Friday, October 31, 2008

Coming Soon: A Global Google Library...

Allow me to spin you a little yarn.

Google has planned for years to digitally scan millions of books from the nation's libraries, and then make those books searchable to the public. This sounds wonderful, except for one big problem... the authors didn't necessarily want the content of their books available online for free.

So they sued, and the project has been in legal limbo ever since.

Until now. A legal settlement was reached earlier this week whereby Google will pay $125 million to authors and publishers of books that Google has scanned into its BookSearch Program.

The deal also sets up an arrangement where Google can continue to scan out-of-print, copyright-protected books, but publishers "now have the option of activating a 'Buy Now' button for readers to download a copy of the book. Google will take a 37 percent share of the profits, and the remaining 63 percent will go to authors and publishers. In addition, Google plans to charge an administrative fee of 10 to 20 percent from the author-publisher's share". A new non-profit called the Book Rights Registry will manage royalties.

Believe it or not, this blog has previously argued against the Google BookSearch program, calling instead for a more open approach that would not grant one commercial firm a book-monopoly that could be leveraged against the nation's schools and libraries.

That said, surely most authors and publishers must have been thrilled to hear the news of this settlement. Google has suddenly provided many of them with quite a windfall since their out-of-print works were not likely to get back into "print" any other way.

Let this serve as a lesson to the skeptics. New media and old media can, in fact, find common ground that serve everyone's best interest (consumers included), while still attributing copyright ownership to the creators of content.

Once again, the internet need not be something for copyright holders to fear, but rather something they should embrace as a revenue-earning opportunity... if done the right way.
  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why We All Want to be Britney Spears on Twitter...

Before you start rolling your eyes, let me re-assure you that The Nerfherder is NOT becoming a paparazzi-style tabloid.

That said, there is some news that deserves to be analyzed from an online business perspective... Britney Spears is now on Twitter.

There is something remarkable about this (and it's not the pretty dull messages that Britney's been texting to her Twitter account). As Michael Arrington has reported, there may be a huge business opportunity in the idea of celebrities and "supertwitterers" being able to monetize their presence on social-networking websites.

For example, Arrington asks, "what is it worth to Pepsi for Britney to twitter 'drinking a pepsi' to 1M followers?". Product placement is a potential goldmine, both for the social-networking websites (who could get a commission) as well as the celebrities and supertwitterers themselves, who could easily incorporate a few advertising plugs into their status updates without being as obnoxious or invasive as the Facebook-style system of forcing ads on readers. From a marketing perspective, it would probably be more effective too.

And why stop there? Who says only celebrities and people with a few thousand "friends" or "followers" should be able to cash in? If Twitter, Facebook, and the rest would open up their doors to everyone, then we'd all have the chance to make a little money by choosing exactly which products, companies, or even political candidates to endorse. This would add extra incentive for people to create high-quality content and, again, would market the products far better than the highly flawed and untargeted advertising systems that currently exist online.

If internet startups would stop being so concerned with their command-and-control approaches, they might realize that their best chance for discovering a profit-generating business model would be to let their users experiment and choose their own.

We all want to be Britney Spears.
  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Did the DMCA Save the Web?

When it comes to copyright law and the internet, there is perhaps no more hated, heavily criticized, and notorious internet policy that exists than the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). So netizens were somewhat shocked to read this afternoon at Wired.com that the DMCA is actually "misunderstood", and even going so far as to proclaim that it "saved the web".

Did the reviled policy really save the web (in which case, many of us have been grossly delusional), or are the writers at Wired simply off their rocker?

Here's what you need to know to answer that question. At issue are the following two central elements of the DMCA: 1) its "anti-circumvention provisions" which basically make it illegal to bypass the encryption on things like CDs, DVDs, and software; and 2) a separate provision that "provides ISPs, hosting companies and interactive services near blanket immunity for the intellectual property violations of their users".

Active netizens have spewed vitriolic hatred at the DMCA for a decade because of the first "anti-circumvention" provisions, arguing that it strips away consumer rights that have existed for decades and often violates the Fair Use Doctrine of copyright law. In plain English, they're angry because it makes it illegal for, say, a school teacher to distribute copies of material that they found online, or for people to make mix music tapes or even copy a DVD (which they've legally purchased) to be able to play it in both their living room and on their computer.

