This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

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    For our Stamford BNI (Business Network International) Visitor’s Day I created two email blasts that were sent separately over the preceding two weeks.

    I used MailChimp to manage our list of invitees (collected from our membership over the year) and to send/track the email blasts themselves. With a highly targeted list like this one, we expect a high open rate but for August a 58% is not bad.

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    Facebook offers $500 bounty for reporting bugs, joining the likes go Google and Mozilla. To qualify you must be the first to report a bug native to Facebook, not Facebook Apps like FarmVille.

    Learn more a Facebook’s Security Bug Bounty page.

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    This is the complementary slideshow to my 10 minute presentation on Facebook basics I gave at a small business networking group (BNI) in Stamford. It is actually an “encore” presentation to one given earlier in the year about Facebook advertising ROI. Despite Facebook’s latest boast of having over 750 million active users worldwide, many small businesses are simply overwhelmed with all the social media hype. So this presentation focuses on just getting started with the current Facebook. Feel free to share and download.

    Use URL Shorteners

    I was going to write a Top 10 Best URL Shorteners like tinyurl,, and most recently but after a quick Google search discovered that plenty of people have done this ad nauseam. According to the there are over 1,100 URL shorteners currently online with new ones added everyday (they’ve compiled the biggest list to date). Quite frankly, I’m not sure what’s the point of creating yet another URL shortener but then again I feel the same way about Reality TV.

    So, instead, a word of caution about overdoing it with URL shorteners. These services are good for use with microblogging sites like Twitter where every character counts but that’s it. Since a URL shortener replaces the original (long) URL domain name with that shortener’s own domain name you really don’t know where that link links too. Spammers and other shady types exploit this fact to trick people into clicking a link in a tweet or an email. Some URL shorteners like Twitter’s Link Service ( do a decent job protecting users from malicious intent but it is not foolproof.

    Use a reputable URL shortener (like the ones mentioned in this post) when you have to, not every time you write a link in a blog comment and certainly not on your own website or blog. That brings me to another point; domain names are part of your branding so why would you replace it with someone else’s domain if you don’t have too. From an SEO perspective, you should use your own URLs whenever you have the opportunity (this includes social networks).

    Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Social Media Market Share

    According to StatCounter Global Stats, the real-time web analytics site by StatCounter, StumbleUpon surpassed Facebook for driving web traffic among all social networks in the US. StumbleUpon now drives 49% of traffic while Facebook dropped to 37% despite all the media stir around Facebook’s new features.

    Since the original co-founders bought back the company from eBay in April 2009, StumbleUpon has been quietly reinventing itself as the social search engine where users discover sites they would not otherwise find through traditional channels. Given that Twitter continues to slides in retention (it only drives 3.8% of traffic), focusing on infrastructure changes that serve advertisers more than the community, it is time to give StumbleUpon a second look.