Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mahalo search engine from Jason Calacanis




Jason Calacanis unveiled his alpha Mahalo SE today. He announced it on Twitter, of course, that's where all the hot happening tech news is at.

What I like best is his policy of: NO scrape, spam, aggregator, adult (porn), hate speech, advertorial, ugly, or less than 1 year sites. I agree completely with Jason. I get annoyed when these kinds of unprofessional, opportunistic, or unauthoritative sites appear in search engine results.

I want to see items with dates, so I know how current a web page or blog post is. Mahalo also needs some widgets and clickable link badges.

Go to Mahalo (Hawaiian for "thank you", like wiki is Hawaiian for "quick", i.e. fast edits) and start entering search terms. If no SE results appear, enter your email address to be alerted when results are available.

For example, enter your name, web site title, aka, or neologism.

I track SEO effectiveness by putting "blogocombat" (sans quotes) in everything I sign up for, in blog posts, and in comments at other blogs. If you Google the word blogocombat, you'll see that I own this term.

Last I checked, the first 120 SE results were all blog posts or comments by me, as Steven E. Streight, Vaspers the Grate, Electrica (my WordPress alias), plus my profile pages on such tool communities as Widgetbox, Twitter, Jaiku, Odeo, Rollyo, and Mix Jet Set Show...with a few items by Robert Scoble.

This should show you how powerful these tools are for driving traffic to sites. Some poke fun at the large amount of trivial messages in Twitter and blogs...while we just merrily chug along, using them them to increase our authority, credibility, and sales.

That's one way to test SEO. Either invent a new word, or take one that few people are using very much, and make it your insignia, part of your tagline, or slogan.

Incorporate that word or phrase into everything you do online, but not spamdexing. Not seeding the word opportunistically. Just use it naturally, unaffectedly, but consistently. Use it as a tag whenever it's relevant.

Here is the section of the Mahalo FAQ that I dearly love and wholeheartedly endorse:


[QUOTE]

1. We will not link to:

1. ... spam sites.

2. ... non-spam sites that have deceptive, or overbearing, advertising. For example, we will not link to blogs that have nothing but ads above the fold, forcing you to scroll down to get to the content. This includes sites that are largely advertorial.

3. ... any sites that give the appearance of participating in phishing or any other type of malicious activity ("phishing" being the fraudulent acquisition of sensitive personal information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity).

4. ... sites that simply regurgitate information from other sites with or without giving credit where credit is due.

For example, if you have a blog that you use to simply aggregate your favorite posts about gadgets from other, more notable gadget blogs (such as Engadget or Gizmodo)—without adding substantial value and information via your blog—then we will always link directly to the source of the information rather than to your blog.

5. ... sites which scrape or re-purpose other people's content without permission.

Note: We are not able to police every site we link to, so we will make mistakes. If we're linking to a site which you feel is misappropriating your content please let us know by clicking the "Report" link on the search result page in question.

6. ... sites of unknown origin (i.e. we cannot establish who operates the site).

7. ... sites which have adult content or hate speech.

2. We will link to:

1. ... sites that are considered authorities in their field (i.e. Edmunds for autos, Engadget for consumer electronics, and the New York Times for news).

2. ... sites which create original, high-quality content on a consistent basis.

3. ... sites that have been operating for over one year. Sites under a year will be considered, but most will be placed in a "member-submitted" section at the bottom of the page until they hit the one-year mark.

4. ... sites that have clean layout, design, and a modest amount of advertising.


[END QUOTE]

Hey Jason, your text editor has some funky crummy code in it, similar to Word documents. Had to paste your text into Edit HTML template, rather than Compose.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

messaging in multiple channels is mandatory


Check out my blog sidebar. See all the new online social networking community badges and widgets?

I now am participating, as time allows, in as many online communities as possible, the best of them at any rate.

The message here is: messaging in multiple channels is now, today, mandatory. There's no getting out of it. The younger web generations are usurping everything in their wake. We must awaken to its tide of extreme inevitability.

The blogosphere is antique.

The hot new tech is being revealed, promoted, reviewed, and discussed on Twitter, Jaiku, and the other socnets (social networks). Links are distributed, as are invites to alpha or beta versions of emerging technology and groups.

Join and experiment with as many social media communities, in your field, as possible.

I suggest you consider exploring the following network groups or web tool communities:

Spock
Twitter
Jaiku
flickr
Facebook
folkd.com
del.icio.us
Campfire
UstreamTV
Wikinomics
Web Magazine Share
Freebase

I am forming an Alpha Beta Tester Squad, to help Web 2.0 companies, and to help you explore the hottest new technology communities, with advance invites from the best.

Email me if you wish to join my Alpha Beta Tester Squad.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

D Trash Records demo rules


I really like this web copy. It's hip, jaded, blunt, abrasive, and perfectly in tune with web users, bands, and online music marketers.

