Preventing Avatar Spam and Gaming Facebook LIKEs

If you live on social media networks, or if you write a blog, or manage a Facebook page, you’ve certainly seen a rise in efforts to game the networks for profit.  Way back on September 11, 2006, I predicted right here on this blog that people would begin to use Avatars — their online identity — to make money by selling their craven image to the highest bidder:

What’s to stop active — or better yet, INactive — blog commenters from getting hired by companies to change their Avatar to promote a website or a phone number or some other advertising blitz? Can you imagine being a new beer company and going out and finding the top 1,000 blog commenters and having them all change their Avatars to the logo for your beer?

Why it’s sheer viral genius! You could buy hundreds of thousands of page views on the cheap that could reach for years back into the history of Avatar-enabled blog pages on thousands of blogs — and the beauty part is this: No one would be the wiser.

The Search Engines already indexed and tagged the old content as safe and sufficient and your Avatar Ads would be silently served up when a search return is clicked through to the blog. The Blogmaster would never know — especially if you were not posting recent comments.

Continue reading → Preventing Avatar Spam and Gaming Facebook LIKEs

James Cameron's Avatar Bombs

James Cameron — director of “Titanic” — is finally back with his neck blockbuster movie:  “Avatar.”  The second trailer preview was released last week and we were left gasping in dismay at the longitudinal dismay of the attempt.

Continue reading → James Cameron's Avatar Bombs

Virtual Chats Using Famous Avatars

The University of Illinois at Chicago have come up with a method of providing interactive video chat online using realistic avatars:

UIC also has developed technology that provides viewers with 3-D images that do not require wearing special glasses.

One important factor in the project is to impart appropriate body language to the avatar as it responds to comments and questions, said Steve Jones, a UIC professor of communication.
“In real life, it’s just assumed that you can read a person’s responses without saying anything,” said Jones.

A subtle hesitation before speaking can have meaning, but such nuances have been mostly lacking in software programs created so far.

The project will use video cameras to record a person’s mannerisms, and that information will be fed into the programs that activate the avatar, Jones said.

This technology means you could become your favorite actor or politician or family member and “chat” online as that person or even with that person.

Professors could hold online virtual meetings with students — and neither student or instructor would have to dress up or even look special for the occasion.

We are quickly moving into the Age of Masks and with that virtualization of our real selves, we must remember to always preserve our humanity in the negotiation.

Avatar Advertising or Avatar Spam?

I just realized I am Advertising/Spamming my own blog and other blogs on which I have commented in the past because I just changed my Avatar from this:

Old Boles Avatar

To this:

New Boles Avatar

Continue reading → Avatar Advertising or Avatar Spam?