Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Seat Belts: Arizona on this point I agree with you...




It's come around again.  There was a tragic accident this past weekend on a stretch of Arizona highways and 5 of the 9 passengers in a Chevrolet Tahoe lost their lives.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reports that it's likely the 5 occupants who were ejected from the vehicle after it rolled over from a blown tire would likely have survived had they been wearing seat belts.

There's no arguing that seat belts are the most effective personal automotive safety feature second only to the recent addition of vehicle airbags.

But it's still a choice to use them.

Back in the late 80's many automotive manufacturers tried to mandate their use by introducing automatic systems.  Ultimately, however, their poor performance and unreliability made them the butt of jokes until the widespread use of SRS Airbag systems.

Which brings us to today's automotive safety technology which includes everything from airbags, to automatic braking, lane change warnings and backup cameras.  In that mix is still the good ol' seat belt and it's still an active choice to use it.

In my view that's a good thing.  

Remember when I mentioned those goofy automatic systems from the 80's?  There's a reason they're gone.  They were unreliable and cumbersome which left most of them unused, bypassed or disabled.  If the single most effective automotive safety device becomes some comical Rube Goldberg machination then it's failed its primary function.


So no, I have no beef with seat belts.  In fact they may well have saved my life when I was involved in my own major accident.  By strange coincidence, the night that accident happened was the first time I had used them even though I'd been driving for a few years.  

But...

I use them by choice and strongly believe that's the way it should be.

You see, I have a problem with AAA's "nanny state" position on seat belts that seeks to change Arizona state law.  Right now seat belt use is not a "primary" offense like speeding or DUI.  Instead it's considered a "secondary" offense only leveled in addition to some other driving infraction.

I'm a firm believer in individual rights and as such believe that anyone who chooses to raise their chances of a fatality by not using seat belts should have the right to make that decision.



Yes, it's a stupid choice but with all its faults, Arizona and its laws in particular tend to bias against infringing on personal choice unless there's some inherent political benefit.  

Luckily, seat belts aren't the hot potato issue of say Planned Parenthood so it's unlikely that the Arizona state legislature will change seat belt laws anytime soon.

Still, it seems that the AAA continues to push the issue with new campaigns to change seat belt laws every year bolstered by some high profile tragedy that feeds their cause.

My problem with changing seat belt laws in this state is that Arizona tends to go overboard when putting the "nanny state" into action.

That's because nothing changes in Arizona unless there's the potential for a new revenue stream.  It's why we had such fiascos as freeway speed cameras which did nothing for safety but filled the state's coffers.  The minute they stopped earning their keep, they were gone.

So much for the safety argument...

Speeding is one thing but do we really need patrol officers spending their day watching for seat belt "offenders?"  How could anyone take such a personal mandate as anything but another potential revenue stream?

Too many liberties have become casualties in the cause of supposed safety.  It may sound ridiculous but we should have the right to be stupid if we want to be, especially if we're not putting anyone else in danger.

Safety is a personal responsibility.  The use of a seat belt has no effect on anyone but the individual making the decision to use it.  I challenge the AAA to prove otherwise.

Of course I already know what the AAA would say and I flatly reject the "monkey see monkey do" arguments about parenting and role models.  

On this point I call it a fallacy.  In fact in my own case, my parents never did and still won't wear seat belts but I choose to.  

There really isn't any valid, competent argument for such measures save for the increased revenue stream from the "tax" of compliance.  

Unfortunately for the AAA, that doesn't make as good a  sound bite as distracted driving or DUI.

Stay strong on this Arizona, we've had enough of being "protected" from ourselves.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Taking the Human out of Human Resources



There's a lot of fear in the job market these days and most of it stems from a disturbing tendency of employers to treat candidates like some kind of trade-in at Honest Bob's car lot.  I'll give you some analogies (of course) to make my point a little more clear...

  • I sell Trucks, they're trying to trade a motorcycle! - Does this person even fit the job?
  • How many miles, Condition? - Are they too old or are they going to drive up my health insurance costs?
  • What kind of options does it have? - Do they have all the skills and experience I need or do I have to train them?
  • Show me the CarFax! - Anything in their past I can use to lowball the offer or exclude them entirely?
  • Market value? - I want to get this guy/gal for as close to free as possible.

