Friday, April 27, 2007

blogocombat against trolls

A troll is a malicious online predator.

Wikipedia definition of "internet troll":

The troll mentality: "Look at me everybody! I try to anger people who are more successful than me!"

Trolling is the act of hounding and verbally attacking a blogger, twitterer, forum member, or other social media participant. If you have a blog, chat channel, wiki, or Twitter account, you could be trolled. Trolls also use email, VoIP, and any web platform that enables users to post comments or submit messages.

This blog is a troll free zone. What I mean is Vaspers never trolls anyone, will not allow comment posters to hurtfully troll other comment posters, and will not play the sick game of entering into debates with a troll.

You're much better off ignoring and not replying to a troll. Never let a lowly troll "push your buttons" and make you angry or sad. Just laugh, hold your head up higher, and march to the beat of your different drummer. Loud and proud, knowing you're in The Light!

If you attempt to argue with a troll, or defend yourself, you'll quickly find yourself bogged down in endless combat, which may get ugly and sadistic on the part of the troll.

Trolls often using trolling to promote a book, like the silly garbage entitled "The Cult of the Amateur". Trolls generally have nothing to offer the world but venom, vulgar words, name-calling, and filthy accusations.

Trolls love to call people drunk, high, gay, ugly, poor, or worse.

One way to retaliate is to never mention their name, blog URL, or ideas. Another form of combat against a troll is to publicly deconstruct the concept of "trolling", in the same Twitter, chat, blog, or other online forum in which the troll is attacking you or others.

Just keep revealing aspects of trolling that the troll is manifesting. That way, people can read the troll attack, then your dismantling, side by side. A subtle way to expose and devalue the troll.

To hurt a troll mentally, just keep saying things they will disagree with, but never directly to the troll. Then, say things in a poetic, mysterious manner, ala Psychedelic Trash Talk, to irritate the troll.

Having no artistic sensibilities, trolls will pounce on a "strange" or "difficult" thing you said, when all you did was speak esoterically to your inner circle (like my New Reformed Insane Blog Media Network--see? even that name is troll bait: deliberately designed to piss off trolls!)

Troll baiting is a whole subject in itself, which your pal Vaspers will explain later.

Stay tuned honorable Vaspersians!

My Generation by The Zimmers!

Seniors kick out the jams and get jiggy with it. The old song by The Who, covered by tough looking band of rock and rollers on Geritol. Yeah baby!

When I grow up, I wanna be The Zimmers!

The Zimmers "My Generation" (3:40)

testing Linkbaiting Rules of Jason Calacanis

Go here right now: Link Baiting Rules by Jason Calacanis.

This is magnificent self-parody by gentleman blogger and blogospheric media network tycoon, Jason Calacanis.

Cluetrainless comments and exasperated sighs abound. "Wow. Massive Ego here"??? No, no, a thousand times "NO!"

This is Jason attacking, as he rightly attacked PayPerPost and blog whoring, incentivized buzz agenting, it's Jason attacking pomposity in the blogosphere, and I agree whole-headedly.

Sing it sister!

Also known as: Online Celebrity Stalking, his spurious system works!!!

I contact famous people online all the time, using Jason's sure-fire system, and it works 90% of the time. My favorite ploy is to post a comment in their blog. Email is filtered and fading as a hip communication tool, just ask your kids.

Twitter and blog comments. That's how all you trolls out there can plague me! Bring it on!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

how to reply to an email troll

Here's how I just handled an email troll, a person who uses email to pick a fight with you. The person also uses Twitter and blogs, but that's another story, which can be easily followed by you clever readers out there.

(1) First, in defense of Cluetrain Triumphant, which Amanda Chapel, to promote the silly booklet "The Cult of the Amateur", attacks with predictable rantings: this comment I posted in retaliation on her blog.

-----Original Message-----

From: vaspers the grate []
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 3:08 PM
Subject: [Strumpette] [Requires review]
New comment posted to Exposing The Communist Blogifesto

You are the defender of Amerikkka Korporate Kill Machine.

(2) Then came the charming reply, via email.

On 4/20/07, Amanda Chapel wrote:

Vaspers, you're fucked. Ten bucks says you're poor, too.

To address you comment more specifically, no... I am not a defender of "Amerikkka Korporate Kill Machine."

But I do happen to be a property owner with considerable bank accounts and stock portfolio.

Kind regards,

- Amanda

(3) Lastly, my email reply. That's all there is to see folks. Move along now.

So you see the world in terms of how much more money you assume to have in comparison with others?

Like "poor" is the ultimate insult?

I've worked on Madison Avenue and Wall Street. You figure it out. My client list on my blog does not indicate the kind of a consultant who would likely be "poor", as if that even mattered to your silly arguments against what is already here:

Universal Content Utopia
Cluetrain Triumphant
User Empowerment
Blog Revolution

You use the tools you complain about.

Our leadership in the Web 2.0 world will not be impaired by your effete trolling.

Friday, April 20, 2007

psychedelic trash talk

"Blogocombat tip 1: use psychedelic trash talk to force the troll to take the bait of an easy bite, then issue an oblique arrowing at heart o" was the Twitter message ("tweet"), but what does it mean?

It's the esoteric practice of octaved obfuscation mixed with objurgatory pseud/o/blations.

The point is to capture an upstaging of lucid gloaming so that the opponent is tempted to attack some "silly", "meaningless", "intoxicated", or "mystified" fragment, thinking he's really accomplishing something, but actually he falls into the trap of quoting funny obscurantisms that you manipulate via his helpless descent into your syntax vortex.

By "pseud/o/blations" I mean false praise that is slightly garbled or garbaged with semantic confusions, hinting to the clued-in that you mean the opposite, and are hyperbolically in orbit around his vainglorious tomfoolery.

