Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Savage Blog Sacrifice Ritual

According to sources known only to me, due to a clandestine, anonymous poll conducted for my oldest client, Reginald Mental Hygiene Products, I have determined the grim reality.

This is not easy for me to say.

The vast majority of my international readers, particular those in the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and Antarctica, want me to "blog about" the Savage Blog Sacrifice Ritual.

I think I will post a second poll here, due to the frankly underwhelming, whoopee 4 voters in 2 days, I am so disgruntled at the magic of online polling, I'm a gonna throw another one up into the air around here, cut my nose to spite my face (whatever that means??).

Just to make sure you all really want to hear the gory details of the very messy Blog Immolation and Blogger Decomposition.

You're SURE you want to know about this?

It occurs in a pageantry all its own, begun, they say long ago.

Two bloggers were engaging in a noble and radiantly beautiful storm of blog debate. The blogocombat got ugly, really ugly, though not vulgar in any way, and one of them went into Post Blogger Coma.

It was an involuntary sacrifice, the victim was defeated in argument. Flaming, falling into the sea, with lobsters and rockets all around.

The complex, hideous, intensely, nauseatingly gross, and messy, ritual involved was a result of this: the blogger first got angry that she lost the debate. She was humiliated, while the other blogger, the winner, held her dovely head up high and proud.

The loser blogger started posting sporadically, and comments dropped off steeply, from about 20 comments per post, to only 17 or sometime even as low as 12 or 13 comments per post, on average, excluding the Blog Dead Month of January.

Then she dropped blogging altogether--letting her blog float sans author, frozen in time, with last post dated "January 24, 1999" and here it was, already 2003, and now it was time to dispose of the rotting corpse of the abandoned blog.

I've decided to NOT divulge the sickening, undignified, and messy, details of the ritual now. Unless you demand it.

During January, bloggers don't do anything, except complain about how they have nothing to say and are void of all human feelings. And are now eating, and enjoying, cat food and paper clips for every meal, with optional peppermint tooth pick for dessert.

The ritual was exceptional in its social and psychiatric effects. Everyone hated it. I think Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, and Cameron Reilly railed against it, but I could be wrong, and often am.

I was a victim of this brutal and spine-chilling barbarity. They did the ritual to me, did you know that?

Blogs: letter or telephone?

So, what do you say?

Genius here thinks that a blog is a journal. Oh really???

Aaaaaand...i suppose we are to auburnistically assume that since "A BLOG IS JUST A DIARY"...

a blog is more like a letter, or series of written correspondences.

I say: NO.

If you think a blog is more like a letter, television, morse code, smoke signals, bulletin board, than a telephone, I'm sorry: but--you're w=rong.

I'm right. And I say:

A blog is clearly more like a Telephone Conversation. More: it's like a Livingroom or Tavern Conversation.

[signed] steven, etc. VTG

Best explanation of blog: Toby Bloomberg

In my maniacal, obsessive, relentless pursuit of the eliptical trapezoid hunger artist: The Explanation of the Blog, I have found finally: it.

At Bloomberg Marketing, Toby's web site.

I think this is the best Enhanced Definition of "Blog":


A blog is a cost efficient, effective easy-to use, internet-base, communication tool.

Blogs, short for weblogs, are a variation of a traditional web site complete with URLs and linking ability. However, there is the option to include comments from visitors. Posts (content entry) are in reverse chronological order giving the blog the look a journal format. The most current content is always at the top of the page.

There is no need for a webmaster. Even non-technical people can quickly learn to blog. Authors can edit, update and maintain content without ever knowing an HTML code. If you can use Microsoft Word you can blog.

The major difference between a website and a blog is that a website is usually a static communication vehicle, while a blog is dynamic in nature, constantly changing and evolving. The ease in adding content lends itself to more frequent posts than a traditional website. Blog posts range from a few sentences to a couple of short paragraphs to a series of bulleted lists.

Although blogs can have multiple authors, most blogs are written by one person. The best bloggers are authentic and candid. Their writing reflects their personality through voice, tone and style. Since most postings are written in a conversational tone, blogs convey a familiarity that does not exist in static websites.


Contact Toby:
info [at] bloombergmarketing.com

[signed] steven e. streight aka vaspers the grate

Special computer to store Bill Gates fortune

Bill Gates, the world's richest man, said the tax office in the US has to store his financial data on a special computer because his fortune--[$47 billion USD]--is so vast. "My tax return in the United States has to be kept on a special computer because their normal computers can't deal with the numbers," he said at a Microsoft conference held in Lisbon.


And...Vaspers the Grate, deconstructionist Blogologist un-extraordinaire, the Blogosphere's Greatest underachiever and Know-it-All, is mentioned in a book that Bill Gates' Chief Blogger just published with a veteran PR pro.

It's called Naked Conversations. They say, "Get Naked", but since I am so against sexploitation and gender-object domination systems, I say, "Lay down on the Red Couch."

Buy it today, then you can be, nob just my friend, but: my very special friend. And keep posting astonishing blog posts and blog comments, like Seth Godin says.

Infinite Praise for Blog Lurkers

Infinite praise is what lurkers deserve.

Yes, I said lurkers.


You know. Your readers who don't ever, or very rarely, post comments.

What are we, as deconstructive blogologists and blog lovers, what are we to think?

That they don't like us? They are "withholding" their comments, depriving us of their wit and wisdom to be mean-spirited? To punish us? To imply we are boring, but they also are boring so they bore their boring heads at your boredom blog?

No, a thousand times: NO!

Lurkers love you.

Lurkers promote you...offline, in the *real* world.

Lurkers defend you in liquor serving establishment brawls and fisticuffs.

Lurkers treat your enemies like punching bags, clean their clocks, and deliver "early birthday presents" to them. A real slopbucketing with special effects, for those who know the secret Vaspers Vocabulary.

Lurkers are your allies.


LUrkerS...are so in awe of you, they want to shut up and listen TO YOU. They don't want to inflict their thoughts on you, they just want to lovingly soak up your splendid and unequaled genius.

LurkERS love you...and they also love YOUR BLOG.

They love the design, the paragraph spacing, the lack of ads, the relevant archive categories, the frequency of your posting, the color of your hair, the smell of your wires, the taste of your treats.

LurKErs also love your COMMENT POSTERS.

They love reading the comments, they always side with you and your supporters, they cheer you on...like angels.

LURkers...are angels hovering over your blog, protecting it with their loving and admiring thoughts.


[You have just been exposed to the scathing acerbics of an Unpaid Opinion Essay--brought to you by Steven Edward Streight who is = the VAspers the GRRrrrate, in a mellow, Jimmy Buffet mood.]

30 ways to improve your blog posts

Here are some ways to improve your blog posts:

(1) Use number titles: "12 Ways to...."

(2) Use inspiring titles: "Why You Should Keep Blogging, Even When No Comments are Posted"

(3) Use how to titles: "How to Evaluate Blog Credibility"

(4) Avoid vague titles like "Check it out"

(5) Post, within 24 hours, about a hot issue in the news.

(6) Let your readers have input on topics you choose to blog about.

(7) Avoid filthy language, which is just shock value or immaturity.

(8) Study good, high traffic blogs in your field for inspiration.

(9) Post about what other bloggers are saying, with links to their posts.

(10) Say what you *really* think...and don't worry about negative reader reactions or declining numbers of RSS subscribers.

(11) Keep your posts, and paragraphs, as short as possible.

(12) Use bold, color, type sizing, lists, and subheads to help readers scan and skim.

(13) Respect the impatience and hurried nature of blog surfing.

(14) Post only what is truly relevant and important to your purpose and your readers.

(15) Be bold, aggressive, and polite.

(16) Share with your readers what you've learned about blogging.

(17) Provide useful, practical information...and not just your opinions.

(18) Study the blogs of pioneers like Doc Searls, Evan Williams, Robert Scoble, Jorn Barger, John C. Dvorak, Matt Mullenweg, Richard Edelman, Mark Cuban.

(19) Use variety, surprise, atypicality, eccentricity, and refreshing candor.

