among my friends because it distinguished Albanian as a stand alone language and it is nice to see your language in the map….

Although it is nice to be on the chart… And although the study (which I have not read) definitely has some solid arguments, I would not completely agree with this representation. I find it hard to understand how Albania is closer to Slavic languages then to Romance languages!?!?

Also, Albanian should have a direct connection to Germanic languages and if you have to show roots to Indo-European languages, you have to put them on the map as well. Such studies should be done on basic and very primitive words people use for simple things (like eat, drink, sit, cover etc) which are not part of technological/cultural developments.

First of all, Albania has no connection through Greece with Germanic languages but a direct connection. Let’s look at some primitive words:

German-Albanian similarities:
German Flackern – English translation Flare – with Albanian probable root Flakë, quite a primitive word. (Albanian Flake translates in English as Flame or Blaze as well)
German Stühl – English Chair – > Albanian “Stol” for a pre-chair sitting place.

An Albanian Stol

And this is not all.

Let’s link Albanian to some old “Indo-Language”

Albanian “Ha” (Doubt there is a primitiver word than “Eat”, outside of grammar rules which are influenced by Latin) which means “To Eat” – Bangladeshi/(indian?): Eat: খাও khao

Same word “Pi” as in Drink – is used in Bangladeshi but I am missing the correct spell of it.

 

There is more to link Albanian and Latin, Albanian and Greek (Alb: mendja, Gre: montya, Eng: mind), but due to close borders these are traded words sometime and sometimes show the same root..

 

 

CSS Frameworks

Below is an extensive list of CSS Frameworks that can be used to develop webpages. Although Twitter Bootstrap is one of the most recognized frameworks today, the list includes some very nice projects which are all worth keeping an eye on.

Twitter Bootstrap

Sleek, intuitive, and powerful front-end framework for faster and easier web development.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/

Foundation

The most advanced responsive front-end framework in the world.

Foundation 3 is built with Sass, a powerful CSS preprocessor, which allows us to much more quickly develop Foundation itself and gives you new tools to quickly customize and build on top of Foundation.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://foundation.zurb.com/

960 Grid System

Simple grid system

The 960 Grid System is an effort to streamline web development workflow by providing commonly used dimensions, based on a width of 960 pixels. There are two variants: 12 and 16 columns, which can be used separately or in tandem.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://960.gs/

Skeleton

A Beautiful Boilerplate for Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Development.

Skeleton is a small collection of CSS files that can help you rapidly develop sites that look beautiful at any size, be it a 17″ laptop screen or an iPhone.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://www.getskeleton.com/

99lime HTML KickStart

Ultra–Lean HTML Building Blocks for Rapid Website Production.

HTML KickStart is an ultra–lean set of HTML5, CSS, and jQuery (javascript) files, layouts, and elements designed to give you a headstart and save you 10’s of hours on your next web project.

Responsive: No

Website: http://www.99lime.com/

Kube

CSS-framework for professional developers.

Minimal and enough. Adaptive and responsive. Revolution grid and beautiful typography. No imposed styles and freedom.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://imperavi.com/kube/

Less Framework

An adaptive CSS grid system.

Less Framework is a CSS grid system for designing adaptive web­sites. It contains 4 layouts and 3 sets of typography presets, all based on a single grid.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://lessframework.com/

Flaminwork

The tiny front-end framework for lazy developers.

Responsive: No

Website: http://flaminwork.com/

G5 Framework

(X)HTML5, CSS3, PHP & jQuery Front End Framework.

G5 Framework started as a personal project. In an attempt to speed up workflow, reuse the best coding practices & similar coding techniques, the framework serves as a starter file for new websites.

Responsive: No

Website: http://framework.gregbabula.info/

Easy Framework

Your new starting point for every front-end projects!

Easy is a CSS/HTML/JavaScript framework started as a personal project and then grew into something more. The idea behind it is to reduce the amount of time spent on setting up the basic master HTML template by reusing the same coding techniques.

Responsive: No

Website: http://easyframework.com/

Blueprint

Blueprint is a CSS framework, which aims to cut down on your development time. It gives you a solid foundation to build your project on top of, with an easy-to-use grid, sensible typography, useful plugins, and even a stylesheet for printing.

