USCM stand for “URL and web page Source Code Manipulation and study.” Basically it is the practice of looking at the url of a web page or the source code to either change it to get access to new things or study it to find and pull out information. Think of this as ASA on steroids, and as you know if you read my blog on ASA, ASA is peeling back on steroids.
Let’s start with the URL. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Basically the address for the thing you are wanting to see. Whenever you search for anything on the internet, and you go to a specific page, in the URL window will be the URL of the page. The interesting thing about the URL is what can be found by manipulating it. With “peeling back”, you see what info a particular URL brings and you peel back part of it to see what else there is. For example (these are made up examples) you might see a url that is; http:www.lockout.com/profile/a/developer. This URL might bring back a page of someone in that company who has a profile and their name starts with A and is a developer. With “peeling back” you might take away everything after profile to see what happens. Sometimes this will yield a directory or page were all the profiles of the company are listed. Sometimes it will do nothing. With ASA you might remove the developer and replace it with architect, hoping to get architect resumes that start with A. With USCM you would simply change the A to B, and in most cases you would get all the developers whose name starts with B. So “peeling back” is just removing to uncover new info, ASA is removing some and putting in new, and USCM is simply changing a part of the URL, to show more data. They are all related but do different things. To say it another way “peeling back” is removing, ASA is replacing, and USCM is changing.
A real world example would be the url below
The url above is the url for all the people on linkedin who are following Cisco. Now in looking at it the first thing I see is where is the word Cisco and I wonder what would have happen if I replace Cisco with say Boeing. Guess what that change now makes the url show all the people on linkedin following Boeing. That is USCM.
For the purposes of the next part of USCM, specifically “source code”, we will be talking about Internet Explorer. So every browser has a way to view the code behind the page you are seeing. A lot of great info can be gleamed from that code. As it relates to Linkedin sometimes a person email address might be listed in the source code, Links to the location of pictures will be listed there, links to other pages and so much more. If someone has their own personnel page, but does not show an email address, but does have a way to contact them, if you view the source code sometimes the actual email address will be there. All you have to do is look. The way you look is to go into go into view and then press source, now remember this is in IE, in Chrome you go into tools and view source.
The key with USCM is your ability to observe, think, study, make logical conclusions, and manipulate what you see. There you have it USCM, and what it can do for you, if you take the time to look, study and change.