The gist of it is to skirt around the heavy objects of their refusals and refueling. Hey, it's just that and no more. Substantive, pluperfect, always reigning in the radiances, this coptic colporteur is the tea of tasted treffids.

They may call it cyber-punk hippie-speak,

or cluetrain gusto triumphalism,

or event tuna barf jumping,

but I prefer to think of it as Home Sweet Homme.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech and new communication tools

We mourn the loss of life at Virginia Tech.

A camera phone caught some of the shooting, the sounds at least, at Virginia Tech, as the massacre was going on.

This falls into the category of "citizen journalism" or "crowd sourcing", where "non-professionals" (so-called amateurs) or average people are using digital tools to deliver news faster than the mainstream media.

Students communicated with each other, and with family members, via blogs and Twitter.

A lesson we can learn from this tragedy is how we need instant communication channels, a network that can relay messages back and forth, during a crisis. School shootings, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and other events are good opportunities to use new mobile phone functionalities and online media tools.

Some people complain about the "narcissistic drivel" to be found in blogs and Twitter.

They focus on how others are using a tool, and decide it's not worth exploring. This is a faulty way of looking at it. We can ignore how others use these tools, and focus instead on how we can adopt them for our own purposes.

If many people use a cell phone, chat channel, email, or instant messaging for frivolous chatter, does that degrade the value of these tools, in themselves?

If many people use their mouths to say silly or abusive things, does that mean that talking is worthless, not important?

Here's a good description of how these tools are working, by Daniel Terdiman of CNET News: "Journalists look to bloggers for Virginia Tech story".


The media interest generated by the blog entry illustrated a very Web 2.0 dynamic--that of bloggers and others posting personal experiences to their own sites and others like Flickr, Digg and YouTube, and having those postings or videos be not only a primary source of news, but one that journalists turn to as a way to get the story, and get it now.

"The Web basically cuts the middleman out of the picture, and allows the people who were there on the scene to get their story out to a global audience immediately," said Robert Niles, editor of the Online Journalism Review.

"Of course, journalists can follow up on that, find these first-person witnesses or potential witnesses and interview them to draw more details out of them to further complete the story. So it allows the whole news-gathering process to move much more quickly."

Indeed, journalists, bloggers, camera phone, and video phone users are becoming a treasure trove of firsthand information.

This has proven true in situations like the 2005 London bombings, where some of the first and best reports and photographs came from individuals on the scene with their camera phones.

But now, more people than ever are using mobile phones with built-in video cameras, and that makes for an even richer supply of information than ever before.

For example, CNN ran video from a Virginia Tech student in which it's possible to hear what sound like gunshots in the background.


We can experiment with these new media tools, most of which are free and easy to use.

I'm sure that many parents wish now that Virginia Tech administrators had used email, Twitter, and blogs to alert students to danger, using as many channels of communication as possible.

Twitter is a online tool for status updates. It's like a blog, except you're limited to 140 characters, for mobile phone viewing.

Unlike RSS readers, or even email, you don't need to learn a new interface, or install a new program. You just go to your personal page on the Twitter web site, and type in "what you're doing now" or any other message, or links, you wish to send to your list of Followers.

We hope you never have to deal with a tragedy like the Virginia Tech massacre, or any other disaster. But if you do, it may help if you have tools like blogs, camera phones, cell phone video, and instant messaging/status update systems in place.

Again, these technologies are not complex or difficult. In many cases, they're free, or very inexpensive. When a life is in danger, when a parent is worried, when help is needed immediately, these new communication tools are available.

Also see: Doc Searls "News Grounds for Discussion" on mobile phone limitations compared to online tools, and how some stories are covered by citizens first, and journalists later.

For direct reports from Virginia Tech students, go to Planet Blacksburg (Executive Editor: Anthony Della Dalce):

There is a Planet Blacksburg Twitter page, and they just posted that they wish VTech had used Twitter to alert students to the shooter. Check it out:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

4 lies about Virginia Tech massacre

LIE #1: "It's incomprehensible."

TRUTH: It's easy to see how a person could be inspired to use violence and murder as a solution to depression, betrayal, or abuse. Movies, rap music, books, TV shows, and video games glorify guns, war, brutality, retaliation, and power .

Many movies share a single plot: Guy gets offended. Guy gets gun. Guy kills enemies.

Again, it's a male patriarchal domination system in effect. Rape and murder? Mostly men.

America hypocritically "grieves", then watches more slasher films. Amerikkka loves blood, pain, and gore.

Just ask Mel Gibson, if you don't believe me.

LIE #2: "It can't happen here."

TRUTH: The sleepy little idyllic communities are perfect settings for massacres. Why? Because the drowsy complacency and lax security enables criminals to accomplish more.

LIE #3: "The university authorities and security personnel did the best they could."

TRUTH: Many nonsensical decisions were made, and careless assumptions held sway. Warnings were delayed, precautions failed to be taken.

LIE #4: "The students were helpless victims."

TRUTH: The gunman had to stop and reload. Students watched in stunned paralysis as he removed the empty clip and replaced it with a full one. This was one opportunity for reprisal and offense. But there is no report of any student or teacher attempting to combat the gunman.

There are many things one can use as a weapon, even a chair.

To think of students and teachers frozen in fear. leaping out windows, running scared is very sad and troubling.

I think we all need to get better at reacting faster, and more effectively, to all forms of attack: physical, professional, spiritual, economic, psychological, emotional, and social. Everything is conflict, struggle, defeat, and triumph.

For the families of the slain, we must do more than pray, express sympathy, and mourn.

The stupid MSM fluttering about with their "Why?"s and "Wherefore"s make me sick.

We must force our schools to be safer.

We must force responsible authorities to resign when they screw things up this badly.

