Subtle Tech Racism

I was reading a post by Adria Richards of But You’re A Girl on a topic called Is Google Voice Racist, and knew I had to comment on it. However, since she uses Disqus, and you know how I feel about Disque and blogs that use that kind of commenting system (I found another one called Intense Debate that’s like it that I don’t like either”, and I mentioned that I was clearing away iritations in 2010, I don’t want to comment there, so my comment will be here. By the way, you need to read some of the comments on her post also; quite telling, I might add.

Her gripe is that a girlfriend sent her a message and said “Hey Girlfriend”, but Google interpreted that as “Hey Negro.” Okay, what the heck is that about? She then posted a video that I’ve seen before, and commented on the post where I saw it, where HP has this new face recognition software that will have the camera follow you around, but, at least for many, it doesn’t work on black people. I mean, just because we’re tired of being followed around in stores doesn’t mean we don’t want software to work like it’s supposed to.

There’s always been things like this that pop up from time to time online and in software. Those of us who are offended find it either racist or bigoted. Those who aren’t say they don’t see it and wonder why we always say it’s racist or bigoted. Those who aren’t offended are never minority, by the way; that seems to figure when it comes to trying to identify racism or bigotry.

First off, I don’t see race everywhere, though some of my friends think I do. But I call things out whenever I need to. For instance, through this blog and my business blog I’ve called out people for many things. Back before the last presidential election I called people out for overt racism against Barack Obama and Muslims in a post called What, A Muslim Can’t Be President? I called out racism by the New York Post after they posted a cartoon equating President Obama to a monkey. I actually talked about the topic of what a racist is, because so many people throw the word around way too often. And I had to join Rachel Maddow in her smackdown of Pat Buchanan when he made a bunch of racist statements on her show earlier this year. I’ve even addressed it here, with my strangely named President Obama Calls Limbaugh A Racist post.

But these types of things just keep coming up over and over. There was one Microsoft software program where, if you typed in a certain thing asking about black people, a picture of a monkey came up. There was also a specific search term for Michelle Obama kept bringing up a picture of her with a monkey face. Even now there’s another Microsoft program running in Poland and another photography program. Sorry folks, but that’s racism no matter how you slice it.

Here’s my issue. There’s always going to be racism; I understand that. I don’t like it, but as long as there are people who look and act different and everything else isn’t equal. What I’d like is a little bit more accountability for when these things happen, then a little bit more support from people who may not be directly affected by it, but know something bad when they see it. Adria didn’t deserve to have the one guy say she was wrong and that’s just how software works; that was probably one of the more moronic things I’ve seen in a long time. It can’t always be minorities looking at something and saying it’s racist or bigoted or whatever; someone else has to step forward, in higher numbers than what happens now, and call those perpetrating this mess out on it.

And, by the way, not only racism. Add sexism, homophobia, and other intolerances to the list as well.

FIGHT RACISM

price – $2.99


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Health, Wealth, And Self Care Online And Off – Guest Post

In my post talking about my online goals for 2010, I got a quick request from one of my readers who has never written a comment as far as I know named Connie Baum. It’s always great to hear from people who enjoy what you have to say, and she asked me if I could write a guest post for her, which I did entitled Watch Out For Internet Marketing Scams. I hope you check it out.

Then I asked Connie to write a guest post for me, since her blog is all about internet marketing, so she’s created this post for us. I hope you enjoy it.


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Creating a blog post for someone whose work you admire is akin to being a child, visiting a classroom where the teacher places you at the front of the room to introduce yourself. You think you would rather be having a root canal at that moment. You are embarrassed; you are not sure what to say. You feel certain that the friend who brought you to school is biting his lip and wishing his mother hadn’t MADE him bring you.

Internet marketing is the reason I have been closely following Mitch and ‘I’m Just Sharing.’

There is something endearing about every post he makes. I aspire for my blog posts to call people to action the way Mitch’s do. When Mitch extended the invitation for Guest Bloggers, I raised my hand and ‘Teacher’ called on me. I’m looking forward to reading what other Guest Bloggers have to say, for I fancy I can learn something from every post. The trick of course, will be remembering what I learn and implementing it properly.

