Saturday, December 31, 2005

assorted sound confusions CompuMusik


It's finished.

Want one?


Steven Streight CompuMusik

"assorted sound confusions" CD.

Email me your land address and I'll see what I can do. Post-dancehall break-beat pop-surrealist electro-violence warp-waffling crescendo-crushers.

Proudly made on on Mars with an Audacity audio editor as the only technology,

plus a CyberAcoustics CVL-1064 DNCT 4 (sensitivity: -64dBV/ubar, at 1KHz) VOIP (voice over internet) microphone.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

:^)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

bloggers and poets

Bloggers and poets share much in common.

Both are concerned about self-expression, truth, transparency, authentic "voice" embodied in textual formations.

[IMG: "between sun and star" by steven streight 12,27,2005]

Here's a fragment from:

"The Poet and His Book" by

Edna St. Vincent Millay.

[QUOTE]

Me, by no means dead
In that hour, but surely
When this book, unread,
Rots to earth obscurely,
And no more to any breast,
Close against the clamorous swelling
Of the thing there is no telling,
Are these pages pressed!

When this book is mould
[read "blog is abandoned,
orphaned by my death"]
And a book of many
Waiting to be sold
For a casual penny,
In a little open case,
In a street unclean and cluttered,
Where a heavy mud is splattered
From the passing drays,

Stranger pause and look;
From the dust of ages
Lift this little book,
Turn the tattered pages,
Read me, do not let me die!
Search the fading letters, finding
Steadfast in the broken binding

All that once was I!

[END QUOTE--but the poem continues]


That's what your blog is: what is currently you. That's what makes it so powerful. It's a textual transformation of your thoughts, your ideas, your opinions.

Blogs, as I often say, represent the Rise of the Individual Voice against MSM/Government/Religious Information Hegemony.

And as a mirror of your mind, your blog is a testament to your sanity, comedy, and love for humanity, that microcosm of which is your blog audience.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

get yr CompuMusik CD now


CompuMusik CD
now ready to ship


Step right up and get your experimental electro-acoustic techno noise machine product!

Yes, you poor misguided creatures, the new Steven Streight CompuMusik smash hit album, the final version, is now done and starting today, being mailed out.

"Christian Noise Metaphysics" final public version for mass distribution, and soon to be followed by my "Assorted Sound Confusions" sequel, consists of the following "songs":


Steven Streight CompuMusik
"Christian Noise Metaphysics"

TT: 77:16

Made with Audacity audio editor, Cyber Acoustics CVL-1064 DNCT 4 internet microphone, and pneuma hagion love.



(1) transform the culture [0:30]

(2) zero to infinity in no seconds [5:58]

(3) thought cube disco [5:27]

(4) glory glory (radio edit) [3:41]

(5) war vs. everybody [3:50]

(6) Liberty by Shelley 1824 [6:23]

(7) new dimension disco [7:17]

(8) life pulsations booster [2:40]

(9) chalice and torch [2:05]

(10) vibrating foamular object (remix) [2:44]

(11) ethereal nature setting [7:38]

(12) light train signal [3:35]

(13) the glow [3:20]

(14) properties of linear detergents [11:51]

(15) digital angel jazz piece [4:55]

(16) painful flames of sorrow [5:15]


I added techno type instrumentation drive to a few songs, so they charge along more locomotively, picking up the pace, and lauching out into outer space.

If we find spam in outer space, will it then be "Outer Spam"?

If so, me and Sufjan Stevens will be there to meet it, greet it, and defeat it.

http://www.sufjan.com

Check out the interesting products at Asthmatic Kitty Records:

http://www.asthmatickitty.com

Last night I bought Sufjan Stevens' "Come on feel the Illinioise" CD at WalMart, and it is an incredibly beautiful, Van Dyke Parks-type musical work, with a mini-orchestra and bizarre lyrics with a spiritual edge.

Song titles are generally paragraphs like Track 2: "THE BLACK HAWK WAR, or How To Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, I have fought the Big Knives and will continue to fight them until they are off our lands!"

Or Track 6: "A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons".

Caution: Sufjan Stevens and his Asthmatic Kitty Records colleagues are making "secretly spiritual" music, so make sure you're on The Path first before listening to it, and know within your deepest self that you're at least taking a few baby steps toward turning into an Other Than.

Also check out the FREE music mp3 downloads at related site Sounds Familyre

http://www.soundsfamilyre.com/
soundsfamilyre/media/index.asp

And the very cool Secretly Canadian cartoon music video "Morning Wonder" by The Earlies

http://www.scjag.com/
mp3/sc/morningwonder.mov



Now, back to my shameless self-promotion, with no monetary gain in mind.


ANTI-MAMMONIST:

Want a FREE copy of my new Steven Streight CompuMusik "Christian Noise Metaphysics" album recorded directly from WAV files onto a sleek gold Maxell Music Pro CD-R?