(20) Expose crimes, wrongs, incompetence, immorality, and stupidity.

(21) Directly invite readers to voice their opinion in comments or emails to you.

(22) Post about blogospheric oddities, weird and bizarre blogs (like Dvorak recently did about the blog of North Korean dictator).

(23) Include JPEG optimized photos and art, but not too many.

(24) Write about whatever you have passion *and* expertise or experience in.

(25) Write in a friendly, conversational, casual tone.

(26) Write as perfectly and correctly as possible.

(27) Click on the links in your posts, to make sure you typed them in correctly.

(29) Revise and edit your posts, when necessary, including typos.

(30) Write funny posts now and then.

Now, I'm sure I'm forgetting some good tips.

Have you any post writing techniques to share with us?

Post a comment or email me your insights, opinions, complaints, or corrections.

Thanks, friend!

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Blogroll filtering made easy

In my quest to do "Spring cleaning" at this blog, I decided to eliminate some sidebar graphics. Now I'm looking at my blogroll, and have decided to do some "filtering".

What I mean is: I'm going to visit each blog listed in my sidebar blogroll. If I don't see enough relevant recent posts, flush down the toilet they go. Deleted.

If your blog is deleted, sorry.

But I like it when I see a short blogroll on a blog. Why clutter your blogroll with blogs you never visit anymore, and even worse, no longer seem relevant to readers?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Erotic ads in MySpace

Here is a rather mild example of the Erotic Ads that can be found in the Pseudo Blog arena of MySpace.

I have also seen ads showing a woman in panties pulling her sweater off.

The ads are explicitly suggestive of careless sex.

It's more proof of the Domination System that is in place at MySpace, exploiting the natural sexual drives of teenagers.



Nice little whorehouse you're operating Robert Murdock.

Have fun in hell, loser. You schmuck-face jerk.

Kindly yours,

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

EDIT UPDATE: For vomit-inducing news on old geezer males preying on your teenagers, and I mean mostly girls from 12 to 16 years old, see Dateline and MSNBC.

A grisly report on a man showing up *totally naked*, with a 6 pack of beer, at a teenager's house, and Fairfax County Police jerks saying "no crime has been committed" and "you have to prove intent", and how the content of material these old geezers are sending to your daughters includes bestiality and encouraging your daughters to "commit bestial acts", see:

"Why the Dateline predators were not charged"


If this doesn't make you sick, I give up.

MySpace is Sex Predator's Paradise

MySpace is a Sex Predator's Paradise, Mr. Murdock.

Do you care, Mr. Murdock?

From "Teen Menu" at the Blog Safety site:


The sad fact is that it is now very easy to find teenage victims in your community, thanks to an online social networking service called MySpace.com.

This advertising-supported site, which was acquired last year by Rupert Murdock's News Corporation, presents a veritable smorgasbord of teenagers, organized by community and high school.

If you know the name of your local school and the sex and age of teens you're seeking, you can find them on MySpace.

What's more, in most cases, you can find pictures, names and photos of their friends; details about where they were born; what they like; and where they hang out. In many cases, you can also find their full names and cell phone numbers.

As an experiment, I used the site's search function to look for 16- and 17-year-old "women"who attend the high school near where I live -- where my kids went to school.

Within seconds, I was presented with a list of 198 girls who were registered on the service. Including boys, there were a total of 577 listings for current students, which represents about a third of the school's student body.

The search function allows you to specify age, starting at 16.

MySpace's terms of service say that it's open to people 14 or older, but there is no age verification process to prevent younger kids from setting up an account by lying about their date of birth.

One of the girls, who is 16, has a sexually suggestive word as part of her user name.

Thanks to MySpace, I have a pretty complete picture of her life. I know the day she was born, the hospital she was born in, her full name, where she goes to school, what she likes to eat, what time she goes to bed at night and her favorite fast-food restaurant.

She gets along with her parents "sometimes". In the past month she says she has consumed alcohol, eaten sushi, been to a mall, and gone askinny dipping. She says she has shoplifted at least once, wants to be a lawyer and would like to visit Egypt.

Information like this, which used to take predators months to extract from a child can -- in the wrong hands -- be skillfully used to help win a child's confidence.

Thanks to several pictures on her site, I also know exactly what she looks like and have seen pictures of many of her friends and am able to access her friends' profiles as well. This girl lives within a few miles of my house. Some of the pictures were clearly taken at the local high school.

With information like this, it would be pretty easy for someone with bad intentions to locate this girl.

Then the question is what might happen. Hopefully, the young lady would have the sense to avoid the person, but armed with enough information, predators can be very good at persuading would-be victims to comply with their wishes.


Have a nice Mr. Murdock.

Enjoy Hell when you get there.

Your negligence gleams like filth in the sky.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

12 Steps to Fearless Blogging

How to blog without fear is an acquired skill, and may require frequent blog and online forum debate. I have a recent friendly blog debate example for you to assess, if you care to.

You state a fact, theory, or opinion in your blog. Then someone posts a comment, a question, criticism, or complaint. Let's say it was a very harsh statement, that may even alarm you, or hurt your feelings.

What do you do?

You reply promptly, as nicely as possible. Hopefully, you refrain from using vulgar, filthy, or crazy speech. But you must be more than just polite and friendly. You must also be firm, bold, and aggressive. Especially if the criticism is foolish or betrays an underlying hatred of blogs or free expression.

When I say "blog", in this article I refer to:

(A) writing posts on your blog

(B) answering comments on your blog

(C) posting comments at other blogs.

How To Blog
Without Fear

(1) Beneficial: discuss and debate only those issues that are really useful to people, related to ethics, or concerned with effective methods ("best practices").

(2) Authoritative: make sure you've done your homework and know what you're talking about.

(3) Polite: try to be a lady or gentleman. Don't use vulgar, filthy, hateful, or crazy speech.

(4) Bold: state things as firmly as possible, so there is no mistaking your viewpoint.

(5) Supportive: defend your mentors, role models, allies, friends, and more importantly: Truth, Integrity, Human Dignity.

(6) Smart: become an expert in some area, even if it's a tiny specialty nobody cares or knows much about. Be increasingly knowledgable, growing in wisdom and experience daily.

(7) Armed and Dangerous: have your facts ready, including quotes from respected experts, both print books and online sources. Include the post URL or page number of the book.

(8) Revise to Perfection: write your reply, then, prior to clicking "Submit" or "Say It", sit there. Stare at your text. Ask, "Is this too angry, bitter, hysterical? is it just an emotional reaction, without substance? Is this what I really want the whole world to see?" (I often delete or radically change my first bursts of writing, not to soften, but to make the statements sound more intelligent and professional, when necessary.)

(9) Question Your Motivation: are you getting upset just to save face, to try to defend yourself to a bunch of dopes? Are you really in the right? Are you making a personal attack that you may regret later? Why are you even spending time in this debate? Are you trying to educate?

(10) Delete, Shorten, Improve: it may sound redundant, but be sure to finely craft your response. It may be quoted all over the internet, or in a book like Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Your words may be shot back to you in a job interview, when the prospective employer Googles your name or blog title.

(11) Copy Before Submitting: always use your Edit function of your browser to Copy your comment at another's blog, then you can Paste it in your own blog, as the nucleus of a new post. Or, if something goes wrong in the submit process, you won't lose that brilliant text you worked so hard on. You can Paste it back into the comment form and try to submit again.

(12) Aggressive: your attackers, or friendly debate opponents, will probably be highly polished, intelligent, or have great writing and debate skills. If you appear uncertain, ill-informed, over-emotional, or weak, they will bury you and the whole world will laugh at you.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Hanging out at Blog Business Summit

Is Blog Business Summit the new Red Couch (now Naked Conversations)?

This blog is really fun for a Rabid Blogologist (like me) to read.

It's one of the main places where Vaspers hangs out nowadays, though I still love the Naked Conversations blog. Shel Israel continues to wage relentless blogocombat over there.

