Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Travel Photos Organized for your enjoyment

These are all my photos from europe. I have arranged their web addresses by where they are from and what they are about. I have hundreds of photos from each museum and place that I visited ( I never stopped snapping photos unless all the cameras died). Hope you like them!
My Europe Photos:


Cathedral in Aachen:
German Houses and Doorways:
Extremely Modern art and Andy Warhol:
Bavaria and Castle Ruins:
Art Show:
Modern Museum in Aachen:
architecture museum:
Paris Grande Musee:
arc de triumphe
Paris Cathedral:
Paris Marine Museum:

eiffle tower:
Paris Statues:
Notre Dame:
Netherlands trip:


Social Media and Networking... at the next level for profiles

ZLoop has the right idea, but just hasn't honed in on it yet. The idea that we all have multiple personalities, but not in a crazy or unstable way. No more like we all act differently around our friends versus our family or co-workers. Most people have a business face for work, a very structured outlook at church as with our parents, but with family we are more laid back and with our friends more outgoing or funny. Not that you and I are bi-polar or not a little bit of each of our usual daily characteristics with each of the different aspects of our lives, but just as you dress up for work and church, but can't wear your sweats there. The same goes for the opposite at home.

 I know I'm beating a dead horse and have kind of gotten of topic, but what I was originally getting at is this: Chris Brogan eluded to it on his blog and I believe even briefly mentioned ZLoop, because it allows you to change faces in a sense. You can allow each of your groups of friends to only see the side(s) of you that you allow them to by filtering photos, comments, videos, or just the layout as a whole. Be who you are, but brand yourself accordingly. I personally think this is something that should indeed filter into the major networks on a grander scale, allowing each of us to put a resume style face on our business contacts and letting our friends know where we are or how we are doing in our personal lives without letting work become to invasive. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More about desaraev

Sleep is overrated

When not at work, Desarae's many interests include traveling, rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, skiing, volunteering and mentoring (for Grip Mentoring, the Ad Fed Communications Committee and Tri Delta's for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.) She also enjoys dance, flying, painting, decorating, reading and school.


Bachelors Degree in Art and Design with a minor in Military Science, and an Associate's Degree in Science with emphasis on aviation technology. Desarae also recently started working towards a Masters Degree in Advertising and someday hopes to pursue a Ph.D.

Before Risdall

Before joining the Risdall team, Desarae was a Creative Director/Search Engine Marketing Specialist and Affiliate Manager for a nationwide Internet-based lead generation company. Prior to that, she was an intern at Gage Marketing.

Ich liebe schokolade

Desarae's favorite candy at Risdall is Lindt German Chocolate. (In fact, while traveling in Europe, Desarae did her best to buy out the entire Lindt factory in Aachen Germany.)

You'd never know it to look at me, but…

"I was in the Army Reserves (MOS 96B which is Military Intelligence.) From there, I transferred to Air Force ROTC to become a fighter pilot and took part in Civil Air Patrol Flights, as well as the non-military Top Gun program (no sign of Tom Cruise.) I'm just 20 hours short of my private pilot's license and need an internship to get my Air Frame and Power plant Mechanics license. Oh yeah, I've also participated in pageants, cheerleading, competitive dance competitions, extreme sports and am a proud alumnus of Delta, Delta, Delta."

Fast Tracker

Desarae graduated with her Associates Degree in Science three weeks before her high school graduation. She then completed a six-year bachelor's degree at one of the nation's top 10 design schools in just three years.


Desarae started a freelance business at the age of just 17 doing demonstration sales, graphic design and modeling for companies like Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, and Bacardi. She was picked up by two promotional agencies almost immediately and soon became one of Us Marketing and Promotion's top 10 promotional sales representatives – meaning her store's inventory sold out nine times out of 10.

Corporate Climber

After just a week as an account executive at MyFreeEstimates.com, an Internet-based company that connects homeowners to contractors, Desarae was offered a design position and then advanced to Creative Director. As such, she was responsible for managing over 110 affiliate campaigns, along with coding development, search engine marketing, print design, identity packaging and more. She also built over 500 Web pages and started the first internship program for MFE, as well as set up their first print/audio campaigns.

Social Media Job Board

Of all places to have a job board, ning is definately befitting for a social media specialist, community manager, or social marketer ect...

If you don't know what any of those job titles are or what ning is, you may want to read some of my posts or ask someone before applying to any of these positions.

Social Media Managers

This post is a direct response to Jeremiah Owyang's recent blog post in regards to "The need of a Social Media Manager." After reading similar posts that either agree or disagree with his view points completely. I believe new media and interactive media is merging into one daily routine for online users everywhere. The future of advertising lies where the consumer is and the consumer of today is online daily. I don't think PR and traditional media needs to  go anywhere, but it will need to adjust and integrate itself into the way of online. I know one to many PR specialists who are lucky to know were their "on" switch is for the computer let alone how to write a press release that is optimized for the web. Moreover the average newbie in pr is not encouraged to understand how interactive media, social marketing, seo and sem can benefit their clients when used properly in conjunction with a great pr campaign. It's nice to see when television, radio, press releases, and online can all come together in one free flowing marketing effort and that will continue to happen as long as the tech savvy continue to exist and help our less tech savvy friends along the way.

With facebook, myspace, and twitter becoming more and more part of everyones daily schedule I think it is more then safe to say social media is here to stay. What is your company go to do to benefit from it? How can a social media manager help brand you online and more importantly what is your strategy behind the campaign? If you don't have a strategy and your brand isn't trying to connect, but simply exist in a space then the campaign is going to flop instantly. What do you think about having a social media manager in your company?

The following post is from: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2008/03/23/the-need-for-the-social-media-manager/


Jeremiah Owyang
Web Strategist
SF Bay Area, USA

Sr Analyst at Forrester Research: Social Computing

Update: Constantin has created a new wiki of Social Media Managers and Strategists at the New PR Wiki.

I stand by my research, personal experience, and industry monitoring that the need for social media managers will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future.

This post is a direct response, refuting and correcting Steve's post that the Social Media Manager will go extinct.

While I enjoy Steve's predictions (as well as a peer) that the Social Media Manager will be extinct, I'm here to respectfully correct him and leaning on my research findings from my recent Forrester report: How to Staff for Social Computing. In fact, we've found that there are two roles to be found in corporations serious about online communities.

Steve comes from the PR agency perspective and from his view, this makes sense. Yet, I come from where demand actually happens: in corporate enterprise marketing, where I was a social media manager at Hitachi.