The mother in me is compelled to admonish all internet marketers, including Mitch, to do two things and in the proper order. Remember, kids, I’m Just Sharing. Grin

1. Take very good care of yourself
2. Take your marketing work very seriously but don’t take yourself so seriously.

Health and wealth walk hand in hand. If you lose your wealth but have your health, you can recover and resume. But if you lose your health, you also stand to lose your health as well. Doesn’t paint a very pretty picture, now, does it?

With a nod to #1 and taking good care of your body, let’s address how important- no, critical-it is to eat well and wisely; to remember to move away from the desk from time to time to move and play.

If you are fortunate to work at home where there are children-or fun loving adults, for that matter-you can schedule recess time! Go out of doors, jump rope, run, walk, turn cartwheels! Do whatever it takes to get your heart rate up and pop a sweat. Then you will be ready to go back to business and resume the creativity and discipline of work.

Your body needs water to keep all your cells functioning optimally, so keep handsome pitcher of water close by. Drop a wedge of fresh lemon in it to make it more tantalizing. And don’t be fooled into thinking that anything wet counts as water because if there is anything in the water, it isn’t really water any more. Don’t rely on coffee and other caffeine loaded beverages because those will dehydrate you and literally shrivel your brain.

Another facet of self care is to reward yourself for meeting your online goals. For example, when your new blog makes the first page of Google, you are entitled to have lunch at your favorite eatery that day. Or, you might have added 100 new names to your new list of subscribers. This calls for a hot chocolate break with your spouse or significant other! You need to figure out what floats your boat and use those things to motivate you. Some popular rewards include scalp massage, nail care, pizza, fresh flowers; new socks. You probably have your own list of what trips your trigger.

Let’s address item #2, taking your business seriously. If you are new to internet marketing, I would offer that a good coaching program would benefit you. You will learn skills you did not have previously and you will network with others who will enhance your journey.

I would also remind you of the recess idea from item #1. Being completely silly and operating with abandon for brief periods of time will increase your creativity and make you far more productive. “Do use discretion,” she warned.

Read other people’s blogs with sincere interest. Comment intelligently, adding value to their site. Interact with the bloggers; get to know them. Attend every live event you can and take copious notes whenever you are on a conference call, webinar or brainstorming session with others. Partner with others to capitalize on one another’s strengths; offer added value in any way you are able to help others.

It has been an honor to present my ideas through Mitch’s blog. Here’s hoping some value was added to your life, even if it did not shake the earth.

I thank Connie for this wonderful guest post. Here are her blogs for you to check out when you can:

Rapid Cash Review
Mother Connie Sez

 

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Post #601 – Time For More Changes

Wow, 600 posts, and I’m still going relatively strong. I didn’t quite hit the date I had expected to hit when I wrote post #501, but I’m close to that date, and I feel good about where I am, so it’s all good.

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Look tired don’t I?

When I wrote post #500, I said I was going to start being a bit more personal on this blog, and it seems that I have been. It’s translated to more visitors, which makes me feel like it was the right way to go. Here were my top 5 topics for the last 100 articles:

Blogging – 30

Personal – 10

Product – 8

Entertainment – 7

Research – 6

It’s the first time entertainment has shown up on my top lists, but I enjoy those posts, though they take the longest to do, what with my looking for videos and products to shill. It does seem to be true, however, that list posts get a lot of attention, even if not always a lot of commentary. This leads to the topic of my most popular posts during the time period, and once again, most of the most popular were posts written beforehand. As a matter of fact, one that’s popped out of nowhere was written in April 2008! Here they are, and, for a change, when they were written:

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird 406 visits, 12/2008

Top 100 Singers Of All Time 272 visits, 01/2009

WordPress 2.9 Upgrade; My Issues 120 visits, new!

Watch Out For Secret Shopper Scams 119 visits, 4/2008

Isn’t that incredible? I wonder what’s going on that so many people still need help with that older stuff. Next, my most commented on articles during the last 100 posts:

My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows – 41

Trying To Understand Squeeze Pages – 40

Beyond Blogging – 36

It Pays To Be Bad Sometimes – 32

Limit Login Attempts – 31

Those are the stats I wanted to share with you. I could look at plenty more, but I want to go in a different direction, to let you know what’s coming.