Read about the gross negligence of the publisher of that insanely exaggerated, idiotic, unrealistic bundle of lies book A Million Little Pieces, and the unbelievable stupidity of Oprah...in the recent post: "Why Oprah won't be hollering at Scoble".


Blogs for customer support, NOT marketing

Blogs work best in customer support applications--not marketing.

Oh sure, you can have a Vending Machine Blog, a blog that tries to sell various items. In some cases, this has worked. But generally, a blog is not suited for sales, marketing, or hype.

Why? Because blogs have historically been, and continue to be, platforms for textualized talking, or communicating with others in a diary format, and in a decidedly NON-corporate manner and tone.

You think I'm just expressing a biased opinion?

Look at the telephone.

How much product do you buy from telemarketers? Not much, huh? Most people hate it when someone uses a Conversation Tool as a crass, pushy Sales Vehicle.

Now consider the television.

Don't you just love all those commercial interuptions? TV is an entertainment, news, and sports platform. Ads turn us off.

How about the mailbox.

We just crave more junk mail every day, right? Mail is a correspondence vehicle, good for private messages or package delivery of things ordered from a catalog, 800 number, etc.

You cannot take a tool designed for communication, or entertainment, or correspondence...and twist it into a sales, marketing, or promotion gimmick. Yet, that's what a lot of businesses and bloggers are trying to do. Watch most of them fall flat on their faces.

What's the secret to using blogs, then?

As Shel Israel and Robert Scoble explain in Naked Conversations (both the book and the blog), blogs are perfect for establishing candid, honest, transparent conversations with your readers, fans, customers, clients, prospects, and peers.

Blogs are best for warm, human public relations. Not press releases, but genuine, intimate confessions, revelations, mutual interests.

If all you want to say is: "Buy my product."
If all you want to hear is: "Love your product."

Then: please stay the hell away from the blogosphere. We don't want you. We'll flame you until you run off with your tail on fire. We'll make you look idiotic.

You can "sell" or more accurately, "display", your expertise. Your passion for the general field that your product or company inhabits. Your experiences and anecdotes. But *not* your products, in most cases.

If I convince you, through this blog, that I'm a blogology expert, if I discuss many issues related to blogs, then you are more likely to be interested in any products I might have. Some readers may even demand that I publish a book containing my best thoughts and observations, my smartest analysis and funniest anecdotes, about blogging.

You have a business. What industry is it in? Why not blog about that general field?

I am interested in Blogging For Hire. I will blog for a company, but I will not blog about the company. I will blog about my area of expertise, and any company in the field of communicatons technology, that wants to improve customer relations, could benefit from having me do a blog that is associated with their company.

I will not be a Paid Word of Mouth "buzz agent".

That is Consumer Fraud, pretending to like and use a product, because you're paid to. It's a form of lying and it's that Old Economy BS that nobody trusts anymore.

"Chocolate Ovaltine is delicious and healthy...and, to fully disclose, I am paid to say this, but it's true and I do like the taste of it."

Only a fool would believe a Buzz Agent.

How can you use a blog to provide useful advice, information, or even entertainment, to your customers? Think about it and do it.

Before your competitors beat you to it.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Blogging Delivered ad by AT&T

Vaspers spots "Blogging Delivered" billboard ad of AT&T in Peoria.

Have you seen this billboard? When my wife (I almost said "my wifi") and I saw this, we almost had a car accident. I said, "Blogging is so popular, it's advertised on billboards now?"

Is AT&T offering telephonic audioblogs?

This is an example of wasted ad dollars. The "blogging delivered" says absolutely NOTHING. There is no clear benefit, product, promise, claim, or USP (unique selling point, or product differentiation).

Part of "_________ delivered" campaign, Hundreds of Millions of Dollars (billions?), a real shame they are so DAMNED STUPID.

They need another phrase or sentence to explain what the hell they're talking about. This is being commented on by Robert Scoble and others. Scoble says AT&T should have given some of that ad budget to some bloggers, who could be paid buzz agents, and would accomplish more than a stupid one line billboard.

Adland says AT&T is "taking credit for shit they don't do."


See the flickr photo and comments.


[signed]steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

P.S. My poll is a huge success already, 30 minutes or so after I posted it. 100% of you want to know more about "How to Promote a Blog", which is a really easy, simple topic to write about. A post on this topic is coming soon, today, if my shoulder will just shut up and quit hurting.

Most popular Vaspers posts

Most Popular Posts of Vaspers...

...according to The Truth Laid Bear (TTLB) Ecosystem tracking of "posts most linked to by other bloggers":

Top Posts:

(1) Tom Morris questions Vaspers Blogosphere 2006

(2) Amy Gahran attacks blog conversation concept

(3) blog addiction

(4) Feeding cat steak to mice

(5) Top IT Sources according to Strategic Board

(6) Blogging tips for 2006

(7) all blogs are metablogs

(8) Reader reviews my CompuMusik CD "CN Metaphysics"

(9) multiphonic blogs

(10) How many blogospheres are there?

This is based on how many bloggers have linked to the posts, and it's only the most recent posts that are counted.

Measuring link popularity of a blog

Con artists are always trying to spam search engines, create link farm blogs, artificially boost their link popularity, and other dumb ass measures for Instant Success (which does not exist).

There are no shortcuts to blog success. It takes hard work, patience, trial and error, and dedication.

Look at how The Truth Laid Bear (TTLB) Ecosystem describes Raw Link Count vs. Link Score, in its FAQ.


He discusses "clinking" (a Vaspers neologism, new word) or "clique linking", as seen, ofr example, in Weblogsinc. and other networking blogs.


In the past, the raw link count seemed a good measure of blog's relative success and popularity, but in recent times, the blog world has grown more complicated, with more intricate patterns of linking that can distort such a ranking system --- sometimes deliberately, sometimes simply as a consequence of the natural evolution of the blogosphere.

To address this issue, TTLB now calculates a link score for each blog which ultimately determines where the blog falls in the Ecosystem rankings. Unlike the raw link count, the link score attempts to correct for issues such as the following:

Blog Networks:

Recently we have seen the rise of 'networks' of blogs, often founded as commerical ventures, such as Weblogs, Inc. and Creative Weblogging.

Frequently, blogs in these networks include not only permalinks to other member blogs in their blogrolls, but a rolling list of posts from their sister blogs as well.

Networked blogs, therefore, immediately end up with a signficiant number of links that don't necessarily say much at all about how popular they are to the general blogosphere, which is what the Ecosystem is attempting to measure.

So: TTLB now adjusts a blog's link score to ignore links that come from sister blogs in the same network.

Excessive links from blog-to-blog:

One link from blog A to blog B shows that A thinks B is interesting. Two or three links from A to B shows that A thinks B is really interesting. But how about 10 or 20 links?

We're now seeing small, informal groups of blogs which seem to link to each other's every post, thereby inflating their Ecosystem rankings.

In addition, given that it is quite easy, and frequently free, to set up a blog, there have also been blogs which seem to serve little purpose but to link to other blogs and provide them a rankings boost.

So, to combat these problems, the Ecosystem now puts a limit on how many links any blog can provide to another blog before it flags those links as suspect and ignores them.

Excessive links from a single blog in general:

Should a link from a blog with 2,000 links to other blogs be worth exactly the same as a link from a blog with only 200 outbound links?

A link is a recommendation; it says, "Go look over here, and you'll find something interesting."

So should a recommendation from someone who says everything is interesting be considered as valuable as one from someone who seems to choose their recommendations with more care?

I say "no".

And so there is now a cutoff point for total number of outbound links a blog can have, after which, each additional link causes the "weighting" of a link from that blog to decrease slightly. As I know this is a controversial measure, I've made the limit very conservative: by my estimates, less than 5% of all blogs will be affected by this limit.

So unless you link to more blogs than 95% of the blogosphere, you don't have to worry about this change.



Saving a blog template

Here's how to save a blog template.

This is also a lesson in writing technical documentation. The biggest mistake in tech doc is forgetting a step, assuming users "already know that" or "will automatically do that". Go from A to Z, not from C to Q.

