Archive | October 2011

TOW: Google?

Google is a search engine, but apparently it’s an engine that runs differently for every individual person who uses it.  That’s what Eli Pariser is proposing in the video below, he has a run tests and has basically proven this fact.

But what does this mean for the internet and how we all use it? This could mean that we are only shown what Google thinks we want to see and it might not show us news stories that we should maybe see.  Google is trying to keep us out of the loop, while trying to cater to what we like based on what we normally search for.  It’s done out of trying to help, but it hinders what is included in the cone of what we see when we search.  This selective permeability is limiting what the internet is for each individual person, this personalizing is changing what the internet is.  The internet should be a community that shares as much information as possible with as many people as possible.  The internet is literally an interconnection of computers all across the world, so I don’t think anyone’s intent should be to filter what information is shared.

This just shows how the engineers at Google think they can use a algorithm to figure out what any certain person would want to see when they search any word on their site.


I don’t like this. (Part 2)

I might have opened up a debate in my post a while ago (a couple minutes ago).

It has been brought to my attention that there may be a difference between Hipsters and Indie-dudes.

Well, let me explain something to those who might think that…these terms or titles that we use to stereotype people are totally based on personal perspective, or at least that’s how it starts off.  These personal perspectives are then confirmed by a group of people and then as that group of people who agree on the term and its meaning grows it becomes confirmed by society.

Using that reasoning, “Hipster” and “Indie” are synonymous and I have at least three people who agree…it’s only a matter of time.

I don’t like this.

I don’t like this.

The National.

Why is this band not popular?

I’m not trying to be one of those dudes who’s like: “No one’s ever heard of this band; that means they’re cool!” Whether or not I am one of those dudes has yet to be seen, but I can tell you for sure that I’m not trying to be one of those dudes.

Lyrically and musically superior to Arcade Fire and they won a Grammy. Wait…side-note: If music that appeals to hipster/indie “individuals” becomes popular or recognized then it ceases to be indie and/or hipster music.  Let me explain: hipsters (interchangeable with indie individuals) only listen to music because it is “unpopular” or “anti-mainstream.” Hipsters are like scavengers in the way that once something is deemed “cool to do” by society, the hipsters will move on. Hipsters are all about doing things before it’s cool. ie: “I was jumping off cliffs before it was cool,” said the hipster.

Anyways…back to the National.

Logically they appeal to at least two groups of people.

Drummers and English majors.

Let’s start with the English majors.  They will like the National because every song is riddled in semantic mystery.  It is like a couple-hundred-piece puzzle trying to figure out what the songwriter is saying and it’s good for more than one listen. Here is an excerpt from the song “Karen” off of their 2005 album Alligator:

Without warm water in my head
All I see is black and white and red
I feel mechanical and thin
Hear me play my violin again
I’m living in the target’s shoes
All I see is black and white and blue.
Idle, idle, idle, idle, protect the nest
Protect the title 

What is he singing about? He’s drunk…that’s one interpretation. Another things about the lyrics: they are so ambiguous that there can be more than one meaning in every line, which some people might hate…but that’s okay, because they suck.

Drummers will love the National…well, just listen.

Blog Comments


“Getting involved in anyway: Church, School Clubs, Intramural Sports.

“All good ideas…mind you I’m a first year student here, so I don’t know what I’m talking about.”


Post: Everyone Could Use Some Feedback


Comment: “Really good post! I couldn’t agree more on #2 about being honest. That’s what comments are for, to learn, to grow.”


Post: Top 10 Tips: Bible College Edition


Comment: “Haha this was great! Number 10 is a problem for me sometimes…I would just add: Keep track of your skips.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed a class just because I skipped a couple times too many…3.”


Post: So… what am I NOT seeing?


Comment: “Alright, I can see what you’re saying about ‘customization’ and how that can certainly be a positive, but I don’t think the customization should be to the point of creating these very contained ‘filter bubbles.’ Moderation.”