Currently, in large corporations, specialized marketing managers, are found often sorted by industries, but also sorted by mediums and channels. For example, there are corporate marketers that focus on Web Marketing (my background) Advertising, Direct Marketing (email, mail) Search Marketing, Event Marketing, and even Print Marketing.

While I agree that social media skills will eventually become a normal bullet point in nearly every marketing resume in the future, today, and the foreseeable, we're needed specializing for the following two reasons: 1) The specific duties are foreign to most other marketers 2) Online communities (like the support team) require a dedicated role.

In our recent report, we indicated that there are two distinct roles appearing within corporations, the social media strategist (I gave the example of VP of Social Media, Ed Terpening at Wells Fargo) and the community manager, who is responsible for being an online face to the community (Lionel Menchaca is a great example).

So, until the roles of medium based marketers (like direct marketer, web marketer, event marketer) go extinct or this skillset completely normalizes or the role of communities (another way of saying customers) go by the wayside, we'll continue to see the growth of these dedicated and specialized roles.

Steve is wise to assert that the blur between social media and traditional media as we know it is correct –from a PR perspective. But when it comes to corporate communities, developing social media programs, these are skills that the majority of traditional marketers have –nor understand.

As an analyst, many of my clients (at Fortune 5000 companies) consult with us for social media guidance, I'm increasingly on more and more concalls where these individuals have a dedicated role in this new medium.

Lastly, to drive my point home, I've been publishing a series of blog posts called "On the move" that list out (in groups of 5-6) individuals that have been hired to fulfill this specific job. If you notice, the rate has been increasing, not decreasing over the past weeks. Looking at actual job movements is a more accurate –and telling—way of looking at social media jobs than keywords from a job site.

Politics go international

Baidu Obama Image Top Chinese search engine, Baidu, joins us in our search for the next US, yes US president! The logo includes a cartoon likeness of Barack Obama. When the logo is clicked it takes you to an Obama information page in Chinese.
Other countries like Ireland and the ever neutral Swiss have also joined in their curiosity about America and who we will choose...

With all and nothing notes on what is at steak everyone seems to have an opinion. Who cares about the war, who cares about the environment, who has the most or least experience, and who can be the most charismatic? Interested for more insight and your opinion, what do you think?

That Christmas song from Love Actually

…..Thanks to the Movie Love Actually and Mariah Carey

How to explain twitter...

Twitter Is an innovative blogging/networking type social interface that poses the question "what are you doing?" Similar to facebook's profile header (which can also be directly connected to your twitter posts). You can email, im, or text message your status and it will automatically post it both to the twitter site and to your friends.

Search Engine Marketing and Ad Groups

January 30th, 2008, desaraev

Since I'm working on Ad groups today; I though it would be nice to share a little insight into this complicated/not-so-complicated world of SEM Ad groups. What is an Ad Group? In Google Adwords text and image search keywords are arranged by up to 25 campaigns, 100 ad groups per campaign, then hundreds or thousands of keywords.

Ad group names should express the idea of a group of keywords a user maybe searching for. An idea is generally expressed in the form of a set of nouns that make up key phrases. An idea key phrase is when a set of keywords can be accurately encompass a variety of similar keywords. In this case the term keywords would be inside that key idea to target industry jargon relating to a key phrase. Now in case your completely confused I'll use a simple analogy to explain. Pretend that I am a librarian and need to arrange lots of books (or keywords) and all the books need to be in categories like fiction or history (this would be my campaigns). Now all of the books in their categories also need to be alphabetized to be filed properly and easy for users to find (this would be the ad groups).

Bottom line is be granular in your online sem campaigns by breaking things up logically into groups and have your copywriters make ads that match closely to keywords in each group. If you do it properly it is a lot of work, but an unstoppable super machine for attracting and targeting customers. In the end it will require less maintenance than a lazy campaign. So this is a perfect job for all of you type A's who love to be super organized with sensible labels on everything!

So what about overlap? You can add the same keywords or phrases into different ad groups or campaigns (which is nice since different groups have different text ads). On the other hand if you sell eight different products that are all relevant to the same keywords, you can't have eight of your ads showing up on the same page of the search results. It's called double serving, and is against AdWords terms of service. So, in the case of overlap (same keywords in different ad groups/campaigns) AdWords will choose to show a single ad from your account corresponding to only one of the keywords or phrases. This can cause problems when you want to lower specific campaigns daily spending (and then another campaign still runs it at a higher price). Which is why it's not an exact science and is generally best avoided if you want to be in control of your advertising (because you never know which ad would be showing up). If you already made this mistake (on a large scale especially) best advice is — pause multiple campaigns until you can determine what is working the best. In short– keep your campaigns clean.

Next step to ad groups? Determining which text/image ad works best with your newly defined keywords. Targeting your copy to closely relate to those ad groups will ensure better click through rates, but that is for another blog post and another day at Risdall.

Art Terms and Lighting

Abstract Expressionism
Abstract expressionism was an American post World War II art movement. It was the first American movement to achieve worldwide influence, a role formerly filled by Paris.
In the USA, Alfred Barr was the first to use this term in 1929 in relation to works by Wassily Kandinsky.
Technically, an important predecessor is surrealism, Jackson Pollock's dripping paint onto a canvas laid on the floor is a technique that has its roots in the work of Max Ernst. Another important early manifestation of what came to be abstract expressionism is the work of American Northwest artist Mark Tobey, especially his "white writing" canvases, which, though generally not large in scale, anticipate the "all over" look of Pollock's drip paintings.Color Field Painting

Color Field painting is an abstract style that emerged in the 1950s after Abstract Expressionism and is largely characterized by abstract canvases painted primarily with large areas of solid color. An alternate but less frequently encountered term for this style is chromatic abstraction.
Color Field painting initially referred to a particular type of abstract expressionism, especially the work of Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell and Adolph Gottlieb. Art critic Clement Greenberg perceived Color Field painting as related to but different from Action painting. During the early to mid-1960s Color Field painting was the term used to describe artists like Jules Olitski, Kenneth Noland, and Helen Frankenthaler, whose works were related to second generation abstract expressionism, and to younger artists like Larry Zox, and Frank Stella.

Hard Edge Abstraction
It encompasses rich solid colors, neatness of surface, and arranged forms all over the canvas. The Hard-edge painting style is related to Geometric abstraction, Post-painterly Abstraction, and Color Field painting. Hard edge is also a simply descriptive term, as applicable to past works as to future artistic production. The term refers to the abrupt transition across "hard edges" from one color area to another color area. Color within "color areas" is generally consistent, that is, homogenous. Hard-edged painting can be both figurative or nonrepresentational.
Some people in the book and not in the book associated with hard-edged painting: (as a side note I got to see some of these works when I went to New York last year!)