Responsive: No

Website: http://www.blueprintcss.org/

YAML

“Yet Another Multicolumn Layout” (YAML)

YAML is an (X)HTML/CSS framework for creating modern and flexible floated layouts. The structure is extremely versatile in its programming and absolutely accessible for end users.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://www.yaml.de/

BlueTrip

A full featured and beautiful CSS framework which originally combined the best of Blueprint, Tripoli (hence the name), Hartija, 960.gs, and Elements, but has now found a life of its own.

Responsive: No

Website: http://bluetrip.org/

YUI 2: Grids CSS

The foundational YUI Grids CSS offers four preset page widths, six preset templates, and the ability to stack and nest subdivided regions of two, three, or four columns. The 4kb file provides over 1000 page layout combinations.

Responsive: No

Website: https://developer.yahoo.com/yui/grids/

Elements

Elements is a down to earth CSS framework.

It was built to help designers write CSS faster and more efficient. Elements goes beyond being just a framework, it’s its own project workflow.It has everything you need to complete your project, which makes you and your clients happy.

Responsive: No

Website: http://elements.projectdesigns.org/

52framework

With HTML5 support coming so fast, with the tiniest of hacks we are able to use it today in virtually al browsers. Using HTML5 makes for much cleaner mark up. This framework fully uses all the great advantages of HTML5.

Responsive: No

Website: http://52framework.com/

elastiCSS

A simple css framework to layout web-based interfaces, based on the printed layout techniques of 4 columns but with capabilities to unlimited column combinations. and capacity to make elastic, fixed and liquid layout easily

Responsive: No

Website: http://elasticss.com/

Boilerplate

noun standardized pieces of text for use as clauses in contracts or as part of a computer program.

As one of the original authors of Blueprint CSS I’ve decided to re-factor my ideas into a stripped down framework which provides the bare essentials to begin any project. This framework will be lite and strive not to suggest un-semantic naming conventions. You’re the designer and your craft is important.

Responsive: No

Website: http://code.google.com/p/css-boilerplate/

Emastic

Emastic is a CSS Framework, it’s continuing mission: to explore a strange new world, to seek out new life and new web spaces, to boldly go where no CSS Framework has gone before.

Responsive: No

Website: http://code.google.com/p/emastic/

Malo

Malo is ultra small css library for building web sites.

Malo is ultra small css library for building web sites. It is meant to be structural base for small or medium web sites. Malo derives from it’s bigger brother Emastic CSS Framework.

Responsive: No

Website: http://code.google.com/p/malo/

The Golden Grid

The Golden Grid is a web grid system. It ‘s a product of the search for the perfect modern grid system. It ‘s meant to be a CSS tool for grid based web sites.

Responsive: No

Website: http://code.google.com/p/the-golden-grid/

1kb grid

Other CSS frameworks try to do everything—grid system, style reset, basic typography, form styles. But complex systems are, well, complex. Looking for a simple, lightweight approach that doesn’t require a PhD? Meet The 1KB CSS Grid.

Responsive: No

Website: http://www.1kbgrid.com/

Fluid 960 Grid System

The Fluid 960 Grid System templates have been built upon the work of Nathan Smith and his 960 Grid System using effects from the MooTools and jQuery JavaScript libraries.

Responsive: No

Website: http://www.designinfluences.com/fluid960gs/

Baseline

Baseline is a framework built around the idea of a “real” baseline grid.

Built with typographic standards in mind, Baseline makes it easy to develop a website with a pleasing grid and good typography. Baseline starts with several files to reset the browser’s default behavior, build a basic typographic layout — including style for HTML forms and new HTML 5 elements — and build a simple grid system.

Responsive: No

Website: http://www.baselinecss.com/

Lovely CSS Framework

The Lovely CSS Framework is a simple and straight forward way to easily deploy an XHTML/CSS site.

Based on a simple 960px wide grid system, featuring multiple column layouts, and various pluggable add-ons.

Responsive: No

Website: http://code.google.com/p/lovely-css/

xCSS

Object-Oriented CSS Framework

xCSS bases on CSS and empowers a straightforward and object-oriented workflow when developing complex style cascades. Using xCSS means a dramatic cut down to your development time by: having a intuitive overview of the overall CSS structure, using variables, re-using existing style cascades and many other handy features.