Post: Infographics


Comment: “To be honest I didn’t know what the term infographics referred to, but it truly is simple especially the way you explained it.”


Post: I Hope I’m Doing This Right…


Comment: “All very good tips and I like how you compared it to ‘judging a book by its cover.'”


Post: The Blogging World


Comment: “I really enjoyed reading this and I feel like a learned something in the process! Also I should fight with people on the internet less…”


Post: Filter Bubbles…


Comment: “I think we can all agree that filter bubbles are disturbing…anyways, nice picture!”


Post: Filter Bubbles & the Future of the Internet


Comment: “What a good post! And I think filter bubbles could eventually personalize the internet. Good picture!”

#10 (professional)

Post: Ricky Gervais Will Return As Host of the Golden Globes


Comment: “Hey, he sticks it to everyone in Hollywood.  Hollywood has became so self-glorified in recent years that it takes someone as harsh as Gervais to take them down a peg.”

#11 (professional)

Post: Larry King is Hittin’ the Road with His Stand-up Act


Comment: “Okay…I have to admit the little bit of ‘comedy’ that he did on the Tonight Show was funnier than my uncle’s stories.”

#12 (professional)

Post: Jerry Seinfeld Tackles Technological and Medical Advancements on Letterman


Comment: “This is, in my opinion, Seinfeld doing what he does best: pointing things we all notice and saying what needs to be said.”

#13 (professional)

Post: Talking Funny: The Recap


Comment: “As someone who really enjoys seeing how comedy works and understanding how every specific comedian sets up his act and how they’re all different.”

#14 (professional)

Post: Give It Up for Greg Giraldo, A Funny and Touching Tribute to the Late Comedian


Comment: “This was a sad day when he passed and I think this special was everything that it should’ve been and I think Greg would approve.”

#15 (professional)

Post: Norm MacDonald Will Have A One Hour Stand-up Special…You Might Be Asleep for It.


Comment: “I was always a big fan of Norm and his part in the Saget Roast was definitely the highlight…no doubt.”

#16 (professional)

Post: Review: Norm MacDonald Me Doing Stand-up


Comment: “I would agree 100% that it is a totally different experience watching Norm and then listening to Norm. I didn’t listen to the CD but I watched the special and I imagine that most people that just hear it might not enjoy it.”

#17 (professional)

Post: This Week in Comedy: Dane Cook Did His Best


Comment: “I’m going to admit…I’m not a big Dane Cook fan…that’s it.”

#18 (professional)

Post: Video of Louis CK Doing Stand Up from 1987


Comment: “Great find! It’s really cool to hear him in the process of working bits out.”

#19 (professional)

Post: Brendan Walsh and Mike Lawrence Stand Up Sets Air Tonight, Preview Clips


Comment: “This is great, I like finding information about up and coming comedians and seeing them get their chances with these stand-up specials.”


Post: Online Writing: a new world of possibilites


Comment: “I couldn’t agree more, especially with the ‘don’t criticize others’ advice, because I feel like people are always using the internet to bad mouth others…Good post!”

Guest Post: Here I am, world.

A perspective of a new student coming to Southeastern University.

“Well, for one, I have just about the worse case of writers block. Which is a horrible shame because since I’ve caught the nasty illness, I’ve also done an innumerable amount of things that I’ve never done before. Trivial and vital. Gone through (am going through) life altering transitions. Some that hurt- in the wrong AND right way. All are healing. Things that matter when it comes to the documentation of my life, though shamefully all they’ve gotten is a collective journal entry of two words: “Too much.” ..and apparently I’ll expect myself to fill in the dots later on. The superstitious part of me is scared to write of anything notable in fear that I’ll “jinx” it. The other part of me is scared of the power my words hold. Both are falsely based, but either way I’ve settled with keeping my hands at bay, accepting the block and even seriously considered changing my major to Pre-Med. Only problem is that I’m scraping by to pass Liberal Arts, so I’m not too sure about that whole Calculus II deal.