This D-Trash Records is home to:



Ambassador 21

Schizoid

Hansel

Evestus

The Gigglin Dildas

Contra

Babylon Disco

Heartworm

DK Dance

Mind Disruption

64Revolt

Hatestar

Venom8888

Panic DHH

Oxygenfad

Faux Pride

Bastards United

The Phoeron

Hercklekot

B57 / CPUWar

Noize Punishment

CTRLR

John Merrick's Project

The Secret Life of Teenage Girls

Exist

Hyperdriver

Cutting Pink with Knives

Punish Yourself

Stuntrock

F_Noise

Extra Sick

Emergency Instructions

Knar

The Bureau de Change

Strider

Princesse Rotative








And now here's "Our Demo Policy":

[QUOTE]

DTRASH is always exposing new talent to the electronic underground scene and so far we've had great success with our artists being able to work internationally with many respected record labels.

After changing from the DTRASH collective style to the centralized record label format, we've found our policy of demos nowadays works well.


Are you looking for new artists? What style?


We're a label that actively supports new electronic acts and we want to hear from you.

We're always interested in hearing something new and anything sent to our offices is guaranteed to be listened as soon as it is possible. The acts we bring aboard this record label are always 100% into the label and their work. Everyone involved in DTRASH is expected to spread the word of the label and help promote the distribution of their recordings.

We are looking for energetic enthusiastic artists who want to help us help them, and who know how to promote themselves (ie. No slackers!). Together, we could help be the springboard that introduces you to the world.

We've never really defined what style we are looking for, and with good reason. For us to say "This is the music that is DTRASH and that kind, only" would be painting ourselves into a musical corner.

There's been material we'd thought we wouldn't want to release and then something came alone and surprised us and demanded a release. The best indication of what we want, is for you to listen to some of our recent material and see if you think yours would stand comfortably alongside it.

If you've heard DTRASH Records material, you'll know exactly what we want.

In the past bit we've been getting some Demos and while we love and support all kinds of music, honestly there is some stuff that we are not looking for. As independent artists ourselves, we want to be up-front and save you from spending your promo $ on sending out Demos that won't receive consideration.

Please, no EBM/Dancefloor/Goth-pop-tronica stuff; No straight-out white noise material. No "nu-metal". No electro-clash.

Getting more to the point, please don't send us CDRs of, or URLS to bad MP3s, of unfinished demo material that is ultimately junk non-music with no effort put into it.

We like to hear everything but already have enough requests to listen to a lot of stuff that is ultimately amateurish and obviously not ready for release on any label, let alone D-TRASH.

The abraisive nature of our material lends itself to all kinds of sounds and interpretations of the genre, but this intent is often misinterpreted by attention-seeking wolf-cryers who just want to dump any old half-finished junk on us.

It sounds kind of cold, but that's where we are, we are pushing ahead with 10,000 things all the time and would love each new DTRASH release to be better than the one before it.

We've heard enough junk noisecore material or IDM to last a lifetime and are asking more of ourselves as artists and listeners. Again listen to our other artists and releases before you submit.

We are looking for new artists, but not looking to release anything at all from anyone who's just thrown something together. Quality, not quantity.

Please remember this when submitting material, we don't care about hearing it unless it's good.

You'll know if it's good. We've given opinions on material sometimes in the past but we find it a bit of a chore honestly to give constructive criticism on songs which have nothing to offer in the first place - And we're way less likely to listen to your 2nd and 3rd demos unless the 1st one was good.

Have some pride in your work, your art and yourself and submit only your best stuff to us.




How / Where Do I Send it to?

To submit a demo to the label you must send us 2 copies of your recording (CDR or cassette formats). We're not going to explain why, just send us two of whatever you think we need to hear. One thing you can be certain of: We'll listen to it the minute your package is opened.

Please don't just send us mp3 files. By sending your demo in hard copy to our offices, its a message to us that you're serious about becoming a part of our team. So, sending an mp3 is okay, but we don't sign people on the basis of mp3 files. Having said that, we do listen to mp3s but there are too many kids out there who are only willing to email a link and that's not a way to show your commitment.

On that note, please don't pester us about your demo either. If it's good, we'll let you know.

Head Office
Demo Submissions
@ DTRASH Records
c/o Jason Smith
77 Huntley St. #923
Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, M4Y 2P3



[END QUOTE]





Wednesday, May 23, 2007

del.icio.us bookmarks vs. blogroll



Following the lead of Jason Calacanis, I have entered into the del.icio.us stream of bookmarking and sharing links with the del.icio.us community, as well as my blog readers.

twitter.com/jasoncalacanis

Jason messaged on Twitter, and on his blog ("Join me over at delicious"), how he was going to stop posting at his blog for a period of time, and "blog" only on Twitter. Then, later, he announced on Twitter that he would continue to twitter, but would also "blog" on del.icio.us, instead of his regular blog.

