Black Friday Twitter Project


Intrigued by Web phenom Twitter, StorefrontBacktalk in November 2008 set out to see how well Twitter could function as a near-realtime news alert system. We decided to test it using the Web traffic focus of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Partnering with more than half a dozen Web tracking services, including Gomez, Keynote, Pingdom, Sitemorse, Hitwise, Chase Paymentech and Brulant, StorefrontBacktalk’s Twitter alerts delivered the first reports of uptime hiccups from Walmart, Nordstrom, Sears, Barnes and Noble, Saks, Overstock, Amazon, Kohls, Target, Wegmans, Gap, Costco, Kmart, Bloomingdales, Staples, Jcrew, Victoria’s Secret, Williams-Sonoma and Home Depot, among many others.

The Twitter alerts didn’t go unnoticed, with front page coverage in USA Today as well stories in CNN, MSNBC, among others:

StorefrontBacktalk Black Friday Project Coverage
Click on the bulleted links below to read those stories. will continue to use our Twitter feed to report on breaking news stories throughout the week, often hours—and sometimes more than a day—before we can finish reporting, editing and posting a full-blown story on it. Throughout the year, we’ll also be using the feed for various special retail tech and E-Commerce events around the globe. Hope to have you on board for some!


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Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

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