Banned from Sending Facebook Friend Requests

I was just banned from sending Facebook friend requests. After doing some research, I found I was breaking the rules. FACEBOOK USERS ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO SEND FRIEND REQUESTS TO PEOPLE THEY KNOW IN REAL LIFE. I’ve been sending requests to people who share many mutual friends with me. All of these people were in my “recommended friends” list, but apparently sending out 50 friend requests is abusive behavior on Facebook, even though I only sent requests to people who live within 30 miles of me.

Evidently many people I tried to add to my friends reported me for spamming, because that seems to be the reason Facebook bans abusers. I’m sure this ban was completely automated, and I doubt I’m in any danger of losing my account.

Here is the message I received upon logging in tonight:

To prevent you from contacting people against their wishes, your friend requests and your ability to send messages to strangers have been temporarily blocked.

If more of your friend requests are later marked as spam or reported for being sent to strangers, this block could be extended. To prevent this, you may wish to cancel your pending friend requests. Also cancel unanswered requests?

I opted not to cancel my unanswered friend requests and I have been banned from sending new friend requests for 48 hours. Perhaps I will be banned permanently? I sure hope no one else reports me for spamming.

While I’m disappointed, I totally understand that Facebook can impose whatever restrictions it wants on me because I don’t own Facebook.com like I own Thripp.com. Perhaps my Digital Sharecropping article from 2008 was not so far off.

Tweet This, a WordPress Plugin for Twitter [1.8.3]

Disclaimer added 2014-10-03: I have not updated Tweet This since 2011-07-05 and lost interest in maintaining it. It has outstanding bugs and probably doesn’t even work work properly anymore due to changes to the Twitter API.

Download Tweet This 1.8.3 [0.8MB .zip]

Popular Twitter plugin inserts “Tweet This” links so your readers can share posts with one click. Can automatically tweet new posts via OAuth. Allows you to publish and schedule tweets from a new “Write Tweet” page. Supports 10 URL shorteners including Bit.ly, Su.pr, and TinyURL. Includes options for 20 social networks including Facebook, Bebo, and MySpace. Includes the Wickett Twitter Widget for your sidebar and many other options.


1.8.3: 2011-07-05: Small update to fix compatibility with WordPress 3.2.


Upgrading from 1.8.2 to 1.8.3

1. Upload the new /tweet-this/ folder over the old folder in your plugins folder.
2. Tweet This 1.8.3 is installed.

General Information

Tweeting a post on Twitter takes up a lot of space, because URLs quickly eat up your 140 characters. While your readers might copy the permalink, go to Bit.ly or TinyURL, shorten and copy the new URL, go to Twitter, and paste it into the status box, this plugin merges all that into one step.

This plugin makes short URLs like http:/example.com/?p=1234, then displays a link to Twitter for each post, with an optional icon (20 choices). This is done automatically for each post as needed. You can choose a URL shortener including Adjix.com, B2l.me, Bit.ly, Is.gd, Metamark.net, SnipURL.com, Su.pr, TinyURL.com, and Tweetburner.com. Each shortened URL is cached as a custom field in the postmeta table to keep load times fast. The cached records are updated or deleted as needed when you edit a post’s permalink, delete a post, change your site’s permalink structure, or change URL services. In WP 3.0 or later, Tweet This hooks the short URLs into the get_shortlink filter.

This plugin can also tweet new blog posts automatically, if you provide your Twitter credentials in the options. Then a “Send to Twitter” checkbox appears when writing a new post, along with a text box so you can change the tweet text for that specific blog post. As of 1.7, OAuth is used.

Unlike Tweetmeme, ShareThis, and other Twitter plugins, Tweet This inserts links without JavaScript, iFrames, or third-party dependencies. An example: http://twitter.com/home/?status=Example+Post+http://example.com/?p=1234

Copyright 2008 – 2011 Richard X. Thripp (email: richardxthripp@thripp.com)
Released under Version 2 of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, or, at your option, any later version.

