Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Busy busy WOT

Between new users, new features, and new updates, WOT has been busy as ever, and you may not have even known it. This article explores the depths of WOT's been happening with WOT.

Reading the title or description, some of you may be thinking, Busy WOT? How is WOT busy? While others may completely understand. Those of you not actively involved in the forum may not know all that WOT has been dishing out lately. A new invite a friend feature, an enhanced scorecard, the WOT Publicity and Scambuster Awards, a WOT twitter, interviews, add-on updates, and perhaps their biggest, and best news:Millions of new users.

That's right, millions of new users. In two months, WOT has gone from 2 million, to four million downloads. A remarkable increase, especially in such a short period of time. New forum users have been popping up, and hundreds of thousands of new comments and ratings have been made.

Now, what about those other updates mentioned? What are they?

The invite a friend feature may be the next most important change. Originally, all you could do was send a WOT rating to a friend. Now, you can send an email to pals, with a pre-made description of WOT included, along with a personal message of your own. Best of all, it also increases your activity score.

The next change:The scorecard. First off, in a very recent addition, you can now disagree with comments. Many comments, including several on the WOT scorecard, were not very truthful. Now, the number by comments, that before could only be increased, can now be decreased. The number starts at one when you make a comment. If enough people disagree with it so that it is a negative number, the category they chose to make their comment in, isn't displayed at the top of the scorecard, with the other categories having numbers next to them.
Having the number also gives you an idea of how credible the comment is. A comment with -30, is less likely to be accurate than one with positive 30.
In a not as recent change, WOT also added several links to the scorecard, as well as adding the category "good site" Now the scorecard also offers links to a website's wiki, as well as a change to the website's statistics link. Instead of Alexa, the past service they used, the statistics page now links to Compete, a similar service, with more features.

The last change I want to talk about is the WOT Publicity, Scam Buster, and Top Member Awards. These are badges put on your profile, given to members who have given their time, and effort to help keep people safe on the web. The WOT Publicity award, is awarded to those who have kept people safe, by helping to popularize WOT, through blogs, videos, etc.
The WOT Scam Buster award is for those who own websites that work to stop malware, or have reported malicious websites to WOT users and staff.
Finally, the WOT Top Member award is for those who have actively given their time and knowledge to fellow WOT users, on the WOT forum, and in scorecard comments. You can see who won these awards on the WOT Blog, or find more information on them in this post.

The current project WOT is busy with, seems to be WOT 4.0. They have announced that they are improving the warning screen, however that is the only information publicly available. Many suggestions have been made, and everyone is eager to see which have been included.
A possible side project, may be releasing the sale of WOT merchandise, perhaps stickers, similar to Firefox's online store. This was just a possibility, however, mentioned in a previous forum post. We'll have to wait and see if it ends up being developed.

In addition to all of these, there still have been, and still are plenty of other changes going on, however I can only say so much in one post. Here's a quick overview of some of them:
The WOT company twitter was just released.
WOT's CEO was recently had an interview with the webmaster of firefoxfacts.com.
If you read the last post, you also know about the fairly recent WOT Logo Contest. That Logo will be used during Valentines Day.
WOT has added its features to several new websites, including Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and the search engine, Yandex.
WOT has welcomed several new partners, including TRUSTe, Cloudreight, and Information Avenue.
And, last but not least, WOT has recently had to make many add-on updates for compatibly reasons, to work for Firefox Updates, Internet Explorer 8's beta releases, and more. Once Google chrome releases the availability of add-ons, WOT may also be made compatible for that. (Aka MORE work)

Some additions made by WOT's users, included the WOT Google Group 2.0, releasing this blog, a WOT Custom Search, a WOT Wiki, and more.

As you can see, although you may not have known it, a lot has been going on relating to WOT. The WOT staff deserves more credit than they're getting. We have a new challenge for WOT users. In your profile, you can create a signature, or a message displayed after all comments, posts, etc. The challenge is to include in your signature something mentioning WOT. It can be as simple as saying I love WOT, or as much as thanking the WOT staff.
Do your part, and show your support for WOT!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

WOT Logo Contest Winner!