Geometric abstraction was used in the earlier work of Josef Albers and Piet Mondrian. Other artists associated with Hard-edge painting include Richard Anuszkiewicz, Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Robert Irwin, David Simpson, Barnett Newman, Myron Stout, Al Held, Ludwig Sander, Burgoyne Diller, Ellsworth Kelly, Alexander Liberman, Gene Davis, Morris Louis, Larry Zox, Brice Marden, Ronald Davis, Ronnie Landfield, Larry Poons, Charles Hinman, Pat Lipsky, Kenneth Noland, Neil Williams, David Novros, Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella, and Jack Youngerman.

Pop Art
I saw a large exhibit of Pop art four years ago in Des Moines at the Wells Fargo Gallery downtown, and in New York at Moma. It's interesting upclose, not my favorite style, but certainly tells a story. I also saw some of this art in Aachen, Germany in October. I saw pieces like:

Drowning Girl
Andy Warhol's Cambel soup montage
Andy Warhol's Maryln Monroe
Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?
And some anime inspired Japanese pop art

Pop art emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in parallel in the late 1950s in the United States. Alloway was one of the leading critics to defend mass culture and Pop Art as a legitimate art form. Pop art is one of the major art movements of the twentieth century. Characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as advertising and comic books, pop art is widely interpreted as either a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism or an expansion upon them.

Conceptual Art

My art theory class studied conceptual art extensively. Conceptual art are concepts or ideas that take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. Many of the works of the artist Sol LeWitt may be constructed by anyone simply by following a set of written instructions. This method was fundamental to LeWitt's definition of Conceptual art, one of the first to appear in print:

In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. – Sol LeWitt, "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art", Artforum, June 1967.

The French artist Marcel Duchamp paved the way for the conceptualists, providing them with examples of prototypically conceptual works — the readymades, for instance. The most famous of Duchamp's readymades was Fountain (1917), a standard urinal basin signed by the artist with the pseudonym "R.Mutt", and submitted for inclusion in the annual, un-juried exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York–it was rejected. He signed the work as an alias so that his name would not sway the judges opinion when set next to the many less famous artists his piece was up against.


Related to Abstract expressionism was the emergence of combined manufactured items - with artist materials, moving away from previous conventions of painting and sculpture. This trend in art is exemplified by the work of Robert Rauschenberg, whose "combines" in the 1950s were forerunners of Pop Art and Installation art, and made use of the assemblage of large physical objects, including stuffed animals, birds and commercial photography.


Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features. As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments in post-World War II Western Art, most strongly with American visual arts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald Judd, Carl Andre and Richard Serra.

Performance Art

Performance art is art in which the actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time constitute the work. Performance art can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body and a relationship between performer and audience. It is opposed to painting or sculpture, for example, where an object constitutes the work. Of course the lines are often blurred. For instance, the work of "Survival Research Laboratories" is considered by most to be "performance art", yet the performers are actually machines.
Although performance art could be said to include relatively mainstream activities such as theater, dance, music, and circus-related things like fire breathing, juggling, and gymnastics, these are normally instead known as the performing arts. Performance art, as the term is usually understood, began to be identified in the 1960s with the work of artists such as Yves Klein, Vito Acconci, Hermann Nitsch, Chris Burd, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, and Allan Kaprow, who coined the term happenings. In 1970 the British-based pair, Gilbert and George, created the first of their "living sculpture" performances when they painted themselves gold and sang "Underneath The Arches" for extended periods.

Feminist Art

The feminist art movement refers to the efforts and accomplishments of feminists internationally to bring more visibility to women within art history and art practice. The increased prominence of women artists within art history as well as contemporary art practice can be attributed to this movement.
Some of the important names associated with feminist art are Judy Chicago, Suzanne Lacy, Kate Millett, Miriam Schapiro, Arlene Raven, and Eleanor Tufts.


Assemblage is an artistic process in which a three-dimensional artistic composition is made from putting together found objects.
Assemblage is the 3-dimensional cousin of collage. The origin of the word can be traced back to the early 1950s, when Jean Dubuffet created a series of collages of butterfly wings.

Late Modernist (architecture)

Mies van der Rohe's Seagram's building, the ultimate monument of high modernism and Philip Johnson's AT&T building, which declared the advent of postmodernism, this period produced the vast majority of the modern architecture that surrounds us.

"Viet Nam Veterans Memorial"

Mia Lynn produced this masterpiece as a grad student for a contest. She is now a world celebrated artist and designer. I have seen many of her famous works in person, and some of her work that is not so well known such as the interior and outer paint schemes of the Des Moines Thomson Engineering Golf Stream X. She designed the memorial in a minimalist fashion so that those who came to visit the art work would walk in and out of it just as the work goes in and out of the ground. The reflective marble makes the viewer see themselves, like a dark mirror pale against the hard surface with the facts of lost lives thrust before them. The piece was originally loved and hated by many. She was criticized for designing it, because of her ethnicity while others cried out for more visual pieces to be added to the memorial so people would notice the piece. She disagreed and fought with the idea of additions to her work. Finally a flag was moved around the area and three small statues. Now it is one of the most celebrated American memorials for the way the piece touches people's hearts and all five senses.

"Spiral Jetty"

The Spiral Jetty, considered to be the central work of American earthwork sculptor Robert Smithson. It was built of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks, earth, and water on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah, when the lake was unusually low because of drought, it forms a 1500-foot long and 15-foot wide counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake. Due to a recent drought, the jetty re-emerged in 1999 and is now completely exposed.
"Running Fence"
Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Running Fence traversed Sonoma and Marin Counties in California. Inspired in part by fencing that separate the continental divide in Colorado, the fence was 18 feet high and followed a 24 1/2-mile-long-serpentine path through hilly pasturelands into Bodega Bay.
First conceived in 1972, Running Fence took more than four years to realize. For the installation, the artists obtained permission for land use from the counties and fifty-nine ranching families; they also filed an Environmental Impact Report as stipulated by the Coastal Commission. In April 1976, construction finally began. In early September, the artists working with nearly 400 people installed the nylon fabric panels. This brilliant white fence threaded through the landscape like a "ribbon of light."