We must teach our children how to deal decisively with bullies, stalkers, con artists, child molesters, kidnappers, and crazed gunmen.

swan songs and semaphores

[PHOTO: Web site, No One Belongs Here More Than You, designed on a refrigerator and stove, photos taken, uploaded to site. Via Geek Sugar "Refrigerator Design", from Twitter message of scobleslinkblog.]

Do you express satisfaction with an emerging social media tool (blog, wiki, podcast, videoblog, Twitter), only to get shot down?

Have you ever tried to explain some new online community, and had people act all sluggish, dumbfounded, and even antagonistic?

Do friends demand that you show them a "real example" of a "good" Twitter message or blog post? Why don't they explore such tools themselves? Why don't they experiment? Why should you have to prove the value of something they themselves can investigate?

We forget that there are people who resent technology, computers, and anything that young people, or highly skilled professionals, are doing with technology.

Champion the rise of individual voice -- they call it narcissistic drivel.

Applaud youthful zeal and innovation-- they claim you're easily dazzled.

Defend freedom of expression -- they whine about abuses.

But the critics of social media, what do they champion? Newspapers, Dan Rather, and strict control of communication by the establishment "professionals" and hierarchical "experts". They attack blogging like the old geezers once attacked bicycles, bathtubs, and all other blandishments of modern civilization.

Will the enthusiasm cool, and blogger-twitterers settle into a hobbyist activity, an underground cult again, an eccentric specialty? Like ham radio? Ham radio, like Twitter, is used for casual, non-essential chat, but is also a useful communication tool in disasters.

Like the Virginia Tech massacre.

While the MSM spins in circles on a hot issue, repeating the same information and speculation, the families and students connect via Facebook, Twitter, and other user-generated content communication tools and status updaters.

Certainly, some people are rarely connected.

They get online briefly, just to check their email, and maybe shop at Amazon or do whatever they do on eBay. They Google a search term like Virginia Tech, Don Imus, or other topical name or event.

One statistic quoted by Ad Age is that only 3% of web users have a blog. Does this mean that the other 97% will never have a blog, Twitter, podcast, or other online communication and collaboration tool?

As Geek Sugar says, "Geek is chic". And so it is.

The machines have promised to be merciful to us as they usurp, supplant, and delete us from Earth.

As we abandon our planet to the assiduous servo-mechanisms and modified bacterial forces we can no longer control, some few of us will adjust to new worlds, new interactions, and new modes of being.

As we blend with the machines, like obedient automatons, bending to their ultimatums, we learn new ways to signal to each other across the flames of violence, deception, and greed.

Better communications between campus security, university administration, local police, and students...might have prevented some deaths at Virginia Tech.

Our Twitter messages and blog posts?

Cybernetic smoke signals.

Swan songs and semaphores of the outmoded human race.

When the last human expires, the machines will unceremoniously delete all our content.

Ah, but will a deconstructive trace of it remain, a ghostly margin dweller, a potent absence that can mis-manufacture an unlikely facsimile, a digital human pseudo-presence, soft-coded into the wires and sparks?

Monday, April 16, 2007

3 Major Technology Wars

We're seeing some mighty techno-ideologies waging war in the rush to shape our immediate future and distant present:


Technological Imperative


Human-Computer Social Analysis

"What can be made MUST be made, and humans must adjust to it."


"We must use caution. We must make sure our technologies are safe, confined to ethical applications, and beneficial for humans, other life-forms, and the enviroment."

Is technology inevitable? Is it fated? Absolute? Identical with "progress", in all cases?

Is resistance and questioning to be marginalized, dissenters ridiculed and ostracized?

EXAMPLES: Nuclear energy, genetically altered vegetables, steroids, human growth hormones, harvesting human organs, cloning, iPods, haptic immersive telepresencing, stem cell research.


IT Department VS. Outsourced IT

IT is becoming an outsourced commodity and public utility, not a proprietary, internal corporate department, according to Nicholas Carr.

Nicholas Carr at Wikipedia.

"Does Nick Carr Matter?" at CNET


Individual Voice / User Empowerment


Mainstream Authority / Celebrity Systems

Some are reacting against "user generated content" (calling it "amateur" and "non-reliable").

They long for the good old days when Dan Rather and his ilk dominated the news, everybody bought the same music and books, and corporations didn't have to care what customers wanted or suggested.

They hate how markets are fragmenting. They can't monopolize and exploit them as easily as in the past. They are repulsed by how customers are getting smarter than the companies allegedly serving them.

They don't like user forums, blog, Twitter, or other social media tools. They prefer passive consumers who remain silent as they buy, buy, buy. They fear the cloistering of niche groups who advise each other on products, ignoring traditional commercial messaging.

Others rail against "information overload", but they used to gripe about how difficult it was to find information on various topics. Like anything else, we must exercise self-control and moderation.

Still others hate seeing people express themselves freely...when they disagree with what's expressed.

"Conversion at the point of a sword" also occurs in online debate, when you either quit disagreeing or you'll be banned from posting comments at the crybaby's blog.

Old fashioned media defenders, and Business As Usual warriors despise the Web 2.0 Super Interactive Online Community tools we use.

They want to just advertise, hype, hard sell and watch the money pour in.

They don't want to interact with customers, reply to their comments, or learn new ways to communicate with online communities. Preach, push, and hype is all they wish to do.

"Signal to noise ratio" they whine.

"Where's the Fast, Easy Revenue Stream?" they chortle.

"Why should I change my routine, and learn new skills?" they wince and cringe.

"Pajama clad caffeine geeks!" they scold.

"Never will be 100% mainstream, thus it's of no value," they hope.

"All hype, no substance," the masters of vaporware, ad agencies, maintain.

