Saturday, March 27, 2010
Actually, they've already got more than 7000 freelance writers, whom they've screened (with resumes, references, writing samples) who are willing and able to work for them.
Demand.com is a super-successful "social networking" Website ( they use the term). It's owned by Richard Rosenblatt, (formerly CEO of My Space, which he sold for $560 million to Rupert Murdoch.) Demand reported earnings of over $200 million last year. They create and run what they call "popular interest" sites.
They use an algorithm. My dictionary says--" a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer." Fran, my blog coach explained that it's an effective method for solving a problem, using a finite sequence of instructions --it can apply to anything on the internet.
Demand.com computers search the various internet search engines, and learn what people are looking up and searching for online. The algorithm tells Rosenblatt what keywords are the most lucrative, around which to create content.
Then, Demand emails the most "in demand" ideas and commissions its freelancers to create text or video content that's posted on a variety of popular sites, including their own --
trails.com, golflink.com, mania.com, eHow.com and livestrong.com.
One look, wow -- I see that livestrong.com is Lance Armstrong's baby, a place to get advice, help and treatment information for anything and everything, that has to do with your health.
And eHow offers "how-to" advice on anything and everything that has to do with your personal life and career.
You can see immediately, how major and popular these sites are -- eHow has 150,000 "how-to" videos, and ivestrong receives 100 million hits a month.
So Demand.com is getting bigger and richer -- making deals, that keep their computers running, spewing out topics, trends, titles for new domains, that they can build into popular, new, money-making Websites..
The free lancers writers, like mini computers, quickly produce phrases, short sentences, bits of writing that "sell " -- someone puts together a headline, someone else pastes together a short article; it's proof-read, fact-checked, revised, tested, until the system posts an article like a news flash on a few of the Demand sites, generating interest from advertisers who breed, breed more advertisements, and so it grows, and grows ...
Demand.com's sites (together) receive more hits per month than any of the digital properties of Disney, NBC, ESPN or Time Inc.
It's frightening -- scary with a with a capitol S.
I don't want the bright young idea guys, who have made themselves into visionaries, calculating where I fit in and what I need, and what will make me buy it.
Will they get me?
I'm probably already in the system.
This week I ordered vitamins, a teapot and jogging sweat pants. Maybe an algorithmic something will turn it into some new TASTY-SWEAT-OFF-THE-WEIGHT-TEA.
Don't buy it!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Guardian. Co.Uk., end of November, said, "Rare iceberg flotilla in southern Pacific poses threat to shipping."
World News (Associated Press) reported, "The giant iceberg seen off Macquarie Island halfway between Antarctica and Australia -- measures some 2,300 feet long with an estimated depth of more than 1,000 feet."
It was a month before Christmas. Aside from rushing around, shopping and buying, we were worried about the economy, Obama, Health Care, angry Republicans, Democrats, and Tea Partiers, and concerned with what to wear at the holiday parties we were planning to attend.
After New Year's there was the usual flurry of decisions that one has to make about one's own life. There was a gathering in Copenhagen, where urgent, important environmental issues were being discussed -- not solved -- blamed on aspects of global warming, and buried in headlines about storms, floods, earthquakes, scandals, and the up-and-coming Olympics.
Boom! In February, the giant iceberg was back in the headlines.
"An iceberg the size of Luxembourg split off from Antarctica and could disrupt global ocean patterns and weather systems for decades," according to scientists cited in The Times of London on a Saturday.
(In early November I'd seen the scary "2012" movie trailer. But the movie didn't get people shivering, frightened, writing their congress person, or emailing the President, or sending money to Al Gore.)
Does this iceberg prove what Gore has been saying? Is there one iceberg or two? Where is this monster island of ice right now? Did the iceberg cause the huge storm last week, or the winter snow they're predicting for end of next week?
Since early March, aside from this item, there has been no other new news: “The ice tongue was almost broken already. It was hanging like a loose tooth,” said Benoit Legresy, of the Laboratory for Geophysics and Oceanographic Research in Toulouse, France.
Why aren't we talking about this every day? How far is the iceberg from us here, in New York City?
Are we avoiding the problem because it's too frightening -- because we're dealing with death every day --Jihad, terrorism, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Haitians dying, plus the usual murder-death-violence on our streets -- all this while we're looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves growing older -- hearing about how to live longer while noticing one more thing about the body or the brain that isn't working as well as it did yesterday, or last year?
I think we simply are not able to deal with icebergs. We can barely deal with Al Gore's truths. I think it's a fact of life -- at least the "good life" in America -- we can't handle the idea that we -- you, and I -- are racing to the end of our time on the earth.
So, we turn off the lights. We, don't waste water, paper, rubber, tin, plastic or ... whatever... We'll sign a paper and give money, and give yeses to anybody or anything that's affecting the global ... whatever ...
Hey, the small things add up and help us help each other and that is a way of keeping the world going.
Sometimes all you can do is the best that you can do.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
We've had more invective from the Republicans, and loud, serious sounding threats to repeal Health Care Reform, and to sign state legislation requiring State Attorneys General to sue the Federal government.
Sunday night, March 21st, if you didn't watch the televised session in the House of Representatives, where members of Congress voted, you would think that the altruistic, hopeful, charitable Republicans, the good guys, lost to the conniving, lying, greedy Democrats, the bad guys.
My eyes filled with tears when I heard and saw Obama Sunday night, after Nancy Pelosi gaveled the Health Care Reform bill, and with a big grin said it passed.