Postmodernism is a term emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. postmodernism tends to refer to a cultural, intellectual, or artistic state lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity, contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, and interconnectedness. Postmodernity is a derivative referring to non-art aspects of history that were influenced by the new movement, namely the evolutions in society, economy and culture since the 1960s.
Stravinsky, Mann, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Baudelaire


Neo-expressionism was a style of modern painting that emerged in the late 1970s and dominated the art market until the mid-1980s. Neo-expressionists returned after the minimalists to portraying recognizable objects, such as the human body (although sometimes in a virtually abstract manner), in a rough and violently emotional way using vivid colours and banal colour harmonies. Overtly inspired by the so-called German Expressionist painters–Emil Nolde, Max Beckmann, George Grosz–and others such as James Ensor and Edvard Munch.

Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati

The Contemporary Arts Center is a pioneering contemporary art museum located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The CAC is a free museum that focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media. Remaining committed to programming that reflects "the art of the last five minutes," the CAC has displayed the works of many now-famous artists early in their careers, including Andy Warhol.

"You are a Captive Audience"

Several cultural factors have influenced this corresponding art shift from modernism to post-modernism. Perhaps the biggest factor is the advent of the technological age. Just as modern culture was influenced by the industrial age, so post-modernism has had to deal with the electronic age. As a result of this electronic, or information, age, traditional geographic boundaries have been destroyed. Images of artworks are instantly accessible to an international audience. Whereas modernists promoted abstraction, post-modern painters advocated a return to traditional subject matter such as landscape and history painting. Some post-modernists reject the modern notion that each art movement be completely original; this rejection takes the form of borrowing (appropriation) from art or architectural history, or other sources, and combining previous images and styles in new juxtapositions. Often, post-modern subject matter in the visual arts is issue-oriented and activist. Toward this end, and because post-modernism has its roots in literature, visual artists often incorporate text into their work. Extremely varied and eclectic in both art and architecture, although post-modern visual artists use identifiable, representational images. KRUGER, You Are a Captive Audience, 1983 is a perfect example of this style.

"Untitled Film Still #15"

Untitled Film Still, #15 depicts the tough girl with a heart of gold. Contrary to the media images they appropriate, which may require a transparent sense of realism to sell an illusion, Sherman's stills have an artifice that is heightened by the often visible camera cord, slightly eccentric props, unusual camera angles, and by the fact that each image includes the artist, rather than a recognizable actress or model.

"Light Cycle: Explosion Project for Central Park"
Commissioned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Central Park, Cai's Light Cycle fireworks display lit the New York sky with a circle of explosions on a September night in 2003. This 24-page accordion book documents it all from planning to performance, executed by the famous Grucci fireworks family. Separating the book's hardbound cloth covers reveals a continuous folded sheet with reproductions of Cai's gunpowder drawings (made by burning scant gunpowder on paper) on one side and photographs of the event and text on the other. In an interview, the artist compares his drawings to "love-making" and explains some technical aspects of his displays, such as a computer chip in each explosive shell.

For those of you who missed the superbowl

...or keep emailing me because you didn't see the doritos commercial:

Kina Grannis was featured in a Doritos commercial last night during the Super Bowl for winning the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest through there Snack Strong Productions site.


concatenating in excel

In search engine market excel is an essential tool. Why? You use it for lead monitoring, unsubscribe lists, organizing ad groups, keyword lists, and sorting a number of other large files full of words that would otherwise waste hours of the controllers time. So today I was making a keyword list to organize Ad groups and thought I would share a tip to help everyone combine 2 separate cells of words into one cell of words. As you can see with the image below the words in column a called "words" and the cells in column b called "text" are combined in column c. This is done by entering the following process into column c:
=concatenate(A1," "B1)



depending on which cells you want to combine!

concatenating in excel

Freelancers and Account Executives looking for jobs?

Freelancers and Account Executives Looking for New Projects?

February 6th, 2008, desaraev

In this interactive world we are connected through all types of media that was not readily availably 50, 20, or even ten years ago. Print media like magazines, newspapers, fliers, and posters all have a web counterpart in the twenty-first century. Which is why it is important to find big, medium, and small media types in all their formats and take advantage of their new-found availability. How does this speech about the advancement of the intra-web apply to freelance/agency designers, programmers, marketing specialists, and the wonderful world of pr? In EVERY way of course. The web is what can connect us economically to learning tools like podcasts and blogs or even networking sites designed specifically to find work or ask for a proposal for work. Which is why I wrote a list of sites that specialize in connecting agencies to work and what is great about each of the guru connection sites.
Guru.com is the world's largest online marketplace for freelance talent. Through our free service, employers find top freelance and contract talent locally, nationally, or globally. Created in August of 2000, Guru.com's web-based marketplace directly connects businesses with over 724,000 professionals who specialize in over 160 professional categories including: website design, programming, graphic design, business consulting, and administrative support.

Employers seeking professional expertise post their projects or contract work on Guru.com for free. Professionals seeking work either register as a free (Basic) member or a subscribing (Guru) member. In addition, employers and professionals can take advantage of Guru.com's SafePay Escrow and Dispute Resolution services which greatly reduce transaction risks.

Other well know sources to reference:









freelance web design and optimization

February 8th, 2008, desaraev

web design and optimization

by: Desarae A. Veit
Your company's website and logo should reflect the brand and image your company maintains in person.
Since your logo and any images on your page are usually the first impressions a visitor has of your home page. They should always be up to date and the images should reflect the articles on the page.Naturally, your company's image, like most things, depends on individual taste. Some people prefer a wild, natural look with a modern minimalist look. Others prefer the clipped hedges, planned funnels for landing pages, and planting the seeds of brand recognition with a very strict corporate structuring.
Before planning your layout style, research competitors and other websites with similar tastses. Once you've done your research or hired an advertising agency/freelancer to do it for you, the trick is implementing the peices of each website's style you liked into your own style. Thinking this first step through is essential, as many different styles being packed into one page can determine the limitation of your site. You want this to be your style not someone elses. To make this easier try printing off all the pages you like and then circle what catches your eye. Then you will be able to find what peices of each page you like and what peices you don't want on your site.
The cost of hiring freelancers and agencies to design your web site or manage your advertising varies from company to company, as does the planning and research. The number of pages you want your site to have, the size of the project (ie. a complete site redesign vs. adding a couple new pages), copy write changes, number of images and changes, optimizing your meta tags, mailers or advertisements, and type of coding involved are of course the controlling factors. The larger, more intricate garden naturally cost more than a smaller area.Here are some good basic pointers to remember when hiring a agency or freelancer.


