Friday 20 January 2006

How LinkedIn limits spammy invites

Last week, I said that LinkedIn was capping the number of connections users may make, in order to avoid spammers misusing the service. According to co-founding LinkedIn marketing veep Konstantin Guericke, it's not strictly a limit on the number of connections, but on the number of invitations one can send.

Quite right too -- it's in the misuse of the invitation process where these self-styled "power networkers" become spammers. After looking at data about how the service has been operating, LinkedIn set the limit at 3,000 invitations. However, there's an exception process for users exceeding that number, which will only kick in if invitees are actually accepting the invitations.

As Konstantin summed it up, "It's [a] wisdom-of-the-crowds approach."

BTW, here's my LinkedIn profile -- 249 connections is enough for anyone, surely? ;-)

Blog terminology!

Bee in bonnet. Must write this. But I have a horrible feeling that I will become one of but a few voices crying in the wilderness in a year or three...

Blog - n. A sequence of entries, usually formatted in reverse chronological order. Shortened form of weblog (although purists insist that it's derived from the implied definition in the phrase we blog).

Post - n. One entry in a blog. Usually has a permalink. AKA entry, blog entry, or blog post.

I'm increasingly seeing the use of "blog" to mean "blog post." Brothers and sisters, we must resist this corruption of our great and glorious language ;-)

See also

Thursday 19 January 2006

Samsung Contact, 2001-2005. RIP.

Samsung SDS quietly announced the premature end of life of Samsung Contact, its Unix/Linux-based Exchange alternative. It passed away peacefully in its sleep in December.

Back in 2001, Samsung licensed the source code for OpenMail from HP. Stuart Barry and I built what was to all intents and purposes a startup. Our aim was to provide a migration path for HP's installed base, open up new markets for an Exchange alternative, and add unified messaging functionality.

Initial indications were positive. The Samsung management seemed willing to invest in the business, and ran the UK-based Contact business unit as an essentially separate entity -- almost as if Samsung was its VC. However, in 2002 there was a management change in Samsung and the new guard felt unwilling to fund Contact at the previous level, even though we were hitting our profitability goals in a poor business climate.

Since then, the team steadily shrunk, as it hemorrhaged talent -- notably to its main competitor in the Exchange alternative market, Scalix. I could take no more by September 2003, and struck out on my own.

It's a shame. I always had a soft spot for HP OpenMail, which held a significant proportion of the large enterprise market in its heyday. We had a fine, UK based team at our beautiful Pinewood office, nestled in Berkshire woodland. However, Scalix carries on the torch, its server also being based on the OpenMail code.

No flowers please.

Monday 16 January 2006

The MIT Spam Conference 2006 is ON!

Rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated. It's now happening on March 3. Paper submission deadline is Feb 1.
This intensive, one-day conference will include many of the leading technical experts on spam from the bit-whacking level to the global economics of spam.

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