Posted by Elmer in Geek on May 12, 2010

One of the most ubiquitous features in Google search is its query suggestions. It allows users to select a predefined search terms without having to type the whole query. But to me, it offers more humor than help, as illustrated in a separate post. But joking aside, this feature reveals some of the most popular (if not peculiar) terms people are using recently. One of which is the revelation that people must have grown paranoid over Facebook's management of its privacy policy. And it shows through Google's suggestion feature. If you start a Google query with "How do I", you might find "How do I delete my facebook account".

Posted by Elmer in Geek on May 10, 2010

It seems that everyone wants to join the social media. And that's not surprising at all, given the effectiveness of this marketing channel to businesses. No wonder, businesses large and small are prepared to invest time, money and effort into integrating themselves into social media. This is evident through the ubiquitous logos of Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Or the omnipresent share buttons attached to every single page of the website.

Yet, many -- if not most of them, are unable to figure out how social media works. Need proof? Look at their Twitter account and you'll find they have no updates. Look at where these share buttons are placed: privacy policy and other pages where interest level from mainstream social media users is almost nil. Well, we can argue whether they don't know how social media works or at least how to get started.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on April 26, 2010

Twitter as a mainstream social media now has huge number of tweets people create. Searching for a specific entry back in time is currently a tedious task. But even before Twitter can finish building a tool that solves this issue, Google has already something for us to use, as a follow up to that real-time search launched in December.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on April 09, 2010

The headline "Facebook mulls entering China market" from Sina appears inaccurate. Inaccurate in the sense that Facebook definitely had that in mind and it's no longer news that the social media giant wants a slice of China market. Only that it's currently blocked and relatively unknown to China Internet users.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on March 26, 2010

From its humble beginnings at a Harvard dorm to a multi-billion application that attracts hundreds of millions of followers, Facebook has indeed become a more ubiquitous social media application everybody seems to be familiar with. Behind the wall rants, likes and friend requests are interesting pieces of information about Facebook.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on March 04, 2010

E-commerce sites are one of the most useful applications of companies going online. Through them, shops generate income from alternative sources -- if online platform is also itself an alternative -- reduce overhead expenses like costs that would have been spent on cashier salaries, buying cash registers or monthly shopping space rentals. That is why it's not surprising to see sites like and continue to devote resources to develop and improve their e-commerce sites.

We at BeansBox developed a few e-commerce sites in the past, the recent one being Spoilt, an online experience gift shop and we see the importance of making things work for obvious reasons. At the end of a busy week, if the website does not pick up any sales or even sales leads through product enquiries, it's not difficult to label it as a failure. On the other hand, a brochure site that simply shows visitors to take a look at what can be found on its physical shops found downtown gets a few visitors, may have already served its purpose. People who visited the brochure site and examined the goods may have driven them to go to the shop and buy these goods.

So for e-commerce sites out there, what should we do to improve our e-commerce sites? And by improve I mean improve user experience, and not immediately sales. With good user experience, a prospect could return to the site sometime in the future and make the purchase, instead of going elsewhere.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on February 27, 2010

Mashable reports that according to one survey conducted by Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project, 56% of Americans think it's irresponsible to be connected to a boss in Facebook. And as if bosses return the favor, 62% of them think it's wrong to friend an employee.

I find this surprising to see the high level of unwillingness for both boss-employee Facebook connection. For the record, I have connection to at least four of my past superiors at work. I don't see any reason why I should open my profile to everyone except to bosses. If accessing Facebook at work is the issue, then that should justify this survey feedback.

Other findings from the study include a polarized take on whether social media profiles should be part of screening job candidates: 52 per cent say it is appropriate and 48 per cent disagreeing. In my opinion, why not? If a candidate's profile is filled with random postings about Mafia Wars and Farmville at any given time of the day, is that enough evidence that this would-be employee has poor work ethic and display proof of unproductive day at work?

Posted by Elmer in Geek on February 18, 2010

It's becoming a trend to use location-based social media applications such as Foursquare or Gowalla to update "where I am" using mobile devices. With Foursquare, a user is awarded points upon checking in at certain venues on weekends or non-business hours. When that user has checked in more than anyone else on separate days (in addition to having a profile photo), he or she will be crowned "Mayor" of that venue, until someone else dislodges him or her and earns the title.


Did you just imply in Foursquare that you're house is empty? I have signed up as a Foursquare user, but never tried using such service because of device constraints. However, I also thought that while my friends are using them, I am wondering what real benefit does these location-based applications bring them besides meeting friends? On the other hand, does using these apps provide hints to robbers or burglars?

Posted by Elmer in Geek on February 18, 2010

You can call it "the mighty has fallen", but it would probably be more accurate to call it "the mighty has been upended by another mighty". That's the case of Yahoo!, the largest search engine portal that ubiquitous with top rankings in terms visitor traffic. Yahoo! is still big, no doubt, but Facebook has proven to be a bigger beast to tame, as the social media giant just pipped Yahoo! from second to third most visited web property in the United States. That's according to web analytics firm

Posted by Elmer in Geek on February 07, 2010

In the web, those who gets first gets rewarded. The first website that breaks the news probably gets the lion’s share of visitor traffic. The first (and only) person or corporation who registered a popular domain name potentially deserves a cash windfall at some point. The first blogger who writes about a sensational and juicy post gets his or her share of fame.

In the case of Google, its plan to possibly pull out of China has generated mixed feelings: sadness for people who wish Google would continue to serve the Chinese community with more relevant search results (as opposed to Baidu’s), and opportunity for others who see themselves benefit from the possible Google demise in the mainland.

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