Monthly Archives: April 2009

tips on starting a blog…

A couple of days ago i told a friend that he needed a web presence, and i’m afraid i actually raved about the possibilities of the new media – i know, omg, i’m not safe to take to dinner parties any more. Today he rang me, wanting to know the basics. We had a chat, and of course more things bubbled up after i put down the phone.

I figured i’d make this post for him. And it will be handy as more friends join the blogosphere and want assistance. Yeah, i’m lazy, if i do one here, i won’t have to do more than send people a link.

So, people are talking about blogging and Twitter, and they’ve been talking about Facebook and MySpace for a while too. I don’t use Myspace or Facebook – i tried them and got bored. (I’ve already blogged about starting out on Twitter.) Even longer, they’ve been saying this is it, the Internet is the Future! They say it with CAPS and exclamation marks. This is actually true. Barring civilisation having one of those hiccups that wipe out most of the human race. (Like the swine flu apocalypse I mentioned in the previous post.)

First thing about having an online presence. You need a website. Easy way to do this, is have a blog. There are many blog hosting sites can cover your initial needs for free, unless you need to do financial transactions. There are sites that just offer a web page for free, but the blog format can work for many sites. A big site offers the advantage of plenty of its own traffic that might drop in on you, but small sites can be great if they’re the right sort of group for you.

Before you can have a blog, you need an email – i don’t use my main service provider email, i have a hotmail account specifically for this blog. It keeps things in order and means i can put my email address on the site without worrying too much about the prospect of spam or stalkers – hotmail blocks people easily. Once you have your email account, go to wordpress.com and sign up. Ta dah!

I’ve only been here since mid-March  (my first 6 weeks here have been excellent, the more i learn, the better the site gets). There’s a learning curve – but if you can use a wordprocessor, it’s not that hard. If you know the basics of coding, it’s even easier. There’s a lot of help under the Support pages on WordPress, step-by-step how to’s in text and video format.

The main thing to remember, is that putting things on the web tends to be permanent. You should assume that even if you delete your post, or the blog owner deletes your comment, that a copy will be made – so watch what you type. Even when you do, you will embarrass yourself, even if it’s just by being a newbie. If you drink it’s best not to blog – some people manage it, but most fall flat.

Read some blogs, look at the ones you like, that have features on them you’d like – you don’t have to pick WordPress, there are others like Blogspot (a quick Google search can be useful if you’re in a particular field – some blog sites specialise in certain industries or areas or types of blog – you’ll also find free listing sites where someone runs a blog, and keeps a list of blogs of a certain kind – note these people for once you get your blog up).

I spent a month or so looking at the options, (and had been reading other people’s blogs for longer). After i’d been blogging privately for 8 months and learning bits and pieces, I found it easy to set up this blog. I’m not a newbie, and i’m not afraid to look at the help – if you are a newbie, there are the Support pages to help. Don’t forget Googling “how to start a blog”. Like any new venture, there are definitions to be learned.

The thing about blogging, there are untold numbers of “how to” blog websites. Read some of them – a lot of good information. Don’t believe everything you read, obviously, but you’ll find certain good tips repeated over and over. The best blogs i read on setting up, running, and maintaining a blog were usually run by professional bloggers.

You can adapt their rules to your needs, but they really do know how to generate traffic, (hits on your site), and are generally helpful with every aspect.

For instance, the ProBlogger site has enough free content by itself to keep you busy for months, but at the same time, just reading one of the articles on say, reasons to blog, or how to blog, will give you a good grounding.

You need to think about what kind of web presence you want to be – are you thinking a web page, updated every month or so? Something like a journal you use to keep your writing fluent? Somewhere you have some fun a few times a week, but usually you write technical reviews or do tips for people doing programming? Somewhere to promote your company or ideas?

You can be purely technical, promotional, for fun, personal, pictures, movies, music, and of course, combinations of these and more. My blog veers from technical to sarcastic to political to heresy. Most of the time i’m trying to be funny, but on my rare technical forays, i do try to tone that aspect down.

If you want to promote a product, and decide to start a blog before the product is ready, you need to commit to doing updates on your blog as to how you’re doing – or people will stop coming.

Every interest group has a website where enthusiasts gather – most have hundreds – visit some of them, they will have links to their blogs, and you’ll get an idea of what’s possible. I still like the idea of the rotating tag cloud i saw on someone’s blog. I got my “where in the world do my visitors come from?” widget after seeing it on someone else’s blog.

Darn it, this is long. And it’s not very coherent. This isn’t a tech blog. They have bullet points and structure, instead of just raving. For me, my blog is to raise my profile, to the point where once i have my product (my writing), i can (within reason) plug it here, and get feedback.

In the meantime, i’m giving people a reason to visit by amusing them and provoking thought, hopefully offering some interesting knowledge, and they get a piece of me. I get to enjoy myself, too, both in the writing, researching, editing, and then in the interactions and responses i get from posts.

The blog becomes something else, a creation in its own right. I didn’t actually write a list of what i wanted from a blog, but i’m sure i read an article which said i should think about it – so i did. I wanted a place where i wrote what i felt like, which was less structured than my novel.

I had no idea what i was doing. Blogging of course, is like short story, column, or essay writing – incredibly structured. I reduce most of my blogs by at least a third in the editing process.