What Obama said in his speech, the strength, the toughness in Obama's face and voice as he was thanking the Democrats, thanking everyone who helped get the bill passed ... he seemed different -- he seemed to be wearing a hard shell. What Obama said had no humor or his usual elegant phrasing, but oh my -- I'm rejoicing, because what he believes in, what he stands for, what he promised, and why he is our president, has been affirmed.
Barack Obama let us know that he was ready to fight and win, whatever battles are coming up.
No doubt about it -- we who want Health Care for all the people in our country are the good guys. And we've won -- they've lost.
It was wonderful,
a moment to cherish,
watching President Obama
sign the bill today.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Before I started writing this I researched -- telling myself not to rave and rant -- just list the specifics, and then, maybe complain.
I've tried -- it's a waste of time, and as I researched, I saw that explaining what Liz has been saying and doing, I'll be repeating her untrue, distorted statements, helping to promote her efforts to stymie, negate, mock, put down, attack, disparage, everything that has to do with the current administration.
What can I do? Fight fire with fire? What can I say in my blog that will help stop her?
(Who am I -- one small voice, in the corner of the massive spreading widening thing -- this limitless airy-land we call the Internet? I'm scared! I feel as if the Internet is becoming a blob, a mass that's taking over the world.)
Oh-my-God, remember that movie -- that awful looking, liver-red blob ... or was it black? Am I remembering the BLOB, 1958 with Steve McQueen, or the remake in 1988, where a black Blob ate up everything?
What can I do to stop the Liz Cheney BLOB?
The answer sits on the same page as the questions we are still asking, about her father. We've investigated and have the answers. We know Vice President Cheney has broken laws and gone against American ideals, the cherished American ways that are essential to us being a free country.
What can any one do to shut up former Vice President Cheney?
Dick Cheney speaks, the media quotes what he's said -- his opinions, the negative, ugly, wrong beliefs, that he expresses are doubled, tripled, quadrupled -- made more significant because his remarks are repeated over and over and over.
Daughter Liz ... whew ... she's getting spookier -- she's strengthened by Dad's wrong ideas, as well as her own female, younger generation version of Dad's ideas, so that daughter Liz's current political philosophy is not only the Republican anti-everything -- it's a louder, nastier STOP Obama, STOP Congress, STOP every attempt to legislate anything.
(I can't help feeling if Obama's Health Care bill is launched, there will be a new killer attack on legality or Parliamentary procedure or who-knows-what -- and we'll be stymied, stuck worse than we are now. )
I like to shout STOP Liz , stop her daddy, they're the Blob! (But I'm one small voice protesting among the latest new batch of protesters, and wow -- free speech, and spur of the moment invective is enabling horrors at funerals, which the Supreme Court hearing will discourage? Or maybe encourage?)
So I'm terrified and worried about the White House, the current administration being able to pass other bills, some other urgently needed laws!
Guys -- Media guys, Twitterers, readers, listeners -- boycott Liz -- boycott ex-vice-president Cheney. TRY IT FOR A DAY, A WEEK, TWO WEEKS -- BOYCOTT THE CHENEYS!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Eeek! (That's the noise I make when I'm seeing something scary!)
Paying kids for studying is getting more kids into colleges. The National Bureau of Economic Research Report says Texas high-school students earning cash for passing exams, showed not only better grades, but actually, in college, they have better attendance, and more likelihood of earning degrees.
The report notes the effects of earning cash worked more effectively with African--American students than with other students -- 10 percent were more likely to enter college, and 50 percent were more likely to persist through graduation. The cost for paying the kids for studying, according to the report, was approximately $200 per student.
(Immediately, I'm thinking that Black kids need the money more than the other kids, but "need" is not listed in the report, as one of the factors.)
Cornell professor, Kirabo Jackson, author of the study, said: "If you have a million dollars, this is a pretty good way to spend it. It gives cool-minded kids an alibi for success --'I don't like math; I'm saving for an X-box!'"
Eeek! "An alibi for success?"
It sounds so crass, so wrong for kids! I went back and read the report again. And again found myself eeking -- it's hard to believe that educators approve of this.
And apparently the educators approve of what's happening in Atlanta schools, where standardized test papers from two dozen schools had an unusually high number of wrong answers, that had been erased and replaced by correct answers in a suspicious erasure pattern -- suggesting an orchestrated attempt to improve those schools' standing, under the "No Child Left Behind Act."
It sounds as if G.W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act " of 2004, encourages schools to cheat in order to get more money for their budgets. And they've got further incentive for cheating -- Obama's "Recovery Act" (the $787 billion Stimulus Bill signed last February) funded Race to the Top, a program awarding college tuition grants to the winning students, and monetary rewards to the states who are successfully boosting their kids' scores.
So hey, if you hate school, learn to cheat, guys. The most important thing right now, is pass those exams, go to college, and learn -- not history, math, science, literature, or the arts -- learn how to make M O N E Y.
Am I kidding? No. I'm reporting what I've read. Educators think paying kids to learn is an excellent idea.
I'm hoping it's just temporary, and part of recovering from our current economic situation (call it what -- the economic debacle of 2009?) But no matter what we call it now, or next year, I think paying kids to study is confusing, defeating, harmful -- a BAD idea.
Why not pay the teachers, instead, for inventing new ways, better ways, for intriguing their students -- capturing their imaginations, finding creative projects for them that keep them curious -- wanting to know more about the subject tomorrow?
Sunday, March 21, 2010
|A friend sent me this in an email, and it made me laugh -- it sort of looks like her too!|