Monthly Archives: March 2008

eBay Watch: Commission Junction Malfunction

EBay this week announced the eBay Partner Network, its new in-house affiliate platform. Starting on April 1, eBay and Half.com will no longer run its affiliate program through Commission Junction’s ValueClick. EBay affiliates will need to register with the eBay Partner Network and migrate their links from Commission Junction to the new affiliate program platform.
 
 eBay Watch: Commission Junction Malfunction
 By Vangie Beal, March 19, 2008
 

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Easter Egg Hunt on Facebook – An Excellent Application

I admit I’m not really into installing and using many Facebook applications. Last month however I did add the Easter Egg Hunt by Brad Dwyer. It all started when a friend messaged me asking me to install it to help her stay #1 in the Halifax Network rankings. The gist is that Easter Eggs are hidden over different Facebook application pages, plus in the profiles of those who add the application. Here is how the Easter Egg Hunt is described by the developer, Dwyer;

Welcome to what we hope will become the largest Easter Egg Hunt in history.
Start Date: February 1, 2008
End Date: March 25, 2008 (2 days after Easter)

Starting on February 1, we will begin hiding eggs. Anyone who finds a hidden Easter Egg can add it to their Easter Basket by clicking on the egg. By adding this application you will allow Easter Eggs to be hidden in your profile (in the application’s profile box). Be on the lookout for Easter Eggs in your own profile, in your friends’ profiles, around Facebook, and even in real life! When someone finds an egg, it is removed from its hiding spot and a new egg is hidden in someone else’s profile.Scores are tallied in real-time. You can check out your ranking relative to other egg-hunters and keep tabs on how your network is doing by viewing the canvas page.

So, needless to say, I started playing, got addicted and actually collected my 10,000th Easter Egg today. Its crazy how much fun this application is. Since playing I have met many people in Canada that are playing, but recently Dwyer added “Flag” eggs which appear to only be place din profiles of people from the country the Flag egg is designed after. This of course lead me to randomly messaging people in London, Australia, and other places in attempt to collect these rare eggs. Definitely an excellent application made with social networking in mind, and after all that is what Facebook is all about.

Right now this application boasts 42,348 daily active users.  A couple weeks ago it became apparent that Dwyer’s current server could not handle the load. From what I have read he is an Iowa State student, he developed this on his own, and it took off with Facebook users; perhaps faster than even he had imagined it would. He decided to put up a PayPal donation page in the hopes of being able to get a faster server to handle the Egg Hunt application. Right away I popped into PayPal and made a $20 donation.  Its a good application, the developer is providing over forty thousand people with entertainment. Even if everyone just donated a dollar, I mean, why not help the guy out? I personally was disgusted that in two days only 54 people donated. I can’t remember the exact amount raised, but it seems to me it was around the amount needed to upgrade to a new server for a single month.

It really takes me for a loop. This guy is dedicating all his time to development for the entertainment of all the Egg Hunters on Facebook. He is in the discussion forums answering questions right away, and also keeps everyone posted on exactly what is going on with the application. The problem as I see it, is that unfortunately too many people are just too accustomed to entertainment being free online. If this application were to change throughout the seasons I would pay, without doubt, a small monthly fee to use it. Even if I decided not to play to win top ranking, I would still pay. The fact that companies aren’t all over him paying to have corporate branded eggs hidden in Facebook amazes me. But, as I said, the fact that so few of the total number of people that use Easter Egg Hunt actually donated doesn’t amaze me, it actually kind of disgusts me. I know that that not everyone can afford to donate, but you have to be kidding, only 54 out of 42,348 players made a donation of any kind?  It saddens me to think people who are contributing to the high server requirements won’t spend a couple bucks to help this university student who has created such a great application. Unfortunately, if all users want are “free” then single developers with the talent like this guy seems to have just won’t be able to contribute quality applications like this.

Something to think about the next time you log on and use a Facebook application you really like.

eBay Watch: May Day Strike Slated, Free Video Service

This week on eBay sellers plan another boycott, an impressive, free video service tailored to eBay (Vzaar) and a preview of a sleek eBay alternative storefront, SilkFair.

“Using video has obvious advantages as customers get a more detailed look at the merchandise and can see the item in use. While sellers can currently embed videos from other sources, such as YouTube, Vzaar is focused on e-commerce so at the end of every clip it clearly features important eBay information, such as the seller’s feedback and the bidding time left.”

eBay Watch: May Day Strike Slated, Free Video Service
By Vangie Beal, March 12, 2008

Master Vista With Keyboard and Desktop Shortcuts

Unless you really like your mouse, it pays to learn how to navigate Vista with keyboard shortcuts. And when nothing but an icon to click will do, save yourself some menu crawling with desktop shortcuts.

“In some instances there is no defined keyboard shortcut to access some things, like your Network and Sharing Center, for example. So, instead of using a keyboard shortcut, you can create a shortcut and add it to your desktop. If you find too many icons on the desktop distracting, you can also add them to your Start Menu or Quick Launch toolbar instead.”

Master Vista With Keyboard and Desktop Shortcuts
By Vangie Beal