TenthOfMarch Reviews Nuffnang From The Inside (Part Two)

Part two is finally ready! In the first part of my review on Nuffnang from the inside, I mentioned that I found bugs in their system. On the next day, I immediately fired up an e-mail to notify Timothy from Nuffnang about some of my findings and waited for his reply. To get a clearer meaning of a computer bug, I am quoting the definition of a computer software bug from wikipedia.

“A software bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from behaving as intended (e.g., producing an incorrect result).”

The “bug” I found is that the system is actually tracking my (the nuffnang member’s) own visits. Now before I continue, I would like to mention that this is quite a “subjective bug“. As wikipedia puts it, a bug is only considered a bug when it prevents the system from behaving as intended thus producing an incorrect result. Therefore, it is not a bug if that is how Nuffnang planned to have the tracker to work. However, I personally feel that the tracker should not track my (the nuffnang member’s) own visits. The reason being some members may manipulate their unique visitors and hits a day by visiting their own blog.

Timothy replied:
We actually have the ability to NOT count your own unique visits but we don’t implement that for a few reasons. The most important of all is, since we charge advertisers and pay bloggers based on their unique visits, it would not particularly be fair to exclude the blogger’s own visit from there. After all, when an advertiser placed an ad on your blog, you of all people will be the first to notice the ad, so why shouldn’t the advertiser pay for the ad that’s served to you?

Secondly, you will find that we have taken great pains to build a very sophisticated counter. Unlike many statcounters out there, we have a 2-factor authentication way of tracking not only by cookies but also based on other information we get from users anything from Screen Resolution to even Geographic area in Malaysia.

Timothy went on to explain in detail on how their tracking system works and how it would prevent members from manipulating the statistics. This part of the explanation is not disclosed to protect their privacy. However, what I can tell the users are, forget about trying to manipulate your unique visitor statistics because it probably won’t work. As for Nuffnang’s current and future advertisers, rest assured that your money is well spent on legitimate visitors.

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Next, clicking on the hot blogger model brings me to the blogger login page. I notice a ‘minor feature’ that was missing. Forcing me to click on the textfield before typing is a big pain-in-the-wrist and can get a bit frustrating sometimes. It is almost like an unwritten rule that a page should automatically focus on the textfield upon load. Gmail, Google, Friendster, Dictionary.com, Youtube and others does it. Why don’t you?

TenthOfMarch recommends:
Focus the cursor on the e-mail textfield once the page is loaded.

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Nuffnang’s Blogger ModelAfter logging into the system, it was an immediate disappointment. Nevermind the simple looking interface, where did my blogger model go? I had this mental picture that she would be ‘escorting’ me into my admin area, while showing me different posses as I go through the different menus. However, it did not happen … it did not happen. *shakes-head-in-full-disappointment*

TenthOfMarch recommends:
You should … ahhh, nevermind. It’s not like you will do it anyway.

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I notice an inconsistency with their logos. Sometimes the stickman looks ‘taller’. Sometimes the logo fonts look bigger. Sometimes there are bigger white spaces between the lines. Sometimes there is a trademark (TM) sign. Sometimes the stickman is on the left, sometimes it is on the right and sometimes it disappears (member admin area).

Inconsistent logos

TenthOfMarch recommends:
I think it is part of a branding practice that you should have consistency in your logos. Unless your plan is that your stickman gets to ‘run around as he wishes’, I suggest creating a finalized design and stick to it.

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Time to find a banner for my blog. There are three types of banners up for offer — Leaderboard (728 x 90), Large Rectangle (336 X 280) and Skyscraper (160 X 900). What baffled me was whether the earnings for the three banners are different (eg. Leaderboard banner earns more than Large Rectangle). There was no indication that you earn more or less by using a particular banner. So I guess it’s the same for all three?

Anyway, I was planning on putting a banner in one of my sidebars. Since I have two sidebars, I guess it won’t interrupt my blog navigations much. However, I almost had a heart attack when I saw their skyscraper banner. It is 900-pixel tall! Then I realized a note that says, “Shrinks to one unit if ad slots not used“. That is about 200-300 pixels per slot, small enough. Come to think of it, I don’t mind having 3 advertisers using up the whole 900-pixels. I DO GET PAID 3 times more, don’t I?