I use my Blogger blog as an example. Yours may be different in some respects.

Blog Template Saving

(1) Go to Blogger dashboard (blog edit control panel).

(2) Select "Change Settings" for the blog whose template you want to save.

(3) Select "Template" (tab).

(4) Select "Edit Current".

(5) Put cursor on beginning of template code ("DOCTYPE..."), left click once, drag cursor and highlight the whole code.

(6) Go to top browser chrome and select "Edit", then "Copy".

(7) Select "Start" in bottom browser chrome.

(8) Select "WordPad" or "NotePad" or whatever text editor you have.

(9) When new file opens with blank page, select "Paste".

(10) After entire code has been pasted, select "Save".

(11) Type in title for this file ("Vaspers template January 29, 2006"), and save it.

(12) Select "Exit".

Congratulations. Your blog template is saved. Now you don't have to worry.

If you don't do this, I pity you.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Consider using a poll in your blog

Today I added a new feature--a poll. Notice that I'm using a poll for a serious, user-oriented purpose. Think about how you can use a poll in your blog.

I believe strongly in interactive, dynamic (fresh, updated content) web sites and blogs. When people come to your site, they want to learn, do things, and improve themselves in some way. My principles of blogology generally apply, with few exceptions, to all types of blogs.

So, to practice what I preach, I am using a Pollhost voting box device: asking you good and wonderful readers what ONE thing you MOST want from Vaspers the Grate blog.

Why should I write what I'm passionate about...but not know what you folks may be seeking?

Passion without wisdom, enthusiasm without market research, exuberance and zeal that flounders around in the dark, in assumptions and guesses...

...is not the best way to blog.

Carrie Snell is using Pollhost, and she is no dummy, so I decided to follow her lead, and try out Pollhost.

Please vote for that ONE primary, major thing you'd like to see MORE of at this blog. Thanks a lot. I do it ALL for you.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Joel Spolksy's design manifesto

Joel Spolsky, blog and software development pioneer, has an excellant series of articles on Design Basics and Web Design. I'm calling it a manifesto. He speaks of the contradictory requirements imposed on design.

"Great Design: what is design?"


A very funny explanation of how a garbage can has to be contradictory things. Small (so pedestrians can walk past it) AND large (to fit plenty of garbage in). He goes on to say it has to be light (so garbage collectors can lift it) AND heavy (so the wind won't blow it away)...and more contradictions.

Contradictions call for compromise. Compromise calls for wisdom in knowing what is flexible and what cannot be changed. And so on.

This series of essays comes just as I am doing some "Spring Cleaning" at Vaspers the Grate. I'm streamlining. Deleting photos and functions that are not all that vital to my main message of Web Usability and Blogology: Best Practices, Ethics, Effective Blogging.

Joel is a good blog writer. I joyfully read every word of his blog post, without fuzzing out a single time. I paid attention, and it was a fun read. It was exactly what I needed.

For example...


Every design decision involves tradeoffs, whether it's finding space for all your icons on the toolbar, picking the optimal balance of font size and information density, or deciding how best to use the limited space for buttons on a cellphone.

Bell System TelephoneEvery new feature is a tradeoff, between the people who could really use such a feature and the people who are just going to get overwhelmed by all the options.

The reason 1950s-era telephones were so much easier to use than modern office phones is that they just didn't do much. Without voicemail, conference calling, three-way calling, and Java games, all you need is a way to dial numbers and hang up on the man claiming to be selling police benevolence.

By which I mean to say: even if you think your new feature is all good and can't hurt because "people who don't care can just ignore it," you're forgetting that the people who allegedly don't care are still forced to look at your feature and figure out if they need it.


Be sure to visit Joel Spolsky's blog and read the entire article. It made my day.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Dvorak "deconstructs" blogs?

My good friend John C. Dvorak (see my sidebar for his kind comments about Vaspers) has taken my secret weapon, deconstruction, and has tried to "deconstruct" blogs, with his "8 rules for a perfect blog".


John, are you poking fun at Vaspers? I'm sure you will apologize tomorrow, with flowers and candy. You better! Those rules suck!

[P.S. His post is a joke. You just gots to read it, now, fast, hurry up, move it buster, go!]

EDIT UPDATE: John just emailed me and reminded me that this article is from 2002! I got a Google Alert on it, so late last night I sleepily assumed it was a new article. How perceptive he was way back then. Good going, mate!

McDonalds has a blog

McDonalds Blog


Check it out. Post nice comments, if it deserves nice comments. I will be reporting my analysis of this soon. Until then, what do YOU think of McDonalds' blog?

Attention Abuse/Spam commenters

Screw you. I win. My blog door is locked. You can't get in.

My blog is pure, free of your filth. Have a not very nice day, sucka foo.

Get paid to blog on ZD Net

Get paid to blog on ZD Net.



What's your area of expertise?

If you've got great credentials, good writing ability, and passionate authenticity, we'd like to hear from you.

Please send an e-mail–with your full name, preferred daytime contact information, and a relevant writing sample–to David Grober. And yes, we'll pay for steady, high-quality blogging.

Email to:

david [dot] grober [at] cnet [dot] com


shel holtz defends the blogosphere

My, how refreshing to finally see a blogger with a brain!

Now, I don't know if I will find myself agreeing with everything this guy posts, but this one ripped the lid off my head with sheer power blogging ability. Shel Holtz, in his blog "a shel of my former self", explains why Ad Age is wrong to state that a blogger is "just a writer...who happens to use blog software."

His post "Ad Age strikes again" is an excellant read. Some guy at Ad Age, Simon Dumenco, says "there is no such thing as blogging or a blogger". Really?


I know. That link goes to my comment that I posted, but the post is above it.Hey, my Geek Neck is burning in painful agony, yet I force myself to Twist & Blog, a new technique. You squirm around in your chair in a Tai Chi manner, to loosen joints and ligaments, to prevent permanent nerve damage and paralysis.

A blogger is not "just a writer with a new tool".

A blogger is called a "blogger" to indicate WHERE he or she publishes material, and HOW it is done, and, to some degree at least, the WAY it is presented, meaning "sharp tongued, unfiltered, fast-paced, confrontational style".

A writer who uses a typewriter can be called a typist. A writer who uses a blog can, and should be called a blogger. A person who writes novels is a novelist. A person who writes a newspaper column is a columnist.

See? The practice is widespread. Writers who blog are bloggers. Yeah, buddy.

Anyway, I'm thankful for good, smart, ethical bloggers. God knows we desperately need more of this type.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Technorati is hiring now

Technorati Help Wanted ad

new scum blogger attack

New scum blogger attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. I think I'm fairly well known as a crusader for ethical blogging, so I'm not shocked that I have many enemies. Enemy combatants who rack their brains for ways to attack me, my blog, and my readers.

Vaspers the Grate is, as far as I can tell, the sharp tip of the Sword of Truth, the point that drives home the cut that slices into Pseudo-bloggery's kingdom of crud.

Evil people are smarter than good people. There's a word for good people who are so damned pleased with how trusting and naive they are. That word is chump.

Every person who is duped by an Instant Riches Con Artist has larceny in his heart.

A chump is a greedy, lazy person who wants to steal from others, or get something free, but is tricked into being the victim instead. In other words, people who fall for scams typically are seeking to rip someone else off, take advantage of someone, or get something for nothing.

Are you looking for a Get Something For Nothing scheme? Are you looking for an Easy Way to Get Rich Fast?

Then you're a chump. You're an easy target for con artists.

I will now tell you about a new twist. Someone tried to post a comment at my post "MySpace: toilet of the blogosphere?" This person was trying to post a Con Artist promotion at my site.

The scum blogger tried to post a malicious comment, a comment that would take you to their Blogspot blog, where a scam was being promoted. If I would have sloppily decided to Publish This Comment, you folks would be in a world of hurt, let me tell you.

The comment was "I'm the [color] [rodent]."

I delete the color, and animal, as an additional safeguard.

You say, "Huh? How is this a malicious comment?"

I reply: it was a mysterious statement designed to draw curious readers to the commenter's blog.

