Category Archives: Facebook Profile Website

Why Facebook Sued Me



You can see all my previous posts about FacebookProfile.com here:

Interesting side note:
Because of the screenshots I’ve posted from FacebookProfile.com of my own Facebook profile back in the day….my whole profile (including phone number, address, email etc.) has been in HUNDREDS of documents including newspapers, magazines, published papers, blog posts, books, news stories and presentations all over the world!


Another interesting side note:
Till this day, if you Google the term “Facebook ASCII”, 98% of the art you find was made by ME! You will see it on many different websites, all by people who:

  • Read my blog posts about how much traffic FacebookProfile.com got.
  • Made their own Facebook-related site.
  • Swiped all the content from FacebookProfile.

After it was bought I didn’t care less.  However the next owner of the site never updated it, then about a year later the site disappeared…

It also doesn’t matter anymore because most of that ASCII made back then is now obsolete due to changes in Facebook’s text editor.

FacebookProfile Site Sold, $5,500

A little while I go I was selling FacebookProfile, a site which I started in May 2006 as a small little side project. Traffic quickly rose on it as the popular social networking site Facebook got ever more popular.

Despite my lack of attention to it, I had managed to get the site to make about $100/month with just Google Adsense, but I was just letting the site sit there. It had tons of traffic, and therefore lots of potential for someone to take the reigns.

So I posted it for sale on the SitePoint forums and started getting lots of serious bids through private message. However I started the bidding way too low. Even before I posted the site for sale I had serious buyers trying to pay $3,000 for the site. Therefore all the normal bids on the auction I ignored, and only spoke with buyers who sent in much higher private bids.

The highest bid I got was $6,500 but I was wary because the buyer was dragging their feet and didn’t know much about the transfer of the website or how to operate it. I wanted a quick sale and quick transfer, so I sold the site to someone who knew what they were doing and could transfer everything without a hitch.

Within three days of posting the auction I had my $5,500 via Google Checkout, and less than a week later the full website and database were transferred over to the new owner without me doing much work (this is why I chose to sell to someone who knew what they were doing).

This profit tally doesn’t include the Adsense revenue the site brought in…probably somewhere in the hundreds of dollars range.

For me the transaction is over, but it’s nice to see the new owner is actually drastically improving upon the website. He added a whole slew of new features, posts, articles, re-structured the advertising and even added a Facebook Forum for developers and users.

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So from a random idea last year, I got some good experience, several hundred dollars in adverting revenue and a nice $5,500 payout this year!

My Experiences With Being On Digg

This past weekend NevBlog.com was on the Digg.com homepage. Several of my sites have had pages posted on the Digg homepage before, but this experience was definitely the most interactive!

*Digg.com is a social bookmarking site, and articles on the front page often get server-crushing traffic thrown their way.

My most fun experiences with being on Digg were this past one a few days ago, and the time my businesses HouseOfRave.com was on Digg and I made 320 orders in a day.

I briefly posted on this blog how if you search on Google Images the word “Facebook” my full profile comes up as the #1 result. This is partly a result of me owning FacebookProfile.com (which I just sold) and posting screenshots of Facebook. I also wrote how a Lebanese newspaper used this images in their article.

Well this article on Digg brought in thousands of visitors to that Facebook screenshot which includes my full name, old address and current cell phone number. The first day it was up, NevBlog.com unique visitors went from the 2,000 to 4,000 range to about 25,000 for the day. The next day it dropped to around 9,500 uniques. The third day was nearly normal traffic. However this was a medium sized Digg, reaching a peak of 700-something Diggs.

THE PHONE CALLS:
I generally get about one call per week from people Google Imaging the term Facebook and seeing my profile with all my information, but during my stint on Digg, I got about 50 phone calls from curious Diggers seeing if that number was real, in one day! All sorts of interesting zip codes, international codes and free online calls were placed to see if my phone number was real!

DIGG USERS SURPRISINGLY NICE:
Judging by the type of articles and stupid comments you usually see on Digg, you get the impression most users are bored teenagers (which is probably accurate). But of all the calls I got, for the most part it seems Diggers were more concerned for my privacy which was unexpected. Most of the people that called did so to simply notify me I was on Digg and that my phone number was available online. I would quickly explain the situation and that I knew my phone number was there, thank them and the conversation was over.