• Web Design
• Email Marketing
• Marketing Communications & Research
• Banner, Print, Radio, Television, & Outdoor Advertising

Search Marketing Team (search engine strategist):
• Responsible for SEO/SEM:
• Paid Search/ Inclusion
• Optimized Shopping Feeds
• Click Fraud Monitoring
• Brand Reputation Management
• Link-Building Strategies
• Affiliate Marketing
• Business Development
• Viral Marketing
• Research & Copy writing Skills
• Technical Expertise

Marketing through Social Networking

*are referenced at the bottom of the blogg post.

With the recent growth of social networking into an online persona where users can interact virtually with peers, co-workers, and real-world strangers; it is no wonder why online professionals are perking their ears to any ideas to utilize this as a tool for marketing.

What is social networking?
"A social network is a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as values, visions, idea, financial exchange, friends, kinship, dislike, conflict, trade, web links, sexual relations, disease transmission (epidemiology), or airline routes. The resulting structures are often very complex.

In its simplest form, a social network is a map of all of the relevant ties between the nodes being studied. The network can also be used to determine the social capital of individual actors. These concepts are often displayed in a social network diagram, where nodes are the points and ties are the lines."*

So in the case of online social networking individuals, groups, or companies join together share ideas and interact on a personal level. I'm sure the first sites many of you thought of reading this blog are facebook, myspace, multiply, plaxo, or interactive blogging sites like digg.com. Those sites can be just the beginning of this interactive adventure to learn more about the world around you and the people you know. Social networking is also part of many users every day lives in the form of diary blogging*, interactive job hunting, and knowledge sharing sites like Pownce.com. Frequent updating via text/mobile/and Im to diary blogging sites like Twitter.com help you remotely stay connected to your friends, family, and co-workers. You can use these lines of communication to both send and recieve updates from your friends by posing/answering the question "what are you doing right now."
The best part about many of these sites is that they are starting to recognize one another and allow users to connect information from one medium to another. This is helpful if many of your friends are less technology savvy or if you find one site helpful in one way and another useful in another, but want all the same information stored on site a and site b.

How can this be helpful to businesses and advertising agencies like Risdall?

In the past year I have joined probably close to fifty social networking sites, blogs, micro blogs, social management sites, interactive podcasts, and professional links. Why? For a multitude of reasons starting with you never know which of your contacts prefers myspace over facebook. You never know what the next big convenience is unless you seek it our, or have some very active friends who send them to you. Facebook started fresh and through referrals it boomed.

Beyond the social aspect of these sites, social sites and blogs are a key tool for learning, and a great way for professionals to share essential tools to make your job easier. Podcasts, like blogs and microblogs, are a wonderful way to get a quick taste of whats new and upcoming (such as diggnation or tech toys). They also offering ongoing tutorials for tough programs or codes that you can't find many classes for (like php– which is an essential web code and is often self taught).

Now as far as business and search engine optimization goes websites can be great expansion tools. How? Each of the sites I join offer the opportunity to list my favorite links, referral to sites, and sometimes give me the opportunity to request/offer my own reviews. In a technical world this can be a helpful way to develop your site's organic search rankings.

In case you don't already know search engine optimization (or organic searches) and search engine marketing (cost per click, pay per click, pay per acquisition, and banner ads) are the primary source of every web site new and sometimes return users. An organic search is when someone goes on their preferred search engine (google, yahoo, ask, msn) and types in a keyword impression. The links and page descriptions in the middle are organic searches, and make up 75% of all user impressions. The links and page descriptions on the right, as well as at the highlighted links at the top of each search, are normally cost per click advertisements. Everytime someone clicks on those links the owner of the ad pays (generally between .30USD and $15.00). Which explains in a nutshell why FREE organic searches are so important.

Now how does this relate to social networking? Simple, even if you don't have a website you can enter into your favorite links or URLs a mailto: hyperlink directly to your business address. Since your friends trust you over advertisers, and your friends friends will trust their friends judgement well any links you write a referance for — they are more likely to look up. Even if your friends or people that stumble on your page don't check out those links, webcrawlers will. A webcrawler is an internet spider sent out by search engines to look at every site's meta data (meta tags, keywords, title, and links) this meta data determines how important and relevant a page is. The more relevant (and more references or links you have from other pages to your page) the higher your page will be ranked. The higher your page is ranked in search engines– the better placement your page gets. Which means your page could be the first five links listed on a search vs. on the tenth page of listings. If your website is on the tenth page– how many users do you think are going to find your page in their searches? Well I would say not many– or only the most patient people willing to look through 100 other pages first, and by that time they are going to be a little bored at best.
* Twitter: What are you doing?

Social networking and microblogging service utilising instant messaging, SMS or a web interface.

*Social networking reference from Wikipedia

More from the wonderful world of advertising.. Enjoy

other good ideas

Shark Bus

Kissing Bus

Smoking Bus

where is social media going to go next?

In the spirit of Valentine's Day and marketing, Post Secret has made a new video.
Google Doodler has changed their logo numerous times.
Hundreds of companies have envied Dorito's super bowl brilliance with Kinna Grannis and cokes unstoppable branding power...
What's next in social media? Leave a comment and let me know what you think or what you want to see more of on my blog.

Complicated online wizards


Constant Contact Logo vs. Bench mark e mail vs.Risdall
Websites like Constant Contact offer small businesses, work-from home types, and freelancers the opportunity to use a "template wizard" to simplify the development and design of their online newsletters. So why are wizard users coming to agencies to develop a template for a template wizard? Good question with a simple answer, the wizard systems are actually more complicated then just hiring an agency to track your stuff in the first place! Unless you want simple color blocks, stretched images, and a lot of time consumed lining up columns. They are wonderful tools for starting out, but when you want to develop more complex designs, control your text colors, and text sizes these types of wizards actually take you back a decade rather then leaping your company into the next century.

So to answer the original question, why do companies with template editors for mailers need agencies? Agencies like Risdall offer design services, copy writing, code development, marketing strategies, and will save you the trouble of lining up all that MESSY MESSY old school coding and if need be Risdall can even develop a simplified template with great copy, text/html options, awesome high resolution pictures laid out in award-worthy design formats.

Rain energy?