But I have mental and metaphysical filters, in addition to my other more digital defenses against cyber criminals.

Once you arrived at the scum blog,

[EDIT UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the scumblogger first wrote about how you should never respond to a PayPal email, that PayPal does not send out emails, that you should go to the PayPal site to do transactions. This much is true.

See? A scum blogger con artist will present you with something that is true and protective. So you think: "Wow. She is right. Bless her heart for saying that. I like this blog." At that point, the trap is set.]

you would be greeted with a series of posts on a scheme to use PayPal's Merchant Exchange Program and a Chain Letter Email device, where you send an email message to 5 people, with your name at the top of the list. You deposit $5.00 in your account, and do some other stupid things...

...and supposedly become a millionaire in weeks.

The scum blogger said that Oprah was proclaiming this system as a Get Rich Quick scheme that is legal and really works. What a pile of crap. I googled a few phrases and came up with nothing to confirm this wild and crazy scheme, not even anyone warning others about the scam. So I'm warning you now.

I'm thankful to have Email Notification of New Comments, Word Verification, and Comment Moderation with Delayed Comment Posting. Some of my readers may think it's a nuisance to go through the Word Verification captcha and Comment Moderation process. But it's not that hard is it?

Now I want you to think about how these safeguards are protecting you. This was just one example.

[signed] steven streight aka vaspers the grate

MySpace: toilet of the blogosphere?

MySpace is what I suspected it was: a sex predator's paradise.

Why? Because ignorant or negligent parents have not warned their children about NOT revealing home addresses, phone numbers, etc. on their blogs.

I have started a deconstructive MySpace blog SoMeEx (social media experiment), but it's starting to evolve into more a vice squad detective investigation.

Rampant immorality, underage drinking, drug use, sexual images, and massive disclosure of sensitive private information are abundant in MySpace.

MySpace is fast shaping up as the toilet of the blogosphere, a happy hunting ground for perpetrators, and a Clear and Present Danger for teenagers.

I went to birthday party in a hick farm town today. My wife's rural relatives were there. I took lots of photos, which will appear here soon. I asked the teenagers present, like I always do, if they had blogs. Nope. But they said they did visit the MySpace "blogs" of their friends.

"People can change your blog, that sucks," a teen boy nephew-in-law informed me.

"Nobody can change your blog, unless you give them the password," a female teen clarified.

When I mentioned the Erotic Ads in MySpace, even attached to my SoMeEx blog, parents looked concerned. I told them it seems to be a soft porn hook-up site, where teenagers try to meet people for sexual adventures, called "romance".

This is what I'm starting to discover. I think I'm quickly turning into a MySpace hater.

Now this from the MSM blog "Mank Blog" of MSNBC, which has been exposing the unseemly side of the pseudo-blogosphere called MySpace. Perhaps a better title for this might be "PredatorSpace".

"Why parents must mind MySpace"


by Rob Stafford
NBC News
January 27, 2006


Margaret Sullivan: "I found all kinds of pictures of kids in revealing positions, and pictures of kids scantily dressed."

It’s a cyber secret teenagers keep from tech-challenged parents who are not as savvy as Margaret. It’s a world where the kids next door can play any role they want. They may not realize everyone with Internet access, including sexual predators, may see the pictures and personal information they post.

When “Dateline” surfed MySpace, we found scenes of binge drinking, apparent drug use, teens posing in underwear, and other members simulating sex, and in some cases even having it.

We also found less provocative pages like Shannon’s was, but potentially even more dangerous.

Teens listed not only their names, and addresses, but even cell phone numbers and after school schedules.

Parry Aftab, Internet lawyer and safety expert: [It’s] one stop shopping for sexual predators, and they can shop by catalogue. Internet lawyer Parry Aftab started the Web site wiredsafety.org, and her safety tips appear on MySpace.com.

Stafford: Do parents have any idea what some kids are posting on these sites?

Aftab: Parents are clueless. They’re caught like deer in the headlights.

Aftab educates parents and kids about the dangers lurking on the Web.

Aftab: Pedophiles are using all of the social networking sites. And every other anonymous Internet technology to find kids. The social networking sites are where kids are.

Aftab says even kids who don’t list their name and address can provide enough personal information— such as the kinds of bands and boys they love— for a pedophile to use to con their way into their lives.

Aftab: If someone knows you "like pina coladas and walks in the rain," it’s very easy online to be exactly what it is you’re looking for— to be your “soul mate.”

Stafford: Who might happen to be a 40 year old predator?

Aftab: Absolutely. The teens just don’t get it. To them, they’re talking to a computer monitor. They’re playing in an area where they don’t recognize the consequences. In the last month, authorities have charged at least three men with sexually assaulting teenagers they found through MySpace.com and just this week police found a missing 15-year-old girl who investigators say was sexually assaulted by a 26-year-old man she met through the site. MySpace members are now warning each other about the danger of sharing information online.

Aftab says parents need to find out what their kids are sharing.

Aftab: Say to your kids, “I’d like to see your profile page tomorrow.” It’s important that you give them a day to clean up their page. That will be the last time you give them warning.

Then Aftab says look at their site: Are the pictures provocative? Their profiles too detailed? Who are they talking to? And perhaps most important— have they kept their profiles private, protected by a password, to keep strangers out?

MySpace.com would not agree to an on-camera interview but did tell “Dateline” via e-mail that it prohibits posting personal information and has a team that searches for and removes both underage users and offensive material.

MySpace said it does not pre-screen the content of its more than 50 million members, but encourages all of them to exercise caution.


Is MySpace the toilet of the blogosphere?

I'm beginning to wonder.

I think blogologists and blog consultants need to speak out on this. You help clients have effective blogs. But what about the teenage children of your clients? Who is protecting them?

Give your blog clients information on online safety and how to prevent sexual predators, homocidal maniacs, and other deviants from preying on children.

Blogs and Murder

I have blogged about "Blogs and Murder" (type those words into the Search This Site text entry box at top of this blog to see my posts).

Another great MSM article on MSNBC web site is:

"When murder hits the blogosphere"


[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Universal Business Ethics, Google, China

Dave Taylor, a consistently interesting blogger, who has written many computer books, has a controversial post recently published:

"Google gets pragmatic and enters China"


One line of thought is that business can do business wherever the F business wants to.

This is called Arrogant Narcissistic Delusion.

It always culminates in irreversible psychosis from the total dis-integration of the sense of corporate self and self-objects (others who are manipulated as mere extentions of the self, the company, rather than as independent digified subjects of equal value and human worth)...or bloody revolution and death to the tyrants.

I don't understand why anyone thinks "pragmatic" means "cold hearted killer".

I mean, why equate "practical, financial considerations" with "no morality, no ethical standards"?

[Criminals are laughing right now.]

Is this Separation of Church (weird metaphor for Ethics) and State (ugly metaphor for Corporation)?

Who says: "Separate human values from business policy"?

Con artists do. Spammers. Sex slavers. Drug pushers. Monopoly-mongers. Wall Street sharks. Fly-by-night home improvement drifters. Cults. Black slave traders of the past. RIAA. Multi-Level Marketing scammers. Television infomercial sponsors. Telemarketing schemers. Email spammers. Blog comment spammers.

That's who.

Evil people are far smarter than good people, and it's time for good people to wake up and smell the coffin.

Ethics are pragmatic. Immorality often ends up with untimely death, prison terms, and public humiliation. Yet human greed remains self-deceived, totally blind and deaf to the widely proclaimed and proven True Moral Pragmatism, the Absolute Supremacy of Light over Darkness, the Law of All Universes.

Yet, how do we evaluate Microsoft and Google in their relations to the repressive, scumbag Chinese government?

[QUOTE--my comment on Dave Taylor's blog]

Psycho Capitalism is the Mammonist worship of money at any cost (excuse the pun).

Step on any morality just so long as you make filthy lucre, is their policy.

Business is historically the black sheep of the human family. Only at about the time of Buddha, Jesus, and the Roman road system did the Merchant begin to gain some status.