Tweet This Version History

Tweet This Blogs

Tweet This Icons

Tweet This Wiki on Thripp.org

Tweet This on WordPress.org

Tweet This Installation

Before you begin, please make sure your server has PHP 5 and Curl enabled. While you can use Tweet This on PHP 4, all OAuth functions require PHP 5. Tweet This requires WordPress 1.5 minimum, with the following exceptions:

1. Importing exported options requires WP 2.0.
2. Automatic tweeting requires WP 2.7.
3. The Twitter Updates widget requires WP 2.8.
4. Adding short URLs to the get_shortlink filter requires WP 3.0.
5. Moving the Tweet This box around the Write Post page requires WP 3.0.

If you are installing Tweet This for the first time, follow these steps:

1. Upload the `tweet-this` folder to `/wp-content/plugins/`.
2. If you’re using WordPress MU and want this plugin active for all blogs, move `tweet-this.php` to `/wp-content/mu-plugins/` at this point.
3. Else, activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
4. Tweet This icons should automatically appear on every post and page! Go to Settings > Tweet This to change settings and set up auto-tweets.
5. Optionally, delete readme.txt and the screenshots folder to save space.

Tweet This Donations

If you like Tweet This, consider donating $5.00, $10.00, or a larger amount via PayPal. As of Feb. 22, 2010, I have received $94 in donations since the initial release of Tweet This in Sept. 2008.

2011-02-22: $25.00 from Canopus Research Inc.
2011-02-17: $10.00 from Berend de Meyer.
2011-01-20: $5.00 from Nigel Boulton.
2010-10-27: $2.00 from JJ Soule.
2010-10-24: $10.00 from Linda C.
2010-10-20: $10.00 from Gareth Davies
2010-10-08: $1.00 from Tache Madalin
2010-10-01: $5.00 from Marcos Ramos
2010-09-20: $10.00 from Linda Worthington
2010-09-18: $1.00 from James Magary
2010-09-15: $10.00 from Miter Saw Reviews
2010-09-15: $5.00 from Kinoshita Communications LLC

Tweet This Screenshots

Screenshot 1

1. Tweet This options page: all sections closed.

Screenshot 2

2. Tweet This options page: all sections opened.

Screenshot 3

3. The Write Tweet page, having just published a tweet.

Screenshot 4

4. A post with Tweet This links; Twitter Web API and Share API.

Screenshot 5

5. Publishing a tweet alongside a new post.

Screenshot 6

6. The Twitter Updates widget included with Tweet This.

Frequently Asked Questions

Acknowledgements and To-Do List

Download Tweet This 1.8.3 [0.8MB .zip]

Testking offers fail proof 640-802 exam preparation with help of 640-863 notes, 640-816 study guide, 642-072 dumps and 642-145 practice test.

Your Blog is Not a Community

Most blogs consist of one person commenting on the world, and a whole bunch of people passing by, spending five minutes to skim several posts, and perhaps making a comment or two. These people move on to never return, and they are replaced by more people who in turn do the same.

While blogs are typically considered more communal than typical websites, they may in fact be less so. Other websites have forums which receive hundreds of posts per day from established and respected members. That is a community. Blogs have comments. If you’re lucky (like with this blog), they are threaded with email notifications. This has the potential for community building, as people may make comments, reply to other comments, and return to reply again. However, it generally does not create community. Most people still visit once and only once.

Some bloggers try adding a forum. I did this, and the sad reality is that you will get no participation. For every 100 people that visit your website, one person will make a comment. And for every 100 people who comment on your blog, one person will sign up and post on your forum. Even if you put a widget in your sidebar with the latest forum topics, you’ll still get little to no participation. The forum is basically a separate website, one that will receive no benefit from the fame of your blog. Unless your blog is so popular that you’ve turned off comments, forums are a waste of time. You must chose: forums or comments. One or the other. Not both. On a popular blog, you may be better off disabling comments and creating a forum requiring registration. It cuts out the noise.