Discovery.com scientists have
found a way to extract [0]energy from rain. A new technique could utilize
piezoelectric principles of a special kind of plastic to generate power
from falling water in rainstorms or even commercial air conditioners.
"The method relies on a plastic called PVDF (for polyvinylidene
difluoride), which is used in a range of products from pipes, films, and
wire insulators to high-end paints for metal. PVDF has the unusual
property of piezoelectricity, which means it can produce a charge when
it's mechanically deformed."

html craziness at w3.org

It's a common string you see at the start of an HTML document, a URI declaring the type of document, but that is often processed causing [1]undue traffic to W3C's site.There's a somewhat humorous post today from W3.org that seems to be a cry for sanity and asking developers and people to stop building systems that automatically query this information. From their post, 'In particular, software does not usually need to fetch these resources, and certainly does not need to
fetch the same one over and over! Yet they receive a surprisingly large number of requests for such resources: up to 130 million requests per day, with periods of sustained bandwidth usage of 350Mbps, for resources that haven't changed in years.

The vast majority of these requests are from systems that are processing various types of markup (HTML, XML,
XSLT, SVG) and in the process doing something like validating against a DTD or schema. The websites response? "Handling all these requests costs us considerably:servers, bandwidth and human time spent analyzing traffic patterns and
devising methods to limit or block excessive new request patterns. We would much rather use these assets elsewhere, for example improving the software and services needed by W3C and the Web Community.' Stop the insanity!"

Here's the link:

W3C Gets Excessive DTD Traffic |
| from the stop-the-intertubes-i-wanna

-get-off dept. |
| posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday February 08, @20:22 (The Intern|
| http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/08/2238228

Secure information


A new startup, Credentica, hopes to offer the ability for you to
[0]perform secure transactions using the smallest amount of personal
information possible. Their goal is to both protect privacy and enhance
security, which they hope will be a mutually inclusive process. "The
technique employs secure multi-party computation, a branch of
cryptography that can calculate meaningful answers about secret
information by knowing only some non-revealing clues about that secret.
The underlying theory was demonstrated in 1982 by Andrew Yao in the
so-called Millionaire's Problem […] U-Prove employs an ID token, a
special kind of digital certificate that allows for minimal selective
disclosure. The tokens can store all kinds of information, but users can
disclose only the minimum amount of data required in any given
transaction. They leave no unwanted data trails and permit both anonymity
and pseudonymity."

i like ilike and foo

Found this fun musical post from ilike. It's exclusive video with Dave Grohl and Will Ferrel performing at an 826LA benefit. What is ilike?

Music of the people, by the people, for me ™

We invite every music lover to participate in a more democratic music industry. By rating, recommending, or simply by listening to music, you'll impact what gets recommended to others. Our services include:

  • - social music discovery
    Discover and share playlists, new music that matches your tastes, and concerts by your favorite artists. The iLike Sidebar* scans your music library, recommends new music, and helps you connect musically with your friends and the broader iLike community. (*Windows Media Player support now available.)
  • - artist services platform - Post Once, Publish Everywhere
    To learn more about iLike's free suite of services to help artists build viral fan communities on Facebook and beyond, visit www.iLike.com/forartists.
  • - iLike on facebook
    Add music to your profile, discover concerts by your favorite artists, and see what music and concerts your friends like.
  • - artist community
    Where ordinary listeners pick the hits. 1,000 radio partners. Take a quick tour of GarageBand.
  • - broadcaster community
    Personal broadcasting made simple.

About iLike

iLike is the Web's leading social music discovery service and the dominant music application on Facebook Platform®, Bebo, and Hi5. With over 20 million registered users, iLike helps consumers discover and share playlists, new music, and concerts that match their tastes. The iLike Sidebar for iTunes recommends new music, creates automatic playlists, and connects people through music. iLike's Artist Service Platform is a suite of services to help artists build viral fan communities. By leveraging iLike's "Artist-Fan Graph," a vast database of connections between consumers and their favorite artists, iLike's Artist Services Platform transforms the way artists cultivate and communicate with their fanbases on iLike and Facebook. iLike is privately funded by Ticketmaster (IAC), Khosla Ventures, Bob Pittman, and other private investors. Based in Seattle, WA, the company also operates indie music community GarageBand.com.

Other fun fact of the day– the Foo Fighters will be in Minneapolis at the Target Center February 28, 2008!

Online Media hot topics

Fashion Week:


This is a great example of using social networking sites for social media/advertising. Companies, organizations, and clubs can build their own network and find interested users internationally.

Advertising with YouTube:

Problem with this? Who do you contact and how do you contact YouTube? I challenge EVERYONE to go to one of these sites and try to find a way to actually sign up to advertise with YouTube. Obviously it is not impossible because companies do it all the time, but it is definately NOT user friendly.



Interesting new topic from Youtube? The "brand channel" a video brand site with customizable aesthetics. So companies can really convey whatever type of user experience they want. This is great for contests, hosting fan site, a base for online commercials, and music/tv show series. A great example of this is Dove's contest for the oscars: www.dovecreamoil.com or the Doritos crash the super bowl.



Advertising on Facebook:

Free Advertising Link Exchange:

social media site hacked... and your information stolen!

Divx Stage6 Hacked - User Account Information Made Public!

February 20th, 2008, desaraev

Visitors to Stage6's main page were redirected to multiple "shock" sites, like the famous goatse and 2girls1cup.

A pop up was added stating that the site had been hacked by Ebaumsworld. It's unknown if they had any involvement with the hacking.

Several threads on Ebaumsworld and various forums have been deleted regarding the attack. Posts like "Why did you do this?", "What did they do to you?", but also threads with verbal insults against the site.

This incident lasted about two and a half hours before a site maintenance notice was put up by the Stage6 admin team.

The main site of Stage6 was replaced with a message stating "We're unable to service your request.".

UPDATE: Stage6 is back up! If you haven't tried this site before go check out the top rated videos >> Here Youtube.

UPDATE: New information about Stage6's piracy lawsuit, check out "Divx's Stage6 Walks Closer to Piracy Plank"

Wikipedia reports that "A partial list of email addresses and passwords for several thousand Stage6 users was released by hackers shortly after the attack began, in the form of a plain text file posted to 4chan's random board. The file has since been removed from the site."

Users that had registered a new account at Stage 6 between December 11th, 2007 and February 9th, 2008 were mainly those who were affected. There is talk, however, that the hacker(s) may have had access to the entire Stage6 user database.


Not much more is known at this time, but discussion is currently going on Quicksilverscreen >> Here > Here Divx and is currently in beta form. Many sites utilize Stage6 for streaming video.

Like Youtube & other video services, users are able to upload videos and share them with others.

Stage6 is known for users uploading full copies of movies that are still in theaters, many in HD quality. They do comply with all take down requests when copyright infringement is in question.

Many users utilize temporary e-mails to create multiple accounts to stay in ahead of bannings.

Thanks to Averad-Blog for the original post

Ever wonder what happend to Bolt?