Email me your land address, and I'll see what I can do.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


P.S. As I don't operate a blog just to "accumulate comments", even so, I don't make electronic music just to "make money", which I think is a horrible reason for the making of any artistic entity.

Music designed to make money is typical RIAA product that sounds worse and worse with each successive CD by over-produced, super-hyped generic wankers and wannabes called "musicians", or "rock bands", or whatever.

Music designed to make money all sounds the same to me. You can actually hear the profit motive in every generic, imitative stroke of the strings and warble of the voice.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blogs for damage control: strategy


Blog strategy for
damage control:
strategy

[or:

Blogocombat against negative
blog posters and commenters]



Dave Taylor, at his Intuitive Life Business Blog, asks for blogger opinions on how to use blogs to do damage control for a company.

A product is getting a lot of negative blogospheric commentary. The client wants to know how to do Damage Control. Apparently, the negative comments are half true, and half false.

Thus, the company is not entirely innocent, and this is a huge factor to deal with in the corporate response.

The client wonders if they should hire a real blogger to do the damage control. Start a blog that addresses the issues? Visit the blogs where the negative posts and comments are occuring, and enter the debate as an official representative? Or just let a regular PR company handle it all?

There are many complex issues to consider, but let me lay a groundwork, a foundation for an overall strategic orientation of blogocombat in this realm of Corporate Damage Control Blogging.


Know the Whole Truth: Tell As Much As Necessary

Be candid. The blogosphere is based on openness and straight talking.

Bloggers can smell a hidden agenda, an undisclosed unsavory fact, and a fearful self-defensive exasperation, so don't even think of trying to hide or be something you're not. Even though most companies aren't used to approaching the lowly consumer with an enforced honesty and mandatory sincerity, still, it must be done in this manner, or not at all.

How to say you did something dumb or wrong, without giving any room for implications that you are thoroughly dumb or wrong, that can be tricky. You need an expert writer, marketing strategist, and psychological detective as your Damage Control Blogger.

Politicians never admit they made any mistakes or have any regrets. This lowers their credibility, which is the opposite of what the politicians intended. They stupidly think that if they admit any weakness or error, the other party will pounce on it and blow it out of proportion. They fear that the public will get fixated on that weakness or error, and the other party will be able to base a whole campaign on opposing it.

This is paranoid, childish thinking. The truth cannot harm anyone, only lies and shadings end up causing real, irrecoverable damage.

Focus on Customer, NOT Corporate, Damage Control

But the first thing is this: make the client see that this public response must be all about Fixing Customer Damage, not protecting the company from bad publicity. The orientation has to be altruistic, customer-focused. That's the first thing to do.

Not "Damage Control", but "Customer Reconciliation". That's how it must be described and understood. Do whatever it takes to (1) tell the truth completely and simply, and (2) make the offended, disappointed customers happy and trusting again.

The client must *quickly* confess, admit they made a mistake. Then explain any exaggerations or errors in the opponent's accusations. Be honest and bold, but not arrogant or self-approving. The slightest stench of aloof grandiosity will anger the bloggers who expect truth, transparency, candor, sincerity.

Damage control ideally is done by the corporate person responsible. It's that simple.

And get the truth, then proceed from there, the full truth at its very ugliest. The bloggers will keep digging up details, so the Damage Control person has to know 10 times more than any dirt digger could ever come up with.

Even if you hire a PR agency or a blogger, you still have to get that Corporate Person who is Responsible, meaning who created the "problem", to explain his side of it to them, completely and very candidly.

Then, the Corporate Person, or the blogger, or the PR person must polish his verbal or written statements, guide him as you all, as a team craft the response. You may want to do a usability test or focus group study on it, prior to full launch into the blogosphere, whether it's a new Damage Control Blog, or a Damage Control Blogger who posts comments at those opposing blogs.


Realize This is Blogocombat

For damage control in the blogosphere, you MUST use a professional blogger: aggressive, intelligent, dipolmatic, known for confrontation, famous for winning blogocombat debates, and overwhelmingly charming, without being crafty in a negative, sleazy sense, but with street smarts.

This is the Job Description for a new kind of blogger, the highly specialized Damage Control Blogocombat Blogger.

This is what is needed. Some sharp-tongued, kind-hearted, fast-reacting blogger who can pulverize the opposing view, without offending good taste or corporate dignity. Some one the other blog readers will cheer as "funny, self-assured, and fair", someone people will like.

If it's a suit spouting corporate fluff apologies, or dubious pleas of innocence, it will turn off the blogosphere. The company spokesperson, the blogger, must be authentic and even somewhat critical of the company, stating his or her own negative opinion, to some degree, to establish a bond and a credibility with the opposing bloggers.

