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Interview with the XRumer author

Have you ever heard about XRumer? Even if not, you face with it every day. It’s that industry-leading program which delivers spam messages to your forums and blogs. XRumer is a wonderful piece of software. Unfortunately, it fights on the dark side.

Anyway, it’s always interesting to learn more about people behind great software. Recently I found an interview with Aleksandr Ryanchenko (“botmaster”), the author of XRumer. Translation to English is below. Thanks Aleksandr Nikolayev (“square”) for interviewing!

Interview with Botmaster

I have recently interviewed a very interesting man, the team leader of XRumer developers - botmaster, Aleksandr Ryanchenko. I am very confident that this product is my best acquisition for the time of online experience :)

Here it is:


square: Of course readers would like to know a little bit about the developers team, understandably you cannot tell us a lot, but let’s try to get to know as much as we can about how you arrange work (in office, freelance workers or something else)? How many people you employ? What is their occupation?

botmaster: We employ two persons – office programmers, and the rest work remotely: technical support for foreign customers, a designer and two more programmers.

square: Do you take new people on your team? Or is the team complete?

botmaster: Of course we take new people, however, finding reliable and professional workers is getting more difficult.

square: Did XRumer project appear before/after the team or in the same time?

botmaster: The core team is I and my acquaintance, a programmer. We used to create some products together, most of which were not for sale, but for our own needs. We had even competed with each other trying to show who’s the best. :) When we started working on XRumer, I worked on one part of software modules and he created other modules, and I would determine technical specifications. As the software became more popular, I had to hire more people, because we couldn’t manage everything ourselves.

square: Why did you decide to create a submitter and who had this idea first?

botmaster: It was an experiment. It all started just a few years ago. When I offered other people to create such program, they would say that it is practically impossible, forums are too different and many of them have a security system. It was the understanding of sophistication that sparked the excitement. Particularly when you consider the fact that there were no such products at that time.

Initially the program was intended for our own needs (emailing by client orders, promotion of our own projects) and for about two years it was not for sale at all. The decision to make this piece of software available for sale was made when clients who ordered emails sending asked giving them the program itself. In practice it turned out that distribution of this program does not make it less efficient, because there are tens of millions of resources for internet posting, and there are many new resources coming.

By the way, the funny name for this program – XRumer was chosen practically by chance, when we did not even think about selling it. Later on, when sales started, it was too late to give it another name. :) Now I can say that to some extent it is a brand name.

square: How do you protect your program against hackers?

botmaster: We are doing it quite well. No one has ever fully hacked it since the release of version 4.0. Version 5.0 has an even better protection. On the other hand, distribution of obsolete, hacked versions of the program is a good advertisement for our product and eventually brings more sales.

square: That is perfect. Now let me ask you a few questions about another category of people who had something to do with XRumer. These are users! What is the approximate number of active users of this software and how many of them are using this piece of software professionally?

botmaster: Simultaneously there are 5 times fewer operated units it as compared to the number of sold units. Some people send emails once in two months, other use it even less often, and some people use it 24 hours a day and even buy additional accounts for installation on multiple computers. It is hard to say how many of them are using this software professionally, because we do no track how exactly people use it.

square: Is it too much trouble to support and teach users? How much time it takes?

botmaster: It takes a lot of time. Sometimes we have to work simultaneously with 20-30 customers. Now software development is slower because of time spent for customer support. It is a natural thing.

square: You have done a lot for automation of interaction with customers, why don’t you implement generation of activation keys without your immediate participation? You cannot be online 24 hours a day.

botmaster: Key generation is implemented in version 5, it is disabled in version 3.

square: In the latest software versions you have fulfilled a number of customer requests in the form of plug-ins, will that become a standard practice? Is it free of charge or not, how much would it cost?

botmaster: In fact about 90% of program innovations result from requests and proposals from customers. It is a standard practice for a long while. All program innovations are free.

square: Please describe in short the expected content of your new forum section – ‘Lessons’?

botmaster: It will contain detailed recommendations for newcomers on how to create correctly a mailing project, analyze program reports, advices to experienced users – teach program about new guest engines, forums, blogs, catalogs, correct utilization of scheduling and self-training systems, methods of guaranteed protection against abuse and so on.

square: Now let’s move on and talk about forum owners. Now most of forum owners know about your program and constantly experience its effect. Were there any threats to you? And how far would threateners go, would they initiate ddos-attacks?

botmaster: Threats come all the time. We politely offer them to delete their forum address from our database.

square: Is it possible to send you a letter and ask you to add a particular forum to black-list? Or, is it added only after an abuse occurs?

botmaster: Yes, that is possible.

square: And our last question, were there any conflicts with SE owners? What attitude do search engines have to you, were there any contacts between you and them?

botmaster: We did not have any conflicts and I hope we will never have! :)

square: If it’s not too much to ask, as a conclusion, what are your wishes to our readers, your current and future buyers?

botmaster: I wish you good luck in all your undertakings! In the future we will try to make you more happy with more frequent software updates, and new software products. Internet is changing rapidly, it is important to understand it and not only rely on proven methods but develop new ones.

square: Thank you very much for your answers, and wish you all the best.

See original article in http://www.seopedia.org/


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1 comment.:

Anonymous said...

Do you get spam on here? Can I protect my sites guestbook from unwanted attention? Porn adverts on a social site are unforgivable SPAM, There is an undertaking by my site members to Never be a costomer to any company that advertises via SPAM!