March 2011

Trending topics spamming techniques – beware the fake tweet

After watching the ABC’s QANDA last night it was good to see the phrase “Julian Morrow” trending in Australia, he was a great panelist after all. Like many others in the country I do enjoy watching TV shows like QANDA or Masterchef whilst following what others are saying on Twitter at the same time.

However waking up this morning and seeing “Julian Morrow” was still trending in AU made me suspicious. Digging into the tweets that were keeping his name there revealed a very annoying spam technique that is sadly gaining traction.

On the left is a screenshot of the last 8 tweets containing “Julian Morrow”. If you take a closer look you can see they are all based on the same formula in that they contain a) the trending topic, b) a compressed URL and c) a phrase inviting a click, such as: “OMG This is awesome…”, “This is really funny…” or “Wow! I’d purchase it..”.

What the compressed URL’s link to I cannot say – as a general rule I don’t click on them, worried about where I might end up. But these are spam tweets – posted by bots or spammers wanting you to click through on their URL to either generate another page impression on the destination site or to potentially direct you to a page that could do something much worse.

So as a word of warning, if a tweet is a) from an unknown source, b) contains a list of several trending topics in one place and c) has a phrase that looks like it was written by a 14 year old, the suggestion would be not to click on it. You never know where you might end up.

Kendoll Makeup Artistry Facebook page launched

Fly Digital is proud to announce the launch of a new Facebook page for the Queensland based professional makeup service – Kendoll Makeup Artistry. Click on the Facebook button below to view it.

The page features company information, user reviews and a voucher for 15% off a makeover for customers who recommend the Facebook page to a friend.

The page is a precursor to the company’s website which we will be launching shortly. The website is a full custom Joomla build with integrated PHP scripting elements, bespoke templates and a JQuery image gallery.

New twitter app gives easier access to trending topics, I mean ads

There’s a new version of the twitter app for iPhone in the iTunes store, this one features a few nice updates (like an improved posting pane) but the most noticeable change would have to be the strip across the top of the screen highlighting trending topics.

Before I continue, I should state that you can’t remove this strip, or if you can I can’t find out how to.

The strip cycles through the top trending topics which in itself is interesting, but this also means promoted (or paid) topics also appear.

I’m guessing this will increase accidental clickthroughs for advertisers as I find I’m clicking on the new strip occasionally as I move my thumb up to scroll to the top of the page.

One good UI feature though is that the strip does go when you scroll down the view giving more screen real estate for tweets rather than trending topics.

How to get a million followers in a day – just be Charlie Sheen

If you’ve been on twitter in the last 24 hours I’m betting at least one of your friends has retweeted or started following Charlie Sheen (!/charliesheen).

He’s on track to gain 1,000,000 followers in 24 hours, that has to be some kind of twitter record.

I’m hoping the popular cleaning product “Mr Sheen” is working every marketing angle right now to get some additional followers out of it too.


24 hours after posting that I can see he is now about to break the 1.5M mark (1,458,339 to be exact).

I really liked how quickly The Red Cross jumped on the #tigerblood hashtag with this tweet:!/RedCross/status/42947546695467008