"Come on guys, you know XYZ Company has provided mostly great products for 35 years, and their service support isn't too shabby either. As far as customer-friendly, XYZ's not too bad, all in all. Now something slipped through the cracks, got past our inspectors, and we shipped some shoddy doohickeys. We're very embarrassed and hurt to think that some loyal customers will leave and never return. All for one dumb mistake. Sorry. To try to make up for it, we're racing to do whatever it takes to win you back and somehow compensate for the trouble we caused you...[etc.]"

Figure out what type, psychological style of blogs they are with the neg. commentary on the client. Then think of how best to talk to this crowd. Tough and brief? Or sweet and lengthy? Those are the two major divisions of styles.

Don't want to say a lot, but not too brief either.

But you or whoever writes the damage control posts *must* be able to talk on the wavelength of the typical anti-company commenter and the other readers and authors of these blogs. This is crucial. An aloof, arrogant discourse will be attacked as "more corporate fluff BS". A wimpy avoidance will be considered proof of organizational guilt and immorality.

A Damage Control Blogger who sounds like a press release, a corporate brochure, or a politician, will be rejected by the blogosphere, and the blogs opposing your client's company will do more that reject it. They'll use at as more fuel for the fire. Your whole Damage Control effort will backfire, and cause even more negative blogospheric commentary.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

:^)

"It's not your teenager's blogosphere anymore, and never was."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

NY Times blogging memo is right on


NY Times
blogging memo
is right on


If memory and archives serve me well, I think I've complained in the past about the New York Times policy or statements about blogs.

Not today. Today I have a smile on my face, though I haven't done all the fact checking that I need to pursue. Still, there's a good reason for my smile.

I can nitpick and find a few flaws, but in general, the new memo on blogging issued by the New York Times is very nice. They are starting to "get" blogging, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of MSM (morbid/main stream media).

[BTW, I think my "morbid stream media" meme is catching on. I won't take any credit really, but I have seen network TV news attempting to broadcast more "positive angle" stories lately, and the anchors are talking more about "our blog". Ha ha ha. Okay. That's good, I guess. We'll see.]

I got this juicy morsel from a MicroPersuasion email update that references Jonathan Dube, a very nice and smart guy, and his CyberJournalist dot Net site, which references the L.A. Observed site.

I quote from the text at CyberJournalist dot Net.

[QUOTE]


Here is the full New York Times memo on blogging (via L.A. Observed):

To: The Staff From: Jon Landman

December 7, 2005

We’re blogospheric.

Yesterday we launched a genuine, authentic, by-the-book New York Times blog. It’s Carpetbagger, by David Carr. It’s part of a new movie-awards-season web site called Red Carpet, which includes a bunch of things you won’t see in the newspaper, like weekly columns by Joyce Wadler and Caryn James. You’ll see a refer on today’s front page, which I boldly, if ignorantly, declare to be our first-ever page-1 refer to a web-only feature. At the very least, it’s our first-ever page 1 refer to a blog.

Within a few days, we’ll put up a real estate blog by Damon Darlin and others. More blogs are in the works. Even more are at the idea stage.

We’ve come late to blogging, obviously, though we’ve put toes in the water on a number of occasions, as when our movie critics sent running commentary from last year’s Cannes film festival.

But our new blogs are more than running commentary. Look at Carr’s. It’s full of links to film publications and blogs and web sites. It encourages responses from readers and hopes to start a lively conversation. Nothing is more important to the future of our web ambitions than to engage our sophisticated readers. Blogs are one way to do it.

It’s worth spending a little time thinking about blogs, and about ourselves. Blogs make some newspaper people nuts; they’re partisan, the thinking goes, and unfair and mean-spirited and sloppy about facts. Newspapers make some bloggers nuts; they think we’re dull and slow and pompous and jealous guardians of unearned “authority.”

It’s a pretty dopey argument. Indeed, some blogs are lousy. So are some newspapers. Some blogs reject journalism. Some practice it.

The point is, a blog is nothing more than a piece of technology. It allows people to compile thoughts, connect with others and interact quickly with readers. People can use it any way they want to. It has no inherent ethical or moral quality, though it does have its own special power.

We’ll use the technology our way. Our bloggers will have editors. They will observe our normal standards of fairness and care. They won’t float rumors or take journalistic shortcuts. Critics and opinion columnists can have opinion blogs; reporters can’t. (To quote Carr: “If the Carpetbagger delved into plot or relative quality – they didn’t turn me loose for my refined cinematic taste ­ flying monkeys would come out of the ceiling here at headquarters and behead him.”) We’ll encourage readers to post their thoughts, but we’ll screen them first to make sure the conversation is civil.

Some bloggers will accuse us of violating blogospheric standards of openness and spontaneity. That’s life in the big city.

