Category Archives: Blogging

Blog Day 2009

Yup, it’s that time of the year again, Blog Day, where we’re all supposed to give our favorite five blogs for the year. This year, there’s even a link for it to Technorati, which I’ll admit that I’m not sure what it’s really supposed to do. But hey, I’ll go along with it. Here’s the link to last year’s Blog Day 2008 post.

Last year I had all these self inflicted rules on myself. This year, I’m not having any of that. I’ve yet to decide if I’m doing it on all of my blogs or just this one; I’m thinking this will be the only place I’ll do it, though I could change my mind, since I’m actually writing this one ahead of time. You can see who I recommended last year on Mitch’s Blog.

Also, what I’m supposed to do is let those people know that I mentioned them. I don’t think I did it last year, since only one person I wrote on actually found it and made a comment on the post. I’ll have to think about this one as I’m writing this post, although I could probably just link to the last post of the blogs I’m recommending, and they’ll see the trackback in some fashion. Yes, I’ll do that; thinking as I go along. 🙂

So, here we go, in no particular order, but without the shackles I put on myself last year. These are 5 blogs I actually make sure I read often.

1. Sire’s Wassup Blog. I talk about Sire all the time here, and I think we’ve actually educated each other on many thing over the past year and a half. I actually met him on one of those diary blogging sites, but we didn’t know who each other was at the time. I find his blog entertaining, and I rarely miss a post. What’s his blog about? Whatever he wants it to be about. I like that; independent Australian thing. 🙂

2. Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online. Man, Marelisa makes me think every time I read a new post of hers, and it’s all good stuff. She takes a lot of time crafting her posts, and there’s never any junk in it. In an odd way, she reminds me of how I might write if I didn’t try to have a post almost daily. As a matter of fact, I’d love for you to read this post on Freedom, Nonconformity & Unconventional Living. Her blog is about changing your mind towards better things; gotta love that.

3. 21st Century Affiliate Marketing. John Dilbeck might give you the impression of being a mountain man, but this is one of the smartest guys you’ll ever deal with. I love reading his posts also, as they’re always very thoughtful, and he’s one of the best commenters you’ll ever see. He talks about affiliate marketing and, lately offline marketing also.

4. HSH Financial News Associates Blog. Tim Manni writes this blog, which is all about financial news and the like. I discovered it just after I started writing my finance blog, and it’s very good, and always up to date. Sometimes he beats me to a story, sometimes I beat him to one. I love the challenge.

5. Electronic Village. I met Wayne Hicks on Facebook after I created my blog sharing group there. He was one of the first people to share his blog with all of us there. His blog has to be something special if I keep going back to it, since most of you know how much I don’t like Blogger as a blogging site. This blog is all about black news issues, and it’s always timely and well written. Once again, we sometimes are competing on the same stories around the same time, but I get so much from this blog, I must admit. Now if I can only get enough overall support to one day end up in his top 25 blogs written by black authors, my life would be complete.

And that’s that. I hope y’all check these folks out, because all of them write quality stuff. Onward to 2010!


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Take Responsibility For Your Blogging

Some people have a lot of chutzpah. They do something they should have known better not to do. They get caught. Then, instead of owning up to the event, taking it like an adult, apologizing and moving on, they get stupid, look for a scapegoat, and act as if they never did anything wrong to begin with.

Such is the follow up to the post I wrote a couple of days ago when I talked about a blogger who hid behind a fake name and pretty much slandered this model. Through a court order, Google gave up the email address, the model learned who it was and talked to the woman, and all should have been over at that point.

Instead, said “slanderer”, named Rosemary Port, decided that not only was she wronged by Google for giving out her email address, but she’s now going to try to sue Google for $15 million dollars for violating her privacy in responding to that court order.

Okay, the obviously stupidity of the lawsuit aside, can anyone tell me what this woman is thinking, other than she wants her own little bit of publicity now? She stated that her original post only had two visitors before Liskula Cohen, the model she decided to slander, decided to sue to find out who she was. She’s trying to say that Cohen pretty much made a big deal of this, and in fact is the one who violated her privacy with the original lawsuit.

Oh come on now! This is beyond a pot calling a kettle black. This is definitely not taking any responsibility for one’s actions; can anyone say “clueless?” Google has never told anyone that they would have absolute privacy in using Blogger or anything else. We all have heard where, with a court order, Google will release search records of people being investigated by the police or other law enforcement groups. What makes this woman think she deserves any more immunity for what she did than what some of these other people have done?

Of course, there are some free speech advocates who believe this is the start of something bad. They say that, in many circumstances, people deserve to have their anonymity protected, so the rest of us can get information we might not otherwise get. I don’t dispute that, as I wrote elsewhere about someone who lost her job after being as a community blogger, a move I disagreed with because the woman hadn’t written anything disparaging, as far as I could see, about the company she was working for. The sensibilities of companies these days, who feel they have the right to control what workers do outside the workplace as much as within the workplace, is a slippery slope that people balance every day. In my previous post I talked about my own belief in privacy issues, which our friend Sire disagreed with and ended up writing a post on drug testing that’s gotten some very interesting responses both pro and con. It sometimes seems as if we’re moving in a direction where the divide between privacy and doing what’s right is getting wider.

Anyway, I don’t see this woman’s lawsuit going any further than being allowed to file it. She’s having her 15 minutes of fame right now, and she’s the only one responsible for it. If I were Cohen, with this latest move, I’d sue her for slander and defamation just to make a point. But I’m like that; what are your thoughts?