The winner of the WOT logo contest has been decided! You can see the logo that won above. WOT user G7w created the masterpiece, devising a reason for every detail. Both the WOT staff and users agree he had a great entry.
We are going to go behind the scenes and meet this fairly new member of the WOT community

If you are unsure of what WOT is, check out http://www.mywot.com/

As many of you have heard, there was recently a contest held by WOT to see who can design the best Google style logo, by taking the original WOT logo, and redesigning it, to better fit a concept, holiday, or idea. The contest closed on January 1, and after some discussion at the WOT headquarters, the winner was finally decided! WOT user g7w won with his masterpiece, which unlike the other contestants, had a reason for every detail. (see his design above) In addition to pleasing the judges however, his thoughtful design also brought lots of positive feedback from the users of WOT too. "I have to say, your design is VERY nice to look at. It is very nice on the eyes, and depicts what WOT is about." "Very well done G7w." "I'm very impressed with your logo. Keep up the good work!" After I saw his interesting design, I decided to go behind the scenes, and better get to know this creative designer. I found out exactly how he came up with his ideas, tips he has for future entrants of similar contests, and more! Below you can see my exclusive interview. The bold text was me, and the blue italics were G7w.

Great job on the WOT Logo contest! I really like your logo!
Thanks! I like it too.

I'm writing an article about you in the WOT fan blog. I have some questions about you and your logo that I was hoping you could answer for our future readers, since you are going to be the main article.

Well, thank you. I'm honored to have an article written about me. This shall be my first online interview

How did you come up with the idea for the logo you made?

The criteria for the logo contest was to create a new logo based upon the existing logo but to be done in a "Googleish" way.
Since there was no event announced for the entries, I had to think what WOT meant to me. "Web of Trust" 3 simple words, really nice piece of software!
  • "Web" This was easy, a spider web... the WWW has been represented by that iconic symbol since the early days of Tim Berners-Lee
  • "of" - that was difficult, I actually had to look the word up at dictionary.com
    I took it to be a simple connection between members of WOT and the way they rate a site (agreed netiquette). I represent this collective agreement by using expressionless faces (no smile or frown). No expression equals no emotion; keeps the rating of a site unbiased and fair.
  • "Trust" to commit or consign with trust or confidence In the old ways a handshake is all that was needed to seal a contract or ensure upon agreement. I can think of no other iconic symbol to define Trust better than a handshake. But not just a handshake, that seems to impersonal, more business-like. Morphing a handshake into a heart seemed appropriate, it added the idea of something "personal." WOT is a duality
    ; it is a Community driven security software and it is a personal browsing experience. So the "shake" equals community and the "heart" equals personal.
How long did it take to design the logo?

Well let me think about this. Since I work for a living, I have about an hour's drive each way to/from work and then put in 8-12 hours a day at work, so computer time is my way for both relaxation and entertainment...
Here's what I had to do to create the logo:
  • Think about a generic Google-style logo, determine what WOT means to me, research definition terms to base an image upon, about an hour.
  • Search for WOT's logo on Flickr
    , snag some copies and then split the objects into separate bitmaps, about an hour and a half.
  • Toy around with the spider web idea, create the web took maybe another hour.
  • Add some expressionless faces ummm.. half hour
  • Look for a symbol of "trust" a Google image result seemed to have boo koo
    handshakes, so that did it for me I'll use a handshake. It was really difficult to try to get two arms and hands to be visible in a small graphic so I almost tossed the handshake idea until I though of a heartshake. This is probably easier for experienced graphic artists, but it took me around 3 hours to make a generic "heartShake"
  • Put everything together, test various image sizes, decide upon four faces instead of three or five. The Flat graphic was born.
    This was maybe another two hours.
  • Write up an xhtml page to publish online
    and upload my initial logo entry another hour.
  • A few days later I thought of offering more than "flat" images so I dressed up the graphic with a little eye candy for a Beveled set.
    That goes pretty quick so I had them FTPed online, edited my WOT page this took in another hour and a half.
  • I felt the Beveled set was too much, so I made a final set of the flat images combined with the beveled heartshake - that became my personal favorite, so this was another hours time.
Let's add this up....I guess it took me about 12 hour altogether.