It's no surprise that Bolt.com, the troubled video site brought down by a copyright lawsuit and eventual $10 million settlement it couldn't hope to pay, is now resting in peace. The company quietly filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, and users have just been informed via this message posted to the homepage:

Please be advised that the operations of Bolt, Inc. and Bolt.com have ceased. Net Revolution, Inc. and Bolt, Inc. have executed an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors effective as of August 14, 2007. Please direct any creditor related questions or comments to the Assignee's office.

The death note was essentially signed on August 1st, when it emerged that GoFish, facing its own troubles, could no longer buy Bolt.com and handle its huge debt. Bolt.com therefore has the dubious honor of being the first video-sharing site sued into oblivion, as YouTube manages to keep its head above the waterline thanks to Google's huge wallet and army of lawyers.

for bankruptcy and shut down. The site had been in acquisition talks with GoFish, which would have been able to cover the $10 million settlement in a copyright infringement case with Universal Music. Earlier this month, the acquisition fell through, and Bolt was essentially doomed.

But it was really MySpace, not YouTube or copyright woes, that struck the first blow to Bolt. Before it shifted its focus to video, Bolt was a teen-oriented social networking site in the days when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was probably getting beat up on a playground somewhere. You could create a profile, talk with other members in chat rooms and message boards (this was the pre-webcam era), and engage in other forms of 1998-vintage "interactivity," like online quizzes and polls.

Bolt circa 2001, thanks to the Internet Archive.

(Credit: The Internet Archive)

I was a teen in the '90s and had a Bolt profile out of curiosity, but those were the days when Internet social networking was still a very restricted phenomenon for a number of reasons: first, it was still seen as "weird" (and from parents' perspectives, dangerous) for teenagers to be socializing online rather than in real life; and second, AOL was still a juggernaut in those days. Its chat rooms and message boards, not to mention Instant Messenger, were the go-to place for kids who didn't feel like doing their homework. Then there was the fact that chatting and message board posting was, thanks to the limitations of dial-up connections, more or less all you could do. The infectious draw of viral videos and streaming music was still out of reach for many.

The critical mass wasn't there, so there was no real bandwagon effect to help Bolt grow. Then MySpace came along with its originally music-focused model–if My Chemical Romance has a social networking profile, it can't be just for losers, right?–and online social networking lost much of its "a/s/l?" stigma (that's "age/sex/location," one of the Web's oldest pickup lines, for you newbies). Bolt probably could've found some way to "evolve" and get the word out, but it didn't–the video-site makeover flopped amid the current glut of YouTube clones.

Thanks to News.com for the content.

New copywriting software takes flight.

Canceled flights

John Tanner, the creator and programmer behind ScribeJuice,™ has launched the software's newest version with some cool new features, but even more importantly…

ScribeJuice™ 3.0 is now web-based

If you're new to the scene and haven't yet heard of ScribeJuice, it's groundbreaking software that helps you write high-response copy — even if you don't have the knowledge, skill and experience of a professional copywriter.

Seasoned copywriters like it too, because it helps them recall techniques, and use powerful, persuasive words and phrases that might not be at the forefront of their minds when writing copy.

You can read more about it here and here.

What is social media?

Check out Robert Scoble's take on this question here: http://scobleizer.com/2007/02/16/what-is-social-media/


Interesting ad in WIRED magazine about software developers of 37 signals:

February 29th, 2008, desaraev


To read their (the developers) recap of the story:

Click here to read the developers response to the story

To read the original WIRED article:


oh bart!

Bad ads and Worse

We've all see bad ads in magazines, in papers, and on tv either done privately or an agency, but the link below takes ill-advized advertising to a whole new ball field.

9-11 themed anti-smoking ad

La Dolce Vita

I'm sure many of you have seen the phrase La Dolce Vita, if not in restraunts– then on famous reprints.. or unfamous ones you can buy at your local Target. I personally have seen the phrase repeated everywhere from Target, to Paris, magazines, in a book I was reading, and finally in some very beautiful opera music I was listening to. So being the Google savvy person that I think I am– I looked it up and found the meaning of the phrase in the Uk's version of "Phrase Finder":


So thank you phrase finder for enlightening me on this beautiful term:


The good life, full of pleasure and indulgence.


la dolce vitaThis phrase entered the language following the success of the 1960 film La Dolce Vita. This was written and directed by Federico Fellini and starred Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg and Anouk Aimée.

La dolce vita translates from the Italian as 'the sweet life' and this was used as one of the advertising taglines for the film. Of course, this phrase would have been commonplace in Italian-speaking countries prior to 1960 but only became part of English at that date."

May we all enjoy a little La Dolce Vita in our lives.

style links

This will make a link change when you hover over it. The nice thing is if you archive this message in gmail. You can look it up if you forget how to code it. After a while you will have it memorized. To see an example go to http://www.myfreeestimates.com/index5.php

Well you said you wanted to learn css:

CSS Style:
.stylelinks a{text-decoration:none; font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:12px; color:#006699}
.stylelinks a:hover{text-decoration:none; font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:12px; color:#FF9900}

Actual link:


More on twitter

Twitter and Twittervision at MoMA

David Troy's Twitter API project, Twittervision will be opening at the MoMA in New York City on Tuesday as part of a show called Design and the Elastic Mind.

Design and the Elastic Mind explores the relationship between science and design in the contemporary world, comprising more than 200 design objects and concepts that marry scientific research with consideration of human limitations, habits and aspirations.

There's a Media Preview on Tuesday, February 19 if you're a reporter-type person. After that, the show is open from February 24 to May 12, 2008. For more info, visit Moma.org. Congratulations to David for being recognized for creating such a compelling project.

Wow, This Is Pretty

And useful too. Commuter Feed is a free service that lets you see reports on traffic incidents in your local area using Twitter. Visit the site and click the "How It Works" tab for information on how to participate.

Lazy Much?

Check out DearLazy.com, "When you have a question and are convinced that someone out there has already done the research and knows the answer you turn to asking the LazyWeb for advice." Ben has noticed that lots of folks already use Twitter as an easy way to ask the LazyWeb so he created a new service that improves upon that use case.

dearlazyweb is a personal tool which works over Twitter for querying the LazyWeb. It takes any message you send it and allows every Twitter user a chance to answer. Check out the help page for more information about how it works. To get the most out of Dear LazyWeb you need to have a Twitter account and must follow dearlazyweb.

If You Can't Let Go, Twitter– NY TIMES

Hadley Hooper
Published: February 14, 2008

SOMETIMES, you just have to trust your relatives. You have to be willing to let them leave the house unchallenged. Suspend disbelief and let them take the car.