Responsive: No

Website: http://xcss.antpaw.org/

FEM CSS Framework

FEM CSS Framework is a 960px width + 12 column grid system + CSS common styles, to easy and fast develop web layouts. It is based in the 960 Grid System, but with a twist in the philosophy to make it more flexible and faster to play with boxes.

Responsive: No

Website: http://www.frontendmatters.com/projects/fem-css-framework/

Helium

Helium is a framework for rapid prototyping and production-ready development. In many ways it’s similar to both Twitter Bootstrap and ZURB Foundation – in fact, it uses bits of their code. Unlike either of these two frameworks, however, Helium is designed to be much more lightweight and easier to tinker with.

Responsive: Yes

Website: https://github.com/cbrauckmuller/helium

Sidereel Groundwork

A responsive HTML5, CSS and JavaScript framework built with SASS and Compass. There is heavy focus on responsiveness and making a single layout work on different devices.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://groundwork.sidereel.com/

Gumby

Gumby is a responsive 960 grid CSS framework. The grid lets you lay out pages quickly and easily in a natural, logical way. The framework is packaged with tons of styles and common interface elements to help you quickly put together functional prototypes.

Responsive: Yes

Website: http://gumbyframework.com

 

Credit: https://github.com/usablica

How to know which company is distributing your email to spammers

I have been wondering since some time on who is giving away my email for spam ideals. It is impossible to have an email where you don’t get a new offer from companies you never heard and sometimes that embarras you. On the other hand, I would like to know always which one are the scammy companies that sell my email to third parties.

I thought of a possible way of tracing this process and the solution is simple and elegant. I register a new domain, something like my name or surname and do a forward of any email to another account of mine. Something like [email protected] forward to [email protected] or whatever you please.

Whenever I register in a new website, I give as registration email the following [email protected] (example [email protected]). This way, I can always track who gives away my email and black-list forever scammy companies. It is a simple method, but quite efficient to recognize spammers and ignore them.

Another method related to Gmail was mentioned by Flamur (@oxodesign):

ZF2 – Sharing and reusing DB connection for dummies

(Post has been updated after comment from Flamur on a unneccessary code in Module/Module.php)
While we were used to pass the DB-Connection to a Register or later this practice was improved by retrieving it from the Bootstrap in Zend Framework 1, the ZF2 has a new service layer which looks like a new commodity. I am referring to the ServiceManager, which also something like a registry for different object instances.

In ZF2, the DB credentials are usually stored in the ./config/autoload/ directory. Normally all files within this directory will be loaded by the ModuleManager (you don’t need to care much at this time). The file global.php (or db.php) should look like this:

return array(
    'service_manager' => array(
        'factories' => array(
            'Zend\Db\Adapter\Adapter' => 'Zend\Db\Adapter\AdapterServiceFactory',
        ),
        'aliases' => array(
            'db' => 'Zend\Db\Adapter\Adapter',
        ),
    ),
    'db' => array(
        'driver'    => 'pdo',
        'dsn'       => 'mysql:dbname=DBNAME;host=HOSTNAME',
        'username'  => 'USERNAME',
        'password'  => 'USERPASS',
    	'driver_options' => array(
                        PDO::MYSQL_ATTR_INIT_COMMAND => 'SET NAMES 'UTF8''
         ),
    ),
);

The following can then be retrieved at any place in Controller through:

 $this->db = $this->getServiceLocator()->get('db');

And if you are using 3rd party modules from different vendors, who require access to your DB-adapter, you can just add the following to their config/autoload/ directory:

<?php
return array(
    'service_manager' => array(
        'aliases' => array(
            'vendor_or_any_any_name_for_zend_db_adapter' => 'db', //Same as the alias in our main global.conf
        ),
    ),
);

Little countries, big domains

Browsing through .al domains, I realized that the .al domains are being registered from almost every big corporation. Google (.com.al), Microsoft (.com.al), Facebook, Twitter, Ebay and a bunch of other companies own at least one .al domain. Some of them purchased the domains directly (host.al has the biggest market share when it comes to .al registration), and other have chosen to register through Domain Protecting companies such as MarkMonitor. While this might be part of a strategy to protect brands in every country, there are also some domains qualified as domain hacks which are quite a trend in the .al zone.