LOL! That's a long time for a simple image, but then again I am not a professional grahic artist - those people could do that in just a couple hours time. But I had fun with it. I'm thinking about making some more that are themed to holidays or seasons, that is if I have time. They would of course be made publicy available.

How did you find out about WOT
I've been a Mozilla fan since it's appearance by Netscape.I've had Firefox since it's Beta release. I frequent Firefox extensions and themes regularly. I've noticed WOT when it popped up as a new extension. At that time I was more into web developer tools (that's another story). My reason for installing WOT was after an XPantivirus infection on my ex-wife's PC - what a pain, I ended up reformatting the hard drive and she now uses WOT for protection, amoung others. I personally.use it out of curiousity - in a way WOT is like the wiki of website safety, anyone can join a wiki and edit entries; same with WOT, anyone can use it and judge websites.

Do you have any past experience designing?

First, there was Ikonboard, an online forum, but then some of us left and formed IkonForums
I basically assisted with the graphics and skin conversion from a table design to table-less (DIV
) design. We were converting to a Perl template system, but... development is a bit slow now, since people have lives to live, work, education, things like that. I've designed my company's website and toy around with my own
. I've recently made a contribution to OpenOffice Extensions by submitting a simple photo calendar for 2009

WOT says that they hope to do a similar contest in the future. Do you have any tips for entrants of future contests?

Participate! I'll be the first to admit that I am by no means a graphic designer. I do what I know how to and I keep it simple, but I will not quit my day job for graphics design... I do like to eat now and then . Seriously, let the idea come to you and it becomes fairly easy then. For anyone wanting to do graphic design and they do not have the software or may need help, there is The Gimp
(for Windows
too!) - it's been around for a very long time with a strong, friendly community.

What is your favorite feature about WOT?

WOT's simplicity

I realize that "inside" WOT is very complex, but to us end-users it is very simple. To see small rating symbols next to a website either within a search engine's result page or on the browser's navigation bar... how easy that is for all of us who enjoy WOT.

Do you have any specific things in mind you intend to buy with the gift card that you would like to share with our readers?

Gee... Amazon.com
is such a big place now; much more than books and music from when they started out. Though the gift card came to me, rest assured my wife has more "urgent needs" than myself. :D

In my interview, G7w also mentioned that the logo will be likely used instead of the current WOT logo during valentines day because of the heart shaped hands, however, it may not include the faces and web.

You can download a complete archive of all his logo submissions at: http://wot.g7w.net/G7W_WOT_logo_contest_submission.rar

You can also view all his images online and see some of his original thoughts at: http://wot.g7w.net

After that very enthusiastic interview, I checked out the hompage of G7w's website, and found out a little more about his background. You can see his homepage at http://g7w.net/

G7w, aka David, currently residing in Ohio, works with Wright Heating and Cooling, and is a veteran of the US Navy. He is also a loyal member of the WOT community.

I hope you enjoyed my interview with g7w. I certainly did. You can find out more about him on his website.

Don't forget to leave your comments on his logo, at

WOT now has three million downloads!

That's right, you read correctly, WOT now has THREE million downloads. And that's not all, it got from two million to three million in just one month. At this rate, WOT will be as popular as Site Advisor fairly soon :D. It's already popping up in forum discussions, blogs, (what a coincidence), and more.

WOT is growing so fast that they got three million downloads before they could finish their contest in celebration of two million downloads. In case you're wondering, it was a logo contest. I will be mentioning the winner in a later post.

What do you think will happen once WOT branches out to chrome? Will it grow to two million downloads a month?

Leave your comments

Friday, December 19, 2008

WOT coming to Chrome!

In a recent blog post made on the WOT website, WOT mentioned the possibility of it being made for google chrome, as it will be releasing the availability of user made add-ons. In fact, they even mentioned WOT on the developer page.

Chrome is my favorite browser, and I'd love to see WOT available for it. Keep rocking WOT!


Welcome, to the WOT: Web of Trust Fan Blog! This blog, created exclusively by fans, is about WOT; a browser add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer, that allows you to determine the security of a website by user reputations. For more information on WOT and how it works see the following links:

To download WOT, see www.mywot.com

This blog talks all about what's new with WOT, my opinions on it, and more. Hope you enjoy :D