However I also got a few prank calls. These are most likely 13 year olds with not much to do. However it sounds like something I would do also, so I can’t complain, I thought the prank calls were rather funny (although sometimes the same people kept calling back which got annoying and lead me to believe these people sadly had NOTHING else to do).

DIGG TRAFFIC:
Usually when a site of mine ranks high on Digg it isn’t much of a problem. My experience with being on the front Digg homepage is this:

1st Day – 50,000 to 70,000 extra unique visits.
2nd Day – 15,000 to 30,000 extra unique visits.
3rd Day – 1,000 extra unique visits.
4th Day – Regular traffic.

Even when I browse through Digg, I generally look at the article, read it, then exit. Most likely I’ll never see that website again. This pretty much holds true to the traffic patterns I’ve experienced.

SERVER LOAD:
Digg generally delivers a server-crushing load of traffic to some sites, which is why many sites go down soon as they get on Digg. I have my own dedicated server, so it generally handles the job, but it DOES go down several times during a large Digg. Especially when the Digg involves a large screenshot image plus many other images. NevBlog is not an efficient website to say the least, so every page load of the site is quite a bandwidth hog.

When FacebookProfile.com was on Digg, it hurt my server more than NevBlog because it’s all database driven. The amount of SQL queries racked up quickly, and would overload the services on my server causing Apache outages. This sucks because I also have about 4 websites on my server that get high traffic and use up a lot of processing time, if some of these are not up, I cannot make money. This is why I specifically wanted to host BodyMonkey.com on a separate service, to hedge my losses if something goes wrong with my server.

BEING ON DIGG MAKE YOU MONEY? IT VARIES:
FacebookProfile.com got a lot of extra hits from Digg several times, but the advertising revenue only went up slightly. Digg users are used to quickly skipping through articles, and generally never click ads. I sure don’t.

But get this…right before Halloween 2006, HouseOfRave.com was on the front page of Digg and I got 320 orders in a 24 hour period from it!! That’s two months worth of orders in ONE DAY!! That’s also thousands of dollars in profit from one big Digg.

The Digg article linked the Glowing Hair Gel product on HouseOfRave, and subsequently tons of blogs started writing about that product also. Now if you Google the term “Glowing Hair Gel” I am firmly planted as the #1 spot. Ha, even if you Google the broad term “Hair Gel” in Google I am still #3!

It was a blessing and curse at the same time to get all these orders, because while I had just made several thousand dollars in profit from that one day, I was still manually processing orders at that time. With the method I was using, it took me two solid days of the most mundane work EVER. Basically copy/pasting information from hundreds of orders…over and over and over till each one was filled.

So it seems you can make loads of cash if a PRODUCT or SERVICE gets exposure on Digg, but pay-per-click doesn’t perform as well (at least in my experience).

I’ve actually never Dugg an article myself to get exposure, it just happens organically. If you try too hard to get on Digg, you most likely won’t.

Well anyways, that’s my experience with being on Digg!

Selling FacebookProfile.com

In May 2006 I started up FacebookProfile.com and it almost immediately started getting good traffic.

Today the traffic is over 2,800+ unique visits a day. In July the total was 73,735 unique visits.

As I’ve become more involved in other ventures, I decided to not let this site stagnate and sell it while it’s still on an upward traffic trend. I’ve placed it on auction at the SitePoint forums here.

I’ve already been offered over $3,000 by people prior to this sale, so I’ve set my minimum bid to which I can get out of the sale to $3,000. Even from the hour or so ago I’ve posted the ad I’ve got several high bids.

With Facebook Apps out and Facebook users coming on board by the tens of thousands per day, I’m sure someone could really take this site to the next level.

With the amount of traffic and high amount of advertising clicks (even though there are only two ads on the site) the site should fetch my asking price. Hopefully the person who buys it knows how to properly place ads and use different systems other than Google, they could really boost profits right away.

Free Advertising / California Trip

The FacebookProfile site started about a month ago is getting a good amount of traffic, and now also has a PageRank of 4.

I personally HATE advertising-based business models, but I don’t see any other income options for this site. Currently still making between $0 and $3 per day….ehh.

