Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What is wrong with these people!

In a world where talent is manufactured rather than cultured I suppose it should be no surprise that nobody bothers to look past the superficial anymore.

Case in point, GoDaddy's now pulled Super Bowl commercial.  In it we see what can only be called a ripoff of the Budweiser tearjerker commercials of the past few years featuring an adorable pup.  This time, however, GoDaddy went below the belt with the cold twist of a lost puppy returning home only to be sold online by a puppy mill.

What the hell was the ad agency thinking?  Was there any scenario where this was funny to anyone, anywhere but a drunken stupor in some dive bar?

And what of the GoDaddy management team?  They approved it.  Did they actually think it would bring in more business?

I suppose if you have no social conscience such things are trivial.  After all, it's just a commercial.  But is it?  Is there a segment of the population that something like this appeals to?  Apparently the ad agency thought so or it would never have gotten out of the bar.

GoDaddy isn't exactly a premier provider so biasing toward the slimy is nothing new.   Titillating Super Bowl commercials with female models in various states of undress are the norm.  

But really, what does T & A have to do with selling Internet domains anyway? 

 So maybe this latest ad was just GoDaddy coming clean.  Maybe they've decided to drop all pretense and just admit that it's all about the money.  Maybe this is a reflection of modern sensibilities.

Maybe they should have just let the ad run...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Men, Sit your butt down!


This will be my most irreverent yet insightful post ever!

Here's the deal.

Men, you know you wish you had a urinal in your house.  I mean really now.  We spend far more time taking nature's call standing up than sitting down.  

Look at any public restroom and the first thing you notice is that the Men's room has located the urinals far more conveniently than the standard commode.

There's a reason.  

Urinals are quick, convenient and fit in with the male "go go" lifestyle of get in, get out and keep movin'!

Whereas the standard commode requires far more commitment.  Not only do you have to half disrobe to use it but overuse in public can bring into question your manliness.  After all, real men do their business on their feet not their ass!

But let's be practical here.  

Sure, out in public there's usually a convenient urinal available in the men's room (movie theater's usually have the highest ratio of urinal to commode BTW)

What about at home?

Let's face it guys, bathrooms are sexist...

I mean really now, how many times have you seen a urinal in a private home?  I'd wager even Donald Trump doesn't have one in his bathroom(s).

Yes, home conveniences are still stuck in the 50's where the idealized woman cared for the idealized home and the male just visited long enough to get some rest before returning to work for a spirited day of more manly pursuits.

I'm sure someone thought it was a compromise but when it comes right down to it the average commode is openly hostile to the male of the species....

Either the seat is sized wrong or it's virtually impossible to use the facility without making some degree of mess which left unattended will bring the wrath of the significant other/partner of the opposing sex.

This problem is compounded by the simple fact that once the male of the species has imbibed enough alcohol they are going to have a need to use the facility in a manner other than its principal design.

Here's the issue.  

No matter how hard we try, the male of the species will make a mess in the commode when  relieving themselves of liquids.

Therefore I submit that the stigma of being "girly" by sitting down to urinate be removed.  

Look guys, if you can't aim straight and you don't have a urinal then you just need to (literally) sit you ass down.

It will promote domestic harmony and sanitation.

Men, the world of sanitation is against us therefore we must adapt to conquer it!

Consider this the next time you head to the 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to get more visitors to your blog, e-commerce site, YouTube channel...blah blah blah

I know why you're here...

I got lucky and somehow Google determined I had just the right metadata to put me higher in the list of search results. 

Yup, I'm right up there with all the sites that promise Internet millions and no-down real estate deals.

Well, at least that's my hope but with Google selling AdWords to drive traffic and sponsored links chances are this article wasn't in the mix.

I've been blogging for around 4 years and been running a YouTube channel (now 4) for 3.  In that time I've never managed to get more than 150 subs on Youtube or more than 50K visitors to any of my blogs. 

In other words, I'm just like you. 

The little bit of information you'll get from the "experts" out there will  try to pound it into your head that the key to success is comprised of a few key tenets.  Most of the time they'll bury them in a bunch of vague marketing speak designed to get you to ante up the plastic to get the "secrets."

I'll save you a few bucks and spell them out minus the long-winded sales pitch.

1. Have interesting content!
2. Be consistent and post/upload on a regular basis
3. Collaborate with others
4. Use social media and cross promote

Great, now you know exactly what you need to do right? 

Of course not.  It's all ambiguous and misleading as hell.  

What you need to realize is all those sure-fire strategies are nothing but link-bait.  None of it is any more useful than a late-night infomercial.  They're selling a fantasy and making money with every duped visitor to their page.

So what's wrong with the "Tenets?"

Let's go by the numbers...

   Have interesting content!  -- Ok, define "interesting"  some people think knitting is interesting others think Pewdiepie is a phenom.  What does that make you?  The cold truth is that most of the popular people on the web were already popular somewhere else.  There's very little "organic" fame to be had meaning you might be the next Spielberg or Hemingway but nobody is going to know who you are unless you find popularity somewhere else.