In the private sector it's no surprise.  In theory, removing intangibles and non-sequitur from the process should create a more level playing field.  It's also more efficient which plays well with the bean counters.

But it can go too far...

It's one thing to use objective criteria  to thin the herd but that's where its usefulness really ends.  We all understand that no employer wants to interview 100 burger flippers for a structural engineering job.  However, a potential candidate shouldn't be excluded by a process that's left to HR departments that have no idea of how to vet a potential hire.

We're coming back to the real point here. 

Today's work environment is frequently populated by underpaid and mostly disinterested workers.  There's no denying it in spite of the all the stock photos of happy faces populating the company HR page. 

We live in an age of stagnant wages, dwindling benefits and a slow erosion of worker rights.  Let's not forget the almost total lack of job security.  Even CEO's can't guarantee their tenure but then they've got a lot softer landing than the rest of us.

So don't expect a lot of that "personal touch."  You're just another resource to be evaluated, a commodity.

Which is a problem.

When you reduce talent to their lowest common denominator you end up missing a lot of important information to help you make a decision.

For example: A top notch engineer could be cut from consideration because of a bad credit record, a visible tattoo or if they happen to smoke.  HR pundits ( yes they exist) will offer up excuses like:

  • A bad credit history reflects on a lack of responsibility. 
  • Tattoo's cause issues with workplace culture
  • Smokers drive up insurance costs and take too many breaks. 

None of them have anything to do with the quality of the candidate but more often than not they're used as screening factors.  The justifications are hollow but there's no point in challenging them.

It's the result of a process cut to the bone and borne out of a systematic devaluing of the Human in Human resources.  
The only advice given to the job seeker? 

Bend over...

Yeah, no big long flowery mental masturbation there.  That's the bottom line. 

Because you as the candidate have no value outside of the factors of a commodity you must focus on the irrelevant.

Look sharp, clean up your social profile, quit smoking, pay all your bills on time even if you're broke and without exception, never have been sick.

That's an awful lot of time spent on things that have nothing to do with your ability to actually DO the job.

Here's a posting for a VERY entry level job.  It's a good representation of what I've been talking about.



Flier Delivery (NOT door-to-door) Team Needed (East Valley, AZ)


FLIER DELIVERY TEAM NEEDED TO DELIVER TO EAST VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOLS

What: Team (of 2) needed to drive to elementary & middle schools to deliver fliers for after school programs. (One driver & one delivery person per team)

What we are looking for in a delivery person: *GREAT personality a MUST! *Be able to effectively communicate with school secretaries *Must be able to present a clean cut look with business casual attire.

*No visible tattoos or body piercings
*Non-Smoker *Clean Background Check


What we are looking for in a driver: *RELIABLE transportation (with room for boxes) a MUST! *Proof of Insurance *Know the East Valley well! (especially school districts) *Clean Background Check *Clean Driving Record.


*Able to lift about 60 lbs.


Deliveries start right away! Hours will be Monday-Friday, approx 8am-4pm (when schools are open) We give preference to drivers with GPS or navigation systems.


This is NOT a sales position, but sales experience & driver). Driver & Delivery Person need to have a positive personality &
"personality" a ++. We offer $11/hour (per person) + mileage (for the professional attitude. 

Our Teams represent ***************of America to the schools, clubs, churches & districts that support our programs.

Some familiarity with *************** is WELCOMED


Ok , this is about as low on the totem pole as you can get but the takeaway is this: The same selection criteria is becoming commonplace regardless of industry or position.


Entry level jobs usually suck, that's a given but at some point along your career path you would expect to be given more consideration than some kid handing out colorful pieces of paper.

Sadly, you'd be wrong.

The reality of today's interview process is cold and impersonal.  You'll frequently hear catch phrases like, "Culture fit" and "Self Motivated" which translates to "anything we can legally discriminate against" and "doesn't ask a lot of questions."