Which brings me to the point where, once you’ve done your first blog, Save Draft, then use the Preview button (on the right of the WordPress page, above Publish) and see what you have. Never just Publish without reading a Preview. Then, once you’ve published, read it again – odds are you missed something. The sooner you change it, the quicker Google will have the corrected version.

Once you have your Preview up, click on any links, look at the layout, make sure it all works as you expect it to. When i do links, i set them to open in new windows, as some people (me for one) get lost easily, and that way, they don’t lose my site.

Tags and categories will change as you gain experience, you can go back and change/edit them, and add more, so don’t worry too much. You need tags to help search engines and searchers on WordPress find your blog, so bung in 5-10. Make sure they’re relevant.

When editing, you can have Visual, or HTML view – i stick with Visual, only going to HTML when i end up with something like the whole blog going Italics and i can’t see why. The top menu above where you type also opens out with the Show/Hide Kitchen sink button.

Your blog will initially be set up in a standard format, which works well enough, but as you get to grips with the site, and discover widgets, themes, links, and the joys of the custom header, you’re  bound to mess around and change things. I spent most of the first month doing that.

Don’t panic. It works fine without any messing. On WordPress, you’ll see a menu across the top of the page when you’re logged in – just follow the links on your Dashboard. Inside the Dashboard, you have a menu down the side which opens up as you click down it.

Inserting pics, movies, music, all seem to be easy on WordPress – i’ve only done pics. (EDIT: Though on WordPress.com, you won’t get the hits if someone plays a video – TheLazyAussie tells me those go to YouTube or the site hosting the vid. See comments for more info.)

If you want, you can keep your published posts private or only accessible by a password – draft posts are just that, they’re not public yet.

There, i think that covers the bare bones of it.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


oh, isn’t that typical?

Here we are, swine flu apocalypse, me wondering if hiding under my bed is the sensible option, and the Rapturists saying this is teh End of Dayz. Or maybe  it was the Lolcats who said it. (There’s a Lolspeak Bible.) Lots of people are going to be wiped out, just a few tattered survivors living in caves, being bothered by the Antichrist.

Of course – Armageddon is happening just as a nice thing happened. Well, two nice things, so i’m pretty much overwhelmed. Some of you may remember me pinning your ears back, over what i thought of plagiarists, after someone nicked a blog post. I was quite annoyed.

However *drumroll* Google has taken down the stolen post *sounds of cheering* and another person’s post he stole – but not the whole blog *sigh* but it’s good news overall *polite applause*.

The other nice thing was that the Mumbrella website (all about Aussie media and marketing), that i mentioned in my last post, featured a quote and link to my blog on their page, under Opinion. Look! That’s me! In the purplish square. I was gobsmacked. And very, very pleased.

i got a mention!

i got a mention!

Spooky thing (non- apocalypse related): while i was working on the post, i got a notification of a new Follower on Twitter – and it turned out to be @Mumbrella.

I followed them back and then warned about the post referencing them, in case i’d accidentally been offensive. I’d rather they complained to me, you see. So i expected them to read it, but the link was a lovely surprise.

The world ending right after that – and just as Google did my bidding – is the pits. I can’t die now, ffs. Don’ t you understand? If Google follows my orders, I may actually be the Antichrist and the Queen of Darkness.This could be my big break!

I could spit! What’s the use of me being queen if you’re all dead? Or if i am? If there’s a God, he’s a freaking tease and this is why i decided to be the Queen of Darkness. Ahem. I nearly stamped my feet real-time then.

Mr Whatsit saw my mention (which sounds like a strange euphemism). I had to show him before the world ended. He came back later, reminded me that i’d been linked, and that i was nearly famous. I got a little glow. One day, maybe i’ll be blasé over mentions, but for now i’m happy-dancing.

When the remnant survivors of the apocalypse come out of their caves, (no, i hadn’t forgotten they were in there), maybe they’ll find some of my Tweets and a blog post, with links to bits of my work that sound like they’d be good – and i’ll be like one of those Greek writers we know about because other people say they’re cool.

Of course, if i make it to the caves, i might be able to start again. I can cook and do weird sexual things, which may ensure my survival. Oh – if you’re really worried about the Rapture, the friendly folk at Post-Rapture Post will help out. They promise to deliver your smug, nagging letters to your friends and relatives who haven’t been sucked up in God’s Giant Vacuum Cleaner with the Faulty Suction (for an explanation of the Rapture, read my post Sex Sells).

I’m betting I’ll be left behind, what with my predilections for heresy and sex. We will be forsaken by Ceiling Cat, dealing with boils – or it may have been furballs – and the Antichrist, which may be me. *sweet smile* I figure it’s no use denying it, because the Antichrist would deny it.

There’s also a new Messiah. Like the old one didn’t cause enough trouble. Be nice to each other, he said – lol – alien concept or what? No wonder they nailed him to a tree. Today, Jesus would be on Twitter, saying “Follow me, i am the Way” and people would be going “i bet you’re a bot”. I’ll probably be sarcastic, and tease him with “find God, ask  me how!” or “make $$$ out of suckers who believe they are the cheese makers”.

He won’t get the Monty Python’s Life of Brian reference, of course – we’ll need to sit him down, make him watch that, and all the awful movies like Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. And the one where John Wayne is a centurion – The Robe? And Jesus Christ Superstar.

He’ll be so creeped out, he’ll forget about the Apocalypse – and this will be my opportunity to move into the power void. Ha! Now would be a good time to follow me on Twitter – there will be those who got in Before Apocalypse, and those who came After. You know which ones will get the Hello Kitty Kalashnikovs.