But Wired suggests that despite all this, not enough attention is given to the second "immunity" provision. They trace the development of virtually all Web 2.0 services, such as YouTube and Facebook, to this single provision, arguing that such sites never would have come into existence if they had to check every single video and photo for copyright infringement before it could be posted, or else face a lawsuit themselves. In other words, by the DMCA granting YouTube immunity from copyright infringement lawsuits, and making only the person who posted the video liable rather than the company itself, only through this have the YouTubes of the world been able to flourish.

It's definitely a valid point, and Wired is right in pointing out how this is often overlooked. However, does that constitute "saving the web"?

Not a chance. Like virtually any public policy, the DMCA has its good points and its bad. The immunity provisions may have opened up some new business opportunities, but the anti-circumvention provisions simultaneously stripped consumers of their existing rights. Its hard to assign one of these more social value than the other, but if you go by the public outcry over the DMCA since its passage, focusing on the benefits of the immunity provisions may be similar to looking at the government's recent $700 billion bailout plan of the financial system, and choosing to emphasize the portion of it that's going to building a new yarn museum in Missouri.

Make no mistake, the DMCA remains one of the worst policies ever devised to regulate cyberspace, and research has demonstrated that it was little more than a gift to Hollywood and the music industry (whose lobbyists actually wrote the language of the original bill).

Perhaps the real legacy of the DMCA will simply be its serving as a dramatic example of how governmental policies retain a strong power to shape the online environment.
  

Monday, October 27, 2008

You Will 2008...

The following post was contributed by guest blogger Patrick Fitzpatrick. The Nerfherder will return from the Amazon in just a few more days.

Anybody remember the "You Will" TV commercials from the 1990s? Made by AT&T with a voice over by Tom Selleck, the series of ads proposed a range of fascinating, at the time almost far-fetched, possibilities that consumers would be able to do with emerging technology.

Many of them seem rather quaint and nostalgic viewing the ads from today’s ultra-portable, always connected, digitized world. My personal favorite has to be the "Have you ever sent someone a fax... from the beach?" clip. A fax? Who uses a fax? The other day I uploaded a digital video I took of a near shark-attack to CNN’s iReport, got an email back from them confirming they received it, then watched my clip on my browser at CNN’s website all from my phone. From the beach! (I actually didn’t, but you get my point – today all that is quite possible.)

The ads got me thinking: what are AT&T and the other great technological incubators working on now? What is it that we could see on a TV commercial today that would in ten years make us look back with a whimsical chuckle? What do consumers want? Where will this still nascent technology take us to next? Is the iPhone the end or the beginning of a trend?

What do Nerfherder readers think is next?

To get the ball rolling here’s my idea for a new "You Will" ad campaign: "Have you ever thought that you could feel a vibration in your tooth, tug gently on your earlobe, be immediately hooked-up to the caller and by blinking your eye be connected to them via video simultaneously?..." Will we?

Post your ideas below as comments.
  

Friday, October 24, 2008

Biography by Google? A Chronicle of Correspondence...

The following post was written by familiar guest blogger, Patrick Fitzpatrick.

I spent a good deal of time during my summer holidays at my parents' home, the house I grew up in and left more than 20 years ago. I have in the intervening years returned to that house many times. Regrettably, many of those visits were short; at most ten days, at least five. I would always leave thinking I would love more time and knowing that there wasn’t enough time to get done all I’d hoped. This last trip lasted almost two months. This time I got many of those things done.

When I left home much of what was mine up until then was left behind. Only so much will squeeze into a couple of suitcases. Schoolbooks, note books, diary’s, cutting from magazines, newspapers, stuff I’d found, all that general, bric-a-brac, idiosyncratic, to-anyone-else-meaningless ‘stuff’ of our youth didn’t come with me. As the years meandered on and my younger brother and sisters grew up and moved into my old room, my stuff was boxed up and put upstairs into the attic. After all, their stuff needed room downstairs.

Just about every time I went home I wanted to get upstairs to look through those boxes. Time never allowed it. In fact, so many years had passed that I began to figure those boxes were probably discarded and so I began to forget it all, figuring I’d never see any of it again.

This summer with plenty of time on my hands, my mom said to me one day, ‘why don’t you go up in the attic and go through your stuff’. So I did. As I climbed the ladder and began peeking into the dusty boxes I was at first surprised to see it was still there and then suddenly overwhelmed by the memories it evoked. Here it all was: all that general, bric-a-brac, idiosyncratic, to-anyone-else-meaningless ‘stuff’ from my youth.

Over the course of several days, a few hours at a time, I deliberately, carefully leafed through every scrap of paper, souvenir, and concert ticket and school book. At first it was all so unfamiliar, unrecognizable. It had been so long since I’d seen most of it, the reasons I saved so much of it had faded from memory.