Matt Mullenweg of WordPress has registered nav.al and extern.al for example.
Some more projects based on .al domains:

Tid.al is a platform that identifies the best content from tens-of-thousands of the best online contributors and connects them to publishers or brands. The company powers fashion look-books for Teen Vogue, Zagat and Neutrogena. For Conde Nast, publisher of Teen Vogue, the platform produces ten times the editorial-quality content for 1/5th the cost of a staff editor. The platform was developed by founder Matthew Myers.(as described in TechCrunch)

Optim.al is the leading multivariate ad platform for Facebook and is the creation of the technology team at Optimal, Inc., based in San Francisco. Optimal, Inc. is the first advertising technology company to be both an approved Facebook Ads API Tools vendor and have built its own robust real-time bidding and audience infrastructure, integrated with all major ad inventory sources. (Cool Hack: Be.Optim.Al)

Surre.al provides free to play augmented reality 3D gaming content to the consumer. Surre.al’s location enabled rich media platform allows brands and advertisers to engage the consumer with seamlessly integrated interactive advertising. Think Cap’n Crunch leaping off a cereal box into your iPhone to play with your kid.

A hole bunch of other domain hacks are registered in the .al zone (ide.al, sport.al, dailyde.al, port.al, livingsoci.al etc) but they are not active yet. If you know a startup or an interesting company with a .al domain, let me know: I will update this list.

Update 1: There are a few .al domains used as URL shorters: I was informed of the Visu.al, Payp.al and Get.al. Thx Olgi for drawing attention to this category.

Update 2: Equ.al is also registered and for sale no longer for sale. It can create great hacks such as http://we.are.equ.al

Update 3: Sport.al was sold for 7500$ in June 2012

Tirana Startup Weekend

Nese po lexoni kete lajm, qofte nga nje lidhje e Twitter, Facebook apo direkt tek faqja e internetit, atehere duhet patjeter te regjistroheni tek Tirana Startup Weekend 2012. Nuk ka rendesi profesioni juaj, nuk ka rendesi ne jeni akoma student apo dhe nxenes. Nje Startup Weekend eshte nje vend ideal per ata qe duan te punojne, per ata qe kane nje ide e nje enderr per te ndryshuar dicka.

Tirana Startup Weekend eshte nje maratone 54 oreshe ku krijohen dhe implementohen projekte te reja. Gjithcka nis me nje prezantim te ideve (pitches) dhe gjate prezantimit behet ftese per persona me aftesi ne fusha te caktuara. Psh nje ekonomist me nje ide ne fushen e marketingut mund te kete nevoje per nje designer dhe nje zhvillues aplikimesh per te kthyer idene ne realitet. (Edhe nese nuk keni nje ide briliante, mund te beheni pjese e nje grupi qe do punoje per nje ide te tille.)

Personalisht jam shume entuziast per nje aktivitet te tille ne Tirane (entuziazem= 5000km rruge per te qene prezent). Entuziazmi lidhet me gjithe ato ide qe kemi pasur dhe akoma kemi. Shume inisiativa te vjetra shqiptare, me shume impakt ne vizitore nuk kane mundur te kthehen ne biznese te suksesshme.  Nje Startup Weekend ju ofron gjithcka normalisht ju duhet per nje biznes te mire: Ide, Skuader, nje keshilltar (mentor) dhe motivim! Me besoni qe secili nga faktoret me siper eshte i rendesisshem ne krijimin e nje projekti.

Studioni qe me pare Keshilltaret dhe zgjidhni me te pershtatshmin per projektin tuaj. (Personalisht mbaj akoma lidhje me “mentorin” tim). Per projekte marketingu do sugjeroja qe te zgjidhej Redon Skikuli i 1UP; per projekte interneti teper kreative mund te konsideroni Celik Nimanin apo dhe Flamur Mavrajn (sidomos nese jeni nje talent i design-it). Per projektet akademike keni shume mundesi mes disa ligjerues nga Universitete shqiptare Elton Domnori, Paul Neumann, Igli Hakrama, Edlira Kalemi;  Per projekte qe mund te angazhojne shoqerine civile, levizje qytetare apo qeverine mund te tentoni me Endri Matajn apo dhe me Fredrik Syversen. Nese vini i veshur me kostum dhe ndjeni qe deshironi te gjuani korporatat atehere mentori me i mire do ishte Dritan Mezini!

