Create a free, animated ecard using your personal photos, videos and music!
Apple iTunes

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009: Never Can Say Goodbye

Stunned is an apt representation of the events that unfolded on June 25, 2009. Farrah Fawcett,erstwhile icon of the 70's and 80's icon, passed away after a brave and valiant fight against anal cancer. Only days before Ed McMahon, denizen of so many of my early TV memories, from Johnny Carson's sidekick, to host of "Star Search" and even a stint as a Publisher's Clearinghouse pitch man, had passed away. The iconography of my growing up was in upheaval. Rejoinders of "what is going on?" came from all sides. But there was more in the offing. Just was the news of Farrah Fawcett was sinking in, there came the disheartening news that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital. Death had been working overtime, had he decided to take another for his trouble? As it turned out, he had. Though, on the one hand, Michael Jackson's stunning and dramatic death seemed almost fated, it still took everyone by surprise. Reactions varied from moderate concern to shocked sadness to overwhelming grief. A nation united in mourning an icon. Such was the power of Michael Jackson's talent that he'd done what world leaders for millenia have been unable to do. Bring people together, united in a singular pursuit. Working out how to say goodbye when you really, never can say goodbye.

The writers over at Associated Content have written some wonderful tributes.

Remembering Michael Jackson by Frank Deutschen
Bookmark and Share

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Idol" Thoughts

Update: Since I made this post American Idol has said goodbye to Megan Joy and Scott MacIntyre. Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds are hanging by a string. Both are great talents but need to up their games to have any hope of competing with Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta.
Despite the naysayers, "American Idol" is back and doing better than ever. From a crop of over 70,000 hopefuls, the field has been culled down to 9.

Adam Lambert
- Envelope pusher. Best know for his sitar infused version of Johnny Cash classic, "Ring of Fire" and his penchant for fingernail polish and eye liner. His performance this past week took it to another level and separated him from the competition.

Matt Giraud
- Soulful and Funky. This dueling piano player has been making a name for him self because of his soulful style and sexy swagger. A master at song choice, he been spot on since Hollywood week. Compared to popular performers, Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke, Matt delivers performances that are 'radio ready' every week. While Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey have been given the edge, if they are not careful, Danny could sweep in and take it all.

Danny Gokey
-Blue eyed soul balladeer. Danny's a sentimental favorite; coming to the competition on the heels of the death of his wife. She'd always been a fan and after her passing, he tried out in honor of her. Danny's got the chops and impressed during Hollywood week and early on but has been exhibiting some inconsistency of late. The Idol audience is a fickle group. Danny needs to buckle down and giveit his all from here on out.

Allison Iraheta
-Old style rock goddess. At only 16, Allison sings with the heart and passion of an old soul.. With a voice that is reminiscent of "Heart's," Ann Wilson. Allison has been making great song choices and delivering competent, heart felt performances. One waits to see what the next few rounds of Idol will bring for her.

Anoop Desai
-Contender. He could be a contender. Anoop has got a hip hop sensibility and a beautful clear voice with a decent range. After a few missteps, he delivered a very nice performance during Motown week. As the competition progresses, Anoop has to be careful with song selection. With the wrong choice he can come off slightly karaoke. Anoop seems to still be finding himself and his voice.

Kris Allen
-Cute and smart. Kris Allen puts one in mind of Jsaon Mraz. His everyman style and unassuming manner have the tendency to cause the judges to think that he's a forgettable character. The truth is Kris has been delivering performances that are true to his style and garnering new fans daily. Kris doesn't have the swagger of Matt or edginess of Adam but he delivers songs that are contemporary and is as cute as a button. He could be the one to watch for the finals.

Lil Rounds
-Ol' School Soul and Blues Belter. Lil should be leading the pack. She's near the bottom of this list because she's made some unfortunate song choices. Either that or she hasn't prepared as well as she should. Since Idol shows are notorious for the number of illnesses that make the rounds. This is probably because all the contestants are under tremendous stress and getting very little sleep. Whatever the case. Lil should be at the top of this list. She should be knocking the bottom out every week. She's Simon's favorite kind of singer and he's been dissappointed in her less than stellar showings. The fact that she didn't shine during Motown Week was a shock. She has time to make it up but things are getting tight and some of the performers are bringing their A games every show.