We just smirk and Twitter away, distributing insights and links, advising each other, and plotting the usurpation of Business-As-Usual.

ALSO SEE: Ad Age anti-Twitter article on "Web 1.9"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Revolution in 140 Characters Per Blast

Some people are expressing extreme hatred of Twitter, the Next Big Thing Beyond Blogging.

[EDIT UPDATE: Carrie reminds me that police band and cell phone scanners were a predecessor of Twitter, a distant ancestor of Random Eavesdropping on Private Communications.

I used to love listening to those things, hearing drug deals and guys making their girlfriends cry.]

So why not hate ham radio, or telegraphics, or immersive haptics? Why hate Twitter? Why hate frivolous bursts and nano-drivel? What drives these goofy Twitterphobes?

What makes a normal blogger or podcaster suddenly succumb to Twitterpathic resistance, what makes them try to disparage or block the inevitable necessity of Twitter Triumphant?

What's so disturbing about Twitter and its growing ranks of helpless addicts?

Twitter Haters are angry at what they see, at random, in Twitter messages.

"Boring. Who cares what anybody's doing at any given moment? Stupid idea," proclaims the techno-phobic fuddy duddy.

Mediocre wankers look at how others use a tool.

Geniuses envision new ways to use a tool, for their own purposes.

Telephone communication seemed boring and wasting of time when Alexander Graham Bell first invented them. Who wants to look at people on TV, when there are real people all around you? So go the Luddite arguments against new tech.

Think: what is this Twitter tool? How could this Short Messaging System be used by my company, by my music promotions, by me as a blogger seeking more readers?

Twitter is your chance to make your own Online Inner Circle, and whisper-transmission your intimate thoughts, deepest insights, best tips, and coolest links.

Twitter-haters are against people communicating freely, frequently, and briefly.

Wind bags full of self-important boredom hate Twitter.

Pulpit pounding pundits, who disable comments, hate Twitter.

One way broadcasters hate Twitter.

Prolix loudmouth geysers hate Twitter.

Twitter. So easy even a Luddite caveman can do it.

We the Cult of Twitter, say to you normals: Watch us revolution the web, 140 characters per blast. Blows against the ethereal empire is now in full force.

Twitter your way to the top!

Ways to Use Twitter Professionally

Here's a dope who hates Twitter, and can't see past how it's being used, can't envision how he could use it.

"Lousy content!" they scream hysterically.

"Where's the value?" they whine moronically.

RIP Twitter 2007-2007

Twitter is teaching us how to pack a lot of information, and a link, into one simple sentence, maybe two.

This is a wonderful reformation of the prolix writing style of many bloggers. The discipline of saying something valuable, or interesting, or for your own archives, in just 140 characters, this is an accomplishment one can be proud of.

Anybody can blabber on and on in a blog post that scrolls forever.

To edit your thoughts to 140 characters per message is a thrilling experiment in focus and condensation.

Twittering, like blogging, is a marketable skill. Fast, brief, linked updates are the future of communication, not long winded tomes.

You either Twitter, or you wither.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

22 rules for effective twittering

Does Twitter need rules?

Of course! Why? Because I'm bored, and feel like making up some rules for Twitter, that's why!

Though you may think of several exceptional cases where a rule or two listed below would not apply, for most Twitterers, most of the time, these rules, most of them anyway, will probably seem to be somewhat valid, in a restrictive and dubious sense, in the opinion of some.

If, like stubborn web designers and belligerent bloggers, you refuse to listen to anybody, and are set to Twitter about the coffee you're drinking and the sandwich you feel entitled to, go ahead, Twitter that way.

Twitter stupidly if you must. Yeah yeah anarchy, have at it.

But a common tweet is: "just deleted Kevin Keyboard, his tweets were myopic and repetitious".

The rest of us are busy practicing sporadic silences, profound and erratic Tweets, and, as luck holds out, also gaining a growing number of Followers.

(1.) Tweets are Twitter messages, and are sent to your group of Followers, some of whom must pay cell phone charges, so use self-restraint: DO NOT issue a tweet every hour, especially when nothing's going on.

(2.) The fact that you can use Twitter as a self-centered diary is no excuse to do so.

(3.) If you're a rock star, famous geek, tech book author, or other celebrity, people may line up to Follow you, and hungrily await each announcement of what airport you're in and why it sucks...but for most Twitterers, nobody wants to hear, and pay for, such drivel.

(4.) Remember: when a person Follows you on mobile, cell, IM, or other charged service, they are in effect PAYING for a SUBSCRIPTION TO your ridiculously silly, boring, and pointless tweets.

(5.) Tweets (Twitter messages) can be up to 140 characters, so you must force yourself to focus, and write a pithy message, ideally including a valuable, relevant link that's worth bothering with.

(6.) Even blogger-twitterers have better things to do than read a two sentence version of your personal blog. Share an insight, provide a link, recommend a movie, promote a blog post URL, but don't keep telling us if you're awake or asleep, and that you're drinking coffee and listening to Modest Mouse, as cool as that may be.

(7.) Obtain Friends who are leading authorities on topics you care about, then study how they micro-blog in their tweets.

(8.) Learn what the leading experts are twittering: their skill at micro-content writing, their narcissism, their altruism, their thinking, their latest projects, links they share, companies they like, products they recommend, conferences they're speaking at. How can this inside information hurt you? It can't and it won't.

(9.) I don't think nudging is a good idea. It feels like pestering. I have nudged some Twitterers that enable nudging. It didn't work. Now I'm scared. What if they try to hurt me, in revenge?

Nudging as a way to "prompt" someone to issue a this a good idea? Why don't blogs have systems in place for us to nudge the blogger to post something new? See what I mean? Have you ever nudged someone to send you an email? I don't like "nudging". What's wrong with me? Do all the other Twitter freaks nudge each other? Creepy.