I don’t make money off this blog; that doesn’t mean I can’t. However, what’s a bit more important is streamlining a few things and promoting some other things better. So, here’s what’s coming, if I haven’t already made the changes when you read this.

A lot of the banner ads are going away. I’m probably keeping the one at the top and maybe one on the side, but that’s it. My hope is that some of my remaining real estate will look like a prime place for advertisers at some point, but initially it’s going to clean up the page a little bit. The books are going to remain, but I might repackage how they look on the site, if it fits.

I’m going to add an area where all the products or things I positively review will be listed, with a link to that review. I think those things deserve to be sitting out here more prominently, especially a product like Mailwasher. Usually when we write about these things they only remain prominent for a short period of time, then get lost in the abyss of newer posts. That seems like a smart business move.

I’m also probably going to add back Google Adsense to this blog, which I removed a long time ago. I’ll probably go with a smaller ad than that long one I’ve had before, just to have something here. If people are looking for topics I hadn’t thought about before on this blog, maybe they’ll be the ones who’ll find what they’re looking for on Adsense, right?

And some of the “trinkets” things to the right I’m probably going to remove as well. Not all of them, but some, like the one presently saying my blog is ranked #254 on Winning the Web, will be gone, mainly because if you click on it and go to their site, it pops up this book thing that sometimes won’t go away even when you hit close, and if it’s irritating me then it will probably be irritating others as well.

I appreciate every one of you for checking in with me from time to time, and I hope to find even more things that add value to your online or offline experiences. Most of all, I want to be at least someone entertaining; nothing worse than a lot of boring stuff. Now, it’s still my blog, which means I’ll put on here whatever I want to put on here, but it doesn’t mean I might not entertain thoughts here and there; just be ready for me to debate you on them. 🙂

Onward and upward, as we head towards #700.
 

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5 Ways Poker Is Like Blogging

Many of you know that I love playing poker. I’ve talked about it a few times here. I talked about it when I was in Reno last year around this time. I talked about it when I talked about the psychology of gambling. I talked about it when I wrote about my first big poker tournament this summer. And I talked about it when I talked about joining the affiliate program for Pokerstars.

I think about poker often. I don’t go to the casino as often as I have in the past, mainly because my income is a little lower than it was, so I have to pick and choose when I can go. I’ve also learned a couple of things about my game, which is odd and strange, and in a way, can relate to blogging. I’d like to share 5 things that seem to tie poker and blogging together, at least for me.

1. When I’m tired, I don’t play poker or blog all that well. I think that when I blog when I’m very tired, my articles aren’t all that good. Some might think they are, but I don’t feel much for them. Only when I’m tired does blogging feel like a chore. The same actually goes for poker. When I’m tired I really don’t want to be there, but sometimes I stay because it’s late in the evening and I also don’t feel like having to get up from the table if I don’t have to. I lose money when I play tired, and I’ve often wondered if I lose readers when I blog tired.

2. I actually have times when I blog and play poker very well. Most of you know that, unless I’m doing a research post, I write my blog posts fairly quickly. My mind is clear in what I want to say, and I can produce some pretty good posts, if I say so myself. The same goes for poker. Oddly enough, if I tell myself that I’m going to the casino during the day and I’m only staying 3 hours, I almost always come home ahead. There’s something about being focused on a goal that works really well, no matter what it is. The same also goes for chess, which Sire and I play through email. When I’m focused, I see the board 5 moves ahead in my mind and I play very well; I just need to write down those moves when I’m in the zone. 🙂

3. I love poker and blogging because of the camaraderie. When I play poker, I’m not only there to try to win. I love talking to people, and many times, I’m sitting at a table with all new people, which seems strange for as many times as I’ve gone over the years. Every table has a different vibe, but there’s always someone who wants to talk. and when I do get to play with people I know, it enhances the day even more. Knowing the dealers brings at least some stability to the process.

When I blog, I know most of the people who are coming to make a comment. When new people come, I know it’s a new opportunity to make a connection with a new friend. Every post brings a new perspective from someone, whether I know them or not. I have a great time with it, and it’s one of the reasons why I love blogging.

4. I understand poker, and I also understand blogging very well. I may not always make money when I play poker, but I really understand all the nuances of the game. I know when to bluff and I know when to go all in. I know how to stick around and wait for a good hand. I know how to pace myself based on the time limit I’ve set for myself. And I know when I’ve devoted too much time to it, even if I don’t always listen to myself.