It's only going to get worse before it gets better.  For now set the bar low and you might just survive it.
Just be sure that you can accept how employers see your value.  These days the demands of work will monopolize more of your time than family or friends and the higher up the food chain you go the worse it gets.

Remember, the price of potatoes is based on their current market value which can fluctuate with demand.


So, are you worth more than a potato?  You might be surprised.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

I hate you, I hate tech, I hate everything!


Not really...

I'm actually a live and let live kind of guy.  As such, I don't really look for things to bitch about they just kind of happen.

I know the world rarely spins the way I want it.  I also know that most things I consider garbage are treasures to pop culture mavens.

I'm not that old but I'm no kid either which means I have the benefit of experience without being too far removed from the influence of what current culture considers relevant.

Which is probably why I seem so pissed off all the time.  

I have a pet peeve.  It has to do with blindness brought on by willful stupidity.

I don't think everyone's stupid, I just think most people are too lazy to engage critical thinking.

It's more fun to buy into a carefully crafted facade than to accept that your world is never going to live up to the BS that's bombarding every moment of your day.
I don't seek to be the broken condom to your hot date rather I just want to make sure you don't suffer a debilitating letdown. 

It happens when that fateful day shows up like a crazy ex and your have the realization that everything you thought was important was nothing more than a successful marketing campaign to blast more ads to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Hey...Everything with a grain of salt.  Enjoy, experience, partake but for god's sake engage a brain cell.  Don't wait till you're too old and too infirm to make a real difference or at least a decision.

Here's a hint, if the cause you're fighting for is sponsored by anything that has an ad campaign on Hulu or YouTube you're being duped.

No, I'm not a troll, troglodyte, or malcontent.  I'm just a guy who's seen this crap before and is still young enough to recognize when someone's trying to snow me.
Have fun, explore, learn but don't take anything as gospel.  If it talks it can lie and chances are it has a self-serving agenda.

Look, if some guy with a "family friendly" podcast shows his junk then denies it or some fool on CNBC tells you that $6/gallon gas is a good thing for America it's time to start questioning your heroes.

If lying to people to benefit your own fortunes is your thing then so be it.  If it's not then it's time to take a closer look at whom you're supporting.

I have an assignment for you.  Assuming you have access to basic cable, spend a few hours during the week watching the commercials on CNBC or Bloomberg.  Don't bother with the so-called content.  The programming amounts to little more than fortune tellers in business suits divining meaningless stock crawlers.

You'll see a cavalcade of soft focused, inspirational declarations of companies whose only aim is to make the world a better place.  Let me finish that sentence... "For the shareholders"  


At least televangelists promise god...

Realize that everything you see during your "assignment" is a carefully crafted lie.  An invitation to suspend your better judgment.

This will be your reintroduction to critical thinking.

So no, I don't hate you but for god's sake grow the hell up. 

Life sucks more when you believe in lies.  

Consider this tough love...


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Judicial Watch: A cheap shot at First Responders

Petty, Shallow, Political. 

That's the motto that should be plastered on the front of Judicialwatch.org's website.

Lest you think it's an impartial activist organization focused on judicial fairness I offer the following "Headlines"

"District of Corruption"

"Obama IRS Scandal"

"CDC Official Calls Obama Worst President, Amateur, Marxist After Influx of Illegal Alien Minors"

And most recently...

"Probe Ends Free Labor Union Ads on City Vehicles"

I don't care who you voted for in the last election, that last one is a bridge too far...

The attack on the offending "Ad" in question shocked even the normally blood red populace of planet Arizona.  This may be the land of gubernatorial finger wagging at Presidents but when you go after Firefighters for a sticker on their truck that says...

"Our Family Helping Your Family"

You're just being asinine...

For no other reason than a tiny IAFF logo ( International Association of Fire Fighters) that appears above the motto, Judicial Watch has accused Phoenix Fire Fighters of giving free advertising to the Firefighter's union on the taxpayers dime.

Judicial Watch apparently has a problem with Teachers, Cops, and now Firefighters.  That is if there happens to be a union that supports them.  Well at least that's the takeaway of this latest PR campaign against stickers on fire trucks. 