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Bloggers Can’t Hide Behind Fake Names Anymore And Defame Others

I’m a privacy guy, believe it or not. I believe drug testing for most jobs is a violation of privacy. I’m against racial profiling (I would be). I’m against someone being allowed to see your entire credit report without your permission. I’m on the Do Not Call registry. I have a fake name in the phone book. In other words, I protect myself where I want to protect myself.

I also believe in being open about who I am most of the time. Every blog I’m on, I’m Mitch, although I was on one of those “diary” blogs and had a different name back then. I had wanted a place where I could talk about things that irked me in the world without having it come back to my business blog.

What I never did, though, was take that anonymity, find one person, and start slandering them, or saying rude things just because I was hidden behind a fake name. That’s one of the problems I’ve always had with online conversations. Some people hide behind a fake name and say things they never would in person. That’s just not right, and I don’t like it one bit. I’ve always wished I could get back at those people in some way, while being glad that none of that stuff was ever aimed at me.

This week, some woman in New York finally got hers. After slandering this model, Liskula Cohen, Cohen got a lawyer and sued Google to get the name of the person on whose blog these things were being written. And a New York state supreme court judge granted her that, so Google had to give it up. Well, they had to give up the email address, since names can always be faked, and this model knew who this woman was, and called her up. She’s still thinking about suing, but said it could possibly be avoided if the woman issued a public apology.

Man, nothing makes me more happy than this. Our local newspaper allows people to comment on news stories online, and there’s never anything said that brings any real discussion to the conversation. Are people really so bored and hate their lives so much that they can’t take the time to put together a constructive thought, instead putting everything down with the most hateful thing they can come up with (at least they’re not allowed to use bad language on the site)?

Well folks, be put on notice. Unless your site is in another country, Google, because they own Blogger (which I don’t like), will have to give up the info, and at that point your behind could be cooked. I’m thinking a nice little lawsuit would shake things up. The woman, still unidentified but who has a mouthpiece lawyer giving his opinion, said the things she said might have been disgusting, but they’re protected under free speech. No, they’re not; if you make stuff up to hurt someone intentionally, that’s slander, and you’re going to lose in every court in the country.

Fairness has come to the internet; let’s see where the chips will start to fall.


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The Changing Face Of Spam

You know, I don’t understand spam at all, especially when it’s aimed at blogs. Well, I do, but I’ll get back to it.

Those of us with WordPress blogs, by this time, should all know about Akismet, which learns the patterns of spam and moves it into a spam filter. We can then take the time to look at it to see if there’s something good in there that we want to keep, or delete it, or allow Akismet to delete it as a later time.

These days, I’ve noticed that some spam has gotten smarter, and some has gotten longer. Back in March I wrote about spam getting sneakier, and that hasn’t changed at all. But it keeps getting smarter.

These days, I’m noticing three types of spam coming in. The easiest to spot are the one line items that have a link embedded in them. Sometimes the sentence makes absolutely no sense at all; those folks aren’t even trying.

The second thing I’m noticing is the very long spam messages. These are the types that also show up in email images, where there’s all this text that just makes no sense. But they also include lots of links, which Akismet easily picks up and sends to the spam filter. The problem with the long messages is if you’re going through the spam filter to see if there’s a legit message in there, which I do.

The third, though, is the good stuff. These are the messages that look so real that, I’ve noticed, most people totally miss it. They might notice it if they comment on a lot of blogs, and every once in awhile look at the comments on other blogs, but if they don’t, then they don’t have a chance. Earlier this evening I went ahead and approved a comment that almost looked like spam, only it used my name. Now, if someone has come up with something that actually reads names and puts out a lot of this spam, well, I just got had myself. But it won’t continue, because if one person does it and gets away with it, others will try, and then it’ll be easy to pick all of those out.

I know we all hate spam; how are you dealing with it these days?


Visitors Love “Lists” Posts

Once again, it’s been proven, at least to me; folks just love posts with lists of things they can comment on, whether they agree or not.

My most recent post on sci-fi movies proves that it’s a great way to get visitors engaged. And it’s gotten lots of visits also, which is why I paused a bit before writing a new post here.

Of course, the other side of that is that list posts are popular if people know about you to begin with. I started getting more buzz about this blog around October or November, so a few posts from a period before that didn’t get quite as many visitors or comments. I want to highlight some of both types, if I man, just to bring them back to the forefront for one more go round.

Let’s start with this one, as it’s probably the one that’s not quite a full list. It was actually my commentary on another blog post giving reasons why some people should stop blogging, and I commented on a few of the points the originator brought up.

The next one to talk about was in response to something similar I saw on another blog regarding the top five presentations in history. It has to be since you’ve been alive, which knocked out Franklin Roosevelt’s speech and, of course, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, since I not quite THAT old. lol I think it would have been interesting if someone had shared their thoughts on this post and given some examples of their own; it got nothing. It might be a bit too deep, but so be it.

This next one was another I thought would get a lot of attention. Once again, I was inspired by something on another person’s blog and wanted to give it my shot. The soundtrack of your life idea was to find three songs that explained your life to others. I also added the videos to each song, which the original person did too. Was this one too scary for most folks?

This one did get a lot of attention and comments, as I basically talked about my favorite blog posts for my first year in existence. This one brought back some good memories, and helped to highlight other posts that might not have gotten much attention, but I felt deserved it.

And finally, one of my most visited posts ever on this blog, where I gave my own top 100 singers of all time opinion, based on a Rolling Stone poll that I thought was way off the mark. I mean, if they’re not singers, they shouldn’t count. There’s certainly lots of things to debate on here.

And there you go. And look, a list post about lists; what could be better than that.
 

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