The one thing I continued to find more and more of as I open box after box were letters. Lots and lots of letters. Hand written, mostly in pen, in stamped envelopes. They were sent to me from various people, from a variety of addresses - some from overseas even. I opened a few. There were some real classics. Some that recalled events long forgotten. Relationships well lost to memory. There were a whole lot from girlfriends. (There’s a priceless one from a gal I was keen on that begins…”Hi Patrick, what the f*^k did you set fire to the school for…” The story behind that will be reserved for another time!) There were two from my dad. There were several from my mom. Some from my brothers and sisters.

Looking through those letters made me realize that from them an outline of the story of my life up until twenty years ago could be sketched. A chronicle of correspondence. And that thought led me to another: the once commonplace act of sitting down, taking out a piece of paper and pen and writing a letter is gone. With text, instant messaging, email, blogging, social network sites, mobile phones we probably communicate with each other more than ever before in the history of humanity. But twenty years from now, how would we know? It’s all ephemeral. Bits of binary.

Those letters I found are real, tangible. They have in them the unique penmanship of their authors. The color ink and type of paper they chose, the crossed out words concealing reconsidered thoughts. The envelopes themselves with their stamps and cancel-marks all have in them so much about their time and intent. Email has none of that. Text messaging though quick and brief has none of that.

I’ve got about 500GB of storage space around me at home on various hard drives. There’s more than several thousand photographs, hours of digital video and who knows how many emails stored somewhere on them. Most of that stuff has never been seen by anyone but me. Heck, I don’t even look through much of it. But with letters you can. You can pick them up, hold them in your hand and get a true sense of a time and a memory. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to wax poetic about a metal hard drive and there’s nothing romantic about black Times New Roman 12 point type on a stark white digital screen.

Historians and biographers mine the personal letters of their subjects to get a sense of the lives they lived. For them letters are a revealing gold mine. How will future historians research the people they chose to write about? Will it be biography-by-Google? How will my daughter look back and catalogue her life? Just how are artifact, memory and the written word – the actual written word – going to be remembered?
  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Online Contextual Advertising and the Presidential Election

The following post was submitted by guest blogger and superhero, Jeff Domanski

"Gay Baseball". This is a Google Adsense contextual advertisement that displayed on my friend's blog site last week. For those that are unfamiliar, online contextual advertising is a form of advertising that scans through the text content of a webpage and displays 'relevant' advertisements. After a contextual engine reads the text of a page, certain criteria is applied against an algorithm which will then select applicable advertisements from a database. These are often displayed in a side panel on a web page. The Nerfherder blog, which you are currently reading, subscribes to the Google Adsense version on this technology and I couldn't be more interested to see what displays after this post.

A good friend of mine maintains a blog similar to this one, but talks primarily about sports. Last week he was dumbfounded when advertisements for "Gay Baseball" were displaying all over his page. Regrettably, he hasn't been able to duplicate this advertisement which is unfortunate because my curiosity is being stretched to the brim trying to figure out what 'Gay Baseball' is. More curiously frustrating is attempting to figure out what type of product "Gay Baseball" could possibly be selling, or what service it could possibly provide.

This friend of mine has told me that he has received even more bizarre contextual advertisements on his sports blog, such as an ad a couple weeks ago for "Female Urination". Weird? Yes. I'm not certain how these algorithms work, as they are necessarily proprietary and undisclosed, but I find it extremely interesting how this technology can produce such unqualified categorical results. In fairness, these are not typical results, and online contextual advertising has proven to be incredibly effective. On occasion though, Google Adsense will produce irrelevant advertisements on a sports blog about a feminine hygiene product to help with urination.

Although my initial intrigue started off with a little gay baseball, I have now begun to consider other ways in which this capable technology can work. With its masterful ability at selective persuasion, I believe it can be used to subconsciously help people make decisions. With the upcoming presidential election, I hope to use this tool to help the undecided voters who read this Nerfherder blog.

Below is a random variety of contextual advertisements I found on blogs around the internet. They are all pertaining to our presidential candidates and VP candidate Sarah Palin. To provide our undecided voters with an objective perspective of these candidates, I will put my personal beliefs aside and simply present this as I found it. After you've had a chance to read the advertisements, I will provide a brief summary of what I was able to take away from this marvelous technology and how it swayed my vote.



Vice Presidential Candidate – Governor of Alaska (R) Sarah Palin


Sarah Palin's IQ is 120.
Are you smarter than Sarah? Take a Free IQ Test and find out.

