April 28, 2008

Naked Spinning Ballerinas I Have Known

I haven't spent as much time online recently. Instead, I have been diving headlong into HTML and CSS. It is amazing how little I know about either. I decided I want to create a site for my Orlando Daily Photo blog that would allow for advertising. More on that another time.

So, I just went through some email accounts that I haven't cleared out in awhile. A couple were at least 3 months full. Much to my surprise, there were only a few viagra ads. Much to my chagrin, there were quite a few viral emails from family and friends. Once past my "Why the hell are you sending me this?" reaction, I decided I need to respond. The question is, how?

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Well, maybe one to two. I have thought about telling them to set up a stumbleupon or mixx account. But I am sure they know I won't visit their sites. No matter even if I promise to do so daily. I don't want to call them directly. This will validate to them that I actually opened and read it! And obviously, after sharing my opinions through writing caused such a stir, emailing them might not be the best.

Instead, I think I will simply email these nice people the same exact things they send me. Maybe I will send it twice. Or three times! I know that it sounds stupid, but my logic is this:
First, they must love getting and reading these. So maybe they will enjoy seeing them again. And again. And then again.
Second, maybe by the third time that ballerina will finally spin the other way for them! What joy that will be! (And why the hell is she naked? Does that help in the spinning process?
Third, maybe (hopefully) they will see what it is like to be bombarded with inane images, stories, jokes and quizzes.

I will let you know how it goes!

April 20, 2008

Web 2.0 Meets the Lawyers

Social Media sites do one thing: They get people together so they can share the things that matter to them. And the people form groups of friends or networks based upon common interests. It is a fascinating venture in that the site is all user-generated material. The user essentially does all the work. The site simply is the meeting spot. Some add advertising as a way to generate money. Some sites, like Mixx and StumbleUpon, are ad free. How they do this, I have no idea. I know not everything on the internet is about money.

Then I found this little gem of a site called SueEasy. You, as a litigant, can scroll down through the list of class action law suits. If you don't find one, you can add yours. Or if it is a case involving just you in a civil or criminal issue, you can click on whatever speciality you need. Then, a lawyer gets in contact with you. No searching yellow pages. No asking strangers. No google searches.
In a way, this is a branch off from the social media sites. The user, or litigant, finds someone (lawyer in this case) or group (class action suit) that they wish to join. A friendship or partnership is established. Each party gets something they want from the site.
At once, I am disturbed by this and yet, a part of me finds this ingenious. Yes, there will be some ethical issues. But these will be policed by the users, both the litigants and lawyers, themselves, as well as the site administrators. Just like in any social media site. They have an image to uphold. And they certainly don't want to end up being a class action lawsuit on their own site!

This brings me to the big picture part of this: What other services can use Web 2.0 in their business model?

I can see this being used in a teacher/student environment. There is some application of this in the real estate arena. They simply don't have a formal version like this. And certainly nothing that crosses company lines.
I keep thinking there is a money-making idea with this. It is a matter of finding the right market for this.

April 09, 2008

An Apology. Sort of. Not Really.

Alright, listen.

I have taken a little time to reflect upon my recent comments on other people's blogs. Really just two blogs. One blog chose simply to delete my comments (as well as several others) that went against his argument. Even after posting them AND responding to them!
Without giving him any credit here, the post in question was how gas prices were out of control because we invaded Iraq. And in the very same paragraph said that we had invaded Iraq for their oil fields. I, and several others who had a dissenting view to this, posited that if we truly went there for oil, then if anything gas prices should have stayed the same, if not dropped. This doublespeak continued even with his responses. It soon became clear that the author really had nothing but the Democratic playbook of responses. I don't even think he had fully thought out any of the stuff he typed into his blog.
Now, I did enjoy the challenge and it was fun to see others put down how they felt. I really do not care if he did delete my comments. I simply will not give him "free advertising" by posting his site here.

While I was at it, I jumped into the middle of another person's opinion piece. Kelley has a great blog full of personal style and beliefs. She is thoughtful and thought provoking. And while I have yet to meet her (soon, very soon...), I count her as a friend.
Yet I felt compelled to comment on how she views other people. I was tired; it was after 1 a..m my time when I started. And I tried to be concise. That only compounded everything. Instead, it came off more as an attack. I re-read my comment and realized something. No one can actually hear me.
Other realizations: The Sun and the Moon both travel east to west. Tabby cats are a lot like tigers, only smaller.
In truth, I am very deliberate with my words. I try to think through my thoughts before talking or writing. I sometimes rewrite comments and posts several times (even breaking out the dictionary and thesaurus) to make sure I put down just the right words. But even then, no one can tell my inflections.

Anywho, I did warn of this when I started this blog. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Kelley, I am so very sorry for crashing your party and french kissing you. But I will not promise that I won't do it again.

April 01, 2008

Feeling Like A Fool

We are all off this week - Spring break and vacation. So we are doin' the tourist thing. Theme parks, points of interest, etc. Today was SeaWorld's new waterpark called Aquatica. It was very fun. Chase loves the water, unless it's in his face. We arrived about 10:30am and stayed until 5:30pm. Most of the time was spent in the small child area, but that was alright. Being a non-swimmer and borderline irrationally fearful of drowning kind of limits what you would do at a waterpark in the first place.
But the kicker is how it all ended today.
The set up: I bought sunscreen. 30 spf. Waterproof. The spray on type to help cover better. And yes, I even put it on. Twice during the course of the day. The problem? Never buy private label sunscreen.
We "saved" money by buying the CVS version of the Aveeno sunscreen. Somehow, this stuff does not work. At all. Kat and I are dealing with some painful burns. All the money saved was spent, and then some, on products containing aloe and lidocaine. Sweet cooling relief.
And the kicker? On the way home the radio personality reminded me it was April 1st. The conspiracy paranoiac wondered if this was a prank by the CVS company. Maybe. Anyway, I'm taking that impotent emulsion back. After my burn subsides. I don't want to give them the satisfaction of knowing their prank worked.