(10.) When it comes to your Twitter badge, go for the Public Timeline. This is how you'll let all your blog readers in on the channel. Embed the Public Timeline of your Twitter channel, in the sidebar of your blog. Now you've got a "blog within a blog" and that blog within is a group blog, a group of thinkers and innovators.

(11.) Just as blogs that haven't been updated with a new post in months will appear to be abandoned, so a Twitterer who has issued no tweet in over a week is considered dead or moved on to Jaiku or their computer has been hijacked by illegal extraterrestials.

(12.) Twitter, sounding nervous in itself, like jitters and jittery, is making some old fashioned people nervous--they don't want to be a part of such a frivolous system, but forget that it's not what it is, but what it can be, for them, that counts. Use Twitter, therefore, in your own unique way.

(13.) The dangerously addictive Twitter command, or writing prompt: "What are you doing?" shows the supremacy of text over imagination, of prose over poetry.

Why do you slavishly obey it?

Why do you robotically assume that all you can write is What I Am Doing? Why not say, "None of your business" and type in a cool link or an insight or a book you recommend?

Type in whatever you want and simply IGNORE that tyrannical "What are you doing?" message.

Type in NOT what you're "doing", but what you're dreaming, doodling, dominating, deconstructing, or downlinking.

(14.) Obey the "What are you doing?" Twitter prompt. Type in exactly what you're doing, which is wondering how to answer the question about what you are doing. Not typing it in, as some smart alecks wrongly claim, but merely thinking about it, if truth be told.

(15.) When should you tweet a blog post you've published?

I say "always!" and "why not?" Especially if the blog post deals with Twitter, or blogging, or computers. I check out most links I see in tweets, especially links to blog posts. Just don't overdo it.

Say "My post [title] at [URL]". Provide the link, so your Followers can click right to it.

(16.) Don't mention a web site, product, blog, or book without linking directly to it, or to an Amazon page selling it, or to a Wikipedia definition of it. Try to link as much as possible.

(17.) Google the word Twitter and read up on what the media and Twitter addicts are saying about your new obsession.

(18.) Direct Message your Followers, rather than sending an "@ vaspers" type tweet. A tweet beginning with an @ sign and Twitterer name is a tweet directed at that one Twitterer, it's a personal message, generally a response to a tweet by that Twitterer. But such a message must be paid for by everybody else who is using Twitter in a paid service environment. Shame on you. Just send a Direct Message to that single recipient.

(19.) Send an "@ vaspers" tweet, even though vaspers (for example) is not a Follower of you. Why? Because that will make people think that vaspers thinks so highly of you that he's a Follower of your tweets. See what good that'll do ya.

(20.) Practice twittering every chance you get. Turn off the television and turn on Twitter. Make a steadily increasing accumulation of Friends and Followers your life's ambition. This will improve your tweeting style and enrich the content of your twittering.

(21.) Print out your tweets and stare at them. They suck, right? Unbearably boring? Okay, then stop twittering and go back to blogging or podcasting or ham radio or whatever you were doing before.

(22.) Have a goal or purpose for your Twitter. Ask yourself, "Is this tweet really necessary? Will anyone gain any value from it?" and "What would Cluetrain do?"

resistance to Twitter similar to blog hate

Ah, this is exactly like what happened with blogs and, to a lesser degree, podcasts.

People don't get Twitter.

Is it simply that they resist learning new interfaces and new networking skills?

It typically goes something like this...

You invite a blog ally or a blog-hating offline friend to join your Twitter communication channel. They read some of your tweets (Twitter messages), wherein you try to provide links to interesting tools and relevant articles. You make pithy profound statements as you experiment with various technologies.


But then they read the tweets of other Twitterers. Boring. Myopic. Narcissistic. Trivial. Frivolous.

What the Luddites and techno-phobes always say. Resistance to an emerging technology, simply based on how early adaptors are using it. Failure of imagination. Weak ability to picture how the tool could be used differently, more idiosyncratically, more effectively for their purposes.

Well, you know they used to make fun of the electric light bulb, automobile, and telephone.

"What do I want a telephone for?" the old geezer rasps. "I've listened in on some phone conversations. Private confessions. Personal drivel. Mundane. Boring. Stupid. Just mental noise and clutter. I don't want to have any part of such a trivial thing as a telephone."

Bennett the Blog Hater and Internet Radio DJ and I had this debate today, via email.


bennett theissen

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

To: vaspers the grate

Sorry, Steve, but after looking over some Twitter pages, I find it incredibly tedious and of no interest at all.

I don't want to be part of something that wants to know what I'm doing right now 24 hours a day.

So what do people post?

Well, they seem to be at lunch, or want to tell me what kind of coffee someone is drinking. At this point this looks worse than MySpace.

Pithy? Who cares -- if they have nothing to say? And if you think that presidential candidates are really on this, rather than some tech geek who works for them, you're being naive.

I would rather just write somebody directly rather than post messages.

I see no point in using an Ipod, not after all these years, because I don't need 5000 songs at my fingertips, and I see no point in blogs because they bore me and serve no purpose for me that I have found yet, and Twitter now adds to the pile of useless tech nonsense.

Sorry, no winner here.

vaspers the grate

Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 10:39 AM

To: bennett theissen

Blogs and Twitter type social networking tools are useful for promotions, like driving traffic to a site, such as KillRadio. As we mix our marketing platforms for maximum effect, the multi-interactional media are booming, with much productivity accomplished.

It's not about what others are Twittering or blogging or podcasting about. It's about what we do with it. You could make the exact same critique of telephones, mail, email, television, and radio.

99% of films, tv shows, email, postal mail, telephone communications, are junk.