Does Palin scare you?
Take our simple 30 second poll. Get free gas gift card for voting.

Alaska Cruise Discounts

Free Upgrades, Exclusive Deals & More with Guaranteed Lowest Prices!

How to Survive an Affair

Discover How to Heal From the Pain and Recover From the Heart Break!

Meet Married Women
Find Local Married Women For Fun. Meet & Cheat With Married Women Now

Sarah Palin's Secret

Shocking Sarah Palin Video! You've Got to See This to Believe it ...

Coffee Exposed
A shocking secret coffee co's don't want you to know

Jesus is Magic!

Show the world what you think about a Pitbull in the White House!


Presidential Candidate – Senator from Illinois (D) Barack Obama


Obama and the Convention
Arab TV News Media Coverage
Watch Middle East News Analysis

Barack Obama's IQ is 130.
Are you smarter than Barack? Take a Free IQ Test and find out.

Obama Action Figure

Buy the Barack Obama Action Figure. Yes, you can!

Obama's Brother In Kenya
Obama's Brother Lives In A Shack Read This Story Here

Obama is a bad mother...
Barrack Obama Tshirts Support your candidate!


Presidential Candidate – Senator from Arizona (R) John McCain


John McCain's IQ is 130.
Are you smarter than John? Take a Free IQ Test and find out.

Search Criminal Records
Instant Criminal records lookup.
Criminal records online database.
Criminal.GovtRegistry.com

John McCain & WMD in Iraq
Arms Inspector, ex-CIA Officer say
McCain ignored WMD facts in 2001.
TheRealNews.com

Women Don't be Fooled
McCain is worse than Bush for your rights. Learn more at Over for Obama

Has McCain won already? Take poll, enter email, win iPhone
National-Online-Poll.com

FOX Business Blog
On Assignment Blogs with Video Only on FOXBusiness.com.
www.FOXBusiness.com



Objective Summary

The distinguished presidential candidate from Illinois Barack Obama is smarter than Sarah Palin. He has achieved a superhero status and his action figure is on the shelves next to the likes of Superman and Batman. Barack Obama is arab and has family in Kenya. He is either a bad mother or a bad motherf *%k^$.

Senator John McCain of Arizona is of equal intelligence to Barack Obama and is smarter than Sarah Palin. He has an enormous lead over Obama and some consider he has already won. He fools women, is a criminal and is to blame for the war in Iraq.

Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is of limited intelligence and that potentially scares a lot of people. She seemingly has had an affair and has a secret that you've got to see to believe. That secret lingers around the overwhelming mysticism and controversy over coffee and what 'the man' doesn't want you to know about it. Along with her belief of Intelligent Design, she also believes that dinosaurs and jesus are in fact products of magic and the black arts.
  

Friday, October 17, 2008

How Roe v. Wade Can Affect You in Ways You Couldn’t Imagine

The following was submitted by a guest blogger who chooses to remain anonymous.

I’m a married, 31 year old male with one child. By all seemingly reasonable measures, abortion should not play a role in my life. I mean, of course my wife and I would choose to have the baby if we got pregnant, even if unintentional, right? That’s what I thought, until the unthinkable occurred.

In week 13 of our first pregnancy, we learned that our unborn child had a serious medical condition: gastroschisis. Gastroschisis is when the intestines form outside the abdomen wall, rendering them exposed upon birth. The situation is quite severe, yet typically fixable with one or two surgeries and a few months in the hospital. It was a no-brainer: we’d go ahead and have the child.

In week 20, we returned for a full anatomy scan where the doctor recommended that a specialist take a closer look at our baby’s heart. In week 22, we learned that our child was suffering from a number of grave heart conditions that would require multiple open-heart surgeries immediately after birth. Compounding this surgery, on top of the procedures to fix the gasrtoschisis which was reprioritized due to the heart, the outlook was poor. Nobody was willing to give us a direct answer, but we were basically told that there was a very reasonable chance the baby would not live long after birth. And even if so, the quality of our child’s life would have been questionable at best.

We decided to do the unthinkable: abort the pregnancy in the 23rd week. We did the right thing for us and our soon-to-be son. It’s a terribly unfortunate story, and my wife and I will never be the same. On the bright side though, there is a happy ending as we now are parents to a beautiful baby girl.