On Twitter, people seem to be fluctuating between genuine hysteria and hysterical laughter over the swine flu apocalypse – probably normal, actually. Here’s a page with a list of symptoms so you can tell the difference between the flu and a cold. I’m getting a bit annoyed over the people with head colds saying they’re probably going to die – hence the link.

I’m doubly annoyed, as i had a shot for flu, but it’s the wrong freaking kind. Now i’m just a person who had a dead arm for four days from the shot, got woken up by the pain every time i rolled over in the night, (my immune system is overactive), was still bruised two weeks later (i’m delicate, ok?), and now, I might die anyway. So don’t complain to me about your freaking head cold. Ahem.

The last post was a reasonably coherent one, now here i am, wittering on about vacuum cleaners in the sky and making my mark before the world ends. Point is, (somewhere in the wittering, there is a point) i’m used to getting my hopes up – i’ve been in lots of bands, and other group endeavours from businesses to drama groups.

My happiness is not dependent on worldly success. Which is lucky, or i’d be completely freaking miserable, all the time. From promising beginnings, i’ve made it as far as “epic fail” – but things could be heaps worse – i found happiness along the way.

Sometime in amongst the strange things, i found Zen, and though i have my bad days, i am basically content. I was like this before i met Mr Whatsit – my state of mind is not dependent on others, on love, health, wealth, or good things happening in an unending stream – life isn’t like that. However, I do enjoy the good stuff.

I’m loving my victory over the plagiarist via Google, and my mention.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


how to be a very public joke…

Someone said my blog posts were getting very short – well, it was a temporary aberration. This one is “packed lunch and a waterbag” time. I’ve had time to read, thanks to being too sick to do much else – gosh, tis fascinating, other people’s squabbles. You don’t have to follow the links to get the gist of this – but they’re there if you want them.

There have been some entertaining catfights in the Sydney media scene (the Mumbrella site has been reporting the spats, and the links below are all to their articles/posts). A lot of the warfare is over who twooly has their finger on the pulse of the new media and are twoo soshal meejah gurus – cos ya gotta be a guru or a guerilla or an entrepreneur – and who’s just cashing in, man. This battle is one that goes on in every ‘scene’ – we are more real than you!

It’s being said that some people are not joining Twitter, and having social media get-togethers, just because they’re fun people, oh no – they just want to make themselves look good. *sudden intake of breath* That’s right, some evil meejah peeps are trying to manipulate public opinion! OMG.

It’s suspected they may be holding events to make themselves more attractive to clients. This is obviously completely against everything the marketing, PR, TV, journalism, and advertising worlds stand for. Sponsorship or even participation, for personal gain? Say it ain’t so!

Now, aside from possibly chatting with or following some of these people on Twitter, i don’t know them. I don’t know what they do, really, other than make snarky comments about each other. However, i do know this – being that nasty about people doesn’t make you look like a social media guru, or even like an adult. It makes you look like a bitchy schoolchild.

A few years back, i went to a multimedia conference. Not one of the experts could tell me in simple English what multimedia was. I found myself doubting my own understanding – if all these experts didn’t know, maybe i didn’t either. However, it’s this simple.

multimedia –noun (used with a singular verb)

1. the combined use of several media, as sound and full-motion video in computer applications.

Instead of simplicity and making their speeches accessible, they drowned their meaning in catchphrases, buzzwords, and jargon. The conference was an education in the puffed-up power of bullshit – the other people attending were mystified, but were pretending that the Emperor was wearing clothes.

Lately I’ve been hearing social media experts unable to speak in plain English when asked for a quote – this exposes them as well as the Emperor’s lack of clothes did. You can’t teach people to use the new media if all you can do is speak in buzz words.

I gathered that the experts quoted on on Mumbrella meant – let us help you make your company look good online, and teach you to use the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube along with your own (interactive) web presence – like a website and people who Tweet. Mind you, that’s just an educated guess. I have no real idea. (I checked Wiki and various other sources for a less wordy explanation, and got nowhere, lol.)

I heard a ‘social media guru’ interviewed a couple of weeks ago. What is social media? Instead of being enthralled by an enthusiast, I found myself laughing at nudity. Salespeople – they master the field-specific jargon just enough. Ever tried to buy a stereo? A car? A horse? Clothes? Anything?

Baffle you with bullshit is the name of the game. If you know your subject, the salesperson either morphs into a fellow-enthusiast (a pleasure to buy from), or someone out of their depth. It’s no use being able to dribble a string of jargon. When someone says, yes, and what does that mean? and all you do is dribble more, you look like  a twat.

The ones who need to probably won’t read this – they’re too busy Retweeting the latest marketing guru on Twitter. Copying tweets and RTing them is a common part of Twitter interaction – but it shows up the relentless self-publicists, and those trying to suck up to celebrities or the successful. These are the kind of publicist types having meetings with clients where they persuade the company that to put their name out there is the important part, it doesn’t matter if one gets negative attention.

This is the biggest lie in social media. And shows how little they know. Just being mentioned is not enough – this is the new media – you need to know what they’re saying. If they’re saying, your company does fucked ads and your products suck, it is not “just as good” as them saying, omg, i love this company, and their product is just fanfuckingtastic.