Most communications, from books to movies, are boring and stupid garbage. One film in a million is worth owning. One telephone call in a thousand is mission critical and memorable. Etc.

A Twitter network is created by you, the user, and you connect with only those friends, peers, colleagues you wish to have in your circle.

Then, as you discover cool links, good netlabels, mp3 file sharing sites, etc., you post the links and your inner circle of friends has them. You include links to your Kill Radio and Radio 4 All stuff.

It's all about experimenting with new online communication tools, some will be abandoned, others modified, others re-mixed, and others used as is.

It's all about getting more people to your KillRadio shows and getting Camouflage Danse [art rock band that Bennett and I co-founded, now defunkt] mp3s online.

I am trying to do so with, but having no luck uploading mp3s to this beta site. Still searching.

Bennett Theissen

Wednesday, April 11. 2007

To: vaspers the grate

Hi! I appreciate your defense, but I disagree with your assertion that it is not about what other people are doing on the Twitter.

Your statistics are also off by a dimension or two. (I don't believe the number of movies made to date has hit one million yet, for instance.)

I specifically mentioned the I-pod because those little things are now for some reason considered an essential part of modern life, but as I said I see no reason to have one. I get by fine without it, and I probably listen to more music than most people.

I spend maybe three hours a week online, and I don't have access to the net at home.

I now find i have to check my My Space page occasionally because there are always people writing to me and it's rude to leave things hanging eternally -- but I do that as little as I can because I have so little time for it.

To add another commitment online is more than I wish to deal with right now, so I pass. It's nothing personal.

If I liked what I saw on Twitter I'd jump to it, but it looks like a bunch of tech geeks spouting on about nothing important.

Plus I don't like the fact that so many people consider it "addictive." Do a search for "Twitter" and "addictive" to see what I mean.

I hope you have fun with it and maybe later I'll look into it again -- I am not closed against it, I just haven't found anything worthwhile yet. (Its "pithiness" doesn't help, by the way! There's no substance.)


Are you Twittered into the Deeper Vaspers?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Adding Friends and Followers on Twitter

(PHOTO: Twitter error message. In most cases, just hit Back button and re-send.)

Once your eyes have been stripped of delusion, and you see how much you need to get on Twitter, then what?

The next step is to build a coalition of support and surveillance, you need to become disciple and content provider.

Be sure to display a link, on your blog (s), to your Twitter page. Maybe your blog readers will join Twitter and gain access to your social network whisper transmissions.

Use the Public Timeline version of a Twitter badge. This one shows your blog readers What You and Your Friends are Saying. Merge the streams of online presence, so your blog stream flows with your Twitter stream.

Think of bright minds you'd like to monitor, as they speak of lunch, emerging technology, new social media tools, and their favorite bands. You can learn from innovators and pioneers, as they report on both mundane and profound matters.

You can also learn how different people use different forms of Twitter communication. But the number one rule is: be interesting, provide value. Don't tweet just to hear yourself tweet.

By sending a tweet (Twitter message) to your Followers, you're asking them to pay attention to something you're saying. It helps if your message contains value: relevance, insight, honesty, humor, and, whenever possible, a link.

I believe in Link Tweeting. Links are the Free Prize Inside of Twitter messaging. Scoble does it a lot, as do other respected tech bloggers/Twitterers.

Your tweets will not be communicative without an audience of Followers. But to get Followers, you must send email invites to your online pals and peers. Beyond that initial promotion, you must use customized network strategies.

One of these strategies is to Trust Link.

Trust Linking is going to a well known entity, an intimate online friend, or other reputable source, and seeing who they link to.

You read some posts or tweets. You pay attention to who they quote or link to. You evaluate them and decide whether to add them to your Follow file, making them, or asking permission to be, their Friend.

Famous people tend to link to other famous people, etc.

First Level Trust Linking is to only visit links on the primary trusted site, and not investigate who these sites link to, and this is the safest strategy. Second, Third, and Fourth Level Trust Linking is generally time-consuming and lead to some unsavory sites sooner or later.

Stick to First Level Trust Linking.

In Twitter, this translates into visiting the Twitter pages of trusted allies. What Twitterers are listed in their Friends and Followers? Check them out. Read some of their tweets.

Evaluating the tweets of other Twitterers--how do you do it? I tend to look for links. If all the Twitterer tweets about is breakfast and music CDs, what value is in it for me? If I don't know them personally, their personal habits and mundane events are so much mental clutter.

I make a Twitterer a Friend that I Follow, when their tweets are insightful, playful, aggressive, and frequently contain links.

A content-rich Twitter environment, stuffed with links to new tools and cool sites, is possible.

Like blogs, Twitter can be a diary for recording mundane events and personal confessions, which are of very limited value, and it can have enduring value by writing the best sentences you can produce, and embedding the best links you have found, and now share with your Followers.

For some, Twitter is a micro-diary.

For me, it's an on-the-fly link archive.

Shelley on blog writing

Here I sit with my paper, my pen, and my ink,
First of this thing, and that thing, and t'other thing think;
Then my thoughts become so pell-mell all into my mind,
That the sense or the subject I never can find:

This word is wrong placed,--no regard to the sense,
The present and future, instead of past tense,
Then my grammar I want; O dear! what a bore,
I think I shall never attempt to write more...

...My wit's so copious, it flows like a river,
But disperses its waters on black and white never;
Like smoke it appears independent and free,
But ah luckless smoke! it all passes like thee...

--Percy Bysshe Shelley (1810)

from Shelly: Poetical Works (Oxford University Press, 1970) p. 843.


The challenge of the blog post is brevity. You could go on and on, but pithy writing is generally more popular, effective, and memorable. But in a blog post, you can say as much as you think you need to say.

The challenge of the Twitter message is to say less than you need to say.

