The Media has Become the Emperor

We live in the days of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The media is our Emperor, the leader, the trend setter, commander, ruler and most of all the judge. How did it change from the days when the media reported the news and kept judgement and opinions out of it?

When I studied writing in college, not so many years ago, I was taught the importance of the media reporting from an unbiased point of view. But, even then, we talked about how psychology, marketing and peer pressure could be used to slant the facts.

What do you think?

What do you really think when no one is listening, tattling on you or judging you? What do you think when you strip away political correctness and public expectations? Do you even know what your real, sincere and genuine opinions are any more? Can you still admit to yourself that some of your opinions aren’t popular in today’s world? Are you intimidated by peer pressure, popular opinion and the media or can you allow yourself to disagree, even just a little?

I think we live in a world where the media is the Emperor and we all tell it how wonderful it’s clothes are, even though we can plainly see the media isn’t wearing anything at all. The problem is the media is the best tool of everyone who wants to start a witch hunt and witch hunts are a great way to become famous, in the media.

Add in Google for social media online and even without offline resources a witch hunter can do quite well for at least a short time. Fame and fortune for the small sacrifice of people having a mind of their own.

The media Emperor thrives on it all. The Internet may shake the print publishing industry but the media itself is thriving on gossip, scandal and witch hunting.


You can read The Emperor’s New Clothes online if you’ve never heard the story or forget how it goes.

In Defense of Using Ad Blocker

I’ve been coming across more sites which ask me to turn off ad block on my web browser. Most are keeping it friendly, like this request from Guardian (asking for financial support instead of support through ad views). That’s fair enough and I do understand. However… how about changing the ads to something I don’t mind viewing.

Why do people use Ad Block?

The reason I use ad block are the video and other bloated files which automatically open when I visit a site. I don’t especially care that most of them are ads. I don’t want to be stuck with big files opening on my web browser.

I pay for my ISP, bandwidth included. Perhaps there is free , or very cheap,  unlimited Internet service in the US. I don’t have that option here in Ontario. I pay an extra $20 a month to have unlimited bandwidth. Before paying that extra I was spending between $5 and $45 per month for going over the allowed bandwidth for my account. That wasn’t friendly.

If sites ran simple text ads or (at very least) kept bandwidth heavy ads from opening automatically, I would view their ads. Until then… I’m already supporting them by spending $20 a month ($240 a year, plus 15% tax) more to my ISP. See if they can collect it from them because I’m not willing to spend more just to view advertising I have very little real interest in.

How much are you willing to spend to view advertising?

If you want to find ad block for your web browser take a look at the apps and addons available. For Google Chrome there are 5 which I have used at various times. I continue to use more than just one.

Can Reply but Not Comment on YouTube

Most of the fixes I have found for this tell you to change your settings to allow third party cookies in your web browser. Whether or not that works, I’m not willing to enable this. Why should I let more advertisers keep track of what I do online? No thanks!

Last time I could not comment on YouTube I found a fix for it. But, that was about a year ago and there is a new glitch now. (See below).


Everything seems fine until I click the screen inside the comment box… For a moment the comment window shows text saying “Opening…” when that is gone so is my ability to comment. My Google+ avatar disappears. The comment post button ghosts (greys) out. I can type in a comment but I can not save or publish it.


I am logged in to both YouTube and Google. So far I can only comment as a reply to an existing comment. I can not create a comment myself.

  • I have cleared my cache.
  • I have logged out and logged in again.
  • I went in and deleted all my cookies.
  • I changed YouTube settings in my Google+ account, etc.
  • I allowed YouTube to set cookies by changing my AdBlock/ AdKiller filters.

But… I still can not create a comment.

Luckily… my old fix, from last year, fixed the problem again. 

The fix is easy. Click the link above for the explanation.


Google Adsense is Green!

If your Google Adsense ads are showing up green you must be using the Google Publisher Toolbar in your web browser. Just as I do.

I had this problem and could not find much about it online. There were posts in the Google Help forums but the advice did not mention just turning off the Ad overlays feature. (Maybe there wasn’t a way to turn it off then).

