Saturday, October 4, 2008

Read, You Will

Links from my Delicious Bookmarks:

Oversharing, Blogging, And Transparency: Notes—And Quotes—From A Talk
Susan Mernit reports on a talk she gave at Arse Electronika, the conference about sex and technology and culture, on blogging, transparency, authenticity, and identity.

Mediabistro Panel topics?
What kinds of panel topics would you like to see mediabistro.com produce in 2009?

A Slip of a Girl: I Read, I Rant; It's As Simple As That
Who told you to make a 'cutsie website in flash'? Whoever it was, they ought to be shot. The person/persons behind the push of flash are idiots because...

High-Five Fridays, The Banned Book Week Edition - Sex~Kitten.net (NWS)
Celebrating Banned Books Week the Sex Kitten way.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sex Worker How-Tos

In Reality Check: Dealing With Assholes, Radical Vixen answers the question, "How do you deal with asshole clients?" It's for phone sex operators; but there's gold for any business owner ~ working on the phone or not.

In Rant: Strip clubs are for customers, not dancers, the SEXhobbyist gives a reminder just who the business is for. Along with clues for strippers, there are reminders for bedraggled business owners to recall that they may run the business, but if it's to be profitable, it must be focused on the customers.

Last, but certainly not least, Emilie gives safety advice on Anonymous Blogging for Sex Workers. A must read for anyone working with on the Internet. (Via Courtesan Connection.)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Of Splogs and Scrapers

The definitions of 'splog' and 'scraper' are not really important here ~ we all know them when we see them. Here ShoeMoney writes of scrapers:
How annoying is it when you make a post and 5 other posts rank above yours in the search engines all that have your content wrapped around huge Adsense units. When you goto the site not only is it copied word for word but there is zero attribution to the source.
And can't we all relate to that one?

I quite often find these blogs have little Technorati Authority due to few links in, but these blogs do work some SEO trickery and get themselves high in search placement.

As a writer, I'm quite aware of copyright and normally take the blogger to task (and if I can't find contact info, I go straight to the blog/site host). But policing your content takes time and at the end of a Monday I am already wishing for the extra eighth day of the week. So, as ShoeMoney asks, what can you do?

Well, ShoeMoney answers his own question ~ and more:
I came up with this idea a while back to put a link back to my site in my blog feed. This works because if search engines think a blog is worthy enough to outrank yours then it should pass you juice as the authority of the article. If the site doesnt rank (lets face it 100% of the traffic to these scrapers is search engine generated) then its a wash because the search engine has already identified and the site never had any link juice (page rank) to pass in the first place.

I talked to Joost De Valk about the idea and he has made a plugin for it.

The 'and more' comes in as ShoeMoney asks for thoughts on this solution in terms of affecting your site's rank in bad way and gets a response:

UPDATE:

Matt Cutts - Googles lead spam engineer has responded in the comments:

Comment by Matt Cutts
2008-01-10 14:41:09

Don’t cloak the link or make the anchortext spammy, but otherwise: sure. See the interview I did with Stephan here: http://www.stephanspencer.com/search-engines/matt-cutts-interview where I said that syndicating articles with a link to the original article was smart:

As a writer, I'm not saying this should replace the policing & protecting of your copyrighted works; but it is a little bit of insurance.

The plugin or tool Joost De Valk created works for WordPress, so those using other blogging software will need to play if they want to go this route. And, as also discussed having the info in the feed footer may make it easy for the cut & pasting scraper to ignore it.

I'm no techie, but I have an idea and I'm going to see if I can play with the code here to see if it works. (Keep your fingers crossed ~ I'll be needing all of mine. *wink*)

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Relationships With Bloggers

Brian Solis' Blogworld Expo: Building Relationships with Bloggers is excellent.

However, I do take issue with this point:
You don't have the "right" to pitch bloggers, so really think about it before you approach anyone.
As noted later in his post, "The pitch is dead," so I'm going to address this from the point of view of the right to start conversations.