How do you "blog" on del.icio.us?

Well, as a newbie, I can say that when you install the del.icio.us widgets on your Firefox brower chrome, and bookmark a web site or blog post you really like, you get a form to fill out, with your remarks and tags you assign to the site being bookmarked.

I usually type in one sentence about the site, for my own archiving, and so others can quickly get why I bookmarked a particular site. So del.icio.us bookmarking is similar to Twitter pithy messaging with a 140 character limit. Not sure if there is a character limit on del.icio.us bookmark commentary, but I imagine most are short.

Twitter, then, is fast lane communication of brief messages, insights, cool links, tips, and questions to the Twitter user community, that portion of it that are your Friends, those who Follow your "tweets" (Twitter message stream).

del.icio.us, on the other hand, is a way to bookmark your favorite web sites, blogs, online resources...and share those links and remarks with the del.icio.us community. Since I just started on del.icio.us several days ago, I have not built up a large network yet.

I am using del.icio.us bookmarking as a substitute for a blogroll, which I have recently deleted.

Thus, instead of listing blogs I like in my sidebar, I am listing specific web pages and blog posts that I recommend to others, and wish to archive for my own files.

A blogroll takes your blog readers to blogs, most of which, including this one, are uneven in their relevance, quality, and value. So, going to the home page, or latest post, may not be a valuable as linking to a specific page or post.

So I started a Vaspers the Grate account at del.icio.us, filled out a few profile details, uploaded a photo of me, etc. Next step: get code for the bookmark public display widget, to insert into the HTML code of my blog design template.

http://del.icio.us/vaspersthegrate

Go to my account by clicking that link above, or paste URL into browser address bar, and you'll see a list of sites I have bookmarked as valuable.

Jason Calacanis and Mark Orchant are in my network, so I can see what they're bookmarking. That's one of the social media aspects of del.icio.us

Adding tags to a bookmark (or blog post) is a great way to index, and is merely a matter of adding a few keywords to the tag input box. Think of it as a little extra stuff to type, but having far-reaching effects.

This is my "del.icio.us bookmarks vs. blogroll" experiment, its aims and methodology.




P.S. I am also using folkd as a way to bookmark favorite, relevant, valuable sites and blogs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

click through, not just view


Today, a bright and cheerful day in May, an easy lesson. With a rhyming tagline to help memorability.

Try clicking on tagline. In the sentence above. You "go through" it to a destination page, my article published in BusinessWeek Blogspotting.

Why? Because many readers may be interested in "tagline" in general, and might appreciate a one click route to a good treatment of the topic. Self promotional? Sure. Helpful to users? Probably.

In thinking about the linked web we use for business communications and collaborations, a conclusion: interactivity is the new black.

For example, a TV presents a non-internetworked lo-interact passive experience of focused attention on auto-shifting visual/audio content. This kind of non-collaborative on/off/channel minimalism will not work on the web.

Twittervision is a site that displays messages from the global user-base of the Twitter asynchronous chat/status updater/personal digital-presencing streams.

As of this writing, however, Twittervision does not enable users to "freeze" a message, then either save it as a link in an archive, or click through to the source page of the message, to the person who sent it.

Any attempt to click on the name of the person, in the tweet bubble, generates the error message:

We're sorry, but something went wrong.

We've been notified about this issue and we'll take a look at it shortly.


Visitors to web sites generally, in most cases, want to "Click through, not just view."

Don't be afraid to enable visitors to leave your site for deeper or different viewpoints. The myth of the "sticky site" that people "hang out at" has been debunked.

Give people this reason, in addition to your rich and frequent updates, to return to your site: you link to all the right sources. And you keep researching and adding more timely links to your site.

Web users don't want to get bogged down in one site and one point of view. They tend to seek a variety of angles and perspectives, to better understand the big picture, while focusing on specifics they need for work or personal pursuits, including mild curiosity.

APPLICATION:

Instead of just listing products, make each product name a link that goes to a page devoted to the product. Make sure that page says enough, but not too much. Give customers all the information, specifications, comparisons, features, benefits, suggested uses, and images they need to make a wise purchase decision.

Look at the lists in your web site. Chances are, each item could, or should, link to a page with more and deeper information, and contains links to external information sources at other reputable sites.

Either provide more of your own content for deeper seekers, or display some credited and linked quotes, and a linked list of recommended resources. You look like an expert, when you know who the other experts are.

Linking is what sets the web apart from traditional publishing and communication systems.

Linking is what your customers will expect from you, more and more, wanting you to be their guide to a niche in the vast, expanding, and puzzling internet.