When a company is associated with something negative – like Amazon recently when they removed all gay and lesbian texts from their online database – like many people online, if it’s something i care about, I spread the word. I tell my friends,  I Tweet it, put it on web pages, blog about it, and resolve that i won’t buy that product or use that service in a hurry. There are plenty of others like me – we like outing bullshit.

I appreciate it when people do this – i often don’t get what’s really happening the first time round. Especially in Australia, where i’m missing 15 years of cultural experience due to being an expat. The thing that hasn’t been covered in Social Media 101 (what  unfortunate initials – SM is sadomasochism), is that the new media removes a lot of the bullshit surrounding marketing your image to the world.

If you act like a petulant child in the public domain, if you treat your audience like fools – it’s much harder to do it without people noticing. Even if they don’t understand at first, there’s always someone who’ll take the trouble to explain.

Suddenly, a lot of people realise
that you’re naked and talking shite.

That’s the beauty of the internet. And the horror, also.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


a coherent blog is slightly beyond my abilities

I’m still drugged out of my mind to stop my cold symptoms – don’t worry, i’ll be brief. I probably won’t be lucid. Hell, it’s the weekend, most of you are drunk, we’ll be fine.

Have been thinking how I don’t like being pigeonholed –  there’s more to me than my sexual choices – more than my religions, (I have several – one in which i am the religion), or my politics. Anarchist monarchist, for those who’ve just joined us.

I reckon i could take over Sydney and the Central Coast simply by getting the trains to run on time and nationalising the toll roads – a toll road shouldn’t be the only way to get to work within a reasonable time. And i’m forced to sing, “fun fun fun on the autobahn” for the 3% of readers who will get the joke.

I was thinking tanks at first – for the world domination thing – but they’re a bugger to park, or to get parts for, and it’s been suggested by a minion that the invasion force should go for Subaru Outbacks – 4WD, more reliable, not as obvious. Not armoured, but there’s not going to be much resistance – after all, we’re not going to be constrained by silly things like the police are (mostly)  – like not being supposed to shoot except in emergencies.

I reckon legalise everything, and tax it hard. Not guns – lol – you’re not getting those. What do you think, i’m joking about the monarchist part? Control will be important. *sweet smile* Just like in a democracy.

I’ll shoot the rich, of course. Well, celebrities to start with – they can be first to the wall. You can eat them if you want, but i reckon all that Botox and the fake tan probably makes them unfit for human consumption.

I was going somewhere with this argument, but then i realised, i wasn’t really arguing, i was just sorta laying out my plans for world domination. However, unless i actually go back to work on this book, there won’t be anything to fund the freaking revolution with.

Oh – before i go, favourite new Tweeter is … *goes to look up name*

OMFG! I just saw @TurnbullMalcolm is following me on Twitter! He’s Leader of the Aussie Opposition, to whom i sent a strange tweet, (detailed in “the bacon vanilla shake and other stories“) and then unfollowed, when he didn’t laugh. I hope he doesn’t start stalking me. I probably got him excited with all my talk of world domination.

*note to self* Must tone down the autocracy, talk of taking over the world is a turn-on for some people. Right wing blokes love handbagging biatchez like former British PM Margaret Thatcher. Reagan used to come in his pants every time Maggie clubbed one of her Cabinet to death.

Before i forgetbest new follow is @WiggyExposed – the tweets of a shared house in Sydney – which doesn’t mind dealing the dirt on its residents.

Emma only weighs 53 kilograms thanks to her diet. Apparently souls are very low in calories.

Lachlan gave his old night gown* to Megan. Little does he know that it’s going straight to the Lachlan voodoo shrine in her room.

I run Wiggy Exposed at great personal risk. However, the truth needs to be heard! Emma eats the mice in the freezer!

* i checked with Lachlan, (on Twitter he’s @Warlach),
who assures me that the ‘gown’ is a dressing gown/kimono.

My favourite posts are…

The Wiggy love tree. Lachlan has slept with Megan who slept with Emma who slept with Tom who slept with Duncan who also slept with Lachlan.

No one has slept with Carl.

It’s early days, but already i’m hooked.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


you’ll have to speak up, i’m not home

Nothing’s funny. Hmm…

The next day, after 12 hours sleep…

OMFG – i’m alive again! I wouldn’t say i feel great, i still have a cold, but was exhausted, and am definitely better today. The drugs seem to be working too.

Bunny sad

Aw - it was a stunt rabbit. Honest.

I am annoyed though. *there is a phoomph sound as a bunny not quick enough to get out of the way suddenly combusts as i glare at it* The local council told me that without photos of the prick the neighbour who cut the trees down in the park, they couldn’t prosecute.

I couldn’t ID him, it was dusk, even though i know what house he’s from. So instead of a hefty fine, they will … *drumroll* send out a letter. Gosh, how harsh. Of course, neighbour doesn’t give a shit, he doesn’t live here, never has, he bought the house to renovate and make a profit.

Once i come into my birthright as the Queen of Darkness, I’ll have neighbour strung up by his testicles. *me waving my arms around in an angry fashion causes a small child passing on a bicycle to self-combust*

Ahem.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, *smiles sweetly cos the PR people say i’m scaring you* there are 185 people i Follow. I’d like to follow more, but am finding some people really do post about nothing. Which you can get away with if you’re funny.