We will use blogs to convey information, sometimes in conventional ways, sometimes not-so. Our notions of journalistic responsibility are perfectly compatible with spirited fun. Do we put David Carr online to be witless? Um, no. Actually, we think he’s pretty witty in the newspaper.

Blogging does impose obligations. Blogs have to be updated frequently. They have to be carefully tended. There are costs; David Carr and Damon Darlin will be spending time they could be using to write newspaper articles. Their bosses have decided that’s an advantageous tradeoff. I agree.

Thoughts? Bring 'em on.

December 07, 2005


[END QUOTE]


I still have to check out the NY Times blogs, and I hope to have something good to say later about them.

What do you think about the memo and the blogs?

Post a comment and share your opinion with me. Thanks.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

:^)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What comment spam looks like


What
comment spam
looks like


I hate comment spam and those scumbags who post it to blogs. These spammer fiends are excess baggage we can do without. Be sure to delete every spam comment that appears on your blog.

Spam comments take many forms, have varied content, and often link to dangerous or dubious sites.

Never click on a link in a spam comment. You may get infected with spyware, and you will be boosting the search engine ranking or link popularity of the site, in some cases.

Comment spam is cyber-vandalism. It's the defacing of a blog by selfishly using your blog as a bulletin board to post their crap.

To avoid even the appearance of comment spam, I almost never post a comment with any kind of link in it. I especially never include a link to my blogs or to any of my blog posts.

Blog promotion specialists may tell you it's okay to mention a relevant post you wrote, and to include a post URL to it. I disagree.

Here's what I advise: post an intelligent, revelvant, unique comment, in which you mention, by title, the brilliant article you posted on your own blog. Let people click on the link embedded in your name, where the comment form asks for your homepage URL, to visit your blog. Then, once they're at your blog, they can find your essay.

Even innocent, benevolent comments can look like spam, when a link is included.

Now, let's look at a spam comment I received today. Since I have Blogger Comment Moderation and Word Verification, the spam problem has been greatly reduced, and is now completely ineffectual.

Comment Moderation delays the posting of all comments by my readers. It also means that all comments will be evaluated for spam characteristics, prior to appearing on my blogs. This protects my readers from malevolent web sites, and makes my blogs cleaner, more professional looking.

This comment quoted below was rejected as spam. Can you see why? Remember, not all comment spam looks like this. Sometimes it is just a linked phrase. But this one is fairly typical. Check it out...



[QUOTE]


from internet marketing manager


Hi there ,

You have a great looking blog with a lot of helpful information. I am book marking this page.

I was out searching for more info on advertising strategy ["advertising strategy" was a link to some dubious web site] when I found your page. Although Get Back to Cluetrain wasn’t exactly what I was interested in. I had to stop……..GREAT POST

I’m tryin’ to find more information on advertising strategy.

Have you ever thought of adding Instant Audio to your Website and emails?..... It will double your sales in the First 30 days.

Click on the link to see how this will change the power of your business.

[END QUOTE]


Analysis of the
Spam Comment:

(1) "from internet marketing manager"

* this "internet marketing manager" is a bogus name that's not really a name at all, it's a title, and it means nothing, just done to make you think it's legit.


(2) "Hi there, you have a great looking blog, etc."


* my name, Steven, or nickname, Vaspers, is not used.

* this is a generic intro, can be pasted into millions of blogs to spam them.

* bogus flattery, again generic, is quick to follow.


(3) "I was searching for more information on advertising strategy"

* the words "advertising strategy" are a link to a dubious site.

* when the link is to a legitimate site, it is always commercial, trying to sell something, and this is a horrible way to try to promote anything.


(4) "Although Get Back to Cluetrain wasn't exactly what I was interested in."

* the spam program automatically fills in the title of my post, in this case it was "Get Back to Cluetrain"-- this is done to make the comment appear to be a legit human comment, but it's not.


(5) "GREAT POST"

* more stupid flattery to make you think the comment is legit and friendly, but it's not.


(6) "I’m tryin’ to find more information on advertising strategy."

* this is another lie, with the words "advertising strategy" a link again.


(7) "Have you ever thought of adding Instant Audio to your Website and emails?..... It will double your sales in the First 30 days.

Click on the link to see how this will change the power of your business."

* once again, the real purpose of this spam comment is *not* to contribute to the conversation I started about the Cluetrain Manifesto, but to drive traffic to some ignorant web site.




I talk a lot about Comment Spam. It's because such selfish acts are a blotch on any blog, and a major problem for the blogosphere.

I have actually quit visiting certain business blogs because the negligent or stupid business blogger would not prevent or delete comment spam on his blog. I got tired of seeing the crap, and I got tired of alerting the blogger to the spam.

Let's clean up the blogosphere by policing our own blogs for abusive, hate-mongering, sleazy, pornographic, off topic, and traffic boosting spam comments.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

:^)