Enriching your content with links will added value and memorability for your own site. Users tend to bookmark sites that act as portals or hubs, a good starting point for further explorations in various directions.

One of the best, most valuable forms of web content is links derived from your personal explorations, which you then pass on to your readers and customers. This is a fundamental principle in Altruistic Design.

Just remember this simple single phrase: "Click through, not just view."

cluetrain for politics


Cluetrain Manifesto for People Powered Politics


http://culturekitchen.com/
the_cluetrain_manifesto_for_
people_powered_politics

As we watch the potential of Web 2.0 tools and online communities bring Open Source Government closer to the grassroots initiatives widely championed, this reworking of the classic statement of web revolution arrives in the nick of time.

Original here: Cluetrain Manifesto.

Monday, May 21, 2007

D-Trash Records



D-Trash Records on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/D-Trash_Records



D-Trash Records Website

http://www.dtrashrecords.com/

Hansel: Ghostchase

Venom 8888: Every Revolutionary Needs an HD TV

Rabbit Junk: Start the Riot

Cyanotic: Your Uniform (Does Not Impress Me)

Hansel: Lorentzian Lineshaper

64 Revolt: Hurricane

Venom 8888: Bling Bling/Danger Already

Noize Punishment: Back to Destroy

64 Revolt: Last Day in Life

Faux Pride: Herd of Idiots



Sunday, May 20, 2007

most popular Vaspers posts

Most Popular Vaspers Posts :

according to -
Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem




Cluetrain VS Corporate Amerikkka
April 14 • 2 links

testing Linkbaiting Rules of Jason Calacanis
April 27 • 1 links

psychedelic trash talk
April 20 • 1 links

Virginia Tech and new communication tools
April 19 • 1 links

In Amerikkka the gun is god
April 18 • 1 links

swan songs and semaphores
April 17 • 1 links

4 lies about Virginia Tech massacre
April 17 • 1 links

3 Major Technology Wars
April 16 • 1 links

human intertubes to replace internet
May 7 • 0 links

Gruesome blogocombat scenes from
May 6 • 0 links


I notice that the blogocombat and blog revolution oriented posts historically outperform my nicer, softer scribblings.

your pal, vaspers *******

sonnet 1 by mallarme


I'm feeling kinda funny today.

Must have been that blogocombat joyride I went on last night at Twitter. It's fun exposing the enemies of democracy, user empowerment, markets-as-conversations, consumer revolution, DIY, open source, grassroots activism, and mature discussion.

To call users, customers, and everyday people, like all of us without exception, the Unwashed Masses, the Populace, Mob, Looters, Common Proles...

...what is that? Ayn Randism? WTO Apologists? Atlas Shrugged Stalinism? North Korean Personality Reform?

To be against Of the People, By the People, For the People is to be an enemy of democracy, free expression, and civil liberty.

We must watch very carefully what underlies the belief system that revolts against social media networks, blogs, wikis, Twitter, and other Web 2.0, Web 32.0, InterPlaNet, Internet2, and other tools of web revolution.

The proof that you've hurt a troll's feelings of inferiority and damaged their pseudo self esteem: they abandon the argument, and hurl juvenile barbs at you, like "you need a lobotomy" or "you're f _ _ _ ed" and other angry, temper tantrum tributes.

twitter.com/vaspers



Two different shots of the dumpster my neighbor has parked in his driveway. Is he moving or just doing Spring cleaning? Slummy. Which obnoxious photo do YOU like best?

Is that Amanda Chapel, aka Brian Connolly pretending to be a North Korean vamp girl, in the left hand corner?

Must be having breakfast, troll-style.




Sonnet 1

When the shadow menaced with its fatal law
That old Dream, desire and pain of my spine,
Grieved at being swallowed in night's black maw
It folded within me its indubitable wing.

O deluxe, ebony hall, where, to beguile a king,
Celebrated garlands are twisted in death:
You are but a proud lie composed of nothing
In the eyes of the solitary dazzled by his faith.

Yes, I know that the Earth, far off from this night,
Casts the radiant mystery of unprecendented light
Which the hideous centuries can never obscure.

Space, unaltered, if it grow or decrease,
Rolls in that boredom vile fires as witness
That genius has been kindled by a festive star.



--Stephane Mallarme

trans. Henry Weinfield
COLLECTED POEMS
(University of California Press, 1994, p. 66)




Ah, I love the smell of trolls burning early in the morning! Who launched that flame war? We all did. Workin' on it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Some sources quoting Vaspers





View Steven Streight's profile on LinkedIn





Steven E. Streight aka Vaspers, web usability analyst, web content creator, and social media specialist, has been quoted in the following books, publications, and blogs:



Naked Conversations:
How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (John Wiley & Sons, 2006)

http://tinyurl.com/32hf29





US News & World Report

50 Ways to Improve Your Life:
Start Your Own Blog

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/
health/articles/061217/25blog.mind.htm



BusinessWeek Blogspotting “The Importance of Taglines

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/
blogspotting/archives/2005/05/
the_importance.html


The blogosphere is not credible?