You will need to visit each of your sites and turn this off individually.


Blog This! – I’m Not Giving up on Blogger

blogthisBlog This! – Chrome Web Store.

Although it feels like no one from Google is behind the wheel at Blogger these days. I still love Blogger. I’d like to use it but it’s not easy. Blogger is under developed and fairly ignored.

I think it began with WordPress snobbery.

There was a time when people either used Blogger or WordPress. A lot of people were using Blogger. It was simple, basic and you didn’t need to know a lot about HTML, scripts, plugins or themes. If you wanted to – you could work with extra code, themes and add-ons for Blogger too. But, ideally it was for people who wanted a site up without the hurdles of doing it all themselves.

You would think that would be ideal for most people. It was, for a time. Then came along the WordPress snobs. People who thought Blogger wasn’t good enough because WordPress let you do more and was gaining in community support with even more extras, gadgets and gizmos.

Blogger fell behind. It could have kept going, in second place but still strong… only Google put it on a back burner and didn’t keep developing it. There was a very big update with adding new themes, flexibility with themes and a lot more layout options. But, that was years ago.

I noticed a new post about using Blogger with your own domain, making it easier. But, that doesn’t give people a reason to use Blogger. It needs updates, new community and fresh ideas.

Please almighty Google, don’t let Blogger die!

Where Can You Still Find Blogger User Support

I will update this list as I find more resources.
powered by blogger

Good but Not Updated in Awhile

Submitted Myself for Reinstatement at the Open Directory Project

I was looking up something tonight and found a link to the Open Directory Project (aka Dmoz or ODP). I was an editor there, shedragon, for about ten years. I liked being part of the project, seeing it evolve and tweaking categories for topics I was interested or involved in.

odp dmoz

I forget why I left now. Something I was annoyed about. Isn’t that so often the story. I did seem to have upset someone in the upper management of the directory but I never found out what it was about. I think that’s actually why I did leave. I can remember being annoyed at the close mouthedness of it and feeling I couldn’t even defend myself because I had no idea what the problem/ issue was.

I put a lot of time and energy and care into the directory. I was quite proud to have become an editall and manage several larger categories in the directory. Likely I burnt out and I did leave and not regret the decision. I still don’t. I do tend to get absorbed into things so it is good for me to take some steps back and give myself space to find diversity instead of becoming too focused.

Anyway, today (just now) I checked if my old login still did anything. Not expecting it would. But, some part of it was still there. So I filled out the short form to ask to be reinstated.

It would be nice to fix up the categories for urban exploration and ASCII art again. But, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy sorting out my own link collections and sites. It is nice to be part of something though. I wish Dmoz had grown, along with Google. It’s a shame it didn’t. It’s still a decent resource if someone is looking after the section you’re looking in. That’s likely why I applied. I do like history and archives!

via – DMOZ – the Open Directory Project.

Free Keyword Help from Ubersuggest

Get keyword ideas with Übersuggest the free keyword suggestion tool that makes good use of different suggest services.

How it works?

Write a term in the box.

Choose a language and a source. Übersuggest can get suggestions either from regular Web search or from search verticals like Shopping, News or Video (more to come).

Übersuggest takes your base term, add a letter or a digit in front of it, and extracts suggestions for it.

Click on each word to get further suggestions based on that term.

Add each keyword to your basket clicking on the plus sign on its left.

Add all visible keywords to your basket clicking on the large grey button.

With this free keyword tool you can instantly get thousands of keyword ideas from real user queries! Use the keywords to get inspiration for your next blog post, or to optimize your PPC campaigns.

via Keyword suggestion tool — Google suggest scraper — Übersuggest.

I tried it for a few topics. It brings up a lot of suggestions and sorts them alphabetically. Many suggestions are similar, of course, that’s not a bad thing when it comes to deciding on keywords to use in tags, titles and so on. It also gave me some new ideas to write about in future posts.

Google Marketing and Dear Webmaster Letters

Have you had an email asking you to remove a link? There are various reasons someone might ask you to remove a link, some are practical and make sense. Often it’s about a copyrights issue. The new trend I’ve noticed is the request to remove a link for Google.

