25 Random Things Facebook App

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As part of my Whimsday series of posts I will occasionally post an idea that I’ve had that I have no time or skill to successfully complete.  I hope maybe you will, it will be wildly successful, and you’ll decide to thank me with a car or something.

Where is the App for 25 Random Things?  What has no one thrown something together yet?  This thing has gone viral on several social networks and if you put together an app that let you list and change your items, send out invites, LINK when your friends install and fill out their 25 random things, and then send out feed notices when someone changes their items – it seems like you would have an easy winner!

I’ve never tried my hand at developing for Facebook but hopefully their are enough features that you could put something together that is snazzier that the ‘notes’ that are currently being used, so somebody get to work on this!  I’ll be awaiting the delivery of my Prowler or failing that a nice hybrid sometime in the next couple of months  :-p

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Perspective On Human Spamming

Just be patient about the fact that, be patien...
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Are you getting human spam on your blog?  I am.

If you are running Disqus right now and have some pages with page rank there is a good chance that you are getting hit with human spam from site owners trying to accomplish some bargain basement SEO requiring the bare minimum of work.  This isn’t limited to Disqus, but since Disqus continues to leave NOFOLLOW off of the link to the user’s website in their username they have become a specific target.

It’s pretty trivial to mark these guys as spam and the worst of them are easy to recognize because they’ll move from page to page leaving the same worthless comment, but there are a few that have an interesting perspective on what they are doing and it’s worth thinking about before you start blowing away all the comments that they leave.

In comments left on my blog and on a thread I started about this problem on Disqus’s forums I’ve seen an attitude of entitlement from the Spammers that put the smallest amount of effort to customize their spam comment to the content of the page.  Their logic (?) is that comments add value to a site and by leaving a comment that is somewhat on target they “earn” the link and the SEO value that it instills.

There is some truth to this perspective, comments mean a lot to a blogger.  They add new content to a page and keep it active and updating something that Google likes to see, they can also provide new search terms and enhance the keyword usage on the page, helping it rise in the search results.

What human spammer’s fail to take into account, and where their perspective diviates so far from that of mine, is that comments are encouragement and validation of a bloggers work.  That engagment is worth more than all the SEO benefit a spammer can offer me and why I take such offense at their half hearted attempts and sense of entitlement and why so few of their comments will be allowed to stand here.

That’s my perspective – what’s yours?

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25 Things You May Not Know About Meme

I’m having a little fun with one of the latest viral trends going around Friendfeed to express my general belief that the term ‘meme’ has been corrupted to be nothing other than a glorified fad.

  1. Meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene
  2. It is defined as conveying the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation
  3. It is derived from the Greek word “mimema” meaning something imitated
  4. The study of memes is known as Memetics
  5. It is intended to provide a definition for the way ideas and trends move through society as genetic traits move from generation to generation through genes
  6. Genes are considered to move vertically from generation to generation,  although with current genetic research it’s possible they may even move horizontally within a generation at some point in the future
  7. Memes are considered to move either vertically or horizontally
  8. Good examples of memes that move vertically are cultural trends like racism, speech patterns, pizza crust preferences and the type of BBQ sauce you consider to be the only true BBQ
  9. Good examples of horizontal memes are fashion, slang, and the belief that Al Gore truly deserved a Nobel Peace Prize
  10. A fad is considered to be a phenomenon that becomes popular for a very short time.
  11. A fad technically fits the description of a horizontal meme since it is transmitted and imitated
  12. The short time period indicates that it is a failed meme, a dead end on the cultural evolutionary tree
  13. Thankfully!
  14. Although Jams were awesome – why don’t we wear those anymore?
  15. Calling your short lived internet fad a meme will make you feel more important
  16. You’re not
  17. Calling it a meme will make you feel more sophisticated
  18. You’re not that either
  19. Calling it a meme might confuse more people into taking part though
  20. So I don’t blame you for doing it
  21. But I still find it a little annoying
  22. And I just wanted you to know…
  23. That the meme you are participating in is just a glorified fad
  24. And as long as you are OK with that, then go for it!
  25. If “internet memes” are your thing you might want to spend some quality time with Encyclopedia Dramatica

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Sad News From Wesabe

Some sad news from Wesabe this week, CEO Jason Knight is stepping down to care for his new son:

If you follow Wesabe on Twitter, you know that a few weeks ago, Jason Knight, our CEO, and his wife Jane welcomed a new son into their family. Unfortunately, their son was born with a serious respiratory disorder, and has been in and out of intensive care since his birth. While the prognosis for his long-term health is good, he has required and will continue to require very close care for a period of years. The amount of care and attention Jason’s son and whole family need at this point have led Jason to decide that he must resign from his position at Wesabe and focus on his son’s health.

You can read more on Wesabe’s blog.  I’m sure this was probably one of the hardest decisions Jason has had to make in some ways, and the quite the easiest in others.  It’s a brave and noble thing to do and Jason and his family will be in my prayers.  I briefly met Jason on my visit to Wesabe last month and he immediately comes across as a kind and good natured man, I have no doubt that his presence will be a nurturing and comforting presence for his new son.

Wesabe will be in good hands as Marc Hedlund steps in as interim CEO.  I know Marc stays very busy already and I wish him well as he takes on the CEO responsibilities.   I have no doubts that the wonderful staff of Wesabe will pull together and support both Marc and Jason.

SC Democratic Debate

The Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach tonight was quite the battle. The candidates pulled the typical debate tricks with attacks on each other and twisting the questions to their talking points.  All three candidates were in good form, speaking well and able to interact with each other in a manner that switched between forceful and playful.  For all their efforts I doubt we’ll see much change in the way South Carolina voters are thinking.

If anyone gained from the exchanges, I think it would be John Edwards.  If nothing else he was the most successful in avoiding the most personal attacks and in directing the discussion onto topics that he feels he has the strongest positions on while prodding on the nit-picking attacks Clinton and Obama directed towards each other’s campaigning style.

Obama has the lead according to polls since his campaign with Oprah in the state and I doubt anything in the debate will change that.

One interesting thing that came up was the belief that the candidates thought John McCain will lock up the Republican nomination, or at least wanted to use that possibility as a way to promote electability.

All things considered I think this was a win for Edwards, not one that will matter in this election, but maybe one that will help him in whatever it is that he’s using this election as a setup for.