Wednesday, May 7, 2008

US troops in Iraq come up with an aesthetic idea

Just noticed the 23 July Business Week, page 33: "Beam of Light Technologies (Portland, OR) imports green lasers from Taiwan for such civilian uses as classroom teaching and birdwatching. Soldiers in Iraq have found that green lasers, easier to see than red ones, can be used to warn motorists to stop when they approach a checkpoint. The alternative - firing a few warning shots - often frightens drivers, prompting them to accelerate instead, which can cause soldiers to open fire. The REF (an Army office) reports that green lasers have reduced aggressive drivers at checkpoints by as much as 80%." Positive news is hard to find in the mainstream media.

The Encyclocentral Idea

Another great idea to write one's educated opinion and get paid for it. I have discovered Encyclocentral, where they run a Paid Article Submission Program. This must be a high-quality live database, judging by their zero-tolerance for plagiarism and stringent requirement for spell and grammar checking before submission. The site, makes the writing somewhat easier than other write-for sites, by providing the participants with common key phrases, which have to be developed into titles. One certainly needs to be really good at writing, in order to produce quality output, submit it diligently through an on-line process, which includes providing a snippet of the article, in order to make his time worth $5, paid out into a Paypal account.

RIAA loses a case on music file posting

Arizona Judge Shoots Down RIAA Theories

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Atlantic v. Howell, the judge has totally
eviscerated the RIAA's theories of 'making available' and 'offering to

In a 17-page opinion (PDF), District Judge Neil V. Wake
carefully analyzed the statute and case law, and based on a 'plain reading
of the statute' concluded that 'Unless a copy of the work changes hands
in one of the designated ways, a "distribution" under [sec.] 106(3) has
not taken place.'

The judge also questioned the sufficiency of the RIAA's evidence pointing
towards defendant, as opposed to other members of his household. This is
the Phoenix, AZ, case in which the defendant is representing himself, but
received some timely help from his friends. And it's the same case in which
the RIAA suggested that Mr. Howell's MP3s, copied from his CDs, were
unlawful. One commentator calls today's decision 'Another bad day for the

Going viral: inside SocialSpark

My curiosity was peaked when I saw SocialSpark, a new social media marketing site, which had a real, portal-like, at-your-fingertips layout with status-and-data reports. What appeals to many in this site is the Spark, which I think is the last name of the site founder, and, furthermore, it serves to provide the spark of social activity that is ultimately translates into the traffic to one's blog.

Ina addition to the obvious menu choices like Browse Blogs, Browse Channels, there is a an interesting page that is underestimated, I think - the Marketplace. There are available opportunities for a Sponsored Post, a Sponsored Blog and Spark. The Spark is probably the most unique opportunity found in the blogosphere, since it does not involve any strict requirements for a post. All is needed is a clear post referring to the Spark originator, who often has the I Blog U Back button. This is a great opportunity for someone to generate backlinks and interaction.

Among what appears to be many sponsored content sites, SocialSpark is a livelier, more socially bubbly community, with blogging opportunities serving as the center for site activities.

A real help and an eye-candy is miniaturized member avatars used automatically instead of a dull list of one's friends, blog visitors, proppers (voters) and advertizers. I can easily check out new opportunities by scrolling the filmstrip-like horizontal list.

Thus I found that the procedure for joining has also been made easy through installing a short code into my blogs, and simply waiting for the blog to be verified and approved (rather speedily) by clicking a refresh button underneath each of my blogs' green checkmark bubbles. This is my blog list page, where I can also see my blogs' traffic and popular ratings, like Alexa, Real and PR. The burgundy button is the pathway to editing the blog description, keywords and categorization.

I found that the system of props, or votes, covers profiles as well as member's blogs. That means you can legitimately vote for a member and separately for the member's blog. That is what I call being analytical, or representative. On this Blog Profile visiting members can vote for the blog, see summaries of the posts, email, and view the traffic graphs as well as visitor demographics:

On my personal profile page a visitor can vote for me personally, see all my personal interests, keywords, and request to be my friend. All my friends, members who have me as a favorite, profile visitors, and my recent opportunity activities are all in one easy-to-see, clickable section.

To summarize, I have to say that the social sparking has worked, according to my blog traffic analysis, wherein all the profile- and blog-based viewing translated into curiosities that susbequently led to viral spikes of clicks and comments on my blogs.

I can proudly disclose this post as being sponsored and paid for by SocialSpark.