That's what I tell my three daughters, anyway. But it never works out like that.

They just can't let me go.

"where r u?" one daughter texted to my phone the other day before I even turned the corner.

"whats 4 dinner?" a second one buzzed seconds later.

"cant find black cardigan … did u take it w/o asking?" messaged the third.

Even as I pulled over to text terse replies ("going to store," "pizza" and "its *my * cardigan, im allowed to wear it"), I braced for a fresh round of inquisition:

"which store? not j crew w/o me i hope" "no pepperoni pls" " i will need sweater in an hour"

Some day these people will get their own lives, and I'll be able to pop out to buy ballet flats whenever I want. But until they do, I figured there had to be a more efficient way for me to keep in touch with all of them at once.

This was how I ended up signing up for a free account from Twitter, a group-messaging application that despite all the media attention it has received still hasn't broken into the mainstream or become a to-die-for tool for the youngest early adopters. While some tech-savvy adherents use Twitter to "micro-blog" from cellphones and BlackBerrys, as well as from computers, other digital natives like my teenage daughters and their friends have remained oblivious to its charms.

But I thought Twitter would be perfect for my purposes. The service allows users to text a message of up to 140 characters to an unlimited number of people simultaneously, from anywhere. Anytime.

In theory, the five members of my immediate family could use our cellphones to broadcast our locations, kind of like a G.P.S. with words.

To get things rolling, I sent my daughters and husband standard Twitter e-mail invitations ("slatalla wants to keep up with you on twitter") that contained a link to the service's home page. Then, while I sat in my car in front of my youngest daughter's school, I sent an update on my whereabouts: "car pool dilemma will French horn and trombone both fit in a mini" Then?


"hello" I typed. Three minutes passed. Four. Still nothing. For the first time in the nearly 19 years since I first gave birth, no one wanted to keep tabs on me.

Then suddenly my cellphone buzzed. It was my first Twitter — a text message from Zoe, my 18-year-old daughter, how exciting — and so I eagerly opened it onscreen.

It said, "twitter?? what the hell is this?"

This wasn't the response a well-respected early adopter such as myself typically gets, but in this case it wasn't a shock. Twitter's popularity is growing steadily (nearly 1.2 million users visited Twitter.com in December, a 223 percent increase over the same month in the previous year, according to comScore Inc., which measures Internet traffic). But it still has a much smaller following than top social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

In fact, among a group of about 6,000 social networking sites whose traffic is measured by Hitwise, an analysis company, Twitter .com was the 765th most popular site in January.

"The site gets a lot of buzz and attention, but its popularity is still pretty nascent as far as being mainstream," said Matt Tatham, a Hitwise spokesman. "Its traffic was around the same level as sites like Gun.net, which is a venue for online discussions concerning guns, and Whatsyourdeal.com, which is an online forum on shopping coupons."

In Twitter's case, site visitors reflect only a small percentage of users; many Twitter regulars opt to access the service exclusively from their mobile devices after an initial visit to Twitter.com.

Biz Stone, a founder, declined to say how many users the service has, but did say that third-party developers had created a number of tangential applications that drive "20 times more traffic than our Web site." (For instance, one popular application is Twittervision, an online map that shows what twitterers worldwide say in real time.)

Maybe I could convert Zoe if I explained all this to her. I called her at work.

"I'm looking at the site right now, and I don't get the point," she said. "Am I going to start getting messages like the ones posted here from people I don't know saying, 'it's snowing here, is it snowing there?' "

"No, just from the family," I replied. "You can specify who you want to get messages from."

"Well, I don't want to get messages at work, even from you, asking if it is snowing, because you know it isn't snowing," she said.

"You're missing the point," I said. "We can keep track of each other."

"Let's talk about it after work," she said. "In person."

The rest of the afternoon? Silence. Nobody twittered me to ask anything.


Jan 31st 2008 | WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition

A hip version of cablese jazzes up campaign coverage–Economist.com

"ORLANDO, FL:…Speaking of Rudy: Scuttle is that on the bus there is open talk coming loss. 12:27 PM January 28, 2008 from web." So reads a "tweet" from Ana Marie Cox, typed on her mobile phone and automatically published by a web service called "Twitter". Ms Cox, formerly the internet blogger Wonkette, covered the 2004 presidential campaign from home, on her blog. This year, travelling for Time.com, she is developing a new medium: the two-sentence observation.

Twitter imposes a 140-character-limit on all tweets. The choice is technical, not aesthetic; most mobile-service providers won't carry text messages longer than 160 characters. This limit, as with any restricted poetic form, is a strength. Foreign correspondents in the first half of the 20th century learned to write in cablese, a series of abbreviations demanded by news organisations that had to pay by the word. Twitter, according to Ms Cox, forces the writer to think economically. "If I strip out the padding," she says, "what's my real point?" Twitter, she says, works best when puncturing a candidate's own narrative. From Michigan she tweeted "Mitt [Romney] has so many things 'in my bloodstream' (cars, Michigan, business), you could make a v powerful vaccine out of him."

<!-- if ((!document.images &amp;amp;&amp;amp; navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Mozilla\/2.') &amp;amp;gt;= 0) || navigator.userAgent.indexOf("WebTV") &amp;amp;gt;= 0) { document.write('Click Here!'); // } // –>Click Here!

Twitter, like cablese, favours observation rather than analysis. Travelling with the famously open Mr McCain, Ms Cox selects the best of a wealth of anecdotes: "John McCain tells us that, rather than 'Johnny B. Goode', he would like to take the stage to Abba's 'Take a Chance on Me'." Among campaign staff, only Joe Trippi, John Edwards's campaign manager and the architect of Howard Dean's 2004 effort, shows a facility for the medium, tweeting on January 15th, "Landed in Vegas. Could have sworn I walked past William Jefferson Clinton betting it all on Red. Very strange."

Twitter does not release readership numbers. According to Biz Stone, its co-founder, the service gets half its traffic from America, with large communities in text-obsessed Japan, Britain and the Philippines. Like all web-based communications tools, it has its share of people in San Francisco talking to each other; the service crashed under the weight of messages delivered during a speech by Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple. But the medium is hard to dismiss as a reporters' tool, particularly in countries where cell-phone networks reach farther than the internet. At 4:53 am local time on January 18th Juliana Rotich, a blogger in Kenya, tweeted in her own cablese, "in town nbi.i can smell tear gas in the air".

Last but not least :

Tweetmeme tracks popular links shared over Twitter

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