Apparently Someone Thinks This Blog Has Hit The Big Time (HA!)

Trolls happen. It’s a fact of social media.

What is a troll? A troll is a person who harasses people online. They attempt to evoke an emotional response. They target a person and they generally do not stop until they have had a few laughs at someone else’s expense. Without getting into any gory details, I can assure you that trolling has sometimes ended very badly in real life – either for the target or for the troll himself/herself.

Obviously that’s boring.

This blog has officially been hit by its first troll. You don’t need to read the comment that was posted twice. I can tell you it was somewhat creative but definitely mean-spirited. It was intended to discourage me and others from participating in Westward Invasion 2009. The troll knows that some people are easily frightened. It is an interesting psychological phenomenon, I will say that much.

But just because it’s interesting or entertaining doesn’t make it worthwhile. As I stated in my response to the comments (now deleted) I have no problem with censorship. None whatsoever. On the Internet it’s called comment moderation. That’s where I get to delete any comment I want.

Well, since I don’t feel like dealing with it, I’m instituting automatic comment moderation on this blog. I will approve any and all comments that agree with me, disagree with me, make fun of someone or something, opine in a loud manner, speak in a soft tone, lampoon me, encourage people, offer constructive criticism, or pretty much anything else. I will even approve a comment if it is completely off-topic.

I will not approve spam or trolling.

We clear? All good? Let the good times troll. I mean roll.

Earth Hour, or Twearth Hour If You Will


blackout 3
Originally uploaded by polkabike

This blog is about social media. Talk about a broad topic. Allows me to write about, oh, I don’t know, how about Earth Hour. I found out about it through Twitter.


I joined Earth Hour fifteen minutes late tonight. At 9:15 p.m. I turned off all my lights, shut down my computer, turned off my music and just laid there in my bed with my shoes and clothes on.

I thought about tigers, as @cara19 has pointed out I am doing a lot of recently. Tigers are what some people are deep down. They struggle bravely to live peaceably as a human among humans. They sometimes lash out, but they are tigers. One does not begrudge a tiger its instincts. One does not try to reason with it, make it purr or snuggle with it. One stands at a safe distance and respects the magnificent beast.

I rested the mind.

I laughed. Yeah, I laughed. Why? Because tension was melting away. For once I was lying down not because I was exhausted but because I had some social reason to do so. To express solidarity with people who care more about things like Earth Hour than I do.

I am a cynic. I do not believe Earth Hour will save the world. I do believe it can heighten consciousness. It can provide a sense of community.

At 10:00 p.m. I turned on one light and for once it was enough. Glad to have my computer back. I love my toys.

On Twitter, I found others doing Earth Hour in a variety of ways.


Amazing what you can do in the dark, isn’t it.

Two songs to capture the spirit of Earth Hour. The first is a dark and stormy hip hop song by underground lyricist Acey Alone called “Lights Out”. Sayid and High Priest guest rap. I can’t find an online version or sample for you to listen to but here is the song’s Last.fm page.

The second is a rawk song by Bad Religion. The chorus goes:

I’m a 21st-century digital boy
I don’t know how to live but I got a lotta toys
(Listen to the whole track on Blip.fm.)

Those lyrics state a problem worth considering, do they not? Did you do Earth Hour to any extent? Did you not? How was that for you? Do you care all that much?

It’s okay, you can be honest. This is Man of Many Words.

Whatever Happened to the One-Word Brand Game, Hmmm?

This…

Wordle: Will Conley's Wordle (click the image)

…is a “Wordle“: a word cloud of all my tweets from Septemeber 2008 through March 2009. Word or tag clouds are intuitive visualizations of a set of words based on frequency. The larger words represent more frequent occurences of those words, the smaller words just the opposite.

You’ll notice the most prominent word in my Wordle is “onewordbrand”. That’s a game I was running a couple months ago where you “brand” your friends in one word and add the hashtag “#onewordbrand”. Try it out if you’re on Twitter.

I promised participants of the #onewordbrand game a tag cloud of all their one-word brands. That never worked out because I am lazy and because people had a hard time figuring out how to play the game. I guess it was deceptively simple. The questions I received were neverending.

So if you played the game consider this your consolation prize. Go to Wordle.net and make your own word cloud.

There. All-better-now.

Also on the bright side: The #onewordbrand game got you to make more connections and solidify old ones. That’s what it’s all about, baby.

A Social Media Experiment on the Grand Scale: Westward Invasion 2009

What is Westward Invasion 2009?
Short answer: An emigration. An adventure. An erasure of the boundary between online and offline. A social media experiment on the grand scale. A reality show that is actually worth watching, broadcast in a decentralized manner in real time by you, sponsored by visionaries.

Clear answer: Westward Invasion is an emigration and adventure opportunity for me and you. I am moving to California. Some of you are coming with me. Others will just travel with us for all or part of the journey. We’re packing light and taking the slow route, curling a path all over the West, visiting places both mundane and fantastical. Invaders who live in the West will act as hosts for a day. Those who don’t want to participate IRL (In Real Life) can do so virtually. Sponsors are invited to pay attention.

The whole thing will be blogged and vlogged here and elsewhere. I am inviting everyone I know on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, this blog, your blogs, and other networks to participate on some level. How far can social media go to make things happen in the real world? Is it possible to erase the line between online and offline?

I invite you to join Westward Invasion 2009. No commitment is implied when you join the network. Just get your face up there, tell us about yourself, share some of your own ideas, poke around, ask questions, get excited about possibilities. Everything is explained there – inasmuch as Westward Invasion can be explained. We are in build-and-brainstorm mode, so I am wide open to ideas.

While you’re at it, get with me on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing. I like it.

Talk to you soon. Be fierce.

How to Make Me a Peanut Butter Sandwich

Chunky peanut butter. It can be plain, or you can put some butter on that first, makes it go down easy. Or just some strawberry preserves. But I’ll take straight peanut butter with the bread too. Can be white or wheat, but wheat is healthier. If the bread’s got all kinds of nuts and grains and stuff in it, good. Like a nine-grain, or a 24-grain. I’ll probably eat it in the sunlight with some lemonade as it’s such a nice day out. This is all theoretical and could probably be improved upon, so I’m open to suggestions. Thanks.

The sandwich that appears in this post is not how to make me a peanut butter sandwich. There is cabbage on it. I don’t want cabbage on mine. I don’t want Spam on it either, but I’ll try it, I guess. You can see a lot of disgusting looking peanut butter sandwiches – and use them freely for commercial or personal purposes – by using Flickr’s Advanced Search feature.

How to Use Flickr’s Advanced Search Feature to Find Images for Free Personal or Commercial Use:

1. Go to Flickr.com
2. Click “Search”.
3. Click “Advanced Search”.
4. Type “peanut butter sandwich” (or whatever you’re looking for) in the search box.
5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
6. Mark the box that reads “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”.
7. Optionally, mark the boxes that read “Find content to use commercially” and/or “Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon.”
8. Click “Search.”

Or just click here for the disgusting peanut butter sandwiches.