You get a Dear Webmaster letter, not so unlike a Dear John letter about a century ago during the World Wars. Don’t take offense, it’s just marketers trying to please (or scare) their clients. They don’t really know what they are doing.

A Dear Webmaster letter:removelinksforGoogleThis is the second email (this year) which I have had asking me to remove my link to a site. Not for the reason you would expect. It’s not about how I mentioned the link, or that I linked in a bad way at all. Actually, the link was just an additional resource when I had written about a relevant topic.

Long ago I was asked to remove a link to Starbucks. But, this was back in the very early days. Starbuck’s concern was about their privacy online. That was so long ago everything was still new and no one knew what to make of the Internet and the very earliest websites, networks and web logs. (Yes, bloggers was not even an accepted word yet).

This time, I was asked to remove a link because the company was concerned about Google’s algorithm.  They are not interested in being part of a post, relevant to their content. Their focus is Google, not readers.

To me it is ironic that Google made their latest changes in order to get online content to change from spam created to please Google into writing created to please readers. But, some people do not quite make that connection. Instead they are just trying to turn things around to be what will please Google.

Today I read something where they decided the biggest problem for brands now is to create content people will want to share on social media.

They still don’t get it either.

Google and social media are software, basically. Software does not have a lot of buying power all on it’s own. It needs people with credit cards, online banking or some other method of making payment for goods and services.

Why don’t businesses/ companies still understand they need to attract people – not software?

Each time I think they’ve got it… it just passes them by… like a ship in the night fog.

Anyway, I did remove the link, as requested. It was actually listed once on a blog I moved to a new domain (in one post but showed up on several links with indexing). If any of the people who did this research on what Google likes actually understood how links and blogs work, they would have known that. But, that would be a waste of time when they can do so much automatically with software and then send out a form letter, with more software.

If they had actually checked any of the links, manually, they would have found them all 404. Still on Google, but not actually on the web. I wonder what kind of automatic form letter they will send Google’s bot?

I’m sure there are some marketers who will just never, ever get it.

PS- I was irritated that they want me to respond when I have accommodated them so they can take me off their list rather than nagging at me again. Just in case you wondered… removing a link for this reason (for Google marketing) is not something you are obligated to do. The link is public knowledge and my post was almost ten years old (from 2005). So, if you don’t feel very accommodating when you get a note like this… just ignore it. I just think it’s silly because the first note I got (for a different site) was from a company which had paid me for the link. See how backwards it all is?

I will likely continue to remove links when requested. Why not? It takes me a half minute to edit the post and I don’t mind not giving another site the promotion if they don’t want it when it’s free. Maybe later they can pay me for another link.

Content Shock

Let’s fast forward one more time to 2014 and look at the two factors that impact the economics of content marketing — the amount of content available and the amount of content consumed (supply and demand).

Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, the amount of available web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months. Unimaginable, really.

However, our ability to consume that content (the demand) is finite. There are only so many hours in a day and even if we consume content while we eat, work and drive, there is a theoretical and inviolable limit to consumption, which we are now approaching.

This intersection of finite content consumption and rising content availability will create a tremor I call The Content Shock. In a situation where content supply is exponentially exploding while content demand is flat, we would predict that individuals, companies, and brands would have to “pay” consumers more and more just to get them to see the same amount of content.

Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy – Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}.

My comment:

You’re talking about what is mainly regurgitated content, repeated from one blog to the next and the next and then shared on social media too. There is still a “market” for fresh and original content – something which has not been duplicated and repeated and made to suit the almighty Google.

Niche blogs from people who actually are a source of information, an authority on their topic and artists who still create something of their own will still have readers.

The problems will be copyrights, not having content ripped off (shared without permission). With so many content marketers, content curators, social media and Google rank obsessed people it is not so hard to get original content picked up and shared around. The hard part is keeping the source link (the artist’s link) with the content.

There is a lack of original content and the marketers are quick to dive in when they actually find something unique because it is becoming harder to find something that hasn’t already been shared and overshared.