Sunday 2 March 2008

Beware the ides of March

Another month gone, and another Vottling period to report back on. We cleaned up! Yes, we put many new admin features in place to keep Vottle as "clean" as can be. Our big mission for February was to put the necessary tools in place in order for us to ensure that we keep spam and scam postings as close to zero as possible, and also, to keep replies from scammers to a minimal.

Our new admin tools include a feature to flag "suspicious text" - over and above our existing blacklisted text mechanism (which will result in adverts containing that text to be automatically removed) we now also have the means to watch for suspicious text. Many spam postings contain certain words which could also be used in legitimate postings, but such adverts are now brought to our immediate attention.

Then, there is the "excessive postings" admin feature - this is often a sign of abusive or malicious behaviour which is now automatically brought to our attention for close inspection. This allows us to deal with spam and duplicate postings quickly and effectively. We also put in place a function for "quarantined responses" - these are often a sign of people sending our users spam by simply replying to legitimate adverts. Excessive responses or responses containing suspicious text are quarantined and must be manually released or rejected based on their content. This has already helped us save our users from many irrelevant responses. A positive side effect of bringing spam postings to our attention is that it now allows us to blacklist users who would sometimes go unnoticed.

And on other news, we now have specials, the first of the "Vottle Specials" that employs a unique and custom discount code structure to validate users and issue discounts - check it out!

Coming soon are our "Premium adverts" - we will be rolling out a trial version of our Premium postings in the next week. While posting adverts on Vottle is free, premium classifieds afford our users the opportunity to pay a small fee and have their adverts appear at the top of any search results in which they appear, providing them with more exposure. We will not charge for this for the next month, giving us time to test the service and to gather stats and also to build up some premium content to bring the concept to the attention of all our users.

Lastly, we are also rolling out soon with "Prepaid clickthroughs" - we are currently building an engine to allow partners who feed us their content to pay us for clickthroughs in advance. This provides a great opportunity for partners to control their spend with us and monitor the referrals that Vottle passes on to them.

Happy Vottling!

Posted by the Vottle crew