The same goes for blogging. I really do understand blogging a lot. I know how to craft posts. I actually do know the process for putting together posts that have a lot of keywords and linkbait associated with them; I just choose not to do it. I could blog all day; I write for other people’s blogs here and there, and if my entire life was just writing blogs and I could make a full time living from it, life would be sweet. I like to think I know how to engage people. Sure, I might not make a lot of money at it, at least right now, which is like not winning all the time at poker, but I know some things, and I’m going to hopefully apply many of them over this next year.

5. I have fun playing poker, just like I have fun blogging. Fun is what it’s all about after all. Poker is my favorite offline activity; blogging is my favorite online activity. With each, I meet new people all the time that are engaging. I get to hear and read other people’s stories and words. I get to participate in the process. I sometimes make money, which is never a bad thing. If I didn’t have both poker and blogging, I don’t know that my life would have much enjoyment in it. Well, okay, my wife and I have a lot of fun, but you know what I mean. 🙂

Both of these things really are passions of mine. I don’t have a lot of passions, but these two are enough for me. What are your passions, things that you enjoy, that you know very well, that you could probably do better at but don’t because that’s not the most important thing to you? And, do you really enjoy blogging as much as I do? I’d love to hear about it.

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Yes We Can Be A-List Success Stories

The other day, I read a post on a blog called WordPress Theme Customizations written by a guy named Costa on the topic Are You Still Dreaming To Be Famous Blogger. His point is that people will read what these A-list bloggers have to say, buy what they put out, and often you’re not only left with a product that didn’t really tell you anything you could use to try to get where they are, and not only are they not really even blogging anymore as much as managing, but you will never reach the level these guys got to, and that maybe it’s time for you to just be who you are.

He makes some interesting points, and I hope you click over and read what he had to say. I, being me, do take some exception to some of what he had to say, but not because of the reasons he chose. Here’s my take on it all.

Any one of us can be an A-list blogger. What that means, however, is that at some point you’re going to need one of two things. One, you’re going to need a major break of some kind. Two, you’ve got to be set up to capitalize on that big break when it comes.

This post isn’t about any of that, however. What it is about is not giving up on a dream, no matter how big, no matter how small (yup, now I’m channeling Horton the elephant). Anthony Robbins once said “if you have nothing to live for, you die.” If you’re not trying to accomplish something with your blog, why bother with it at all? If you’re willing to be less than your potential, why bother?

True, based on reality, everyone can’t be an A-list blogger. Does that mean you can’t be? Not at all. You could be a famous blogger without being an A-list blogger. You could make a lot of money without being an A-list blogger. You are whatever you are, and you can potentially be whatever you strive to be. Even if you never made it to the A-list, you will always feel secure that you have gone all out to be the best, and you can never take anything but pride in that. And there’s a lot to blogging; just check out these stats from The Future Buzz.

I do agree with Costa on one point that says a lot of what you purchase doesn’t end up giving you exactly what you want. For instance, that Beyond Blogging book on the side there isn’t a book that’s going to give you step by step instructions on being a better blogger. It’s tales of how some bloggers who have made a lot of money did it. It’s motivational; nothing wrong with that.

It’s like networking, for those of you who work for yourself; it is what you make of it, and if you leave a networking event without meeting at least one person, most of the time it’s your fault. Some people join organizations thinking those organizations are going to help them make business contacts that are going to bring money into their pocket. But that’s not what most groups are about, so it’s their fault for thinking that.

Now, if you want some free ebooks that may or may not help you, you can check out this post of mine offering some ebooks on affiliate marketing, and then this other post with more ebooks on affiliate marketing. These are free; go for it.

Back to my premise. I’m shooting for great success in 2010. After all, I’ve just been named one of the Top Baby Boomer Men of 2010, thank you very much. 🙂 After that other post of mine on publicity, this is a nice start to the new year. But I don’t have to be the only one shooting for the stars. The world is big enough for all of us to try to be as big as we want to be, whether it’s A-list blogger, famous movie star, or just rich person without any notoriety whatsoever.

Just don’t give up on your dreams because it seems like a hopeless cause. Now let’s get out there and conquer the world!
 

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