   Be consistent and post/upload on a regular basis -- This one annoys me the most.  How many mindless blog posts or boring cat videos have you seen just because somebody followed this advice?  If you have something to share then by all means share it but don't put crap up just to fill space.  Nothing turns off an audience faster than having to sift through a bunch of half-hearted crap.   

   Collaborate with others -- It's nice to share but to be honest I can't stand 90% of the content creators on the Internet so why the hell would I want to collaborate with them?  Really now, If  I'm just going through the motions then why am i bothering at all?  Hey, if you've got a friend with similar interests great but otherwise leave it alone.  Nobody collaborates out of the goodness of their heart, they're looking for more traffic just like you and if you don't have anything to offer you're not going to get many opportunities.  It's kind of a catch-22 in that you need exposure but nobody is going to help you unless you already have it.

   Use social media and cross promote  -- This one kind of goes with #3.  Everybody thinks they're going to get on Twitter or FaceBook and suddenly have 100's of followers.  Except that most social media is siloed meaning you're going to spend most of your time communicating with people you already know.  Spamming other peoples pages with "Come see my stuff" posts will get you the opposite result.  Social media really isn't that social and unless you're already famous nobody is going to come looking for you.

So is all lost?  Am I just a Debbie Downer to your Internet dreams?

I sure hope so but not because I want you to fail, I just want you to get real. 

Look, it's really simple.  There's no such thing as get rich quick in the real or online world.  If you're just doing it to turn a buck then I hope you do fail.  I mean that.  Not because I'm some vicious troll but rather because I'm tired of content for content's sake. 

It clutters up the Internet with the online equivalent of junk mail and infomercials. 

Put up all the content you want but do it because you want to not because you're following some formula you read about from a Google search.   Blogs are great for creating a body of work.  Take it seriously and it may even spawn a career.  YouTube can be a great outlet for budding filmmakers, educators and new media content. Social Media can be a powerful tool if used wisely.

I've been creating content for awhile now and I can say with conviction that I never have nor would put up anything I didn't believe in.  Even if it never got a single view.  I can stand being unpopular, I can't stand adding to the cruft.

I may not be a "success" story but at least I'm genuine.  Forget the Leo Laporte's and Pewdiepie's of the online world.  Hell, even old Leo is getting a hard dose of reality these days and once Pewdiepie hits 30 he's over with.

So keep this in mind.

Do what you do but make sure it's really coming from you.

...consider the soapbox put away.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

TWIT: It's official Sarah Lane is out

So I'm sitting home watching  tonight's dinner of  Mac and Cheese bubble when I hear the familiar "ding!" of my email notification. 

Ah well, just another bit of spam I suppose...

Except it wasn't...

For 2 years we've borne witness to the exit of TWIT's most popular hosts including Tom Merritt, Kirsten Sanford (Dr. Kiki), Bryan Brushwood and now...

Sarah Lane.

From a Twitter post, the longtime TWIT sidekick and ever faithful  Sarah Lane (@sarahlane) announced that she would be leaving the full time employ of TWIT for a position as executive producer of video for TechCrunch (a news site focusing on tech companies.)

As of this writing nothing has been posted about the move on the TechCrunch site but the announcement was posted on Sarah Lane's personal blog and validated by a similar entry  on TWIT's blog.

According to TWIT's posting Sarah will continue to co-host Ipad Today and IFive for the Iphone *note

Along with Lane's departure comes news that longtime This Week in Google co-host Gina Trapani (@ginatrapani) will be "scaling back her involvement with the show to focus on her own venture, "ThnikUp."  She'll also be leaving the Android News show, All About Android.

Lastly, With all the exits comes a rare entrance, Megan Morrone (@meganmorrone).  Morrone is another alumnus from TechTV  and an early TWIT host of the show Jumping Monkeys.  She'll be taking over hosting duties from Lane for Tech News Tonight and IFive for the Iphone.

The message is clear.  This is not the TWIT you knew and all traces of the Merritt era of TWIT have now been wiped away replaced by a host known for more family friendly topics like geek parenting than hard hitting tech news. 

From a recent tweet from Morrone on Twitter..." I just used my Gmail address to sign into my OneDrive account on my MacBook. And I'd like to buy the world a Coke."

Expect more scintillating commentary like that in future episodes of Tech News Tonight...

It remains to be seen how the family values of Morrone will react to the innuendo and bawdy antics of a frequently lewd Laporte.

The departure of Lane above all else signals for many (myself included) the end of TWIT.  But for Lane, given the network's direction, it's likely the best career decision she could make and I wish her success..  

I began this series of articles by referencing the old adage of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  It now appears we've not only thrown out the baby but have taken a grenade to the entire bathroom...