Scott MacIntyre
-Musical Genius. There's no getting around the fact that Scott MacIntyre is talented. As a visually impaired person he is also an inspiration. The problem is that Scott is a lot like Brooke White from last years show. She made a decent showing because she was always true to her musical vision but she wasn't able to bring home the whole pot. Of course, once you're in the Top 10, you can write your own ticket. Brooke capitalized on her style and got her album produced. So it doesn't really matter that Scott might not take it all. He's true to himself performing songs with his own inimitable style. While Simon seems to be saying without saying that he should grow a pair. I think he's just fine doing his thing.

Megan Joy
-New age chanteuse. Bjork devotee, Megan has gone through a number of name changes this season and maybe that's why she can't pin down a style. She's got a unique delivery, there no denying that and that wouldn't be a bad thing if she gave some better performances. Maybe the fact that her style is unquantifiable is really what's important. She dares to be different and in the words of Simon. I don't get it. Of course it's not for me to get. Megan has a solid fanbase and keeps going on round after round. With the backing of her voters, she could cause one of the sure things to get ousted. There's still time for Megan to deliver on her promise from Hollywood week.

Now you know what I think about the Idol going's on. Let's see some other AC Sources are saying.

Hartley Engel

RM Gal

Tina Molly Lang

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twitter - Everyone's Doing It

Who knew there'd ever come a day when twittering would be acceptable. Imagine people twittering everywhere. On the bus, One the train. People are twittering from the Senate floor and from the delivery room.

Maybe our need for connection is far greater than we ever imagined. There is no caste system is twitter. The actual act of twittering is known as sending a tweet. Tweet, Tweet. The famous, the infamous and the unknown are all sending tweets.

Just a blurb. With twitter you've only got 140 characters to get your point acrosss. It helps a lot for those of us who have problems with brevity and conciseness. The impact of twiiter has not gone unnoticed. Twitters popularity induced Facebook to come up with a much lamented change to it's users home pages to be more competitive with twitter. While the change may be more competitive with twitter it has ticked off a number of facebook users who don't like the change.

Writers on Associated Content have weighed in on twitter. In honor of twitter's 3rd birthday let's see what everyone is saying.

Twitter is Now 3 Years Old by Curtis Johnson

Why I Use Twitter by Randy Inman

Celebrities Who Use Twitter by Single Mom

Twitter. Twitter: A Case for Social Media by Roomy Naqvy

Don't Be a Follower Except on Twitter by Claudia Broome

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blog It Out!

If you're reading this then you have entered the world of blogging. Many bloggers are looking for a forum to be heard, a platform to share their innermost thoughts, sell their wares, create a buzz or drive traffic to their websites. Still others are looking to up their page views at writing sites like Associated Content, Constant Content,, or any number of other sites that utilize content of bloggers just like you and me. If you are part of the new blog generation then now is the time to start. There are several different blog interfaces that are out there. Two of the most popular or Blogger and Wordpress, but there are many more. I've included some of AC's content producers' best info on blogs.

How to Get Targeted Traffic to Your Blogs by Brant McLaughlin
How do you get this targeted traffic to start streaming in to your blogs where you do your blogging? You aren't going to do it with SEO writing techniques at your blog sites.

Personal Finance Blogs that You Need to Read by Matthew Paulsen
When it comes to financial advice, there are several different conflicting view points. Be sure to take in multiple viewpoints and make your own decision. Here are four great personal finance blogs that you need to read to ingest varying paradigms of money.

Niche Blogs for Niche Marketing by Denise Nuttal
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to make money on the internet is with the use of niche blogs for niche marketing. Niche marketing is finding a narrow topic that people are searching for.

Steps for Getting Paid with Freelance Journalism & Blogs by Andrew Bess
Many of us are journalists at heart, some of us write for fun. But here are a few tips on how to get paid for expressing yourself in words. There are many websites out there that advertise that they buy blogs and pay freelance writers.

How to Earn More Page Views with Blogger Blogs by Sierra Koester
All content producers want to increase their page views, but many aren't sure how to do so. This article shows you how to increase your page views using Blogger blogs.

Blogging Tip: Use Blogs to Boost Search Engine Optimization by Zachary Lim
Blogging tip for today is on Search Engine Optimization using blogs. Blogs play an important role in establishing a strong connection between customers and your online business.

