Nuffnang Vs. Advertlets: Masked Attacks In Singapore?

The duel between Nuffnang and Advertlets turned from bad to ugly a few months back in Malaysia. There were the evil Nuffnang Quadruplets, the three course meals and who can forget the ugly battle finale.

Just when you think that both of them will be concentrating on building their own network and strength, another masked attack seemed to have occurred in Singapore. This time, a commentator, Josh the Immature claimed that another commentator, HK Tan could very well be our notorious devil in disguise. How true is it? It could all be just a misunderstanding.

Things started when Nuffnang charged its publishers RM1 / SG$1 for every check that is requested. Josh Lim took this opportunity to give Nuffnang a little whack in the head. I didn’t like the idea of charging the publishers to cover the operational costs too. However, since it is just RM1, I really couldn’t care less.

What surprised me was that some people who earned hundreds of dollars from them were complaining for being charged SG$1. I share the same thoughts as Lilian on this matter. Anyway, that is totally a different topic.

I hope that Nuffnang and Advertlets can co-exist and compete fairly. Any “under-the-belt” jabs are just unethical. Since I am only displaying a banner from one of the two companies, my views may or may not be biased. Think for yourself. You can search through my archives for more information on the two.

Advertlets publishers take note

Do not use the same username and password combination for all of your accounts. This is the second time I am giving out this warning. The first time saw me being threatened with a possible lawsuit.

Read these:

You can search through my archives for my reviews on Advertlets. I managed to spot a few bugs in their system back then. I take it that they were new and rushed to get the system live. However, it has been a few months now and for them to still have bugs with their login function is simply unacceptable.

I wonder when they will start hiring real software testers instead of using their publishers as testers. I think I should even ask for a pay for my past “work” for them.

Advertlets Losing Out To Nuffnang AGAIN!?!?

Earlier on, Advertlets seems to be losing out to Nuffnang when it comes to attracting new publishers. This morning, I received an email from an anonymous person suggesting Advertlets has lost some important assets/resources to Nuffnang this time. The content of the email is as below:

from: haha <haha@haha.com>
to: [tenthofmarch]
date: Jul 18, 2007 11:25 AM
subject: Hahahaha what do u have to say? — TenthOfMarch.com contact form

Message:
goto url:
arsyan.com/news.php?newsid=1184569351

The title of the post caught my attention — 2 Advertlets Lead Developers Converge to Nuffnang. My immediate respond (before reading the post and doing more research) was, “Is this real? Nuffnang siao already? Wouldn’t this be like putting a mouse into a sack of rice (Chinese proverb)?” I mean, if you have been following the spy scandal controversy happening in the world of Formula 1 lately, you would think twice before taking such actions. Could this be a plot to spy on the competitor internally?

A quote from an “interview” (not sure done by whom and when) with the two of them:

Both of us love development .. and we would wanna be in a company where the development is growing and the developers has a say in how the project would be.. Team work is whats important, not a one man show…

An SMS and another phone call later, the news was confirmed. Advertlets did lose its 2 main developers to Nuffnang. Now with the exit of their 2 main developers, I wonder how is Advertlets going to cope with their losses. They better start hiring and paying if they do not want to be left (too far) behind.

Somehow for an unidentified reason, the photo below gives me goosebumps.

The new members at Nuffnang
(the photo above taken from arsyan.com — contact me in anyway if this should be taken down)

I hope there’s no hanky-panky behind this new recruit. As a programmer myself, I have said in the past that I would have quitted if I were in their shoes. Maybe that is what’s happening. With that, I sincerely wish the new Nuffnang team good luck and best wishes.

Nuffnang Vs Advertlets At Its Ugliest Battle

The objective of this post is to answer these questions:

  1. How low, dirty, unethical, and childish the battle between Nuffnang and Advertlets has become?
  2. Who are DevilsAdvocate, Amateur, Reaymond and ENUFFisENUFF?
  3. How are they connected to Josh Lim from Advertlets?

A trip down memory lane… (skip this section if you know the story)

I caught 3 commenters who I suspect and have evidence that are linked to Josh Lim (or someone within Advertlets) who have either attacked Nuffnang or defended Advertlets anonymously in my blog.

Suspect #1 — DevilsAdvocate:

  • Left a comment attacking Nuffnang that I have edited
  • Claims he’s just a poor IT student with an opinion
  • Used the excuse of being in PJ (same area as Josh Lim) and on TMNET, thus the same IP range as Josh Lim
  • After I posted up a video evidence with proof of how he is connected with Josh Lim, he vanished and never returned (with the same nickname/character at least)

Suspect #2 — Amateur:

  • When I questioned Advertlets’ password security issue, he defended Advertlets and shifted the blame onto the users if their password were vulnerable
  • Claims he has a blog at http://asrulhadi.blogs.friendster.com/hmmm/ but I received no response from the owner of the blog when I messaged him on friendster
  • His second comment stated he was contacted by Advertlets. That means he is their publisher. However, there is no trace of an Advertlets banner on “his” blog
  • Vanished after people questioned why he doesn’t even have an Advertlets banner in “his” blog

Suspect #3 — Reaymond:

Summary:

I’ve posted some stronger evidence (subjective — depends on individual) connecting Amateur and Reaymond to Josh Lim. After that expose, no one from Advertlets or any other anonymous commenters (like the 3 suspects above) have left comments in my blog.