I do think you have the right to start conversations with bloggers ~ with anyone ~ just as in the real world you have the right to start a conversation with anyone. But starting that conversation from a defensive stance, one of justification, &/or with the cocky notion that people will or must give a crap isn't going to work. Unless, of course, your goal is to alienate. But you can start Internet conversations, using the same common sense you would walking about on earth.

Link found via Spin Thicket.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

ACLU Scores Victory In New York

According to Yahoo! News & the AP:
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the government orders must be subject to meaningful judicial review and that the recently rewritten Patriot Act "offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers."
For those of us who still give a damn about our inalienable rights this is a reason to say, "Hip Hip Whore-Ay!"

More at Reuters.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sex Pros Make Better Bloggers

That's what Secondhand Rose says. Here are a few key points in her essay (which is not to imply you shouldn't read it all ~ on the contrary, it's good stuff!)

She begins with a discussion of the standard practice of sex pros to use a stage name, pen name or other 'name that is not your real name' in order to keep yourself safe, shield your family & friends, as well as to signal when you are performing. Rose believes this standard practice and mind set is what makes for better blogging.
Because it is so natural for professionals to draw these lines right away, we are more prepared to think of privacy as a right which also applies itself to others.

...If more bloggers understood the tentative nature of trust I believe less mistakes would be made, less hurt and anger would ensue.
On the specific issue of censoring for the people in your personal life, a question asked by The Man With Secrets: "Would you say, however, that what you write about someone remains unchanged once you know they are reading it? That's an important question, I think."

Rose replies:
My answer is, "No, my writing does not change because someone I know is now reading what I write."

To me it's not a matter of "What do you write?" but one of "Who do you tell?"
Next she quotes Tom Pain:
Sometimes I think the burning "need" to confess is really a passive-aggressive response of "I'm going to educate you about this situation whether you like it or not." Acceptance of alternative lifestyles is in vogue these days, despite the inherent risk of pain and confrontation.
I must admit, this runs rampant in our culture ~ especially with those in sex work or advocates for positive sexuality. We tend to be on a mission, which is understandable, but we shouldn't do so at the risk of others or to make choices for them. Here I'll refer you here to Silent Porn Star's post on this:
Fundamentally I am anonymous for the ease of things -- but it angers me too. Why should I have to do this? Why should I have to shield and 'protect' family and friends from such associations when nudity, sexuality, is completely natural and normal?

Being a child of the 60's (technically born in, however those first few years I was but an infant), I do believe that if you're not part of the solution you are part of the problem. So sitting back resting on my anonymity feels like I am wrong there too.

While I'd truly like the world to be free enough to sexuality as a whole, I do realize this is not so. And any battle I would pick on behalf of being part of the solution would mean I was selecting this battle as one for those I know and love as well. So I let the cool waters of unselfishness sooth the agitated heated waters of these unjust realities.
Finally Rose points to the ethics of the matter of censoring your blogging:
Suggesting a blogger taint their stories or the presentation of their stories based on who is reading them is saying that it would be fine for any reporter or reviewer to go gently in areas where they knew someone. Would you even suggest that a movie critic be kind in their review of a film because they knew the director? Would you expect a restaurant reviewer to take it easy on a friend's restaurant? If we knew that either had done so we'd call them unethical. Why would sex bloggers be any different?
Why indeed.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Tips From The DC Madam

I can't believe I forgot to post Radical Vixen's Interview With Deborah Jeane Palfrey, AKA The DC Madam!

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

House panel approves legal shield for bloggers

ZDNet reports:

A congressional panel on Wednesday voted, against the Bush administration's wishes, to shield journalists including advertising-supported bloggers from having to reveal their confidential sources in many situations.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Definitive Piece On Censorship

Yes, I'm still on my WKRP kick ~ but with such excellence, why not be?

This clip is from the "Clean Up Radio Everywhere" episode, in which the gang discusses media censorship when they face pressure of a "moral" group.