It seems to work best from those pretending to be cats, or fish. Or Amish. @sockington, @ericasfish, and @hotamishchick, for instance. All can be found on Twitter’s search page. Leave off the @ symbol or the Find People function doesn’t work.

Me, i mostly pretend to be human , even though i rarely feel like one. I mostly feel like an alien – though after all these years on this planet, I’m quite good at passing for human. A bit like a transsexual who’s not too tall, or bulky, and manages to get into the ladies’ loo without women hitting ‘her’ with handbags.  (See my dilemma over transgender naming here. I am not prejudiced, i’m just female.)

I’m pretty sure that I’m not actually human. Hell, i may not even be female – kids bore me, so do women who can only talk about kids or persuading some waste of space to commit to marriage. When i was younger i often found myself talking to men at parties.

the joys of PMS

They could at least talk about things other than persuading other men to marry them by any means possible – faking pregnancy was popular – and what kind of tablecloths they’d have for the wedding.

To my surprise, this is still the fashion today –   passive-aggressive emotional manipulation to get an apparently disinterested man to commit. We’ve come a long way, baby.

Women are touchy about women who don’t fit in – especially if they’re talking to men at parties. This means women will call you a whore – yep, i became a whore before i even got past kissing and into being bent. Mind you, being a sexually-inactive whore was preferable to being bored to death by women whose aspirations ended with the wedding reception.

Women are also touchy about nipples – for some reason women HATE women who show nipples. *rolls eyes* Like my nipples are deliberate. That would be a trick, making my nipples get hard on command. UP BOYS!

It’s a fricking physical reaction, Fangorella, (my current generic term for women who get off on putting me down), they stick out like that if something brushes against them – or if it’s chilly. It doesn’t mean i’m suddenly about to jump your partner – or that i’m feeling horny – it means there’s a draught! *coughs to hide the sound of the phoomph as another passing child explodes, and smiles nicely again*

Oh – feel i should add, i don’t mean i’m exposing my nipples at parties – like a quick flash to the blokes round the barbie – i mean that even in a padded bra, under a thick top, if i get chilled, they can stand out.

Anyway, enough about my nipples. Or not… wtf was i talking about?
Gosh, these drugs are good.

As if you couldn’t guess, this post brought to you by
the voices-outside-my head.

The voices-inside-my-head
are to be ignored – the ones outside, i listen to.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


The bacon vanilla shake and other stories

Twitter is still enjoyable – despite the Twoprahs (the people who only joined Twitter because @Oprah did.)

I’ve unfollowed rather a lot of people. Anyone i’ve Unfollowed – it doesn’t mean i hate you – perhaps just means i don’t think from what you tweet we have much in common. Unfollowing might be over something as innocent as talking about kids a lot – i don’t like *delicate shudder* children.

If you’re spouting something i consider to be wrong, i may correct you, but not if you seem to have a closed mind, and aren’t offering me any reason to look at your point of view rationally – no matter what your belief. Rather than rip you to pieces and tapdance on your still-quivering corpses, (or ‘argue’ as you Earthlings call it), i choose to unfollow.

I know how to persuade people to consider another point of view – it’s not by shouting back at them when they’re angry. The 140 characters of Twitter aren’t the forum for it. I still reply if people I’ve unfollowed speak to me – i check my @ replies at least once every Twitter visit.

Speaking of shouty people – I’m getting a little over the atheist faction on Twitter – for heaven’s sake, fundamentalist atheism is just like all the other fundamentalist religions. Yep, fucking boring.

If I wanted fundamentalists, I’d still be following the Christian conservatives I accidentally got tangled up with. (I was just doing a quiz!) At least they could talk about something other than God.

For instance, I’d never heard of a bacon and vanilla shake – yep, reckon they’ll have to let the Buckle of the Bible Belt out a little. I eventually unfollowed over the teabag protests.

I had no idea what was going on, but it was going on too much on my page. I was quite surprised they were into teabagging – i always thought that was a mostly gay thing, and no way was i going to look at footage of it.

Now, I know they’re not into gays – i’m not stupid. I’ve heard about Preparation H. Wait, that’s not right – oh yeah, Proposition Eight – well, if you say them aloud, you can see how i mixed them up.

Earlier i was talking to someone about haemorrhoids. In Australia i think they call it Rectinol. Preparation H, i mean, over here we call Proposition Eight ‘gay marriage’ and even the Labor Party is afraid of it (silly buggers).

As for why the conservatives hate gays – am pretty sure  gay people don’t allow bacon and vanilla shakes. Think about it, your favourite food, and they won’t stop whining about the saturated fat in the bacon, and did you make it with skinny milk?

Oh, there’s a more recent definition of teabagging – lol – you Americans and your funny ways – aside from putting your testicles in someone’s mouth, it was a political protest. Hmm – surely if they disagreed with you, they’d just bite your balls off?

Hmm… while we’re chatting, I feel i should make it clear, when i said fisting Oprah in the last post, i wasn’t talking about punching my fist in the air and cheering her on. Gosh, you must have been confused. This post’s no better. I’m going to need subtitles.

I have 250 people (and assorted bots) following me – about 90 of whom i follow back. And there’s another 90 ‘people’ i follow who don’t follow me back. Yep – the truth of Twitter – i don’t see the GUM unless they address me directly. (The Great Unfollowed Masses. Or MPRSH – aka Marketing, PR, Salespeople, and Hookers.)