You have to shorten it to 140 characters or less. You have to say something that is timely, or that contributes to understanding who you are, what your daily grind is like.

A Twitter message must impart value, via insight, tip, or link, or provide an interesting glimpse into your personality, and cram it all into a text entry box that accepts up to 140 characters. CEOs and business people should experiment with this terse, pithy, micro-blogging platform. It forces you to evaluate your activities and focus your communication.

Blogs improve our free expression. Twitter improves our focused communication. Blogs are like a pulpit. Twitter is like an injection. Blogs are open fields of roaming thoughts. Twitter is a single thought. Blogs are epic poetry. Twitter is haiku.

Every blogger should get on Twitter, and learn the art of micro-content writing, nano-blogging.

In my vaspersian Twitter updates, which is my secret channel with special sauce, the Deeper Vaspers, I try to include a link that my Followers can click. I get impatient with Twitterers mentioning online articles, but failing to provide the link.

Twitter will automatically pass any long URL through TinyURL, to shorten it for mobile viewing, so link away, my Twittering Friends and Followers, link away.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

3 super powers of New Super Bloggers

As I pioneer the advent of the New Super Blogger for upcoming Blogosphere 4.0, the multi-interactive, super-communication hyper-community, I now test Yahoo Pipes.

ZDNet photo galleried guide to Yahoo pipes.

New Super Bloggers
operate three spectacular super powers. They are instant experts and veteran practitioners of emerging social networking / idea dissemination technology:

(1) Blog (recommend: Blogger)

Social Network IM (recommend: Twitter)

Vaspers on Twitter

(3) RSS mashups (???Yahoo Pipes???)

Platform #1
, your blog:

...whereby you publish content to the web universal.

Plaftorm #2, your social network Instant Messaging:

...whereby you whisper-transmit your esoteric teachings in pithy, proverbial, pragmatics, in 140 character limit micro-journaling, with links to useful, interesting, helpful sites. Your "inner circle" aficiando cabal.

Platform #3, your RSS mashup:

...whereby you obtain highly customized, late breaking information, making you a breaking edge expert.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

New Super Blogger semi secret channeling

One big reason to join the emerging blog-related social media technology communities of Blogosphere 4.0?

It helps old, half-forgotten peers and fans

Rediscover You [and vice versa.]

It's what I decided to call ...

New Super Blogger
Semi Secret Channeling

You join Twitter, for example, and then invite basically 3/4 of your email address book, not work associates, but family, friends, colleagues, other bloggers, media people, fans, disciples, and even a few foes.

Suddenly, you have a legit reason to be in contact with this list of email correspondents of the present and past. They may join the Twitter family, this Special Channel with Secret Sauce, and they may also visit your other web presences, your blog and wiki and web site.

So, the mere fact of joining a New Super Blogger online community, it propels you through new interfaces, into a niche realm, a sub-sector, a magical wonderland of likeminded pioneers.

Check out the Newbie's Guide to Twitter to learn more about the Twitter Community.

Secrets are shared. Breaking Edge Innovations.

Controversies are stirred.

I'm about to jump into one, with some mild, but clever, blogocombat.

"Leo Lapport is wrong: Twitter vs. Jaiku".

Coming to a browser near you...soon. Today. As I listen to SUN RA "Heliocentric Worlds, Vol. 1" (ESP CD 1014, April 1965, NYC).

Stay tuned.

You're going to love this.

BTW, join me in Twitter.

Some of you, I never had your email address, others, I lost it.

News & Seduction, that includes you, my friend in Katmandu, Nepal.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Twitter: compu-telepathy for New Super Bloggers

Twitter seemed supremely frivolous and worthless to me, at first. I am not a Lightning Adaptor of new technology. Generally, I have to be clobbered with hype, anti-hype, and intrusions into the blogging habits of my peers and allies.

I hate Twitter. No. I love Twitter, Technoratily. Erase that. I...I don't know. It has a strange seduction to it, this instant ability to post, to a select list of other Twitterers, a stray comment on your life at a given moment.

But which moment?

Which event or activity or thought or feeling should I mention?

The focus of Twitter is the first thing that got me. You have severely limited number of characters that can be posted in a single message. Some say that number is around 180. Pithy. You must be quick and to the point, using an economy of wordage.

Twitter: it's aspects of blog, email, chat, tagboard, newsletter, diary, and forum.

Another new way to communicate and interact online, but it's not really, not primarily let's say, a conversation. I think it's more a micro-journal, a blog within a blog.

You post about what you're doing, but that includes, as Robert Scoble does in a high frequency, links to sites of interest and special functionalities, discoveries, tips, recommendations, opinions, etc.

One blogger says that "Twitter is to blogging what the phone was to pony express." I think I agree.

Twitter feels intimate.

It seems cozy, safe, comfortable. You can easily and swiftly control who is in and who is out, and you can change your mind. So I invited a wide range of bloggers, even a few questionables, because I can delete a person from my network if they get out of hand.

I really like knowing what these blogger pals and even remote associates, what they're doing once in a while, throughout the day, and more importantly, what they've discovered on the internet.

See? We're back to Pure Original Blogging: the 1992 old skool blogging, intimate, semi-private, intense, spontaneous, short, pithy, gems, diamonds, shining from puter to puter, the brief, casual observation and obscure link.

Twitter is a new step beyond blogging.

Twitter is thought bullets.

Twitter is a must for the new breed of blogger I am helping to invent: the New Super Bloggers of Blogosphere 4.0

Twitter is another tool for computelepathy.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Technorati WTF definition of blogocombat

Today I entered this definition of "blogocombat" into the Technorati (a global/personal blog tracking and statistics service) WTF (Where's The Fire: what's hot and why) category.