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/
blogspotting/archives/2006/07/
the_blogosphere_1.html




Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright (McGraw-Hill, 2005)

http://tinyurl.com/35gxny




Society for Technical Communication
Usability Interface Newsletter Online

User Observation Testing: Forms & Procedures

http://www.stcsig.org/usability/
newsletter/0408-user-observation.html




Jason Calacanis
Entrepreneur in Action at Sequoia Capital, co-founder of Weblogs, Inc., and GM of Netscape.

"Feedback on My Linkbaiting Rules"

http://www.calacanis.com/2007/04/
27/feedback-on-my-link-baiting-rules/


"#2: Vaspers the Grate--a blog I read all the time--also has some really interesting thoughts on linkbaiting." - Jason Calacanis



CEO Blog – Time Leadership
Jim Estill, CEO, Synnex Canada ($3 billion company)

CEO Blogs and CEO Blogging

http://www.jimestill.com/2006/
08/ceo-blogs-and-ceo-blogging.html




Doc Searls Weblog (pioneer tech blogger)

Where 0.1

http://doc.weblogs.com/
2007/01/20#where01


All the news that’s fit to annotate

http://doc.weblogs.com/2005/05/
30#allTheNewsThatsFitToAnnotate




John C. Dvorak

(PC Magazine, CBS MarketWatch, Dvorak Uncensored)

Wall Street Journal Still in the Dark About Blogs

http://www.dvorak.org/blog/?p=1775




Consumer Reports WebWatch

Websites that are pledged to uphold credibility guidelines.

Listed as Streight Site Systems.

http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/
praise-worthy.cfm#s



Evan Williams (EvHead, Blogger, Odeo, Twitter)

"Measuring Blog Impact

http://evhead.com/2005/
05/measuring-blog-impact.asp




Darren Rowse (Pro Blogger)

Writing Effective Post Titles

http://www.problogger.net/archives/
2005/05/25/writing-effective-blog-post-titles





Katherine Stone (Decent Marketing)

"Don’t Worry, Be Crappy?"

http://decentmarketing.typepad.com/
weblog/2005/02/dont_worry_be_c.html





Dave Taylor (Intuitive Life Business Blog)

What makes a successful blog?

http://www.intuitive.com/blog/
what_makes_a_successful_blog.html





Satish Talim

(Appliblog: Applied Software & Technology)

8 ways to decide what to blog about next

http://personalwebsiteblog.blogspot.com/
2005/05/8-ways-to-decide-what-
to-blog-about.html





Jennifer Rice (What's Your Brand Mantra)

Not Worthy

http://brand.blogs.com/mantra/
2005/03/not_worthy.html




Debbie Weil (BlogWrite for CEOs)

What makes a successful blog?

http://blogwrite.blogs.com/blogwrite/
2005/02/what_makes_a_su.html

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Paris is burning, MSM fans flames



Official Statement re:
Paris Hilton Jail Sentence


Paris is burning, and the Morbid Stream Media (MSM) is fanning the flames.

Paris is burning with fear & confusion, MSM celeb pundits gnash their teeth, bite & chew their fabricated spectre, the shameless she-idol now cast down.

In a hysterical malicious ritual, they dance merrily, mockingly, around the woman tied to the stake of fickle public opinion. Kicking her fallen spirit the instant they spotted its wounds, and saw that it was down, in the dirt of commonality, so gleefully they, the press and pundits, turn against the pampered arrogant she-monster they fashioned from the mud of their imagination.

In a twisted religious ceremony, the smiling empty heads with hair aflame, those wretched cursed creatures of the broadcast bloodbath, soar high above the wreckage, wildly waving their wands of wan debase-ment.

Such enlightened sentiment! from such superior lads and lassies!

The "famous for nothing" celebrity meets the "authority based on nothing" media.

Gloating over her fright and dismay, using her as a pincushion for their own self-loathing and inordinate ghoulish longings, the MSM attempts to whip up a frenzy of hate toward their darling in disarray.

Now we see the snake. Poised to strike, then retreat swiftly back into the bosom of the sanctimonious MSM.

Paris, the mis-fortunate heiress. Such persecution and imprisonment may only work to her advantage, for everyone sides with, but avoids being, a martyr. Involuntary martyrdom is superior to self-inflicted varieties, since the conscientiously masochistic factor is missing.

From glimmer to glamor, and back again, rotating in the wind.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Widgetizing Your Blog



Have you ever wished your blog could do something, but your blog software doesn't provide it?