Everything is still true. :sigh:



Funny and sad, but Les sums things up the way many folks (I think) still likely feel:
In a situation like this, I always ask myself, what would my hero Edward R. Murrow think? And I think that Ed would think that this was censorship. Then I think about what my other hero, General George Patton, would think, and I think George would think that radio and television ought to be cleaned up, and if he were alive today, he'd take two armoured cavalry divisions into Hollywood and knock all those liberal pinheads into the Pacific! So as you can see, I'm a very confused man. And when I get confused, I watch TV. Television is never confusing. It's all so simple somehow.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

One To Watch

Fleshbot covers the story (NWS), so I'll just direct you there. But I wanted all you adult business folks to note that the Feds have a 10-count indictment against Max Hardcore (nee Paul Little) for obscenity. It's in U.S. District Court, Tampa Division (Florida), so this is shakier than if in L.A.

Hardcore says, "I've never heard of anyone, even a store owner getting busted for obscenity."

I'm no legal expert, and I can't site all the facts and stats, but I know there's a history in publishing which has ruined many a company. (And if the ruling doesn't kill you, the legal fees may.)

So keep your eyes on this one, folks.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Peek-A-Boo Transparency

When it comes to visibility on the Internet, there's a delicate balance to maintain.

Transparency is desirable, but as any woman can tell you, you certainly have to protect yourself.

Des Walsh writes discusses anonymity from a practical sense, but so does Jennifer Woodard Maderazo at PBS.

The dilemma is between being known and credible, and being 'found' and frightened.

Obviously I'm a huge advocate of pen names. I have a history which makes them second nature and deal in a subject matter which makes one mandatory. So I began my life here on the Internet with a working name ~ a professional name I work under. (Gracie Passette, not just The Whore; I find the latter fun.) And I advocate pen names for anyone, in any profession. I don't believe that pen names make you less credible.

(I often think it would be great if you could literally make a name for yourself in your 9-5 cubicle, and say work as "John Peterson" rather than use your birth name. It makes it so easy to un-plug at the end of your work day when you stop being "John" and start being David aka The Real You.)

But if this doesn't sit right with you, or if you've already begun your career with your real name, for heaven's sake be careful about it. Consider what you share, how you share it, and with whom you share it. Tell the truth, but cloak what you can.

It's like dressing to tease, but still allowing for some modesty.

(In truth, many bloggers etc. use their real names not for their current level of credibility, but for the vanity of it).

You aren't faking anything, just being discrete for safety reasons. And anyone who thinks you have something to hide, some hideous skeleton in your closet or facet of your life you are trying to hide, is well... Partly right. Maybe not about the skeleton. But you are trying to hide some part of yourself so that you can be safe and live your life. (As can your family and friends.)

Not using your real or birth name isn't any different than electing not to put up photos of yourself. But then again by the same token, don't use a name which belongs to someone else or describe yourself (character, integrity, knowledge etc.) other than what you are. That's like using a photo of a model; that's misrepresentation, lying.

Sure, when you become famous you won't be easily getting that table at (insert whatever hot spot for dining you'd like), but then you won't have someone following you to your home either. Or at least you've made it more difficult for them to do so.

Being accessible is a huge part of credibility; but that doesn't mean you must allow anyone, everyone, into your home.

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Your Information At Risk

I received this heads-up and I'm posting this everywhere:

Most people are probably not aware of something our Federal government is trying to pass - the requirement of something they are calling REAL ID. This is an attempt to install a National ID system - something that has been found to be unconstitutional by law previously.

Under the Act, states and federal government would share access to a vast national database that could include images of birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, court ordered
separations, medical records, and detailed information on the name, date of birth, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, address, telephone, e-mail address, Social Security Number for more than 240 million with no requirements or controls on how this database might be used. Many
may not have the documents required to obtain a REAL ID, or they may face added requirements base on arbitrary and capricious decisions made by DMV employees.

You can leave comments against this act until MAY 8 - and it's VERY important that you do so! (it's not super easy to do, but it's definitely worth it) You can learn how to speak out against it, and also learn more details about it here.

Please pass on to everyone you know, as most people have no idea that this is under consideration, and likely to pass quietly unless there is opposition.

You should also note: "This is the same federal agency that had responsibility for helping people following hurricane Katrina, and proved itself not to be ready for the challenge. Creating a national identification system is a huge, complex project and there no agency in the Federal government that has proven that it could manage a project of this magnitude."

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