Friday, February 17, 2012

Twitter loading problems seem to have disappeared, thankfully

Yesterday, for much of the day, whenever I tried to log into Twitter at home, I kept getting this message reading: "Hmm, this seems to be taking a while. If problems persist, please reload to try again."

I logged in okay at a public library later in the day, so I thought it was something to do with my desktop PC only. But this appeared not to be the case, because when I got home last night I tried logging in on my laptop, which I hadn't used for a while. Same problem, with all the browsers. So it was clearly something at Twitter's end.

There were several references to this problem on Twitter's help site. And there's this recently written question on Yahoo Answers which refers to the problem. So it looks like it was a pretty widespread issue.

Thankfully, all seems to be okay today, however. I was very relieved, because I think I've become somewhat addicted to the site. It was like not being able to have a coffee, to be honest! Hopefully they've got the issue sorted and there will be no more recurrences.

In any case, have other users had this problem?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Content scrapers are stupid as well as lazy

If you blog or build and promote websites, you're sure to have your content scraped eventually. It's really annoying, although it's usually not worth the energy of trying to have the offending webmaster remove the content he stole from you.

I simply can't fathom why anyone would use such an underhanded technique to build up their content. Firstly, it's morally wrong to just rip off someone else's work. Secondly, Google is getting better and better at detecting sites using such dodgy tactics, so this method of building up your own site will either not benefit you in the long run, or result in you being blacklisted.

It's clearly both lazy and stupid. And if you want to know just how stupid these guys are, here's an example:

Today I just received an e-mail via a contact form on my website about SEO. I wasn't sure quite what he was referring to so I looked at his blog. I saw chunks of my text stolen verbatim from that very site on it! And his blog, like my website, was specifically about SEO.

Anyone who knows anything about SEO knows that content scraping is heavily frowned upon, to say the least. The fact that he's using it -- and quite obviously so -- discredits him completely.

And it was even more astonishing that he contacted me! You'd think that the last thing someone ripping off another person's material would do is actually tell this person about the blog it was on so he could discover the plagiarism.

I can only conclude that he must believe that he's not doing anything wrong. What an idiot.