Are Blogs More Effective Than Ezines & Newsletters? by Deborah Dera
Each day the world of blogging becomes more popular. Internet moguls who frequently dismissed blogs as insignificant are now starting to take the potential of blogs and their owners more seriously.

4 Tips for Using Blogs to Increase Your Freelance & Small Business Income by Yuwanda Black
Blogging has been around since 1995 and the creative freelance community, perhaps more than any other sector, has used it to create business opportunities for themselves like no other group.

7 Free Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blogs by Alicia Bodine
With sites like Blogger even an individual with limited Internet knowledge can create and maintain their own blog. This article will give you 7 ways to get traffic to your blog for free.

How to Create a Popular Blogs, Part I by Michelle Devon
Do you have a blog but you don't have any or very many readers? Want to learn ways to increase your page views and readers? Part One of my blog series touches on how to get started creating a popular blog.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 30, 2008

Read All About It - June Book Reviews

I am a book lover. I love reading them. I like the weight, the heft and even the smell of books. I hang out in book stores with coffee shops because there I can feed both of my vices at once. Since I can't possibly read all the books I'd like to I read a lot of book reviews. I'll try to list some of my favorites here.

Book Review: "Three Weeks with My Brother" by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks by Genie Walker
A revealing glimspe into the real life of one of America's most prolific writer's and his brother.

Book Review: Echo Bay -- Richard Barre by Saul Relative
Richard Barre is a very talented author. His plots and characters are multi-layered and multifaceted, gripping, intelligent, and compelling. His latest, Echo Bay, is a case in point. It is a depart...

My Sergei: A Memoir by Ekaterina Gordeeva by Chun Valencia
Chun says this book rekindled her lost love for reading. Check out her review to find out why.

Book Review: Lewis Buzbee's "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" by Bruno Somerset
In "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop," San Francisco author Lewis Buzbee does something few writers would be able to: he makes the history of the book and the bookstore something you just can't put down.

My Lobotomy: Author Details Life Before and After an Ice Pick Lobotomy by Cassandra Mae
"My Lobotomy" is a book about Howard Dully's life before, during and after an ice pick lobotomy. It's a fascinating book that takes you on Howard's quest to find out "why me?"

Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old like a Skank and Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom by Celia Rivenbark by Lori Borys
This really doesn't need a description. Take a look see and get ready to laugh.

"Female Brando: The Legend of Kim Stanley" by John Roberts
A review of a biography of acclaimed Broadway actress Kim Stanley who ruined her career and talent by her self destructive behavior.

Why Can't I -- a 31-Year-Old Male -- Stop Reading Stephenie Meyer? by Brian Terry
A book by Stephenie Meyer has once again infiltrated my life and taken it over ... and that's not even a pun.

Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert by Pearl Grace
Elizabeth Gilbert set off on an odyssey to discover happiness, spiritual fulfillment, and her self. And what a journey it was: a hodge podge of destinations, characters, and emotions. Ms. Gilbert, thanks for taking us along.

Book Review: Belong to Me, by Marisa De Los Santos by Skye McKenzie
When I pick up a book in the store and determine whether I want to buy it , I put it through the first-page test. What I mean by this is if a title interests me, I will flip open to the first page and read it as if I am going to read the rest of the book.

Media and Stereotypes: Archie, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? by Dr. Frank Czarny PhD
There is a social concern that children and young adolescents are presented with incorrect knowledge about sex in comics.

Paved with Good Intentions by C. S. Lewis Book Review by T.Schnieders
If you think C. S. Lewis only wrote books geared toward children you are mistaken!

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tips for Better Web and SEO Writing

Before I started blogging, I didn't really give a thought to keywords, tags or labels or what a search engine cared about. When I was just a regular writer, I cared if my prose was coherent, exciting, sensual or any of a thousand other adjectives. Whether google could find it or not was not my main concern. Then I entered the blogosphere. For the first few months, oh alright for the first year, I had no clue about Search Engine Optimization(SEO) and I figured those tags that everyone kept asking for was just a way to slow me down and to annoy the crap out of me. Little did I know that the quest for good SEO keywords that I could then weave into an article which I hope is still coherent, exciting and or sensual would all but consume me. For those of you who are still like, What!, Don't despair I have been there and if you really want to know the truth some days I still feel like I'm in the dark. This is why I turn to my learned colleagues on Associated content who have not only mastered the art of garnering page views but who have also proven that they are not greedy. They've each written articles that can help you navigate through the sometimes confusing world of keyword placement, page rank, google page placement, alexa rankings and SEO. Take some time too ead the following articles and they'll give you a leg up when it comes to taking a bite out the page view apple.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals Writing for Associated Content
Hopefully these simple steps will help you to produce more webs content for Associated Content, increase your fan base, and keep the dreaded writer's block and dead space in your day from taking over.