If you’re in marketing? Don’t autofollow people for mentioning certain words – look at what they say. Following lots of people who don’t follow you back and not engaging with people who do follow you, (talking at them) is a major Twitter turn-off.

As evinced by my exchange with the Leader of the Opposition here in Oz @TurnbullMalcolm. Note, his staff didn’t get him a  good name, just his backwards. *rolls eyes* Makes you look like the Antichrist, Mal, and believe me, that’s fine if you’re me, but probably not so good for you.

Oprah’s staff got her @Oprah, Mal. You’re a millionaire many times over, buy some cool employees, instead of relying on people who vote Liberal. Or work in marketing.*snigger* (Liberal here is our version of the Nazi Republican Party – not liberal at all.)

He was talking about the current government’s new National Broadband Network (cost $43b), which i’ve blogged about before, and said it was “too good to be true”. I was stone cold sober, and said – directly to him…

teh fairywingz of ruddnet will take us to fairyland – except the unbelievers *looks at u* repent! (and can i borrow $43b?)

Maybe i wasn't clear...

Maybe i wasn't clear...


the many faces of the Twitterverse

I wrote this.

the sky is black, watching people run to escape the rain come howling over the lake, only dandelions still dancing out there

Sometimes on Twitter, someone says something beautiful. My thanks to @cataractmoon for telling me he liked it, which prompted me to read it over, and realise i liked it too.

Me, i’ve been calm, reading detective fiction. I’ll be the cool protagonist, at least i will when the hero is cool. And funny too. Most things i like – and men i like – are funny.

That’s what books are for. Lovely escapist stuff, whether heavy or light. I become the hero or anti-hero or the chick being chased by the Mob, just for a while.Or i lose myself in other ways, distracted from the world.

Instead of having to take crap from people, i shoot them in the head. Or when feeling evil, both feet. Or run them over with a tank. *happy thoughts*

The big news on Twitter has been @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher) hitting a million followers, *sound of gagging* and people trying to make out the new social media has triumphed. Perhaps that should be Twiumphed. It is a twiumph for young Ashton, although he did say it was for all his followers – however, he doesn’t follow back.

The Queen of Darkness points out that she could get a million followers just by saying keywords like sex and marketing – he had to beg and do webcasts. And get Oprah to use Twitter. (Her staff had the account ready – there are a lot of wannabe Oprah’s on Twitter already who would have grabbed @oprah if they could.)

Oprah’s perfectly suited to the overhyped world of the multi level marketer salespeople who infest Twitter – make money, ask me how! find god, ask me how! retire early, ask me how! lose weight, ask me how!

The supposed people’s movement came out sounding very orchestrated, and people on Twitter, as people online do enjoy doing, began to rebel. @TheBloggess (read her very funny blog here) posted

I just preemptively blocked @Oprah.

So I did too – hey, I’m easily led, and did think it was an excellent idea. And brothers and sisters, i must confess – it felt good. We were taking back Twitter from the celebs. Of course, it being the weekend, things went downhill from there.

Someone (allegedly Australian, no, it wasn’t me) started the #fistingoprah trend which did well for about 24 hours. It led to comments like this one – from me…

i’m thinking, if we want to get serious we’re going to need industrial quantities of lube – oh, and a winch #fistingoprah

Then @Dewayne1A said,

How much would you need and should i remove my watch first? learning to #fistingoprah

I include his post to prove that it wasn’t just me. I replied,

depends how much she fights you – and if you go for anal #fistingoprah

There were screams of horror. And of course, the one that got retweeted was this one below – when i was at my most flippant, suggesting ways of making the #fistingoprah hashtag movement go viral.

anal #fistingoprah might have more resonance – let’s face it, most ppl here are men lkg 4 backdoor action

I wasn’t even drinking. I scared some folks. The idea of backdoor Oprah freaked them out badly. We’re talking possible lawsuits for mental trauma. Hey, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of Her Majesty’s Tweetstream.

Boy, was i glad i got the whole “following Ashton Kutcher” thing out of my system last week! People trying to unfollow him can’t do it – Twitter is broken just for him (you can unfollow anyone except Ashton) – so maybe he doesn’t have that many followers.

People got excited over Oprah – was like Jesus was visiting. Someone said that Oprah said, “Gayle, go get me a Twinkie.” However, when i went to check the wording, her first post was

HI TWITTERS . THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY .

All in caps, huh?  What a noob. I have been on Twitter since… about mid-March? Yep, March 14th i think. I’m old in the Twitterverse. Four weeks! (I have however been online for over a decade.)

I did some research – other people on the web say Oprah’s first tweet was indeed  “Gayle go get me a twinkie.”

yes, other people saw it too

Hmm, has history been rewritten? Well, no – you see, it’s not Oprah saying it. When it’s a quote, it’s @Oprah@1938media were making a joke.

Me, i liked “Gayle, go get me a twinkie.” I reckon Oprah should have gone for that.

I’d quite like my first tweet as world ruler to be something intimate, let people think they know the real me. I even liked the intertextuality of it. I loved how it gave a wee nod to this famous lolcat.

Anal fisting, poetry, a lolcat, and celebrity gossip. Damn, i spoil you all.

I’ve had so much fun #fistingoprah, i’m not sure what could top it.  The voices-outside-my-head say not to worry, but the voices-inside-my-head are trying to shoot me with the tranquiliser gun.

Nobody panic.