Have you ever wanted to show more than just the last 10 titles in Previous Posts? Blidget does that. It displays the last 20 post titles. See it, under that "Get My Widget" Robot with red rays shooting out of its eyes?

http://www.widgetbox.com/
search?q=blidget

Have you ever wanted to have a customized search engine on your blog, on a specific field or topic? Try Swicki.

http://swicki.eurekster.com

How about a tag cloud that displays tags of topics you blog about the most? Technorati's got one.

http://technorati.com

Want to display content, or post titles, from other blogs or sites? Feedroll may have the answer you seek. I used to have a Digg and a Lockergnome feedroll in my sidebar. But my sidebar tends to get longer and longer, so I have to trim it now and then.

http://www.feedroll.com/

What we are doing is supplying remedies for CMS deficiencies.

CMS is Content Management System. Your blog runs on some platform that governs what you can do with it, how spam is dealt with, how many posts are on the main page, etc. When you aren't satisfied, you can switch to a more feature-rich blog platform, or you can use widgets to accomplish what you desire.

All you need to know is how to Copy and Paste some code into your blog template. All bloggers must eventually learn how to do that, or your blog will not evolve to meet progressing user needs and expectations.

Don't junk up your blog with every silly widget that catches your fancy. You can destroy a blog's usability and repulse users with inordinate download times, when you load your blog up with too many widgets, especially irrelevant or trivial widgets. Widgets can contain or do just about anything imaginable.

Widgets are modules, like plug-ins or add-ons, except they generally come from sources outside your blog software platform. WordPress has many "official" or suggested, internally developed or outsourced plug-ins, for example, but many are dysfunctional and unreliable.

Many widgets contain a monetizing element, such as a small text add or clickable button, somewhere, usually near the bottom of the widget panel. Generally, these ads are simply linking back to the widget maker's site, and that is fine. Many readers will probably be interested in checking out that site.

In my sidebar, you'll see a number of widgets, mostly oriented toward enabling my readers to leave my blog and explore topics on their own, but with some guidance by an external authority, which is more and more likely to be a collective of fellow users.

VTG widgets include:

* Easy Web Stats Live Visitor Counter "number of users online" widget

* Wikipedia search engine (a Google gadget)

* TinyURL input box that will transform a long web address to a short one

* Pollcode polls

* Swicki "blog revolution" customized, user ranked search engine

* Widgetbox "blidget" that displays 20 Previous Posts

* Snap Previews that shows you a screenshot of the site destination of a link

* Twitter widget that displays my public timeline

* Twitter Search Engine by Steve Rubel

* YouTube video player embed with "Tyranny of the Machine"

* Skype VoIP "call me" activation button


Think about some features or functionalities you wish your blog had. Then check the widgetmeisters to see if a widget exists for that purpose.

The topic of monetizing widgets is a tiresome one, but your pal Vaspers may go into that next. I'm just so tired of greedy newbies wanting to make a fast buck on the internets. Yawn.

Here are some places to start your blog-widgetizing explorations (this list is dynamic - will be adding to it as I find more relevant links):

"Widget Madness"
http://www.bloggersblog.com/widgets

Google Gadgets
http://www.google.com/
webmasters/gadgets

Niall Kennedy Widgets Live
http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/
archives/2006/10/widgets-live.html

Widgetbox
http://www.widgetbox.com

Widgetbox Blogosphere

http://www.widgetbox.com/
tag/blogosphere

Pollcode free blog polls
http://pollcode.com

Swicki custom, user-ranked search engines
http://swicki.eurekster.com

Twitter Search Engine

http://tinyurl.com/2wu2e8

Clearspring Technologies
http://www.clearspring.com/
(Have not explored this, just found it today.)



Thursday, May 10, 2007

trolling and abuse as marketing strategy


When you wrestle pigs, like insult slinging trolls, all you do is get filthy, but the pig loves it.



Sometimes a poor performing product, like a hateful anti-Cluetrain book, comes out.

The trollishly foolish book is combative. It picks fights, because nobody cares about its content.

The book stridently argues against the democratization of the web, against the rise of individual voice. The book and its puppet author seethe with hostility toward level playing fields, consumer empowerment, and corporate accountability.

The book and its little author want to go back to one way broadcasting, no user comments, and no non-hierarchical networked collaboration. Command, tradition, and blind obedience is preferred to the looming grassroots victory, what they call "anarchy", a psyche-flush they so richly deserve and fear.

The trollish book sits there. Stupid.

Nobody knows what to do with the thing.

So they try to force people to pay attention to it. How? By launching a campaign of personal insult, abuse, and vulgarity. Accusing the target of being "high", drunk, on medication, gay, or worse.

Caring nothing for those who are "different" or disabled, they sling their hateful slurs all over the web, in blogs and Twitter, wherever the more successful, popular, and constructive people hang out.