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After clicking on the “Finished” button at the “Add ads” page, I notice a ‘strange number’ at the top left of the page. “805“. Damn, if it had 4 digits I would have bought TOTO already.

Strange number on the top left

Timothy replied:
We put it there sometimes when we’re running tests on our system. It’s not a bug, just something that helps us keep track of things when we’re running tests.

Should have guessed so. I remember myself doing that quite often — printing outputs on the screen just to check if some results are correct. Come to think about it, that could be the number of bloggers that has already signed up with them. What do you think?

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I don’t like the way their navigation menu works. When you click on a menu, “Analytics” for example, there is no indication that the “Analytics” menu is selected. I guess they try to compensate it by including the ‘menu-selected’ in the submenu. Although the ‘menu-selected’ in the submenu is not clickable, it is confusing and WEIRD!
Redundant Submenu

TenthOfMarch recommends:
Highlight the menu when it is selected. You can use the same colour as the one that appears when the mouse moves over it.

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It takes forever to load the “Came From” and “Keywords” page from the “Analytics” menu. Why does it take such a long time? It reminded me of days surfing porn the Internet with a dialup. It is not a good user experience.

Timothy replied:
It’s slow because we have sooo many queries coming in at the same time it’s ridiculous. Yet, we’re working on optimizing our script on that end, you should feel the changes within the next couple of weeks. We’re also about to Ajax the analytics part which might make the experience a little more pleasant for our bloggers.

UPDATE: The guys at Nuffnang must have done some modifications to the code because the pages are loading a lot faster now.

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In the “Came From” page, why is the list of referrals truncated?

Timothy replied:
When we first launched we had the full line of referrals but it was causing a bit of complication so we have since truncated. The solution to that problem is not difficult but we’ve decided to prioritize on things that are more important e.g. the optimizing of our code.

UPDATE: Modified.

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To summarize:
Overall, the interface of the system is simple. However, the most important thing is to get the ball rolling. Their system works and delivers all the necessary functions. They are already in their 3rd (?) week of advertisement campaign. A few advertisers have already invested in them. Their advertisers’ banners have been displayed in hundreds of blogs to date. And most importantly, a big group of bloggers has already started earning money! I’m kicking myself regretting not to have joined them earlier. Or else, I would have probably made a few ringgits by now. It could have been a lot more, who knows?


5 thoughts on “TenthOfMarch Reviews Nuffnang From The Inside (Part Two)

  1. TenthOfMarch says:

    @Boss Lepton
    I wouldn’t mind that one bit! :-) But at the rate of bloggers posting up ‘free bug reports’, I doubt they need one. LOL!

    @Timothy Tiah
    No problem. Maybe you should prioritize them. Most of them are just cosmetic upgrades anyway. Oh yeah, I found a few more ‘improvements’ or rather complaints about the system. But didn’t add them in my report cause it’s a little long already.

    When I’m in the admin area (after login), clicking on your Nuffnang logo sends me to the index page (www.nuffnang.com.my). It’s kind of weird, man. I would prefer if I’m still logged on, that you send me to the admin ‘dashboard’ instead. Check out Friendster, you’ll know what I mean. [@Josh, if you are reading this, your system behaves the same as well.]

    Another thing is, while I’m still logged in, if I move to other websites, and then return to Nuffnang.com.my, click on the Login link…shouldn’t you redirect me to the admin area immediately? Since my cookie is still active. [ priority: Extremely low. No one bothers about this anyway :-P ]

  2. TenthOfMarch says:

    @Undertypo
    Yes, don’t worry. I did mention that I will be going for Advertlets after I am done with Nuffnang. In fact I already did some ‘checking’ with Advertlets’ system. Josh must have been very worried to see me registering two accounts, and a blog at http://bunnymakemoney.blogspot.com/ that doesn’t have any posts. LOL.

    Anyway, don’t forget to come back for my review on Advertlets. You’ll be surprised by the ‘design’ of their system. I know I was!

    @Josh Lim
    My review on Advertlets will be harsh — same as my review on Nuffnang. Just want to assure you that there is nothing personal. There will be sincere opinions and suggestions. My principle is, “Just take it, or leave it”. So be prepared.

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