Ask Dr. Webbie
Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? Email your question to DrWebbie@WebsiteCompass.com.
To assist him in answering your question as specifically as possible, be sure to include the following: the name of the browser you are using (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0, etc.), the name of the email software you are using (i.e. Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0, OS 10.4 Mail, etc.), and the version of your system software (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
Sometimes when I'm watching a video on YouTube, it will stop and start or play in a choppy fashion. What could be causing this and what can I do about it?
What you're describing is called buffering. This means that the part of the video you're trying to watch is currently downloading. Buffering can be the result of many different factors including problems with the hosting site, the speed of your Internet connection, and the software and/or hardware of your PC. YouTube suggests the following troubleshooting tips:
1. Clear your browser's cache and cookies.
2. Pause the video. Allow the gray loading bar to load completely to the end of the player. Once the video has fully loaded, try playing the video again.
3. Check your connection speed. You may want to increase it in order to have the best viewing experience.
Another possible reason for video difficulties is that the YouTube servers are experiencing high traffic. If this is the case, there's not much you can do but try again later.
Is there really a way to declare someone an "enemy" on Facebook?
Yes, an application called EnemyGraph was released in March 2012 for that very purpose. EnemyGraph lets you add enemies to your Facebook profile; they can be people from your friends list, other users of the app, or any product, person, or company that has a Facebook presence.
The free app is available to all Facebook users. It was developed by Dean Terry, director of the emerging-media program at the University of Texas at Dallas. Terry was quoted as saying, "We're using 'enemy' in the same loose way that Facebook uses 'friends.' It really just means something you have an issue with."
While social networks typically attempt to connect people based on affinities, Terry believes people are also connected and motivated by things they dislike. EnemyGraph seeks to generate conversations and help create alliances between "dislike-minded" individuals.
So far the most popular enemies listed through EnemyGraph are public figures such as rock stars and politicians. You can view trending enemies and top enemies at enemygraph.com.
What does the Internet term "crowdturfing" mean?
The term "crowdturfing" is a combination of "crowdsourcing" (using the brainpower of the masses to help with a task) and "astroturfing" (informational campaigns that look like grassroots efforts but really are sponsored by organizations).Crowdturfing involves organized, for-pay efforts that hire people to create accounts under false names and use those accounts to post positive or negative online reviews, push a company brand or political message, or make an online site look popular.
These fake accounts typically look quite convincing since they're generated by real people. Here's how crowdturfing happens: A website publishes offers for work such as singing the praises of a particular dress on social media. The pay for each of these jobs is measured in pennies, yet there are people in China earning several thousand dollars a year by crowdturfing.