Using abuse, bullying, taunting, and even criminal intent, they "troll": try to pick a fight with a select individuals, disrupt a cohesive online community, and (hopefully) garner some attention.

"Look at me! I'm attacking you! Don't you just hate it?" seems to be the cry for help that forms the foundation upon which the trolling abusers build their attack vectors.

A lady or a gentleman will argue aggressively and knock the stuffing out of you intellectually. A good debater will be skillful in logic, complete in research, and fair in combat. But a troll is just a loser with envy issues.

Debate them? No.

Bash them? Sometimes maybe. If it seems appropriate, it can be fun for the whole family or office.

Ignore them? Yes, usually.

"Do Not Feed the Trolls" is a good policy. You'll notice that the savvy members of an online community do just that. They act like the troll is mute and invisible. The troll has been "shrouded", marked as dead to the conversation, null and void.

Abusive Marketing is not effective. A few thrills ensue as a community first recognizes the threat. After that, the troll is doomed to obscurity and unemployability.

They fade fast, you can surely count on that.

The more a person screams hysterically against Cluetrain and Web 2.0, the more money they probably lost on a failed dot com company. Unprincipled assaults on richer, more famous and mentally balanced individuals, this is their petty, pathetic form of vengeance.


Listening to "The Distance Between" CD by Great Lakes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

music marketing web site tips



My first ad for my company, as we branch out and solicit local musicians and bands, to do web sites for them.

I feel a band site must include 8 to 20 free mp3s to download legally, 5 to 12 music videos, a photo gallery, song lyrics, news updates, releases page, contact page, about us page, and links to relevant sites (net labels, recording companies, web sites of other bands, blogs devoted to your style of music, online musician or fan magazines, etc.)

Music mp3s and videos should be listenable/viewable on site, as well as being downloadable.

Free generates Paid.

A new, unknown, obscure band has to work even harder at distributing free mp3s and news. Most band sites fail to accurately describe the type of music the band makes. Even a vague "we sound like Sonic Youth meets the Libertines via Merzbow", or "a blend of techno, ambient chill, and sci fi film soundtracks" is better than nothing.

Monday, May 07, 2007

human intertubes to replace internet



No more sending lousy messages, mp3s, photos, videos, podcasts to each other. The new young Super Geeks are sending themselves all over the world, over something called The Intertubes.




Set to replace the old, spammy, dubious, sporadic-connectivity Interplanetary Internet, the Commodity Internet, and Internet2, the Intertubes is a network of interstitial tunnel piping that will deliver embodiments of bloggers, web masters, CEOs, and other former netizens, to wherever the intertubes are connected.

Soon, all other forms of data transmission and personal transport will be but a distant, albeit charming, memory that no one will care about anymore. Gas will be worthless, as will SUVs, thank precious God.



Digital surrogates, enabling bloggers to send haptic immersive telepresenced incarnations of themselves, started the recent trend to "reach out and touch someone" via Web 2.0 tools and online social media networks.

But, as the automobile came swiftly on the heels of the invention of the humble bicycle, and then sprouted the space shuttles and deep space probes, the Intertubes network is poised to surpass anything the virtual-physical hybrid space has yet even dared to offer.

Super Geeks are already distributing themselves, their secret clones, and their digital surrogates to each other, for business and, er, pleasure, the naughty wankers!

"tubing" as the kids refer to it, is the Next Big Thing the younger switched-on, cluetrainy generation's ecstatically excited about.

There is also a "moon tube", the so-called lunar escalator pipe, that will transport you, your clone, or your digital surrogate, to the dreamy orb of light that shines at night upon Earth.

While many are not quite ready to "tube" that far, entrepreneurs in many tech quarters think the moon may be just an orbiting computer screen that they intend to "monetize".




"helter skelters"

http://www.baraskit.se/random/
archive/10/helter_skelter2.html

Saturday, May 05, 2007

worst thing about online social media




The worst thing about online social media?

Twitter Curve: Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users blog:

http://headrush.typepad.com/
creating_passionate_users/
2006/12/httpwww37signal.html


Aside from malicious predatory libelous trolls, who cruise such sites to stir up trouble, the worst thing is cowardly members, people who dislike aggressive confrontation of evil.

La La Landers who want all communications, messages, posts, tweets, etc. to be "nice" and "happy" and "soft spoken". But it's these kinds of people who are responsible for all the trouble and evil in the world.

"All evil needs to succeed, is for good people to do nothing."

I quote that a lot. Because it is a clear statement about how good people allow evil to flourish. Ever thought deeply and seriously about that?

The web is a test field, an experimental arena.

Are you bold enough to express your honest opinions and sincere feelings? Or do you hold back, try to be nice and non-confrontational? Why are you so scared? Why do you let braver people do the heavy lifting of rocks to discover the worms and slime who hide beneath them?