But historically, merchants are low life scum you cannot trust to have any honesty or morals.

I see little evidence of any moral evolution of business, which is why we must struggle to regain some ethical qualities and dignity, in contrast to the many Enrons and Martha Stewarts out there.

Google I like and support. This China situation is tricky and complex.

But I will say this: we should punish China economically for their sick, depraved, monstrosity of Mind Control BS government.

You *never* hurt business by being ethical. You *never* jeopardize your business growth by refusing to compromise with evil and tyranny.

Profits from porn, sex slavery, drugs, spam, con jobs, and business with repressive scum bag nations, like Retard China and North Korea Cult State, is "dirty blood money".

Still, I respect both Microsoft and Google, while having serious concerns about their dealings with that crap country China.

Posted by: steven streight aka vaspers the grate on January 28, 2006 09:32 AM


Go visit Dave's blog for his post that I commented on.

Will Microsoft and Google, by the power of thought and opinion dissemination, the spread of multi-phonicity, conquer the tyrant...through the back door, so to speak?


Berkman Center for Internet and Society
at Harvard Law School

(see sidebar for content filtering of
Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Iran, etc.)


Post a comment, and let's hear your opinion on this very hot topic.

[signed] steven streight aka vaspers the grate

Google Alerts to monitor your name and blog title

Google Alerts are ideal for tracking citations and links.

I subscribe to Google Alerts, which I define and set up, that are delivered daily to my Gmail inbox.

I won't tell you all the words and phrases I subscribe to, because they give me a definite edge in reporting blog-related events, tools, and organizations. For example, it is the power of Google Alerts that tips me off to such wild and fascinating aspects of blogging as "Blogs and Murder".

But no...I don't subscribe to "blogs + murder", I got those tips from "dangers of personal blogging" phrase subscription.

I subscribe to "steven streight", "vaspers the grate", and "blog core values".

Now, Google Alerts give me a daily message in my Gmail inbox for each of my search terms.

Sometimes, nothing appears for a few of my more esoteric, obscure terms I'm searching, like, here's one more: "interplanetary internet", the NASA project of sporadic connectivity link systems for space, where gamma rays and space object gravity/magnetism fields may interfere with electronic or radio wave transmissions.

I can set the individual alerts (search terms) for frequency of update and for what is searched: news only, news and web, or web only.

Each Google Alert will contain from two to perhaps six links, with brief summaries or introductory text, to give me some idea, beyond URL and post title, of the value of the link.

I get some of my ideas for blog posts from Google Alerts, but I'd say only about 25%. The other 75% of my blog post ideas come from blogospheric explorations, contemplation, and marketing/tech books. Or conversations with real people, the few I stumble into each year.

Today, in my Google Alert for "steven streight", I saw a strange link:


That's the new URL for my art gallery site in France, the former "Full Digital Art".

If you visit my art exhibition, you'll see my art displayed, and the order of display is based on how many times a vistor clicked on each image to see a larger view. That's how they rank the popularity of each art work. My work has ranked rather nicely in their various ranking systems, like recent additions, or overall long-term popularity (I forget the precise term they use for that one).

The name of the host has changed, and, far more importantly, the URL has changed, too. That's a problem, it can cause Link Rot: URLs that trigger a 404 Not Found error message, which is bad from a usability viewpoint.

But, see: I was immediately notified of this change to my art exhibition site. I haven't had time to create any new artworks for it, in fact, I've drastically reduced my art making to concentrate, focus on vital information for bloggers and web site designers.

Google Alerts are a powerful tool. I need to learn more about their methodology, but I can say this: somehow, the Google Alerts are almost always, with few exceptions, valuable, astonishing, up-to-the-minute, and extremely useful for making Vaspers the Grate one clever fellow.

The topic of "Blog Monitoring" and "Buzz Tracking", keeping tabs on what people are saying about you in the web and blogosphere, is a super hot topic.

I've got some of the proven, best answers for anyone who wants to know. While I usually reserve such deep, specific, advanced info for paying clients, what the hell? I'm in a good bad mood today, so I'm feeling generous. Post a comment, request more info, and I'll do another post on this topic, maybe reveal more than you think.

Sign up for Google Alerts today.

Monitor your blog titles, your name, your company name, your competitors!

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Rosie O' Donnell has a blog

Rosie O' Donnell has a blog. Does anyone remember who she is? Do you recall this former comedy actress and talk show host?


At BlogCritics, her blog was called "bizarre, child-like". I reserve judgment. I'd like to hear your opinion first.


Friday, January 27, 2006

2 geek T shirts 4 U

"I'm blogging this"


When I'm interviewed on television or a videocast, I want to wear one of these shirts, or perhaps I'll buy some fabric paint and make my own geek T shirts.

I am planning on a Vaspers the Grate T shirt, perhaps:

(*) "I got flamed by Vaspers the Grate"

(**)"Vaspers the Grate relieved himself on my blog"

(***)"Vote for Vaspers the Grate: King of the Blog Technocracy"

Any reader suggestions?

"Geek Love Poem"


This one (sob) is so (sniffle) it's just so (snort) romantic, I feel all mushy inside, I want to write a tell all book about my addiction to love, and get Oprah to hype my fictional memoirs on her show, my emotional faux affadavits.

If you don't get the two jokes on this T shirt, if you don't know hexidecimals or NightWing, how did you end up at Vaspers the Grate?

"All your base are belong to us" is a funny bad translation into English of some Japanese phrase, which probably meant, "we have conquered all your military installations". It was a phrase from a video game called NightWing or DarkWing. I'll try to dig up the URL to a short Flash film music video on a cartoon site that shows all kinds of famous people holding up a sign that says "all your base are belong to us".

A classic time-honored geek tradition.

Like banana ranking: "that's easy, two banana at best" meaning two monkeys could do it.

[signed] geek master steven streight alas known as vaspers the grate comment sig player

Magellan multi-engine search for blog tracking?

Magellan 2, a search engine aggregator, now in its 1.3.0 version, for multi-engine searches. Product is for advanced web users, research, tracking. Why not use it for blog citation tracking? I am considering it.

I may download this, as I am very satisfied with my previous SourceForge freeware.


Freshmeat Project Details for Magellan 2


Blog comment signature play at TechCrunch

Here's my comment and, more importantly, the comment signature affixed to the comment, that I posted at TechCrunch.


Look out bloggers. I'm conducting deconstructive experiments in your comment boxes. This is so easy, a subliminal appendix to a comment posting, maybe...

...maybe I could even publish an entire book as a signature appended to a blog comment!


“I generally like your blog, but shudder when you stray into pretentious rants like this. Please do criticize on the basis of the product but don’t whine because a company isn’t following your narrow script.”

As a decontructionist blogology specialist, I have to say that when a user posts a comment scolding a blogger about voicing his opinion, is this not the reader attempting to erect a Domination System and impose it on the blogger?

“Shame on you for being so exhibitionistic that you tell us your opinion, especially since it conflicts with my omniscient view.” is what the flamers are saying.

But who cares? because they are teenage boys with girl names who tell fart jokes and worship Harry Potter.

You are correct about pre-launch publicity: waste of time, betrays a chaos of intracorporate finagling.

Comment by steven streight aka vaspers the grate who says "blog yourself to death" for the blogosphere: pure martyr — January 27, 2006 @ 2:25 pm


Also see:

My comment signature at Datamining:


blog as disruptive technology

Everyone knows the blog is disruptive technology.

Blogs have disrupted politics (Trent Lott), television newscasting (Dan Rather), political parties (Howard Dean), repressive regimes (Iran, Ukraine), personal emotional health (Justin Hall), and human sanity (Vaspers the Grate).

Blogs disrupt journalism, grassroots activism, corporate culture (Microsoft, HP, Sun), and personal lives. Good parents guard their children from Blog Paranoia, Blog Psychosis, and Blog Narcissistic Collapse Syndrome, which are sometimes lumped together as Dysfunctional Blog Mania.

Disruptive technologies seem to fly against the flow, and thus, conventional corporate behavior and attitudes will generally be opposed to them.