Regardless of where you stand in regards to Roe v. Wade, I hope my story offers you new perspective on the issue. We are all pro-life and we are all anti-abortion – the debate is really about choice. So don’t let yourself be fooled by meaningless political trademarks that would have you believe abortion is always a bad thing. As difficult as it may be for many of us to admit, terminating a pregnancy is sometimes necessary. Whether single or married – this personal issue has very real implications for everybody who is thinking (and not thinking) about having children. Choice should reside with parents, not government, as they know what’s best for their own child.
  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Dispatch...

The following was graciously submitted by contributing author and guest blogger Patrick Fitzpatrick.

Recently, I returned from my fifth trip to the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Despite three years of Federal financial aid New Orleans and its surrounding area still looks as though much is left to do; for every one new home, there remains ten or more abandoned.

This last trip a schism even more twentieth-century than any other became glaringly obvious to me as I returned to the camp / hostel that I stayed in after work. There is a large room in Camp Hope, as it is called, wherein there are two TV’s, several couches and chairs as well as ten desktop computers with cables for an additional dozen or more laptops. It was a Tuesday night after dinner when I strolled in to connect my laptop and check my email. As my laptop booted up I took a look around the room and noted something I never had before: there were 8 people besides me in the room, all white, ranging in ages of twenty-something to forty-something. Both TV’s were not on. All of us were turned inward, facing our computer screens, busily tending to our online lives.

Having grown up in a home where my father constantly harangued us children to “turnoff the TV and go out and play” it occurred to me just how much my life had changed.

Here we all were, NOT watching TV, despite its hundred plus channels, despite an ongoing election, despite the baseball playoffs. All of us were checking email, updating our Facebook, uploading the day’s photos to our blog and generally feeding the virtual aspect of our lives that is for so many such a large part of our modern day identity.

This scene drew me back to the 9th Ward. In talking with the locals, some of whom volunteered along side me, it became clear that their lives existed solely outside of any virtual world. They had no Facebook, no Flicker, no Blogger accounts. And here is where that relatively new schism of American society revealed itself: Internet access in the United States today remains a privilege of the few to the exclusion of the many.

Like poverty and homelessness how can anyone claim we have a fair and equal society if a large portion of our society is devoid of the access that so many others have?

To put it in real terms, I can, because I have a high-speed internet connection and a computer at home, make an insurance claim, apply for unemployment, sign up to volunteer, have food delivered to my door etc. etc. without leaving my living room. The New Orleanais that I met and worked with couldn’t. They have neither the computers nor the access in their homes. Some still don’t even have homes.

An argument could be made that perhaps if the people most severely affected by Katrina had the access that I have, their lives would be repaired more quickly.

As America closes in on the waning days of the presidential election the two candidates are bickering about how to fix a broken economy and take care of the ‘folks on Main Street’. Spending a week building houses in New Orleans shows just how far out of touch the world of federal politics from many of today’s Americans.


Fitz

~ coming very strong ~

...since 1969
  

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tina Fey/Sarah Palin Videos on SNL...

These are just too good not to post them...





  

Internet Entrepreneurs or Unfairly Gaming the System?

There's been a lot of activity lately on some of the microblogging sites like Twitter and Friendfeed. Every day, people are posting messages and links to scientifically test those websites in order to learn how their search algorithms work. Are these scientific experiments the sign of a hacker entrepreneurial spirit, or are they just spamming the rest of us in order to unfairly game the system?

Take two examples. Yesterday, self-proclaimed "social and viral marketing scientist", Dan Zarrella, conducted a Viral Tweet Test. The point was to learn how messages travel in the Twitter-verse by encouraging people to re-tweet to their followers a link to his blog. Zarrella says he will post the results soon, but within 24 hours - just going based on what's clearly visible on his site - he had accumulated 243 comments and 100 Diggs.

For a second example, consider that this morning one of the hottest "trending topics" on Twitter was the tag, "APsvxbkwbQyQqvZw". Such jibberish naturally arose my curiosity, and upon reading the thread - mostly filled with comments like, "What the heck is "APsvxbkwbQyQqvZw"??? - I eventually tracked down its origin... A very spam-like website titled "Adregate Support" which appears to be an online pharmacy huckstering Viagra.

What can we make of this?

As social networking and microblogging websites continue to gain in popularity, and as a result become more potentially powerful marketing tools, there is a growing demand for understanding how these systems function and how to use that knowledge of their algorithm to one's advantage. This is nothing new, or even necessarily subversive. People have been gaming Google's search algorithm for years, and indeed an entire industry known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has sprouted up in response.