*You may notice a contradiction there.  In the earlier TWIT posting about Sarah Lane it was mentioned that she would continue IFive for the Iphone but the later Morrone announcement lists her as the new host.  Perhaps some last minute shuffling at play here.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

TWIT: 2015 A new year or beginning of the end?

Another year has passed heralded once again by Leo Laporte at the helm of his creation,  A new tradition begun last year finds the teletubby of tech firmly in his captain's chair for another 24 hour marathon that only Jerry Lewis could appreciate.

This year found the same antics, adoring hosts, special guests and events  as last year  not to mention an army of bleary eyed interns and engineers scurrying behind the scenes.

With lessons learned from the last go around under their collective belt, this year's extravaganza had plenty of polish but a noticeable deficit of popular talent in comparison. 
Gone were  the Bryan Brushwoods, Iyaz Ahktars and Tom Merritt's of years past replaced with studio interns and "contract" hosts who just happened to be in the neighborhood.

This year's festivities rang a bit hollow because of it.  A glaring reminder of just how much had been lost in the turmoil of 2014. 

The 2014 New Year's  Eve party also found a new addition, that being a charitable tie-in. 
UNICEF ( was the chosen beneficiary of TWIT's  generosity this year with Leo reminding viewers of it every hour.

I'll cut to the chase....

UNICEF is certainly a worthy charity but considering the somewhat nebulous charter one has to wonder if it was an afterthought.  

It seemed that the entirety of the broadcast became about challenges for Leo and friends to perform ridiculous stunts ultimately reaching climax with Leo shaving his head and branding his posterior with a TWIT tattoo.

As the stunts rolled on it seemed  more and more like sad attempts to  resuscitate TWIT's image than garner donations.  The vacuum left by the exodus of TWIT talent and bad blood that has tainted the network in the past 2 years has born bitter fruit. 

Interviews with tertiary TWIT hosts like Rene' Ritchie and studio interns couldn't hide the fact that TWIT's stable didn't run very deep.  That and Leo seemed just a bit "too" friendly towards Chad Johnson whom he'd booted out of a full time gig just a few weeks before.

So when Laporte shaved his head as donations reached $40,000 and finally branded his own ass with a TWIT tattoo at the $50,000 threshold  I realized I was watching  little more than acts of desperation.

The videos that follow come from the event and are unedited for content or context.  I submit them for your own review. 

A new Year, an old injustice

Happy New Year!

At midnight the minimum wage went up a few cents in 20 or so states.  While the Federal minimum wage is still at $7.25 most states are within $1 of that figure.  In most cases, federal jobs excluded, the state wage supersedes the Federal. 

In Arizona, for example, the wage rose to $8.05 per hour on New Year's day 2015. 

It almost seems generous until you run the numbers....

The average minimum wage job will not offer full time hours (less than 35) to their workers due to employers unwilling to shoulder the additional burden of offering healthcare, overtime and other benefits afforded fulltime employment.

As such and assuming $7.25/hr Federal minimum wage the "technically" Part Time worker (which could be up to 34 hours) would be grossing $12,818 if they got 34 hours a week and worked 52 weeks of the year. 

After deductions that employee would be well under the current (for 2014) poverty line for a one person household of $11,670.  Even 40 hours would offer no reprieve after deductions for health care premiums and a higher tax rate would effectively lessen take home pay.

In 1985 I could live very well on just under 12 grand.  In 2014 I'm likely on public assistance, rely on emergency rooms for my healthcare and frequent the local food pantry to eat.  

Worse, I have a bevy of new regulations to sift through concerning mandated health insurance that I can't afford anyway.

So when I hear resistance from employers paying less than $9 an hour to their full time employees stating that an increased wage would force an increase in prices I'm literally gobsmacked.

The argument is basically this....

"We need to keep wages low and our workers in abject poverty in order to keep our prices down."

I've long been a proponent of a fair wage for a fair day's work and along with that paying what things really cost. 

But what I'm hearing is little more than institutionalized slavery rationalized by an economy based on consuming instead of value.  It's a society where WalMart is the standard and the advances of the last 100 years of labor law are looked on as an inconvenience perpetuated by evil unions.

We hear that minimum wage jobs are "entry level" and not meant to be permanent but gone are the days where they were the exclusive domain of teenagers looking for gas money.  Parents, senior citizens  and displaced professionals often find themselves competing for them simply because there isn't anything else.

What these employers don't realize is that paying a slave wage breeds slave economies that can no longer afford  their wares. 

The snake is eating itself...

These jobs are the last bastion of self-sufficiency for workers without any other opportunity.    

There's no further argument to be made when the opposition's rebuttal is grounded in inequity.  It's the same argument that led to the Southern states walking out of congress in 1861.  That being that the Southern economy could not survive without slave labor.

How is this argument any different other than its scope?  In this case an entire nation instead of a portion of it.

I can't accept the ridiculous or the unjust...enough said...