*********

As this blog is posted, these are the hottest #topics on Twitter – this afternoon, #herebeforeoprah was top – a less invasive version of #fistingoprah – then the Formula One came on, (Chinese Grand Prix), and people began to focus on the important things. #asot400 is part of a 72 hour trance music festival, and Susan Boyle is a newly-discovered singer.

#f1, #asot400, Susan Boyle, Red Bull,

#herebeforeoprah, Player Snapshot, Webber, Ferrari, Coachella, Goodnight

The Twitterverse united by sport and music – and a love for Twitter.
It’s quite sweet, really.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Waffle waffle snarl, snarl waffle snarl

The lake is more than 180 degrees of blue, today slightly tipped with tiny whitecaps as the wind picks up. It’s very exposed, the southerly winds (from Antarctica) come belting in, and the veranda on that side is unusable most of the year. The house perches with about ten others, on a slight point on the lakeshore, with grass and some small groves of pretty native trees between it and the water.

Storms blow rain through the gaps in the old windows and walls, which leak, and the resultant mould is killing me. However, on a sunny day like today – with the sky a pale blue, the water deep sapphire, the trees swaying in the wind, and the only sounds birds calling – it’s hard to remember why i have to leave. Then my throat tickles, i cough and cough, start to choke, and i remember.

Can’t quite move out yet, nearly time, saving madly, living even more frugally than usual, and counting the days until i can get some boxes and start packing. Losing myself  – in the net, detective novels (thank you Stephanie Plum and Elvis Cole), and my blog. And the view. Big glass doors stop the wind, if not all the water.

I can stare out at the lake for hours. Pelicans scud past, hunting in the shallows, or mobbing the tiny fishing boats, less than a man’s height long, that net the lakes. Black swans spend the night, then take off, showing their white-tipped wings, honking from red beaks, the clatter of their wingbeats exactly like a civilised group of applauding spectators at the cricket.

I used to live in London, and now i live in a place where every day, the lorikeets dance in the trees, rainbows with wings, squawking and trilling, proclaiming their ownership of the big trees.

lorikeets in Lamington National Park -

lorikeets in Lamington National Park

The wind blows, peppering the roof with gumnuts, sounding like hail out of a blue sky. Raucous corellas fly past, soaring and swooping, large white masters of the sky, then become tumbling, swaggering midget clowns on the ground and in the branches.

The noise of their squawking can be so bad that sometimes i shoo them off, when a mob of maybe a hundred descends on the veranda, back yard, and more of them in the front. Most will take off, but there are always some who stay. Bright birds, you can see them thinking that however scary i am, i don’t appear to be armed, and humans often bring them food.

They dig holes in the lawn, leaving little pits six inches deep, happily chewing on roots, and it’s lucky we’re not lawn-proud, as this naturally kills the lawn in patches. Lawn’s a loose term for what’s happening in the yard, anyway – this is coastal wetland, we have seasonal ponds that mean the outdoor clothesline is inaccessible for several months of the year.

Long beak Corella pic by Ian Michael Thomas

Long beak Corella pic by Ian Michael Thomas

The scum couple who bought the place a few doors up have cut down three trees to improve their view. They’ve hacked at the roots of others, and they may die.

The trees were important parts of the lakeside habitat, home to birds and insects, and providing food for both. Now they’re gone.

Scum couple didn’t even worry about the fact that they weren’t on their land. Maybe thirty feet (10m) behind their property line. But now they get a less-obstructed view of the water directly behind their house. Just like on the lifestyle shows. More than 180° water views aren’t enough? Fucktards.

The guy knew he was doing something wrong, he ran inside when my partner went out in to our yard. We’d heard the noise for some time, it sounded like a basketball being bounced on concrete, but it never occurred to us that someone would cut down trees. I’ve put in a report to the council about the vandalism, i feel it’s the least i can do. The most involves kidnapping, the Gleaming Instruments of Death, and peeling people alive.

The trees here are my friends, like the birds, and the big bull possum that whumps down onto the flat metal roof, scaring the unwary. Sounds like a cannonball covered in fur. He occasionally skids right over the front of the roof, onto the front veranda, and nearly landed on my partner one night, while he was out having a smoke. The possum landed with his characteristic thump. They looked at each other. The possum grunted, so did my partner, and the possum went casually down the stairs and off hunting. Brushtail Possum from Wiki Commons Images

Personally, castration is too good for people who cut down park trees. I’m thinking penectomy – more cruel,  because it leaves them with the urges, but not the wherewithal. *smiles sweetly*

Sheesh, i did mention that i was the Queen of Darkness, don’t act surprised when i get a bit sadistic.

As i wind this up, the masked plovers are circling, annoyed about some incursion into their territory. They have massive spurs on their wings, and i’ve seen one attack a car when his chicks were threatened. A car.

fabulous pic by Kell (with more on the link) from The Nature of Robertson

fabulous pic of plover by Kell (note spikes on wings) from The Nature of Robertson

The plovers have quietened, it’s a happy dog dancing past, most of them are very well-behaved.

Outside, the light’s starting to fade, the tide tugging at the lake, down where it empties into the sea.

In other news, I nearly got killed three times by demented women at the supermarket this morning – well, out in the carpark, not in the supermarket. Two tried to ram my car, one tried while i was on foot.

Yes, it’s school holidays, and the mothers of the neighbourhood are hitting the anti-depressants – and possibly the vodka – before ten a.m.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


contempt for the public? we haz it!

