Hooray! UWA killed XuQa access!

If you’re not getting online from a terminal within the UWA firewall, you’ll be able to find XuQa (pronounced, apparently “ZooKah,” rather than “ex you ku wah…” cretins…) at www.xuqa.com. Infuriatingly, the www appears to be essential.

However, it turns out UWA have blocked it – see here, because it was a totally unmoderated forum. So, obviously, everyone started to use it for hate mail, and similar predictable rubbish, and generally breaking the law.

I hate ’em, they’re wankers. Forwhy? Because they kept spamming my AberNet account and telling me to join, whilst spoofing the “from” address to look like someone from inside Aber (except, of course, it didn’t show up when I checked it in the directory.

Not only this, but they were too thick to properly restrict to actual UWA users. Really, that can’t be too hard. Facebook – a similar (although marginally less crappy) effort currently bouncing round Oxford and annoying people – at least had the wit to make sure users were *at* Oxford…

…even I can see that saying “please use your college e-mail address to create your account. If your college hasn’t supplied you with an e-mail account, then…” yeah, you can use whatever the Hell you want. Old, dead, anonymous Hotmail and Yahoo! accounts, for example. Or something at DodgeIt.com.

…and then you’re all set to cause trouble.

The blind incompetence of that, plus the fact that you couldn’t *find* anything on there put me right off.

It’s a shame, in a way; it could’ve been a good service, properly looked at and restricted. As it was, they launched it with spam, and without any sensible membership rules, and it unsurprisingly went bang. Well, no – it’s still there; you just can’t get to it from inside UWA.

It’s not exactly that I’ve got a problem with things like Facebook, nor even with XuQa, blatantly stupid name or no… It’s just if you’re going to to that sort of thing, then you should at least have the wit to do it sensibly.

Sensibly in this case would’ve been not pissing off IS by using evil darkside spamming techniques, and consulting with UWA first. Not telling people what you’re doing, with somethign like this, is just plain stupid, because the first time you do something to annoy ’em, they’ll pull the plug. Establish a dialogue first, and you’re half-way home. That, and some half-way sensible techs, and it’d’ve been a good, searchable service that’d last oooh… a year and a bit before stagnating and becoming dull?

As it is, it’s been predicable kicked out of the IT rooms. Screw ye not with a genuine legal problem, wallies.

Still, I ought to be out of the IT rooms, myself; Ruth isn’t feeling too great; I really should go see she’s alright…

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  1. On March 17, 2006 Matt In The Hat says:

    OK, a few things. Not wanting to sound like a memeber of Corprat Bitch Massif but XuQa.com are not responsible for what members post on the blogs. Well, they are, but they’re not, y’know? Yes, they could have taken more time to set-up and regulate the damn ‘blog things but they didn’t because they’re only in development and they’re wanting to make money. Speaking of which…

    The reason I believe they spammed UWA is because after the Beta testing they will be wanting to recruit advertisers and if they can show a wide market base across a small number of universities then they’lll make more money. I do believe they were wrong on this one: first off by doing it knowingly I’d argue they are defrauding their prospective clients (unless they plan to continue splamming) and secondly because I don’t believe that people such as yourself would use XuQa. I was signed up by drunken drama students in my flat one night and whilst I spent my first two weeks on it I soon realised clicking a hyperlink to add a friend that I already had to a list for other people to see whilst sat alone in my flat at 3 in the morning was rather pathetic. Plus no-one added me as a crush. Secondly, and this ties in with the first point, people are more likely to use XuQa if their friends do. If you’ve signed up due to spam then you may not find anyone on their who makes you want to stay [What do they care; you’ve signed up and unless you’re dedicated enough to delete your account the you’re still on their books.] But from their, supposed, point-of-view Aber is such a tight-knit community that if you signed up their would be people you’d know and then you’d tell your friends.

    To summarise; I believe I know the principle argument in it being banned from UWA and I know the people involved and I am a member of XuQa and I further believe I can summarise it all by this: I don’t care whether it’s banned or not. There’s a whole big, bad internet out there to see. What do I care about this one site?

  2. On March 18, 2006 JTA says:

    My main gripe with it (aside from the fact that it’s always criminal to see a website not given over to webcomics, pornography or cutting edge satire) is that they’re sloppy buggers.

    I’ve got an account on there too, and I can vaguely see the attraction, but I don’t see what it has that things like LiveJournal have. In fact LJ has an edge over XuQa, because it’s more searchable. And it has proper blogs and navigation options.

    OK, so spam is evil, and anyone who does it will get bumsexed by entirely legitimate crooked Nigerian businessmen when they die and go to Hell, but we knew that anyway… but even as a business venture looking for high membership to angle for high sponsorship returns, it’s a rubbish way of going about it, especially since they got blocked.

    It’s just one of those things that’s annoying because it comes across as some grand Masterplan that got let down by shoddy forward planning and sensible forward thinking. Hell, they didn’t even have to *agree* anything with UWA, really; even talking to them to let ’em know in advance would’ve been a start, and they could’ve tried to get a mailshot out via the weekly e-mail.

    As it is, they tried to be clever about it, and they weren’t clever enough to get away with it. Thick people thinking they’re clever is annoying, and it’s worse on the ‘Net, because these things spread so quickly, you’re shafted if you didn’t think things through properly.

    But, meh, I’m not asking you to really care about it. I just wanted something to bitch at.

  3. On March 25, 2006 sammy says:

    I think you people dont use your heads.I dont give a damn about XuQa but i gotaa say i loved it and its our fault that XuQa was blocked not theirs .If you dont like that site just deactivate your account .What else ???

  4. On March 26, 2006 JTA says:

    Well hang on; either you don’t give a damn about it, or you loved it! You can’t be totally indifferent to something you think’s fantastic!

    Ain’t my fault XuQa got blocked, chum; I just went on there to see what it was like, and what I saw was a site that needed a lot of work to make it properly navigable, and which would’ve been better if they’d talked it over with IS first.

    That the users were too thick to spot the dangers of making personal attacks in a public environment (ie, the Internet) is the fault of the users. That it never occured to XuQa that that would happen when you had drunk students and personal sulks about lecturers in the same place is theirs.

    [And, yeah, I would deactivate the account, except I can’t get to it, because it’s blocked. Hence, uh, the post about it’s being blocked!]

    Who are you, incidentally?

  5. On April 25, 2006 Abba Twum-Danso says:

    I can’t get into my profile on the xuqa site, some one pls give some help! The site keeps telling me dat i’m broke and need peanut or cookies and i have no idea how to get them pls i’m sending out an sos someone anyone pls help me!

  6. On April 27, 2006 JTA says:

    Hell, I have no idea, Mr., uh, Abba Twum-Danso. Er… Anybody?

    Have you considered contacting the Xuqa tech support people? Because I ain’t them. I suspect a search for “Xuqa Aberystywth” will fix you up, though. Whereas “Xuqa aber” just brings you over here.

    Personally, I’d just write it off as a bad debt and noth bother, but whatever makes you marginally happy, I suppose…