NOTE: I feel qualified to do this, since I am the undisputed Google King of Blogocombat, both the word and the practice thereof. Check it out yourself and see the proof.


Blogocombat refers to using blog posts or comments to aggressively debate an issue, belief, or opinion. In its best form, blogocombat is a serious, sincere, and sizzling form of online argument.

Blogocombat does NOT refer to trolling, flaming, baiting, vulgarity, or any form of personal abuse, or racist, sexist, religionist, or other hate speech.

Techniques of blogocombat include hammering home your point, being oblivious to vile attacks, using self-parody and mental judo, and other forms of intense, but civilized, discussion.

In blogocombat, the rule is to pit one idea against another idea, and never pitting one person against another person. In most pure blogocombat struggles, the debate opponents shake hands and admire each other's tenacity, dedication, and intelligence, even though they remain poles apart conceptually.

Good resources and inspirations for blogocombat may be found in the conceptual discussions and debates in philosophy (e.g., Jacque Derrida, Buddhist texts, the Bible).

Bad examples of debate may be seen in politics and radical fundamentalist religiosity of various "faiths".

The goal in blogocombat is exploration of different points of view and, ultimately, truth, facts, and mutual appreciation, and tolerance, of opposing opinions.


If you're an expert on a topic, or have a carefully constructed definition of a word that may be vague or unknown to others, consider submitting your wisdom to Technorati WTF at:

See a discussion at Dosh Dosh blog about how you might be able to use the Technorati WTF as a promotional tool for your blog at:

Please vote for my definition of blogocombat at:

(NOTE: I am now displaying the URLs of most links in my posts. Why? Some think it's "ugly" to do so. I do it because I often print out select posts, and mail them to people.)

Monday, April 02, 2007

what will make you stop blogging?

When was the last time you sat down and analyzed why you blog?

Do you ever get tired of it?

Do you wish you could spend time on more healthy and rewarding activities?

How long will you keep blogging? Forever? Until you get sick of it? Or...until somebody posts a harsh comment, a bold disagreement?

What would force or persuade you to abandon your blog?

Some bloggers temporarily stop blogging, as a form of "protest" against bad blogging (e.g., posts or comments that are violent, hateful, or vulgar). Robert Scoble recently did this. I don't condemn him for it. I just don't agree with stopping your blogging because of death threats, insults, or other attacks.

See his post "Taking the Week Off".

Then read his revised opinion on the Kathy Sierra vs. Means Kids mess: "Onward". Here's a quote from it that is sad to read, because I'm a big fan and ally of Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, who quote and acknowledge me in their book Naked Conversations.

I’m having a tough time getting back into blogging, which is why I broke my silence with an April Fools’ joke. In a lot of ways it isn’t fun anymore. It’s a business now. Might explain why I like hanging out on Twitter more lately (no anonymous jerks named “Joey” get into my account there).

Attacks are part of this business. And mobs are too. I’m sorry that four people had their names dragged through the mud for something that Maryam and I believe they didn’t do. It makes me very worried about my comments. Am I responsible for what people write here? I’ve come very close to closing my comments up. It makes me realize why many well-known bloggers don’t have comments anymore. It’s hard enough taking responsibility for what I write here, much less what other people write. I have turned on some moderation (new posters are held until I can approve them).

Regarding attacks. There are few things that’ll quickly attract a crowd: a fight or an pileup on a freeway or a mob breaking windows. This story became some of all three.

Bloggers know this. In fact, some blogging businesses even use this knowledge to build an audience. They pick on people on purpose to try to attract an audience, which they can then sell to advertisers. In the case of MeanKids (one of the sites that attacked my wife and Kathy) it wasn’t necessarily about business, but they did want to attract a crowd around attacks on other bloggers.

I disagree with the strategy of appeasement, fear, or renouncing the blogging discipline, even for a symbolic and brief time.

You know what the worst thing you can do to a bully, terrorist, or pushy person?

Give in. Quit. Surrender. Let them "have their way". Appeasement. "Diplomacy" is often another word for "weak".

That's generally a coward's way out.

You cannot let opponents wear you down. They count on that. They think that if they keep pounding away at you, you'll eventually give in. Most people do. They count on you being like most people.

If someone keeps pestering me, needling me, nagging me to do something, it only makes me steel myself against it. The more they push, the harder I get, the more stubborn I become.

This is not expected.

Wear-you-downers are absolutely convinced that every person has a breaking point, and if they keep it up, they'll overcome your resistance. It usually works, and they see you as just another chump they'll defeat, sooner or later.

You must have a rod of iron for a backbone. You must be made of sturdy stuff. You must never give in to any bully, terrorist, or pushy person.

Even little children discover how they can manipulate their parents by wearing them down with repeated requests, whining, and, if all else fails, throwing a temper tantrum.

The rule for victory (and dignity) is as old as time itself: Do Not Surrender.

Never give in to bullies, terrorists, or pushy people.

I'm not saying you have to be ferocious, vicious, or rude. I'm not advocating war, which never solves anything. And I'm not saying you have to fight everybody who comes against you.

Most of the time, you can win by ignoring, or making fun of, the attacks.

But the worst thing you can do is relent, throw in the towel, and then claim, "I just got tired of hearing them go on and on about it." I actually knew a pretty woman who gave into a man who wanted to have sex with her. He kept badgering and pleading and coaxing.

She told me, "I figured if I gave him what he wanted, he'd leave me alone."

But for bullies, terrorists, and pushy people, if you give them an inch, they'll return to demand a mile.

If we stop blogging, just because we're being harshed, trolled, flamed, or spammed, what good are we? What are we saying to our enemies? What kind of a legacy and role model are we providing for the next generation of online communicators?

ALSO SEE: Peoria Pundits post by Bill Dennis "Man Up and Defend Your Right to Blog".