BTW, most if not all professional Fire Fighters belong to the union.  Calling this sticker "advertising" is like calling a postage stamp "advertising" for the postal workers union.  

How many times have we seen commercials about the pride America takes in those who choose a career in public service?  Should we consider them union advertising too?

Perhaps they'll go after Arizona license plates next.  They do say "Grand Canyon State" which blatantly advertises a popular tourist destination.  One that feeds all those "Private" resorts and hotels.  Imagine all those taxpayer dollars going to promote a big hole in the ground...oh the injustice!

The one thing you have to understand is that the Firefighter's union is not the Teamsters.  For the most part they can't go on strike.  

Really now, it's one thing for Safeway to miss a load of Fruit Loops, quite another when your house is burning down.

Bottom Line: It's about an organization that ensures that people who put their lives on the line every day have everything they need to do it safely and competently. 

That's the mission Period...

So just what the hell is wrong with you Judicial Watch?  Would you prefer we return to the 18th century where all emergency response was done by good intentions and the bucket brigade?  Would you rather have law and order enforced by lynch mobs or policing agencies that are bound to protect individual rights?

What's the end game?  Or perhaps the better question is, How does a 501 C3 non-profit get away with political activism? 

Look up the rules and the IRS spells it out...

"It may not be an Action Organization i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates."

All I see on their site is a politically charged collection of "Actions" most of which are aimed at a sitting president.

It's like giving the National Enquirer tax exempt status.

That their actions are based on a political agenda is one thing but to use their status to attack first responders is pure cold blood. 

Shame on you and shame on anyone who believes in your so-called cause.

Unlinking from LinkedIn


I find zero value in LinkedIn...

The concept isn't even original.  It's been called a glorified Facebook for business professionals and LinkedIn doesn't deny it.

As I poke around my own profile I'm inundated with prompts to "upgrade" my membership to enjoy all those "premium" features like being able to actually get useful search results (instead of "professional at xyz") or send a colleague an "in-mail" message on the site.  

Screw it, I'll just text them...

But you have to ask yourself, Why? 

Why would I pay a subscription fee to get even more email from people I don't know?  What most people consider spam, Linkedin considers a "feature."

I know, I know, these are supposed "business contacts" and "networking opportunities" not Viagra ads but that's rarely the case.  For example, I've gotten more requests to "join someone's network" from cold calling "staffing specialists"  (resume stackers)  than anyone I've ever had an actual professional relationship with.

In other words, you'd get less spam from a Monster.com account than from an active LinkedIn profile.  In fact, Monster.com is more useful which is something I never thought I would say.  Yeah, they want a paid subscription too but at least the search function works!

LinkedIn has been having an identity crisis for at least the past 5 years with most looking at it as a job search site while others look at it as an expanded CV while still others bought into that whole Facebook thing.

I sincerely hope nobody is pinning all their hopes on the job listings.  Most of them are out of date and/or list jobs that have little to nothing to do with your own skills.

If you do find something, expect to run into the service's many roadblocks including blocking the ability to share the position with anyone who doesn't happen to use the service.  Worse, many ISP's consider email messages from LinkedIn as ACTUAL Spam so your friend probably wouldn't get them anyway...

If you think it works for you chances are you already had a deep contact list without LinkedIn's help.

Meaning that those at the top of the heap likely get deluged with "connection" requests from complete strangers unless they choose to block such communication.

Which kind of defeats the purpose...

I admit, I do check in now and again just to see who got fired.  If you have enough information you can piece together just how flaky any given corporation's management is by watching how often different names show up under the same job title. 

So I guess it's good for something but not for what it professes to be. 

If you think LinkedIn is doing great things for your career you're just not giving yourself enough credit.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just in case ...



So, you think I spend all my time thinking up things to bitch about?

Hardly


I freaking loved this....





James Corden, America's Sweetheart


I no longer have any faith in America...

Well, at least as far as what America thinks is funny.

Four months ago I chronicled the first week of CBS Late night's newest host, James Corden.

Back then I described his style as a "Giddy Schoolgirl" and someone who was just "playing host."  