Business As Usual will never be ready for The Blog Revolution, but some lucky companies will harnass the power of blogging, and their culture will *change* to accommodate this new way to reach customers and conduct non-invasive market research.

How do managers successfully use beneficial disruptive technology to gain a competetive edge?

First, smart managers and CEOs deliberately seek out technology their competitors are clueless about. To be the first in the industry to use a new (but disruptive) technology! Think of the press coverage, interviews, citations in books like Naked Conversations!

And this...


" (1) They embedded projects to develop and commercialize disruptive technologies within an organization whose customers needed them. When managers aligned a disruptive innovation with the 'right' customers, customer demand increased the probability that the innovation would get the resources it needed.

(2) They placed projects to develop disruptive technologies in organizations small enough to get excited about small opportunities and small wins.

(3) They planned to fail early and inexpensively in the search for the market for a disruptive technology. They found that their markets generally coalesced through an iterative process of trial, learning, and trial again.

(4) When commercializing disruptive technologies, they found or developed new markets that valued the attributes of the disruptive products, rather than search for a technological breakthrough so that the disruptive product could compete as a sustaining technology in mainstream products."

--Clayton M. Christensen
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
(Harvard Business School Press, 1997, p. 99)


I don't think we blog consultants and blog marketers are taking seriously enough how blogs are disruptive.

But--when you think about how much *time* it takes to be a decent, popular, effective blog operator, you realize how blogs have disrupted your own life.

I keep goading the business world and the blogosphere, saying that business will NEVER blog, unless a MIRACLE occurs: a radical revolutionary change in corporate culture and a new consumer-friendly attitude expressed in a keen desire to form two way, candid, highly responsive conversations with the public.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

What's worse than no site at all?

Jeff asked me to look at his web site and make any suggestions that came to mind.

Graphical Force

My email to Jeff.


I looked at it, and there is not much to do or see.

This is why you must not say "have a look around".

A web site
under construction
is worse than
no web site at all.

Here we have a case where the subject should use a blog to discuss his design ideas, to display screenshots of other sites and explain what is wrong with them from a user-centered design perspective.

At an interactive, comment-enabled blog, people can leave remarks on what you're doing and proclaiming, and this is market research.

As it is right now, I know less now than I did before as to what is going on.

Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Web Usability. Blogology. Consulting.


This post is not to embarass anyone, or to complain about anything. What is vital is to know how users respond to what we do in web sites and blogs.

A web site under construction says: "I publish material that's not yet ready for public consumption."

A web site under construction also says: "Something is more important than my web site, and I have abandoned this web site to go do that more important thing."

Web sites and blogs are fast becoming the priority, the things employers and clients look at first. It's easier and faster to look at your web presence (which had better be interactive and dynamic, not passive and static), than to request a corporate brochure.

Especially in the arena of web services, web design, web analysis, our sites are our primary advertising and self-promotion.

I'm thinking about radically altering this blog design and sidebar. Perhaps a less graphic, stripped down version. I'm not sure yet.

But it's good to keep experimenting with your blog, which shows people you practice what you preach, you have some technical skills, and you strive for perfection in all things.

[signed] mr. potato head aka vaspers the grate

catch me if you can

"My plan is to post so fast and frequently, that my readers can't keep up with me and are unable to post comments, except on some post that is already archived." Sleepy Neon stated with a crazed look in his eyes.

"Huh?" I asked, bored with all this constant blogological blabbering day and night, though secretly speaking, I sort of like it.

"You know," he explained.

"I know what?" I countered.

"How people whine about how if they don't get comments, nobody's paying attention to them. That lost little kid in the mall feeling these chumps get," was his rapid reply.

"So?" I whimpered as best I could.

"So, I'm posting fast, deliberately trying to outpace them, I mean my blog readers, so I'm not letting them add any comments. I'm posting new posts too fast. By the time I approve and publish their comments, those posts they commenting on are already deeply buried in my archives, they've already been pushed down off the home page, and off the Recent Posts list in my sidebar."

"And this is for...what?" I asked. "Some weird domination system you're erecting in your spot in the blogosphere?"

"Domination System?"

"Yeah, you want to dominate your readers by posting so fast they can't keep up with comments," was my fluid response to this madness, blogology gone bonkers.

"No, I don't wish to dominate, but, rather, I seek to illuminate the lie that you need comments from readers to somehow goad you to keep blogging. It's chumping out. These bloggers who seek comments as proof of their own value are annoying me with their attitudes. If they need reader comments to be passionate about their topic, and to drive them to write about it on their blog, these bloggers are ridiculous. Weak," he clarified.

"Fascinating," I said as I looked up into the sky outside the lunatic asylum window. "Well, I better get going, I've got some potatoes to fry."

The clouds seemed to be suspended from rubber springs.

[signed] steven streight aka vaspers the grate

why keep blogging?

I'll tell you why you must keep blogging.

Think of an artist or musician. Creative people often craft some of their finest work when nobody knows, remembers, or gives a fig who they are.

Listen blogger/web siter.

Work in obscurity. Write in oblivion. Create for nothing and no one, but keep at it. Love your audience if you have one, but if you don't, so what?

This principle of Stubborn Blogging which I explained at Blog Core Values, is fundamental for all blogs: personal trivia, scientific project collaboration, marketing, CEO, music, art, dating hook-up, and all other types of blogs, even intranet firewall blogs.

Keep at it.

Regardless of "results".

You don't blog for "results" or "ROI". That is ridiculous Old Economy thinking.

You blog to display your expertise, insights, products, advice, personality, core values, art, photos, music, podcasts, audio projects, or specialty.

You blog to have an active, interactive, two way conversational presence in the blogosphere. If you get lots of sales, relevant comments, industry accolades, and online community members, that is probably nice. But it also means increased responsibilities and work on your part.

You say you want to speak at blog conferences, or write a book on blogging, or be heavily linked to by prominent bloggers, but what are you willing to do to attain these noble goals?

You must dedicate your body and soul to your blog. If your shoulders or wrists don't hurt, I wonder how hardcore you really are. If you've never been banned from a site or bulletin board, I wonder how sharp your tongue and thinking are.

[signed] steven streight aka vaspers the grate

Free Everything: ethical anarchist manifesto #1

Free Everything:
ethical anarchist
manifesto #1

(or: A Poke in the Eye at Web Scam/Con Artists and Spammers)

Our conjecture, widely supported by science and common sense, is this:

There is enough for everyone. Enough food, money, and fun. Enough education, housing, and employment.

Everything everywhere could revert to revolutionary ancient Share Economy, where everything is free, as long as you have something to contribute and are able to share in return with others, or are unable to contribute due to illness, etc.

Free Speech > Free Thought

Free Thought > Free Media

Free Media > Free Meat

Free food, free clothing, free air, free information, free advice, free work, free music, free art.

Take all money away, and see what happens. See how people act, what institutions survive, who controls what, when money is no more. How many televangelists will suddenly drop the alleged "faith" and turn secular humanist?

Am I saying it (the Free Utopia spawned by the blogosphere 4.0) will happen? Not necessarily. Am I saying it can happen? Absolutely.

Babies are not born with innate concepts of "government", "society", "money", "private property", "illegality", or "conformity." What a shock for a child to discover that a flower is unlawful and chocolate is sin.

If enough people will do Only What They Love Doing, it will balance out that everyone has everything they need. Why? Because passion will cause over-achievers to burn with zeal, to the point of absurdity.

When a producers offers what people don't want, he enjoys it himself, and cuts his production quantities. When a producer offers what people DO want, others join or imitate her, and she is surrounded by allies and suppliers.

Utopias, democracies, freedoms begin with a wild, ridiculously beautiful THOUGHT.

back to sleialgnion sleepy neon says


some of my best writing is in comments at other blogs and in comments here

lesson in cross-blogging

As a lesson in cross-blogging, I offer this example.

In fear of MySpace sooner or later censoring or deleting my investigative meta-blog that is deconstructing them from within, I post my latest SoMeEx post simultaneously also at Deep Blog Research and Vaspers the Grate.