A while back i posted OMG I Was Violated, about being plagiarised by someone who stole one of my blog posts – on the second day i was blogging here. I discovered all his posts were stolen, and reported them to Google Blogspot who were hosting his blog, and also took the time to let about nine other bloggers know that they’d been plagiarised too.

Google refused to take a plagiarism report unless in writing or by fax – neither of which are easily possible for me. Besides, the idea of trying to draft a legal document for a legal system i’m not part of was a serious turn-off – what if i said the wrong thing and laid myself open to a lawsuit? I’m poor enough, i don’t need to be in the freaking gutter. So i reported it as impersonation – he’d lifted a post which mentioned my name – and pointed out all the other people who’d been impersonated.

Absolutely nothing had happened – all the stolen posts were still up, and they never got back to me, despite me including my real name, photo, and other details as they requested. I was thinking well screw you, Google and Blogspot, i’m really glad i stopped using Google Mail (some of us like an indexing system that makes sense), and decided not to use Blogspot for my blog.

Then i heard on Twitter that Google had changed their plagiarism reporting requirements, and were now taking proper action against plagiarists on their sites. The info came from @problogger who as Australia’s top blog site, gets plagiarised a lot and has an excellent and scarily funny post on Top 8 Excuses for Stealing Other People’s Content . It’s scarily funny because the excuses are so freaking lame.

So i’ve put in a report , and contacted the last few people i could find from yet more stolen posts on his site, to let them know they can now report it easily. Some posts obviously weren’t his – but some people don’t let Google access their blog, so despite having actually read some of the posts on other blogs, i can’t find the owners. Fingers crossed they finally remove the stolen blogs and shut down the thief.

What really gets me, is that Google have up until now made it hard to report – which made them into a company that condoned intellectual and copyright theft. I don’t know why i expect them to be different from the other corporations – oh wait, yes i do – it’s because Google promote themselves as different, as being both human and humane. I’d have liked to boycott them – but trying to live without Google search might cause problems.

Anyway – if you want to report a plagiarised blog hosted on Google/Blogspot – go to this Google link, and fill the form in – is simple – all you need is your work’s URL, and the URL of the (must be Google/Blogspot) site that’s reproducing it without your consent.

Another corporation exposing its inhuman side is Amazon – who removed all gay and lesbian literature from their listings, and were subsequently outed on Twitter (among other places) over the Easter Weekend. This led to them being branded with #amazonfail in the Tweetstream.

I left the below on a blog this morning that asked if the whole Amazonfail thing actually mattered. Yes, i think it does.

I was on Twitter over the Easter weekend, so saw #amazonfail take off – Amazon first said in email to an author that “the company was excluding “ ‘adult’ material from appearing in some searches and best-seller lists.””

For ‘adult’, read ‘gay & lesbian’ – there were anti-homosexual books still available, along with very adult sex toys, and hetero erotica – funny how the catalogue works, huh?

Then Amazon changed their tune (perhaps realising it didn’t actually stand up to any serious scrutiny), and blamed a cataloguing error. It’s laughable. I’d take them seriously if they admitted someone had censored their lists of books, and they’d now fired that person/s. Instead, we got dribble – which however well-worded is still corporate spin to control the damage. However, the damage to their reputation is ongoing – #amazonfail is still on Twitter.

In six months, i think people will still be picking up stories like this from the net – after all – it’s news. Censorship, right wing religious views being forced on the book-buying public, and bigotry – it all works for me.

As for Amazon, well, lol. Yes, of course. We believe you, Amazon – that’s why the trend #amazonfail is still trending on Twitter and serious newspapers are taking up the story in droves.

Like the company and their ad agency that thought making up a fake romantic story was a good idea to sell clothes, and was surprised by the public backlash (i blogged about this in “lying and misrepresentation make u immoral scum…“), Amazon is discovering that introducing censorship via a secret agenda also doesn’t endear you to anyone, and then, when you lie about why you did it, people are even less impressed.

As i said at the end of “lying and misrepresentation make u immoral scum…

So – would you buy from a company that thought you were a stupid twat?

I wouldn’t. And i won’t.

UPDATE: 28th of April – another of the bloggers plagiarised let me know her post was gone from the plagiarist blog – i checked, mine is too.
I’m really pleased.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com


In which i have a quite amazing experience…

Originally, this was entitled “a post? oh, i suppose so” but something happened.

Plenty of things are annoying me, but they’re all too huge to think about. The National Broadband Network looms out of the internet mists, but Ruddnet is probably just to bait Telstra (our major carrier, formerly the monopoly) into doing something stupid, like accepting a government estimate of the cost of a to-every-home optical fibre broadband network. *sound of laughter*

Whatever happens, the government will do it stupidly, like someone renovating a house on the Lifestyle Channel – only there’s no property bubble to help the government sell (up to) 100mbps in (90% of) Australian homes in (maybe) eight years time.

Ooh – maybe I’m cranky enough to blog after all.

Later

And then i was distracted – i looked at Twitter, and @stewartheys – a guy i follow, said to check out a link – so i did. My freaking God. Go see. It’s a You Tube Video – 7 minutes, and worth every second.

If you haven’t seen Susan Boyle – a 47 year old woman – do yourself a favour. Go watch. And enjoy the rest of your day or night.

This 48-year-old woman is planning on doing the same.

© stinginthetail.wordpress.com