The burning question on my mind is how someone can do something fifty times and not get any better at it.

It seems America doesn't agree...

The trades love him, blogs love him (not this one) and apparently so too does a wide swatch of the American viewing public. 

What the hell man!

What about this guy is so compelling?

Is it the accent?

That he looks like a Red Haired Pillsbury Dough Boy? 

The parade of indy musical acts nobody outside of a college dorm have ever heard of?

The on-set bar?  

Hmmm, perhaps its presence insinuates that one should be drunk before watching.

Whatever...

Since most of Corden's fans appear to come from the "college" demographic allow me to put this in the form of an SAT analogy.

James Corden is to late night as brick is to windshield.

If James Corden were to be compared to other late night hosts over the past decade the formula would go something like this:

Craig Ferguson on CBS = Conan O'Brien on NBC.

So in that vein, James Corden on CBS = Seth Meyers on NBC

Although that may be somewhat unfair to Seth Meyers as he is an actual comedian, just not very funny.

The smartest thing the producers have done in the intervening months is inject more of bandleader Reggie Watts into the show.  Watts is what I call a "subtle comic" meaning he doesn't have to go over the top to get a laugh which is in diametric opposition to the often contrived performance of Corden.

In short, you could have seen none of the episodes between the first and the fiftieth and missed nothing of consequence.  I'll give him this much, he's consistent.  Consistently bad.

His guests are largely forgettable generally coming from the second tier of the talk show circuit with the only exception being uninspired last stops on promotional tours.

Perhaps this is what CBS wanted.  A non-threatening shill devoid of any qualification for the position that will happily tow the corporate line without question.


If that's what America wants, you can have it.  Just don't delude yourself into thinking your being edgy or counterculture by watching Corden's show.

Friday, July 17, 2015

TWIT: This time I mean it!


EDITORIAL NOTE:  I REALLY am done with TWIT this time...

This will come as a surprise to some I'm sure but credit where credit is due..

Thank you Father Robert Ballecer... 

No, I haven't embraced the Dark side, been paid off, joined the priesthood or anything like that..

The decision came about after an exchange with Padre in the comments section of the most recent Windows Weekly on YouTube.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOXrNSp4GM0  *look for Digital Dynamic)


During the conversation I realized that there simply wasn't any good reason to pay attention to TWIT anymore.

We've borne witness to the rise and fall of a grand idea.   Unfortunately, one that had become corrupted by greed, ego and hubris.

Let's be clear, there are no innocents.  Anyone who still remains under the unblinking eye of TWIT's management is in lockstep with its current direction.  

Past injustices are irrelevant as the affected have long since moved on to greener if not happier pastures outside the influence.

I've said this before but there is just no longer any THERE, there...

It's funny because the good Father mentioned how much time I've spent following TWIT and how I've often said I was done with them only to be drawn back with the latest atrocity.

It's nice that somebody was paying attention but what they've missed is the other 140 or so articles in this blog that had nothing to do with the troubled network.

I can't help what catches a reader's eye.  That any of those TWIT stories gained traction at all was surprising to me.  But far more telling is that there's a thriving community for them.

What I write, think or feel about TWIT is of far less concern, however, than the fact that people wanted to read it. 

But for me personally,  I'm done with it.  

Honestly, good or bad there's just nothing worth covering anymore.  I'll let the record stand and believe in the content I've already provided but I need to move in a more positive direction.  

For that I apologize to the readers who looked forward to the TWIT articles but it really is old news and honestly isn't going to get any more interesting.  

They've sunk as low as they can go so from now on I'll leave it to sites like Totaldrama.org to do the play by play.  

As for me, my TWIT soapbox has earned a well deserved retirement.  


It's said that even beyond hatred the worst thing you can do to another is be apathetic.

I invite you to join me in bestowing upon TWIT the great apathy of the enlightened and let this grandest of delusions  slip into a just demise in the inky darkness of disinterest.


Time to move on to a more worthy cause...



Friday, July 3, 2015

Yay! you reproduced!

NYTimes photo

The greatest thing you can do for the world is add to its population...

Or at least that's the message I've been getting.