Thus, the post exists, survives, at three different blogwares: MySpace, Blogger, WordPress.

Cross-blogging: publishing the same post at more than one blog. In this case, all the blogs are my own, but it can occur when a blogger has her own blog and she is also a member of a group blog, so a special post might be published at both blogs.

Similar to multi-posting: posting the same comment at more than one blog.

Both practices must be used only in very special and defined situations, to avoid any spamming of content for dubious purposes.

Here is my second installment of my investigation of the MySpace “blog” or, more accurately, social media arena.

{QUOTE: Deep Blog Research intro to MySpace post}

I have a MySpace blog called SoMeEx that is a “cannibal blog”: eating its way from the inside out, devouring deconstructively the infrastructure and style.

I re-publish my latest MySpace essay here, for cross-blogging purposes, in a massive mess of blogological multi-looping, since I don’t know how long my meta-blog at MySpace will last.

Can MySpace tolerate such an entity living inside it?

[QUOTE: MySpace original post]

Today’s sensual ad in MySpace was:

it’s nice to be naughty
Go >
Live Love Learn

Deconstructivist Code Critique
(whisper transmission mode 12):

(1) “it’s nice to be naughty”

A message of encouragement to the bottom feeders who are fishing for looks and likes. Meaning “we want you raw, in your low rung belling”.

Anarchy of intention breezes up against a negative profile of filter debris, clocking the substance of pure ramifications in the hinter lands.

(2) “Go >”

A spur to go, to goad, to Ursula Minor, the counter clockwise cloak of invading secrets.

(3) “True”

If you is “u” and also true, the only way to err is through osmosis and mist.

(4) “Live Love Learn”

Here is a soup of assumptions that gets in our way. To live is to experience everything at least once, according to the smug libertines and rare librarian suns. Love is not intended, but is used as pseudonym for less noble impulsives. Learn implies ignorance, innocence incense smelling sweet in the nostrils of the pullers, a white pure surface upon which to inscribe, in a Penal Colony emulative, the characters of remorse.


[signed] steven edward streight also known as mean old Vaspers the Grate

aluminum mouse pad

In my search for healthy computing practices and tools, I came across this, what I think may be ergonomically beneficial new mouse pad product, featured at Think Geek.


Let me know what you think.

I have my wrists on a tri-folded hand towel as support, a nicely lo-tech solution for now.

The mouse pad I use is from Blockbuster, has a transparent plastic photo insert pouch on it, which contains a photo of Mrs. Vaspers the Grate browsing the phone book yellow pages.

I have almost worn a hole in the left click button of my mouse.

Want the Vaspers original faux classic definition of "mouse" for the computing realm?



You read it here first.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grateful

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Site Search vs. Archive Categories

Teaching your blog readers how to effectively use Site Search to navigate your blog: is this a good solution to a blog that has poor Archive Categories, this blog for example?

I typed in an esoteric topic keyphrase "blogs and murder" into my own Site Search text entry box, see it, up there, at the top of this blog. "Search This Blog".

I'm quoting the results page I obtained from that search.

I will also try a few more keywords, like "business blogs", "CEO blogs", "blogocombat", "blog evaluation". If the keywords pan out okay with good results, all the relevant posts, I will then add a list in my sidebar:

"Suggested Keywords to Use
to Search This Blog for
Specific Info Relevant to You"

Is this a good temporary work-around for poor Archive Categories?

4 posts matching blogs and murder blogurl:vaspersthegrate.blogspot.com - showing 1 through 4

all blogs are metablogs

20 Jan 2006 by Steven Streight

all blogs, with real human beings authoring them, typically contain some amount of ... blog burnout, blogs and murder, blogs and rescue and recovery programs, ... "a blog that blogs about what other blogs are blogging on their blogs, ...

Vaspers the Grate - http://vaspersthegrate.blogspot.com

Blogs and Murder

10 Sep 2005 by Steven Streight

Blogs and Murder A blogger mentioned his own killer in a blog post. The "some guy ringed the bell" is the killer, who is mentioned as "my sister's former boyfriend". He and his sister were both murdered by this person. ...

Vaspers the Grate - http://vaspersthegrate.blogspot.com

personal blogs and murder

29 Dec 2005 by Steven Streight

Blogs and conviction of murder suspects is a welcome breath of fresh air for the blogosphere. I'm all for Self-incriminating Blogging by dumb ass crooks and killers. Yeah, buddy. Bring it on. Now check out a reference on this topic, ...

Vaspers the Grate - http://vaspersthegrate.blogspot.com

definition of blog & post recycling

18 Jan 2006 by Steven Streight

Blogs and writing skills * Female vs. male bloggers * Blogs and Murder * Blog Psychosis * New blog game online * Law of Loser Levitation * Blog creativity and music * Blog Content Protection: siglinking * Secret Vaspers Vocabulary ...

Vaspers the Grate - http://vaspersthegrate.blogspot.com

Subscribe to this search Atom (10 results - 100 results) or RSS (10 results - 100 results)

Return to Godin

Return to Godin is what I encourage us all to do. Seth Godin, author of Seth's Blog and many genius miracle books on marketing, is still the King of Bloggers in my mind. He writes far more concisely than I do, and I wish to learn his style.


Even though I got upset with his All Marketers are Liars book and premise that we all hungrily crave stories, even untrue tales.

I rebelled aggressively against that book and that idea, though not as much as I have scorched (hyper-flamed) Guy Kawasaki for his idiotic and unseemly concept of "Don't Worry, Be Crappy" (ship shoddy, but ship first--release upgrades and 2.0 versions later, as you laugh all the way to the bank with bimbo cash).

But Seth Godin was the first internet marketing theoretician I ever knew. When I first got on the internet, the web already existed, but blogs were still very obscure.

As I floundered and fishtailed around the web, I stumbled upon some of the great thinkers and thought leaders that I still admire today: Jakob Nielsen, Cluetrain Manifesto, Boing Boing, Matt Mullenweg, and Seth Godin with his Ideavirus concept. That Ideavirus, the germ of the viral marketing explosion, got my attention. It reminded me of old mail order hype, yet it was actually rather brilliant and fresh.

We should think back on our early heroes and role models.

What blog was it that you first read faithfully?

What blog excited you to actually go to the trouble to post a comment at?

Have you departed to new regions and left them behind, missing you maybe, maybe always cherishing your witty, interesting, intelligent comments?

Seth's Blog has a flaw: no comments are allowed.

Why do I call a blog guideline violator the King of Bloggers? Because he's a freaking genius, a big man who has made a few big mistakes, but he keeps on ticking, keeps following his own advice. He has said loudly and repeatedly the magic secret to all marketing, it's his mantra: Be Astonishing.

What are you doing to make your blog, your marriage, your career, your family, your music, your art, your clothing style, your hairdo, so excellant, so richly beneficial, so blessed, so happy, so innovative, it's Astonishing?

Is your life Astonishing? Why not? If your life sucks, what can you do that would astonish everybody? How about operate a blog and stick to it until they rip the keyboard out of your cold dead fingers? That would be Astonishing. To blog or perish, to blog yourself to death, for the good of the people of this sad and miserable world.

Here are some of Seth's astonishing recent posts:

(1) "Small is the new big" (also the name of his new book)


QUOTE: "Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big."

(2) "Rule breakers, and makers"


Every blogger and web designer ought to read this manifesto.


"The interesting ideas in a changing world are those that inform us about how to behave in the future. New rules are worth learning.

On the other hand, if someone breaks a rule in a way that can rarely be duplicated, we don't learn a whole lot--unless there's a pattern."

Seth's posts are often little mini-manifestos of profound insight and sharp observation. He likes to radically question things, and he has no unwarranted respect for anything. He names names and calls idiots idiots. I love it. What a mighty and fearless role model. He is The Triumphalist Blogger Par Excellance.

(3) "Why change it?"

Questions why the hotel that Saturday Night Live guests stay in is changing its name, adding some clunky hard to say name in front of Essex. Very stupid idea to de-brand a brand.