Back to the present time…

So, who the hell is ENUFFisENUFF? Sloppy Chic posted up her thoughts on Nuffnang’s management of the CPC ads here, here and here. While others (including another anonymous commenter — NoNN) are discussing the matter with intelligence, ENUFFisENUFF jumped in and showed his “lack of intelligence” with the comment below:

sad la. tim and ming got no balls. got to get pretty girls to comment to garner sympathy to hide the fact they are doing a bad job. sigh. who cares where the rum has gone. where are their balls? and most importantly, where is the money?

I can accept anonymous commenters who do not want to disclose their identity but are discussing a problem with intelligence. However, ENUFFisENUFF’s comment shows how much he lacks and are geared towards personal attacks.

His next comment gave away a hint of his possible real identity. I am not the only one who wanted to greet ENUFFisENUFF with a “hello josh” message.

Immediately, the “detective” mode in me kicked in. I wanted to know ENUFFisENUFF’s IP address and if they matches Josh Lim (and the 3 suspects) IP addresses. Instead of asking Sloppy Chic for the IP and confirming it afterwards, I posted up a few sets of IP addresses and asked her to confirm it. That way, there is no “dirty tricks” from me, true?

The sets of IP addresses were used by Josh Lim and his team members (that matches the 3 suspects) in my blog in the past. They are:

  • 124.82.X.Y
  • 60.48.(168-174).Y
  • 60.51.(94-96).Y
  • 60.52.(34-36).Y
  • 60.50.199.Y
  • 60.199.X.Y

It didn’t surprise me when Sloppy Chic replied my email with the following details:

ENUFFisENUFF’s first comment dated 15/6/2007 6:39pm logged the IP 60.48.173.142.

ENUFFisENUFF’s last comment dated 16/6/2007 12:10pm logged the IP 124.82.60.43.

Conclussion to these childish acts…

Just like DevilsAdvocate, Amateur and Reaymond, ENUFFisENUFF uses the same group of IP addresses that Josh Lim does. Is it just pure coincidence or are there more to it? ENUFFisENUFF has gone into hiding (together with the other 3 suspects) and will never return, at least not with the same nickname.

Competition is good. Healthy competition is better. Why compete in a “limbo dance” competition? There is no advantage to prove that one can “go to the lowest” point, especially when it comes to ethics.

Just concentrate in building your company. There is no point in comparing with anyone else but yourself. If you are good, people will know. The act of going “undercover” with an anonymous nick while attacking your opponent is plain cheap. Enough said, this is so shameful.

Will this bullcrap ever end? A limbo dance focuses on how low can you go. In life, it’s how low you want to go. I suggest standing straight up while walking through it. I can’t force you not to stoop so low. The choice is yours.

Why The Fuss Over CPC or CPM Ads?

Recently, Nuffnang and Advertlets started serving CPC ads to their publishers. Unlike CPM ads, CPC ads poses a new challenge to both companies — click fraud. Detecting click frauds is not a simple task. Building an effective system that recognizes and/or prevents click frauds is even harder. They are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of possible click fraud cases. Therefore, “manual auditing” is definitely not an option.

Since the launch of CPC ads by Nuffnang, I noticed difficulty in differentiating between a CPM and CPC ad myself. There is simply no indication on the banner ad itself or even in the email notification sent by Nuffnang. This was also felt by a slightly frustrated chic.

Suet Li from Nuffnang explained:

The reason why we didn’t notify you prior to adding the ad is because the advertisers feel that if bloggers are told beforehand, then there will be a lot of faulty clicks. Some bloggers may themselves or through their friends click their own ads which will end up driving advertising costs unjustifiably.

After some discussion with another fellow blogger, I came to realize one thing. Does it really matter if I am served CPC or CPM ads? I might be disappointed after the week old campaign has ended only to find out that I have earned less than what I thought I would (ie. I received less clicks, thus less earning compared to CPM ads). Apart from that, what other reasons would I be frustrated for? Maybe if I knew that it was a CPC ad campaign, that I would have “done things differently”?

Both Nuffnang and Advertlets’ “fraud detection system” (if any) are merely few weeks old. pikey, who are publishers of Nuffnang and Advertlets has something to say (13/6/2007 08:15:29):

In terms of CPC, there’s better transparency in Nuffnang because it lists out the ad campaign you were involved, type of campaign, CPC and the rate for it. At the moment, Advertlets is still working on the Stat page and I’m still clueles. Am I running for CPC or Cost/unique campaign? and what are the CPC rates?

Sometimes, being first doesn’t mean better.