Bloggers used to require registration to comment, but fortunately no one does this anymore. It is so stupid and pointless now that spam filtering is so good. There are only three purposes for registration: to track people for marketing, to allow for user profiles that other members can read, and to track comments. WordPress allows none of these. BuddyPress does, and there are plugins, but no one is using those. Registration doesn’t create a feeling of community. It creates a feeling of annoyance.

RSS feeds get people to come back for more, but most people who use RSS feeds are lurkers. You won’t get a comment from them. You may get thousands of pageviews over a period of months, but you won’t get comments and you won’t get community participants.

Responding to comments helps build community, but don’t respond to everything. Simple comments like “your work is great” do not deserve a thank you. That is boring and unneeded. I no longer reply to such comments. My time is better spent writing new blog posts.

Most comments will be people looking for help, and they will be in response to problem-solving posts that didn’t solve their problems. A third of the comments on this blog have been on my Tweet This plugin (most are archived), and they have not been thank-yous so much as requests for help. These are not people wanting to participate in a blog community: these are people who want their problems solved so they can move on with their lives. No community content there.

WordPress MU does not build communities. Many people try and many people fail. All the blogs are separate—all the blog posts are stored in separate database tables. There’s no way to even aggregate them effectively without creating a mirror of them in a unified table, and this is complicated to set up. It is also unwieldy and wasteful. There is no linking blogs together in WordPress MU. They are islands. When you host a WordPress MU site, you are not a community leader. You are a web host.

As a blogger, you are a publisher, not a community leader. Don’t think of your blog as a round-table. Think of it as a newspaper. Yes you may feature letters to the editor, but remember who is in control and who leads the discussion. If you aren’t producing new blog posts every week, whatever “community” you have (which is really just visitors) will disappear immediately. It did when I left this blog for six months. It will for you too. No big deal. It can be quickly rebuilt. Communities take a long time to build, and if you alienate your loyal readers your site goes down the tubes. Blogs aren’t communities, so if you alienate some people (and you will), new people will replace them. Don’t expect anyone to write your posts for you or come up with ideas for you. It’s all on YOU. YOU must do it all YOURSELF. No one will help you. When you accept that you have no community to back you, you accept complete responsibility for the success of your blog. That is power.

Putting Users First

In the United Kingdom, some six million domain names are registered under the .co.uk suffix. While yourname.uk would be preferable to yourname.co.uk, such registrations are banned.

This adds up to thousands of lost hours among computer users and much more wasted space. UK residents have to type the extra “.co” for every domain they visit, communicate, or advertise. Clearly, the UK does not put its users first, or the lengthy subdomain would not exist.

One practice common among universities is to give students second-rate email and blog addresses. My email address at Daytona State College is the ridiculous richard_thripp@falconmail.daytonastate.edu. Blogs take on unwieldy addresses like agessaman.blogs.gfalls.wednet.edu. Giving students first-class registrations at the second level, like richard_thripp@daytonastate.edu or richardxthripp.wednet.edu, is out of the question. Usually, administrators will have their reasons such as firewalling users, keeping the namespace open, simplifying management, or departmentalization. None of these are valid and they all put the user last, when in fact the user should be the #1 priority.

On Thripp.com, it would be tempting for me to place users in some God-forsaken subdirectory like users.thripp.com/richardx, but instead I put them right up front like richardx.thripp.com. Sure, I might run into problems later. Sure, there might be unforseen consequences. Perhaps someone will register shout.thripp.com and then later I’ll decide I want it for a site feature? While the cautious person may say, “so that all my options are open, I should not allow direct registration of subdomains in case I want to use them later,” this is folly and treats the user as a second-rate citizen. Users make up the bulk of your community and are the only important part. This means you should give them important space. Damn the torpedoes. Whatever namespaces you are reserving are less important than you think. In fact, if they are so valuable, they will be much more valuable and attractive in the hands of the community rather than on a blacklist that goes nowhere. example.com has so much potential.

