Tag Archives: blogging

Is it Crap or Craptastick?

The Crap-o-Meter a new app coming soon!

It’s hard to imagine what more we could want as  journalists in the height of the information age. We have so many tools at our fingertips:  instant video, blogs, microblogs, and a multitude of outlets via Social Media. But, as a writer, and a reader how do you sort through it all? How do you sort through the crap?

Clearly, what we need is a Crap-o-Meter.  I’m thinking a small icon, that looks like a pile of poop and tells how many people think a given story is utter crap.  Whether or not this would prevent prudent readers from reading said story to verify its crappiness, such a tool  would at least give the reader fair warning.

To be fair, the Crap-o-Meter should also have an alternate rating for articles that are Craptastick.  These are articles that don’t necessarily provide us with useful information, but do make great antidotes over cocktails.

Of course, such a tool could be the cause of much strife over what is Crap and what is Craptastick. And then the we’d have to categorize all of the pursuant discourse as well.

What would follow would be the implied bullying campaign organized by masses who flock to an article that they don’t agree with to dub it as Crap, only to lead to a rapid rise in traffic by those who believe it’s not Crap. And suddenly the Crap-o-Meter loses it’s meaning.  We then start to seek out articles that are dubbed as Crap, and then Crap and Crappy become the new words for cool.”Hey have you been to that new bar? I hear it’s pretty crappy!”

At this point we no longer know what’s Crap and what isn’t and end up wasting a lot of time reading pointless articles in hope that something meaningful might be gleaned.  But I think there’s a solution for that too. You see what we would need is an app that…ah crap!





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Facebook faces off with Google+ and maybe others

Got something to say? Facebook certainly hopes so. Social Media Delivered reports that Facebook has expanded it’s character count for status and wall posts to 63,206 characters. According to the report, that’s the equivalent to 451.47 tweets. Media Delivered opines that the update is intended to address new competition Google+ which allows up to 100,000 characters according to online tests.

But it seems that perhaps both networks are also attempting to permeate the blog/microblog market. If you can tell your story on Facebook, why maintain a blog? Another benefit for Facebook and Google+ is that allowing more space for content will diminish the need to click links that lead to other sites, keeping users on their sites longer.

In the information age, we all seem to have something to say, and there is no shortage of places to say it.  Blogs, microblogs, and social media are fertile ground for our surge of loquaciousness. Now it seems the fight is on for where we share those words.


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Time Zones and Social Media

Those who know me know that I currently split my time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Fussa, a suburb of Tokyo Japan. Every time I make the transition, I am suddenly very cognizant of time zones, especially in my use of Social Media.

As an active Blogger, my process requires me to keep up with the news of the day, write my take, and then get the story out there. But, with an 18 hour time difference, if I do these things in real time, it’s likely most of my intended audience will not see my work.

To make up for the time problem I use a number of tools that help me adjust–

World Clocks Gadget on iGoogle

This is a great little Gadget courtesy of Jerome Moutson out of Huntsville Alabama. Even if you are not a world traveler but want to keep track of multiple time zones, this tool will show you labeled clock faces for the places that matter for you. I always keep this gadget at the top of my iGoogle page.


TweetDeck Schedule Updates

TweetDeck is a great tool on multiple levels. But when I travel it is especially useful to schedule blog update tweets at a time when my intended audience might actually see them. When in Japan, I tend to post blog updates in the evening and schedule the Tweets for mid morning PST.  Once I get over my jet lag it usually proves to be a good strategy.  I also schedule ReTweets to go out during normal stateside business hours.


While I’m not usually an advocate for medicinal solutions, I’ve found that when traveling, the right combination of analgesics (Ibuprofrin), antihistamine (Diphenhydramine), and a good vitamin load (vitamins B & C) make all the difference in the world in battling fatigue and jet lag. Analgesics help with stiffness acquired from extended air travel, antihistamines both prevent nasal issues and help you sleep at the right times along the way (be sure to drink plenty of water) and vitamins B & C help restore your energy and ward off infections.  I’ve also found that giving up meat while I travel is very helpful at preventing those unusual digestions problems that always seem to crop up.

Being in another Time Zone can make my work both complicated and challenging. But with a little planning, the right tools and some preventative measures it’s not hard to pick up where you left off with your social media buzz.



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