It shows up in all those "Awww" moments when the talking heads on the morning news feel compelled  to share the baby pics.

Or the defiant rhetoric of the far right proclaiming it's most solemn duty is to protect the sanctity of marriage by limiting it to those with opposing genitalia.  Seemingly to ensure procreation of course...

Even the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage can't escape it.  Those folks want a gaggle of kids too even if the biology of the situation makes the whole thing somewhat difficult.

It seems the endless drumbeat to perpetuate the species is intertwined with the culture.  The bulk of your population may be living in the streets but nothing is more critical to a society than ensuring its numbers continue to grow.  

As though all ills would solved by simply creating more generations.  

Which of course is ridiculous.  More of anything is just more of the same condition.

Hey, I'm not against kids but I admit I don't have any so I suppose that shining moment of achievement will forever be lost on me.  It seems most parents have a belief that whatever personal failures they've had in their own lives will somehow be rectified by their offspring.

Or perhaps it's much simpler than that.  



Paris Hilton
Let's face it, unless you're one of the fortunate few who enjoys a lifestyle of fame and/or fortune there isn't much to compare to participating in the creation of life.  

I mean, c'mon now!  How can you deny the most tangible of mortal accomplishments!  We are no closer to god than when we create a child...

Right?

A point of view I both understand and recoil from.  Sadly, regardless of your religious indoctrination the reaction is purely biological.  Arguably no different than a mother housecat's reaction to her litter of newborn kittens. 

And by the way...Some of you are actually having "litters."  19 and counting?  For such devout piety it seems like you're in competition with the cat.  Supremacy of all those lower creatures is kind of taking a beating here. 

I'm not so arrogant as to believe that reproduction is any great feat.  As the song goes, "Birds do it, Bees do it" etc. etc.  In fact I'd suggest that for humans, it mostly happens by accident.  Once it does, however, somebody's got to step up to the plate at least until junior or little miss gets through college.  

An event that signals to society that a contractual requirement has been fulfilled.  You are now free to die having accomplished successful procreation and taxpayer replacement.
.....

I don't mean to be flippant about parenting or imply that the rearing of a human child is easy.  In fact I'm cognizant of the fact that I'm probably not the best candidate to participate in the practice.  I like kids, I like talking to them, teaching them but then I like to send them home.

I guess I'd be a pretty good grandparent then except for the whole "Parent" prerequisite that is.

But the truth of the matter is that after many millennia of human generations we still judge people on the color of their skin, social station and who they choose to sleep with among other trivialities. 

So much for "fruitful and multiply" being the cure for all our evils.

Ah ha! you say, The children are our future!


No they're not.  In fact I despise that phrase for all its selfish baggage.  Their future is their own and you've got nothing to say about it aside from how you badly you screw them up with your own insecurities.

Our children can be nothing but a reflection of ourselves.  Even if they reject most of what you try to teach them, at their core they have you to thank for who they are.  Not just that they...are.

So I'd submit that the only way to ensure succeeding generations be better than their progenitors is to admit that there's nothing divine or particularly unique about having children.  

Until we drop all this religious and cultural pretense, we as a species will never rise above the petty concerns of 30 second sound bite sensationalism.

Saddling  our kids with dogma and ignorance does nothing for the species.  Want to give your kids a brighter future?  Stop thinking the greatest gift you gave them was existence.  Stop falling back on the cop out of ancient religious dogma and prejudice and prove that humanity is more than just the sum of its biology.

That or start scoping out caves, clubs and bearskin boxers.

Is anybody out there?



What do I have to do?

I don't get it...

Or at least I think I don't get it...

I'm not the social media butterfly that many are but you will find active accounts in places like Facebook, Twitter, Google plus and even about.me among others.  All are maintained and updated frequently.

I've got 4 active YouTube channels and accounts on two game streaming services (TWITCH and HITBOX).  I've been published online over 100 times on (former) news sites like Technorati and Kupeesh! and even had an article or two mentioned on Leo Laporte's TWIT.

