Friday, August 31, 2007

Not-so-free Communication weekend at eHarmony

As expected it was too good to be true. During the free communication weekend at eHarmony, you are not allowed to use FastTrack communication for free. Of course not. Otherwise you and your matches would just exchange email addresses in order to be able to communicate for free even after the free weekend. But that's certainly not something eHarmony wants you to do. The only form of communication you are allowed to use for free is the one that requires you to go through four stages before being able to write messages. These stages consists of a set of questions and answers you and your match have to send each other.

The people at eHarmony are really clever. They want you to come to the site and reconsider communicating with your matches by pretending that it's free. They know that you are not likely to make it through the four stages in the weekend so eventually, by the time you find someone really interesting, the weekend will be over and you'll have no choice but to pay to continue communicating with that person. Let's see if I can get to open communication with someone by Sunday.

Related Posts:
Free communication weekend at eHarmony
Meeting People the second time around

Free communication weekend at eHarmony

eHarmony sent me a message today saying that I can communicate for free, until Monday, with all my matches without even having to enter my credit card information. I know what you're thinking, it sounds too good to be true. I had to give it a try. Though I can barely remember anything about my matches I hope they are all still willing to communicate with me.

Related Post:
Meeting People the second time around

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Spammers and Yahoo

I saw this message after login into Yahoo messenger a few days ago, it was an offline message.
[yhelper_affiliates: Hi, mjasmin_ht This is an automated message from Yahoo! We invite you to take a look at one of our new affiliate sites.]

When you type the url, it redirects you to this other address The spammer pretends to be Yahoo and invites me to an affiliate site. Of course this makes no sense at all. The only time Yahoo had invited me to anything was while I was surfing their sites. They would never send me an anonymous instant message only to ask me to visit a website which is not even theirs -it's not a [sitename] website-. Besides, Yahoo knows my name and if they ever had to address me a message they would use it and not just my ID. The point I'm trying to make is this, examine messages when you receive them and you should be able to detect spammers easily. The sad part about this is that Yahoo doesn't seem to be doing anything to fight the amount of spam that the Yahoo messenger users have to deal with, even when the spammers use Yahoo's name.

I copied the urls for information purpose only, visit them at your own risk, don't say I didn't warn you. It's yet another chat-detectives web page , they are trying to sell you a bunch of "software". Don't buy anything from them, please.

Even though they claim to be affiliated with Yahoo in the instant message they have this notice at the end of their web page: " Yahoo! , the Yahoo! logo, MSN, the MSN logo, Windows and the Windows logo are registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc, MSN and Windows. These programs are in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Yahoo! Inc, MSN or Windows. " Don't tell me you still need proof that those people are dishonest.

Here are more messages I've received from their bots:
plz_visit_chatdetectives.com_153: Ever wonder who your significant other talks to on Yahoo while you aren't home? Are they trustworthy or secretly having some type of online affair? Want to make sure your kids are not talking to someone questionable on Yahoo? If so we have the software solution for you.
plz_visit_chatdetectives.com_153: Ever wonder who your significant other talks to on Yahoo while you aren't home? Are they trustworthy or secretly having some type of online affair? Want to make sure your kids are not talking to someone questionable on Yahoo? If so we have the software solution for you.

Related posts:

More Spam via Yahoo messenger
Chat detectives strike again
Remember your public profiles

Join here and Chat for FREE without spam or bots

Friday, August 17, 2007

Remember your public profiles

After receiving one too many offline spam messages to one of my IDs that I never used in chat rooms, I had an epiphany. I finally realized one of the reasons those people where finding me is because I had too much information on display in my public profile. I had way more information than I thought, my full name, email, occupation etc... I removed most of it but people can still send me IM. Do you know how much personal information you have on your numerous internet profiles?

Related posts
More spam via Yahoo! Messenger
Chat Detectives Strike Again

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Facebook - First impression

Facebook, second impression

I've recieved a few Facebook invites from friends with whom I chat on msn. Facebook is the social networking site that everyone is talking about right now. You would think the process of joining the site would be easy. On contrary, they have not one but two captcha words that you have to try to read in spite of the heavy distortion - don't forget to wear your reading glasses -. It confuses the Education level field with the full name field. I type in my full name and complete the form but when I try to submit I'm told that I must enter my full name. I recheck and retype only to get the same message again only after the third attempt do I realize that it's not my full name I did not provide but rather my level of education. I select one and voila. Maybe someday I'll actually like Facebook but that day has not arrived yet.

Related Posts
Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut+
The geography of social networking sites
Perfspot - Yet Another Social Networking Site
Meeting People Online part I

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The geography of social networking sites

Each country or community has its preferred social networking web site. Knowing which site the people from a certain country prefer, you can be sure to have the best odds of meeting a person from that country or community, at that particular web site.
A preferred social networking site is not only the networking site where people from a specific country are the most numerous, it's also the site where they are the most active. Below is the list of social networking web sites I've come up, with after a few years of being a member of most of them.

  • Friendster for Filipinos/Asians
  • The first person who invited me to join Friendster was a Filipina. Though Friendster may be more popular in the Philippines than it is in other Asian countries, most Asians I've met online have a Friendster profile.
  • Myspace for Americans
  • Myspace is extremely popular in the United States but its success doesn't seem to have spread too much worldwide.
  • Orkut for Indians and Brazilians
  • I've received spam in Portuguese from Brazilian spammers who found my email through Orkut. I have three Gmail accounts, and the only one on which I receive those "Brazilian" spam messages is the one I use to connect to Orkut. Though I don't have any Brazilian contacts on Orkut, many of the Indian friends I've met online are there with their family, friends and coworkers.
  • Perfspot for Turks
  • I've notice a high number of Turkish people on Perfspot, I'm guessing the founders must be Turkish or of Turkish origins.

I personally prefer Friendster for the look and easiness of use, Hi5 for the community, and Orkut for flexibility and control over your information. I'm not a Myspace member and I've only started using Perfspot this year, unless the later go through a major update and aggressive marketing campaign it will die soon enough. I guess it's hard to have all your social networking needs met by only one web site.

How about you? What's your favorite Social Networking Site? Please tell me by living a comment to this post and also remember to specify your country.

Related Posts:
Friendster, Hi5 and Orkut
Perfspot - Yet Another Social Networking Site
Meeting People Online - Part I

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Perfspot - Yet Another Social Networking Site

Perfspot is a social networking site that I've recently discovered. I consider it to be the turkish-beta-version of Friendster.

As in Friendster, there's the fake "hotel manager" from Canada who wants you to come and work at her hotel (omni hotels). I have no idea why it always has be Canada I guess it's because it's the same person. Read this forum thread about this fraudster (or someone like him/her).

[Here's the message she sent to me:
Good day, I am Rose from Canada, the manager of Omni canadian hotel, pls i want to inform you about the vacancies in our hotel, The management needs men and women, married and not married, who will work and live in canada .The hotel will pay for his flight ticket and assist him to process his visa in his country, if you are interested contact us via E-mail : And the Hotel informations will be sent to you immediately. Thanks. From the Hotel manager. E-MAIL : ]

The worst part is that this person is using someone's pictures on his profile. My guess, this person is not a woman but a man and probably located in an African country not Canada.

I wrote to one of the site's officials and told him about it. The spammer's profile is no longer on the site.

Guess what? I've had two Haitians wanting to add me as their friend on Perfspot, one of them even wrote me a message... It's usually a good sign when you find Haitians on a web site. Why is that? Because there aren't too many of us online, so if a web site has succeeded in having active Haitian members it means that the site has a hole lot of people from other countries and is (potentially) a popular success.