Using Textalyser to Improve Your Keyword Density... - by Cary Stuart

How to Write SEO Articles in Four Easy Steps by Yuwanda Black
There is a specific way to write content so that you get found online. Here I will walk you through the steps of writing effective content (SEO articles) so that you drive more traffic to your website.
How to Make Money by Writing for Associated Content by Jennifer Claerr
It isn't difficult to make money writing for Associated Content. The trick to making money on the site is knowing which topics generate the most page views.

Improve Your Writing with the Textalyser Keyword Tool by Tsu Dho Nimh
Textalyser does more than calculate keyword density. It can do a reality check on your writing style.

Pre-Write or Be Doomed - Web Writing Success - Pam Gaulin
To truly be a successful writer or make money online with web writing, you need to be able to pre-write constantly.
The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing for the Web. 7 Quick Reasons Why No One Read Your Last Article by the Barefoot
Have you been wondering if people are reading your latest content? Are the lack of comments driving you crazy? You believe you write well, but still have no readers? Learn the 7 biggest reasons you are not being read.
Effective SEO to Optimize Your Website by Cheryl Carpenter
Search engine optimization (SEO), is one of the most popular ways to send traffic to your site.
Sue Richardson
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an intimidating sounding term. But don't let it intimidate you; you can get your arms around it! The concept, including niches, spiders and keywords, isn't as difficult to understand as it sounds. Keep trying; the understanding will come.

Using Free SEO Link Back Sources to Increase the Earning Potential of Your Web Content by Eisla Sebastian
To make money only with web content you need to do more than just produce a ton of content. You also need to create lots of fingers that point to your contents' locations. Use the following free web resources to develop your SEO link backs for the coming year.

Keyword Articles, Webcopy, SEO Articles - What Are They, and How Do They Benefit You? by Michelle (Michy) Devon
We've all heard about keyword density, keyword saturation, SEO optimization, and the like. What do these words really mean? How does it affect you as an article writer? Read this article for a brief introduction into keyword articles.

Bookmark and Share

Politically Speaking

The political scene these days is a hotbed and a minefield rolled into one. The fight to secure the Democratic nomination is all but over. Now we turn our attention to the run for the roses, as it were. Each of us has our ideals that we espouse, however in the coming years, I believe that in order to be effective we will have to put aside our party favorites and embrace bipartisanism. My feeling is that we can work together or perish apart. Looking toward November, AC Content Producers are weighing in from both sides of the aisle. As it turns out everything is not about the Presidential election, so I've tried to add some other political happenings.

White House Loses Boumediene Case: Supreme Court Sides Against Bush, Protects Habeas Corpus by Tina Molly Lang
The Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Boumediene is a victory for habeas corpus. Yet in the ongoing debate between national security and civil liberties, questions remain.

Supreme Court Rules Against Bush Administration, Resurrects Habeas Corpus by Saul Relative
In what might be the most important decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States during the Bush Administration, five justices ruled in Boumedienne v. Bush on Thursday.

Nevada Polls: John McCain with Slight Lead over Barack Obama by Michelle McDonough
The competition to gain the five electoral votes of Nevada has been very tight during the past four presidential elections, and the current race appears to be shaping up the same way.

Presidential Polls in Arizona by Jen
Now that Hillary Clinton has conceded the Democratic primary race to Barack Obama, attention on the campaign trail shifts to trying to predict the outcome of the presidential election between the junior senator from Illinois and John McCain.

California Polls: Barack Obama Over John McCain by Nneka Onu
Although he lost the California Primary Election in February, Barack Obama is heavily favored to win California in November.

African American Conservatives Admit to Being Conflicted when it Comes to Barack Obama by Demetria Dixon
As many African American conservative take into account the historical significance of Barack Obama's nomination, more and more are experiencing divided loyalties

Bookmark and Share