At most businesses, employees park far away from the building to give parking spaces to the customers. Since employees are there all day, it’s no problem for them to walk a little ways. Contrastingly, customers may only be there for several minutes. However, when it comes to the public library, city hall, the DMV, or the post office, who do you see closest to the building? The employees themselves. Often a whole section right near the back door is reserved for them. Because the government has no competition, they have no reason to put their users first. Often, the users wind up dead-last. As corporations grow more bureaucratic and government-like, the same may happen to them. As soon as the user is put second, the business is one step closer to death.

Many websites you see start out with a splash page where you have to click “Enter.” This is a dumb waste of time. No one wants to “enter” your site. The very act of typing the URL into the web browser is entrance enough. Avoid time-wasters if you value your visitors.

Forums and other websites require you to register before you can read certain material or download certain files. Theoretically this will encourage you to come back later and build a spamming mailing list for the webmaster, but in fact 75% of people just stop right there and never register. Whatever they were going to download wasn’t important enough to be hassled anyway. Most people that do register never return and are actually useless users. They just clog up the database and do nothing. Furthermore, registration forms are often notoriously unintuitive and complex. What will often happen is a user will mistype a hard-to-read CAPTCHA, then return to type it again, then fail because their password was erased upon failing the initial CAPTCHA, and then have to do both over again. Many websites forget the email address too upon a reload. It can take the inexperienced web user a dozen tries to get through. Definitely not user friendly. Mandatory registration simply does not put users first.

Using target=”_blank” on links is bad bad bad. If the user wants to open the link in a new window, he’ll middle-click it. Otherwise, a left-click means he wants to open it in the same window. Don’t force preferences on your users. Your site should look good at least at 1024×768, preferably scaling to any size as web layouts are supposed to be fluid, not fixed. Many websites are entirely Adobe Flash, put mid-gray text on a light-gray background, disable right-clicking, or interfere with the browsing experience through other methods. If you think this “protects” your content or expresses your artistry, you’re completely deluded. It patronizes your users.

Microsoft Windows sucks for users. In Vista, whenever you execute a program or change a setting, you get at least three pop-up windows asking “are you sure?” Instead of blocking viruses and pop-up windows pro-actively, they’re allowed free reign on your system. You can only combat them by using kludges like anti-virus software and pop-up blockers, which only remove the material once it has already appeared on your computer. When Windows wants to install a “critical” update, it asks permission to restart. If you say no, it comes back a few minutes later. Say no again, and it starts a count-down timer. Heaven forbid you’ve left the room to burn a DVD or download a large file, because Windows will forcibly close all your programs and restart for your “protection.” So much for user friendliness. When you install or uninstall a software program, you are often stuck with a window that says “click OK to restart now.” If you don’t want to restart, you have to ignore it or drag the window to the corner of the screen. All these hurdles beg the question: who is the master of your computer? You or Microsoft? If Microsoft indeed put users first, the answer would be you and the question wouldn’t need to be asked.

When you call a support line, you’re left waiting for ten or fifteen minutes while a message repeats saying “your call is very important to us.” If your benevolent overlords had some respect for you, they’d stop insulting your intelligence.

Users don’t like being called idiots, being bamboozled, jerked around, put off, or made fools of. In fact, they may become violent and vindictive when patronized. Show some respect, give them the best namespaces, put them first on the list, and don’t boast about how much you value them.

The New Thripp.com

I’ve been absent from blogging lately, but the past two days I’ve been working on programming the new Thripp.com, a photography community. You can sign up there and upload your best photos to a gallery so other members can comment on them. The new Thripp.com replaces the old WordPress MU blogging service, and I deleted all the blogs and accounts I deemed as spam. The old Thripp.com (this) is closed to new registrations, and the 80 blogs it has will remain in place.

I posted 34 photos to Thripp.com. You can comment on them and other users’ profiles, there’s a page that shows all the comments you’ve received, and you can choose your own display name. Please sign up and post your best photos.

New Thripp.com

New Thripp.com

New Thripp.com