I've branded my work in hopes that the brand will follow the creator.  I've taken great pains to try to  provide quality content in easily digestible and searchable formats.  I've torn down a YouTube channel only to reconstitute the content into separate more focused channels because someone told me viewers like it better that way.  

I'm still waiting for proof of that.  I've gone from being able to at least make a few bucks a year to virtually nothing since the change.

Which has led me to the realization that contrary to YouTube's advice, I don't believe most people who use YouTube could give a damn about the channel organization.

Hey, you do a Google search and Boom!  Content is served up regardless of the portal it resides on.  That's both the beauty and the Achilles heel of services like YouTube. 

Even being owned by a search giant can't guarantee visibility of your content.  

So I've done all of that stuff I'm supposed to do and still I'm lucky to make pennies a day.  

So how bad is it?  

It's been almost a year since I've had an adsense payment and never received a dime from my Amazon "partnership." 

BTW The threshold for a payout from Google Adsense is $100.

So I guess I just suck then? 

Content not interesting enough? 

I've seen much worse do far better so I don't think that's it.

Perhaps it has more to do with those who do well online being at the right place at the right time for their niche. 

I think it's far more likely, however, that online success is simply a byproduct of success elsewhere. 

Silky smooth radio voice or not would Leo Laporte have ever gotten TWIT off the ground without a stint in television and a long career in radio?  I doubt it.  I've heard better content elsewhere that struggles to match a fraction of the revenue.  

Want more evidence?  Simply look who's consistently hitting the top 20 in online media.  Personalities  like Adam Carolla and Marc Maron, News organizations like NPR and the Huffington Post not to mention tabloid TV like TMZ with the balance consisting of celebrity and fluff sites.   In short, we knew about them (or at least some incarnation of them) long before the Internet.*

It  doesn't mean their content is any better.  They're just leveraging a traditional media presence online.

So how fair is that?

For me it seems an online presence is less the great equalizer and more just adding to the noise.

I admit, being a bit older than most online dwellers there may be a generational bias that I'm at least in part struggling to overcome.

For example, when I write about gaming I'm not going to be anyone's fanboy.  Nobody's paying me to talk them up and if they did you could be sure I'd let you know about it.  

I wouldn't promote anything I didn't like so no worries there.

Still, I've been critical of the antics of the publishers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft.  I could care less about gussied up game trailers and technical demos.  I'll put it to you this way.  Battlefield 4's demo was awesome, the final product...notsomuch.  There's a lot of people who agree with that but I'm not seeing them around here.

Thing is, just like everything else those that pander to the hype seem to get the lion's share of views.

I don't just write about gaming either (obviously...) I'll tackle current events, politics and anything else that sparks a point of view. In fact that's what this particular blog is for.  That's why it's tagline is:

"Uncategorized reading for the randomized mind"

Perhaps that's the problem.  Nobody can identify with me.
I've been called overly negative, a troll not to mention any number of profanities.  I dunno, I just call 'em like I see 'em but it seems that if you don't buy into the prevailing online fads you're somehow a deviant.

Which to me signals the final evolution of online culture.  It's become as commercial and shallow as anything Hollywood could come up with.  It seems online success comes only to those either willing to put aside critical thinking or who've already made their mark elsewhere.  

Now before anyone runs off claiming my problem stems from being an arrogant a-hole with an overactive troll complex I'll simply give you this statistic.

I've written close to 500 articles in 4.5 years on a variety of topics.  Of those approximately 12 of them have proven the most popular with over 5K views each. 

All of them were critical of TWIT.  Meaning what people seem to like the most is a more critical point of view.  

Which implies that....
If you write an article about Leo's penis pics you can guarantee 5K views.  Write about a good book you read and you see 12.

Yeah, so take that you...you...troll!   

But seriously, the most popular stuff I ever wrote I never really wanted to write.  That being, the downfall and slow disintegration of someone I once held up as role model.

So I guess negativity isn't the problem. If I was as big an ass as some have made me out to be I'd have a lot larger  readership from the numbers I see.  

So the real question is, what kind of posts do you really want to see?

What do you think folks?   Glass half full or half empty?

I'll publish your answers in an upcoming article.

...Of which there will be none if I don't get any.