I hate reading Twitter messages and blog posts that are 100% myopic, narcissistic, self-obsessed. Self-expression is a very low value. If all we express is Self, we are on the unspiritual, uncivilized path of spoiled, pampered blabbering.

Actually, I don't enjoy being angry or confrontational. In fact, I kind of hate it. My heart beats faster, my mouth contains words I normally avoid, and my head hurts. Maybe some people, like trolls, love being mean-spirited and antagonistic.

I'm not a rude or sadistic person.

I like serenity and gentleness. I'm a pacifist. I believe all physical warfare is generally wrong and misguided. I'm typically very quiet, mild, and measured. But when something purely evil and absurd occurs, I often react aggressively.



If everyone, every good person, would just Do Something about the evil in this world, there would be less for me to be upset about. But no. Most of us just sit around and contribute nothing to the betterment of the world.

I include myself. What do I do to change the world? Angry blog posts and harsh Twitter messages are just one tiny step toward change. So I enlighten a few people here and there. Perhaps a ripple effect occurs and aggressive postings have long-range consequences.

But I hope I can inspire some of you to be more hateful toward what is evil: online predators, war, racism, arrogance, pomposity, exploitation, greed, torture, lies, and abusive shock jocking of Imus, Rosie, Limbaugh, and Stern.

When corporations, like WalMart, have to get hit with lawsuits before they recall toxic Commie China baby bibs, we must be hateful and forceful toward them, in any way possible.

If you don't hate anything, you must be so self-obsessed, it's ridiculous.

Please start flaming, boycotting, and protesting the jerkbags, so I can go back to being peaceful and dreamy again.

Thanks.

Your agitated pal, Vaspy.



This has been a public service announcement of the New Reformed Insane Blog Media Network.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Digg & soaking in the pillows of forgetfulness




The "Digg Revolt" brought on by the HD DVD encryption code will be the Talk of the Web 2.0 World for a loooooong time? Maybe. It is certainly the 911 for DRM.

This is Cluetrain Triumphant. User-empowerment. And the MSM is avoiding the story, to their own detriment.

http://mashable.com/2007/
05/01/scenes-from-digg-implosion/

"how I got banned from Digg"

http://www.cjmillisock.com/2007/05
/how-i-got-banned-from-digg.html

While I never advocate any criminal activity, this is Dada Deluxe. Digg is Digging itself, the bury button reigns supreme, mutiny and revolution are in the air, censorship and DRM are up for grabs, and the HD-DVDs can now be viewed on Linux and backup copies can be made.

DRM is the enemy of our Universal Content Utopia, which is almost entirely established via the internet.

"Spread This Number"

http://rudd-o.com/archives/
2007/04/30/spread-this-number/

Digital Rights Management = greed, exploitation, miserly control over every fart that emanates from a "celebrity" or "star", for the fattening of the recording industry execs at the top of the slime pile.

DRM is evil. RIAA is evil. MPAA is evil.

Hopefully, this will also destroy Hollywood and ruin the fortunes of all film celebrities. Well, wishful thinking has a way of self-fulfilling, right? LOL

Just remember: the "dark" or "ugly" side of user-generated content is no "darker" or "uglier" than corporate, government, or religion-generated content.

The Bible and the Declaration of Independence are user-generated content.

This is a defining moment in the glorious history of User Generated Content vs. Domination Systems. This is the Hurricane Katrina of DRM and corporate control.






Vaspers is hooked on a feeling. A feeling of bliss that only one Web 2.0 tilting windmill can deliver: of course, I refer to Twitter.

To ease the burden of this humiliating habit, I send Twitter messages ("tweets") that tell other Twitters to delete each tweet as they send them. I tell them to click on the cute little garbage can at the end of each tweet. That deletes the tweet, see? Aren't I the clever one?

Keep clicking that garbage can, my dear fellow Twitterers.




I am a Twitter addict. See how it has affected me? I am not the same.

Anything that destroys DRM, the MSM, politicians, religion, and government as we know them and hate them, is pretty much alright with me.

PayPal me $100 and I’ll send you my FREE imaginary Twitter Addiction Recovery kit.

Act now and receive my “Winning Through Self-loathing” and "Secrets of Spiritual Lethargy" pretend self-help books as an added bonus.

Hurry. Supplies are non-existent!



Twitter has made me more apolitically radical, and I now listen to a lot of Billy Bragg music.

Clinton: "I did not have [very good] sex with that woman!"

Bush: "He has [imaginary] weapons of mass destruction!"

And you still believe in Republican or Democrat? I pity you.



I eat trolls for breakfast and spit at pseudo-bloggery in the eye.




This is the one. Can't {hardly} stop listening to The Charlatans UK "Between 10th & 11th" CD.



But I do [sometimes] listen also to "Smile" CD by Ride (pre-Oasis).