Friday, February 26, 2010

Misleading Blogs

If you are reading this blog it is likely that you have read other blogs. Some are personal diatribes or diaries. Others are run by frustrated community members that want their voice heard. What I did not realize is just how commercialized some blogs really are and how biased a blogger might when there is money or favors in return for slanted posts. I was under the impression that bloggers like me operated out of a sense of responsibility and respect to share their view based on their own values and experience. How naive I was!

Recently, I was perusing a blog, the name of which is not germane, and I noticed that the chief editor and head blogger had their own website. So, I curiously clicked the link which didn't work correctly. I edited the address in my browser by backspacing out the last few characters and it worked! There was the website in all of its glory with lots of marketing implementations in use: nice graphics, pleasant fonts, logical organization of tabs and links, etc. But wait, it get's...interesting.

The website is for a public relations / public affairs firm operated by this chief blogger who claims to be a communications expert. Under their Experience & Results tab, you find an interesting and shocking admission:

[FIRM NAME] offers more than a two dozen years of public affairs experience helping public and private sector clients efficiently and effective communicate with target audiences.

We specialize in:
•Social media
•Community outreach
•Government relations
•Strategic Communications

Whether it is…
•employing innovative social media strategies to advance your message and create community
•generating support and gaining allies through effective community outreach
•influencing opinion leaders through via both new and tradional media
•successfully guiding your projecting throuygh the government approval process
•providing seasoned counsel to ensure your message is taken seriously by opinion leaders ad key decision-makers

…[FIRM NAME] has for years successfully represented and advised a broad spectrum of clients.

For a list of present clients, and examples of successes, send us an e-mail.
Aside from the blogger's typographical errors which will undoubtedly be fixed after they read this, they admit to intentionally "employing innovative social media strategies to advance your message and create community". What they don't tell you is that the blogger's blogging site carefully watches each visitor and tracks their movement. They have visitor's IP (internet provider) address, much like a caller ID on their end, and they know or can easily find out who is visiting. This isn't anything new but it is worth mentioning because they, like most blogs, offer an option to post anonymously. When a person comments anonymously, they are only anonymous to the outside world. In this case, the blogger knows who has posted what. Why does that matter? Because you might post that your employer, say the City of Smallville, has a corrupt chief of police who does a number of bad and illegal activities. If the blogger is pals with the chief, he just might publicize who you are, jeopardize your employment status, and essentially out you to your boss that you were ratting out. Nice, isn't it!!

Some other strategies they "employ" are by bringing in special case bloggers whose only job is to support a specific cause. This means you might read a post and then comment your disagreement with the initial blog post. Then, several other special case bloggers lob personal attacks through multiple comments against you. These aren't simply fact-based arguments, they are carefully crafted assaults that redirect and twist your words for the soul purpose of shutting down all opposition. Then, if your responses are too negative and fact-based, they simply over-moderate (I think they delete them but can not prove it) them and your comment never gets posted. This is the new social networking game: she who screams the loudest is surely righteous...right?

Not all bloggers work this way, especially the smaller, more local blogs. So far as I can tell, Blogger.com and Blogspot.com (my host site) do not offer any tools for me to determine who is commenting here.  This adds a layer of anonymoty which might encourage some open, honest comments without fear of reprisal.

After reading the Blogger's Code of Ethics, which I have adopted, I decided that rather than gossiping about this specific blogger and how unethical they are, I decided to take the high road and not name them. We need to keep in mind that bloggers are not usually major media outlets and therefore, may not have the same protocol for protecting confidential sources of information. Some bloggers are paid consultants for political campaigns which might be ethical if they disclose that they are being paid or are receiving some form of compensation. The blogger in question above, does not reveal to readers who they are working for, which should draw strong suspicion for anything they post that may likely be nothing more than a paid advertising campaign.

Lastly, these are the humble words of one man.  USER BEWARE!

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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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