Every day seems to get a little more “homey” here at Longfellow Boulevard. A lonely little home, but it’s getting somewhere. Forgive my vanity, but I’ve realized I’m very used to being known. Rather, known enough. And, ironically.. seeing as though I’ve been the “new girl” several times in my life, it’s just not the easiest thing to up and move away and make new friends. I’ve yet to be weened off of my gps and the only place I can confidently get myself to is Starbucks. These last few weeks have seen a whole lot of U-turns and even a shouting match with a couple tears because- among other things- I just really, really don’t like that computer generated woman telling me where to go. And making new friends has seen me make a fool of myself. By that I mean tripping on staircases, falling off of benches mid-conversation, going in for a handshake with a fist full of trash, forgetting every single name I introduce myself to, and the most awkward and forced conversation I have ever made in my life. And I’m doing this thing where if you ask me how anything in my life is going.. I immediately divert it to how beautiful the architecture or weather is. Somehow it all ties in, right…

That and I’m trying this new thing called “fully trusting God.” I don’t know, it’s foreign enough to me. The past month has also seen a lot less repetitive prayer (though still just as fervent) but instead more open palms accompanying a silent and waiting heart. Taking after the Jesus that was asleep in the bottom of the boat amidst the storm and letting Him still me while I pass through it. At least until He stands up on my bow and calls it all to peace.”

For more posts visit:

TOW: In Case You Ever Want to “Storify” Something.; let’s get down to it.

Storify is a website used to: “…make stories using social media.” According to their website.  It is somewhat of a journalism website that will let you cover a story by, essentially, compiling tweets from various sources.  I find this idea very interesting and troubling at the same time…

It’s like in high school when your teacher always said you can’t use wikipedia as a source on a paper.  I’m not saying twitter is anything like wikipedia.  Wikipedia actually has fact checkers, who make sure that people don’t write hilarious things on their pages.  Twitter has no fact-checkers and on a related note: Twitter has a lot of morons on it.  These two facts could lead to a lot of problems for Storify.

The thing that makes Storify interesting is its ability to access opinions from people all over the world.  That is a great thing about twitter, it is a global community with essentially opinions from every type of person.

However, the merging of these two points can make for a good compromise.  If, through Storify, the people compiling tweets only choose tweets from reliable sources or first account of a story then this makes Storify a slightly more reliable source for news.  This selective quality of the “Storify-er” will be the deciding factor whether or not the reader will trust the information that is presented.

Storify. The website that can be reliable, but it’s not exactly a newspaper.

Then again, newspapers are dying.

So I guess this Storify thing ain’t so bad.

TOW: Want to Learn how to Write Effective Headlines for Digital Media? Don’t look here…

But nonetheless, here are 5 tips for writing effective headlines for digital media. I originally had 10 tips, but I narrowed it down to the five best out of those ten.

Alright, listen here…you see what I did there?

Here’s lesson number one through five:

Tip #1. Trick the reader into reading your post by using false modesty.  This is the oldest trick in the book that I am still in the process of writing.

Tip #2. Readers are drawn to posts with interesting titles.  I tried to make an example with the title of this blog post, but it may be more accurate and less interesting…if you catch my drift.

Tip #3. Make sure the title pertains to what the post is actually about.  A good rule of thumb (from someone who isn’t good at this) is to start with a title that is very bland and try to spice it up from there.  The only thing better than a surprise in a headline is a five dollar bill. Write that down, kid.

Tip #4. Use positive words. People usually want to read an uplifting message and sometimes negative words like, “no” or “don’t” (like in this headline) will drive away a lot of potential readers of your blog.

Tip #5. Use interesting words. This tip is a lot like tip #2, but the difference here is using specifically interesting words to enhance your title as a whole.

I hope these tips have helped slightly more than the title led on.