That's just a fact of life. But what really stands out is that social and viral marketing scientists like Zarrella can so easily hack these algorithms with very basic experiments, and are then so willing to share the results with the world. It's hard to even call him a hacktivist when he's using such simple methods just to learn how something works. Finally, the spamming case of "APsvxbkwbQyQqvZw" has revealed a pretty ridiculous characteristic about Twitter's search algorithm - that you can become a hot "trending topic" with as few as 15 messages. And that's quite disturbing when you think about its potential for abuse.
  

Monday, October 06, 2008

Why Nobody Cares About the Google-Yahoo Advertising Deal...

Here's a case where everybody outside of Silicon Valley is left scratching their heads.

For those of you who don't know, the two biggest internet giants, Google and Yahoo, recently announced a partnership. Both companies rely on advertising to make their profits (you know, those obnoxious text ads on the sides of web pages that you would never think to click on), and the main thing to understand about the new partnership is that Yahoo would basically be allowed to display Google's ads on its own search terms.

In other words, right now if you do a Yahoo search for something very obscure, chances are that Yahoo doesn't have any relevant ads for it. However, Google does, so Yahoo is now going to serve Google ads on those obscure searches.

Still with me?

Ok, now what gets tricky is that, because Google and Yahoo are such corporate behemoths in terms of market share, the U.S. Justice Department has begun an antitrust investigation into this advertising partnership. The question they are seeking to answer is whether such an alliance would constitute a virtual monopoly in the internet search/advertising industry, and, if it did, whether it would significantly harm consumer interests.

Some advertisers strongly oppose the partnership fearing it would only accelerate Google's dominance, and are even calling for more transparency in Google's auction system algorithm - the company's holy grail.

But should any of the rest of us care? Probably not. If Yahoo wants to essentially outsource its search advertising on obscure terms, then so be it. Internet surfers will continue ignoring most of the ads anyway, and publishers will probably be better off with more relevant ads to serve (and collect money from). The only potential losers in all of this are the advertisers themselves, who are afraid of rising prices, and perhaps rightfully so, but they can't expect too much sympathy from a public that on a daily basis is forced to fight a seemingly neverending constant barrage of online advertisements.
  

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hacking the V.P. Debate on Twitter...

When last night's Vice Presidential debate was finished, the Nerfherder Gal noticed how many of her Facebook friends reflected their observations in their status messages. For example, we got a big kick out of her cousin Naomi using her status message to repeat Sarah Palin's unintentionally hysterical line, "A big shout-out to all those 3rd-graders watching the debate!!!".

But then I told the Nerfherder Gal that if she was getting a kick out of this, she ought to go to Twitter, which was trying to "Hack The Debate". People watching the V.P. candidates last night were commenting in real-time on Twitter, and following the entire #current conversation was addictive, to say the least. Read the entire stream and see for yourself, but some personal highlights of people's tweets include...

  • lisahubbert - Palin talks in run on sentences. My God woman, have you been pregnant so long you don't know what a period is?

  • SistersTalk - Gotta use those kids as props! Palin's baby is sleeping. That child should be at home with a sitter and in bed.

  • CXI - I think we can all agree, that Home Depot came out the winner here tonight!

  • nellstid - This discussion about universal healthcare makes me want to pop some pills!

  • seanyo - "I knew Dan Quayle, and you Ms. Palin are no Dan Quayle."

  • skooljester - England here I come.

Really, before the debate, the Twitter effect was a curiosity. But afterwards, it was an marvelous addiction. This is not to say that Twitter users provided tremendous intellectual insights or political analysis; but only that it was spectacularly entertaining. It made both The Nerfherder Gal and I laugh a number of times... and when was the last time you could say that about a Vice Presidential debate?
  

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Dateable Dork Goes Inactive...

How do you console someone when their favorite bloggers stop posting?

I know many of you don't exactly encounter this problem too often, but, trust me, it's like finding out that your childhood sports hero just got busted for steroids.

And so it is today as one of my personal favorites, The Dateable Dork, has voluntarily stopped posting. The blog was a chronicle of one self-proclaimed "dorky" girl's misadventures in the "big, bad world of dating", and had a unique hook in raising the question, "Who ever said that dorks can't be sexy?".

Apparently, the reason for the blog's demise is that the latest guy she was dating, known as "The Editor", found out about the blog and pronounced that he never wanted to see her again - presumably because he was embarrassed about how the blog detailed their sex life together (even if it was anonymous).

Without going all soap-opera, Gillmore Girls-style on everyone, I was just wondering what do YOU do when your favorite blogs get the axe?

Anyone have some guilty-pleasure recommendations?