A funny way for advertising any site for free is with chalkboard graffiti in campus classrooms. FacebookProfile won’t benefit TOO much from this form of advertising, but it’s a great way to promote local ventures, parties, upcoming events etc!

And just for kicks I took these pictures until some very confused janitors walked in :-)

I will be in California next week, so if anyone with an interesting story wants to meet up, you know where to reach me.

July 24th (Monday) – July 27th (Thursday) = Los Angeles

July 27th (Thursday) – August 3rd (Thursday) = San Francisco Bay Area

August 3rd (Thursday – August 7th (Monday) = Las Vegas for Defcon Hacker Convention.

I M P O R T A N T :
I’m making an open request for anyone to let me know of any big events going down while I’m there. It’d be fun to crash a couple of high profile parties, make some contacts and have fun.

The whole purpose of this trip is to make new contacts, so if you’ve got any leads, let me know!

FacebookProfile Stats, Entpr Year, New Apt

The condo I was living in with two rommates was sold, and we have now moved to a college-based community of apartments like I used to live in. These apartments are great because everyone living there is a student of some sort, they have lots of great amenities, and best of all individual leases. This means if you have four people living in an apartment, and three of them move out, the last person is not stuck paying the full rent….just their share. This way I can be very flexible about my living arrangements.

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I recently followed an idea for starting a Facebook based site which offers Facebook Tricks etc, and it’s coming along nicely. I’ve been getting some decent traffic, up to 350 unique visitors a day and growing.

Right now the site is making less than $1 a day from the one Google Ads, but it’s not even been online for two weeks….so I’m not worried yet. A problem with Google Ads is they base the ads on page content….mostly Facebook talk. Needless to say the pay per click rates are low, even though I’m getting a lot of clicks.

It’s sometimes getting above 1,000 impressions a day, so I’ll start looking for other ad systems that pay higher rates for page impressions. Here are the stats from the last few days:

This is actually turning out to be a fun little project!

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Thanks to “Bob”, I was tipped off about the Austin Entrepreneur of the Year awards last week, and I attended the event with Kunal of Grade-A-Books. It was one of the better events I’ve been to, with a great pre-event, event, and after-party. Then later out to Downtown!

This picture is a good sum-up of the night!

Facebook Profile Website

I’ve tried the advertising-only website before with FancyBlog.com, but the income wasn’t worth the effort and interest waned and invariably so did the site. I see more potential on this new advertising-only site, and hopefully it can become pretty big if I play my cards right.

The new site is called FacebookProfile.com, which is a Facebook tips/tricks/fan site.
Facebook is a social networking site with massive popularity amongst the college population. It’s clean, fast and constantly adding new features. Noah from OkDork works at Facebook and is always ranting about “How awsome my job is” and “How cool it is to work at Facebook” all the time.

I didn’t want the site to look like a blog, but I love the functionality of blogs. So to make posting easier, I used WordPress, but created a custom design theme that imitates the Facebook design:

FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT:
FACEBOOKPROFILE.COM SCREENSHOT:

This way when people stumble upon the page via search engine or link, they know for sure it’s a Facebook-related website…without even reading a word. Since search engine traffic is already rising quickly (even after only a few days of being online), this is important.

To create the site I:

  1. Installed a regular WordPress system on the FacebookProfile.com domain.
  2. I literally took a screenshot of my actual Facebook profile from the internet, then Photoshopped it to include the WordPress blogging elements (Pages, Categories, RSS Feed etc.)
  3. Started writing a few posts just to keep some content on the site for the programmer.
  4. I then found a WordPress designer through RentACoder who could retool the website to look like my Photoshopped rendition of the webpage. This cost me $220. I probably could have got this done cheaper, but I paid more to get someone who could do the project quickly, had a high ranking on past projects and prior experience with WordPress.

The idea for this project came randomly while I was searching for domain names for a different project. I also remember reading about a whole cottage industry that revolves around MySpace custom templates, images, text and media add-ons….and thought Facebook might eventually move somewhat in this direction.

I’m still working on bugs, such as how to prevent WordPress from auto-formatting my Facebook ASCII Art text….but those are just small hurdles. The site has already been getting 50-100 unique hits a day, which is not bad for a non-advertised site which has been up for 7 days.

So FacebookProfile.com has officially been launched….not much content as of yet, but more to come!