Sic e shihni lista e mentoreve te ketij Startupi eshte e gjate dhe do gjeni me verte njerez qe kane dicka per te dhene. Sa me shume t’i njihni e sa me shume te takoni, aq me shume do perfitoni! Pas disa vite ne drejtim te disa projekteve kam mesuar se nder gjerat me te rendesisshme ne nje biznes eshte rrjeti i njerezve qe njeh e te njohin!

SPARQL / RDF and PHP

While it looks that all the development tools dealing with RDF and SPARQL are pretty much Java Oriented, there are also some nice libraries and tools that can help any ‘PHP lover’ easily test and start working with simple RDF systems and query them.

I found the following article “Dead Simple: RDF and SPARQL using PHP” that uses the librdf to implement a simple storage and query it. In addition the ARC project has a nice Wiki and some tutorial on how to implement a simple storage, a SPARQL endpoint any many other aspects.

OpenDNS vs. Google DNS vs. Norton DNS

There are a few posts around the internet aiming to push users to change their DNS for faster internet experience. Although this might be true in very (very) few cases, I believe the closest DNS server to you, are the fastest. That means your local ISP DNS servers. ISPs today serve to millions of DNS requests everyday. The fastest solution for DNS providers like Google would be to provde local DNS servers to your ISP (mainly through Akamai), but this is not always the case, especially if you are located outside US.

Nonetheless there are some cases when you still want to change the DNS server. Personally for me it was the number of advertising pages I was getting once a domain dns could not be resolved. My local ISP was practically making use of those bad requests and instead of a “server not found error”, it was pushing me toward a Google-Ads page which might help beginners, but upset more internet skilled users.

A few years ago I decided to use OpenDNS and just as I was getting satisfactory results, I started noticing that the service still failed to provide a transparent service. If a domain cannot be found, the service was still redirecting me to a search page with search results and advertising.

Then I decided to switch to Google DNS. Google DNS served as fast results as the Open DNS. Although Google claims that this service is better because it has no ads or redirection, recent policies changes in Google and their being the largest advertising company in the world makes people uncomfortable. Knowing that “big-brother” is watching them not only while they search, but also while their just browse the internet provides an uncomfortable feeling.

A few weeks ago I run into the Norton DNS service. Norton DNS is still in beta, but they provide for free a great service which not only resolves domains, but also blocks domains that contain malicious content or unwanted content such as pornographic information. These same services are also offered by the OpenDNS in their premium packages, but Norton offers them for free (at least for now).

Norton offers DNS service depending on the desired protection policy:

A – Security (malware, phishing sites, scam sites and web proxies)
Basic internet protection
198.153.192.40
198.153.194.40
B – Security + Pornography
Protection + filtering of Pornographic content (you know, all those unwanted sites and whatever undesired pictures pop-up to married guys)
198.153.192.50
198.153.194.50
C – Security + Pornography + Non-Family Friendly
Basically paranoid filtering for Grandma
198.153.192.60
198.153.194.60

Google DNS Servers.
8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4

Open DNS Servers:
208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

I would recommend Norton DNS to anyone for the moment, although it is a beta service. Some restrictions apply as well for those willing to use a Juniper VPN (you will not be able to login to VPN if you use their DNS), but these are all trivial problems.

Crazy sales on "Social" domains

There are still those thinking that domains are being overestimated. And yet another domain sale that hits the record. Social.org was sold for 228,600$ on NameJet. This may be considered a big sale, but it is still less then 10%  of the price payed for the social.com domain a year ago in an auction. Social.com was sold for 2,600,000$ on a SnapNames auction. Beside these sales, another domain hack soci.al was sold for 50,000$ just a year ago.

It is reported that for the social.org domain, a total of 415 bidders signed up for the heavily promoted auction. This means that the interest in the actual trends in Internet will be always high. If you get a feeling what the content in the next internet will be about, than this is the moment to get a good domain.