Tuesday, February 28, 2006

reports of my "suicide" are a bit over the top

Rumors of my self-immolation or despondency leading to auto-cannibalism? Not entirely true. I am, thanks to your prayers and substantial financial contributions funneled through one Paul "Tin/Blog-Basher" Woodhouse...who receives a small token fee for fussing with PayPal and PayPal Phishing pukes.

I have a plan for taking back my poor old Vaspers the Grate web site/blog.

But I'm too busy reading Catch-22, Gonzo Marketing, and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras right now to deal with it.

Plus, I'm frankly just not getting the Google Juice or Blogosphere Buzz that I desperately longed for, by going into hiding, fearing for my wife and family and new home, afraid to look for that dishwashing job I need to cure my frozen shoulder/geek neck/etc.

You want news and theoretical underpinnings related to the 9+ Core Values of Blogging. Me too. So why won't one of my loyal friends of this lowly blog SEND ME something to publish here...while I fight off irate IT guys in hostile environments, who know how to hack into and pillage anybody's blog, including yours?

Thanks. I shall return...with MORE...and MUCH MORE....soon. (i hope)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Quit spanking me (pretty please with sugar on top)

Will someone please tell me why Blog Core Values syndication feed subcribers just now took a huge downward spiral plunge?

My feed subscribers, holding steady at 12 to 16 persons, has suddenly dropped to just 4.

Is there a problem with Feedburner?

I can't think of any super controversial posts that have been put up here lately. Or is everyone just getting wasted watching the negative Morbid Stream Media coverage of the Olympics, and are taking their anger out on poor little BCV?

Surely, I don't have nothing but Mao Pinkos reading this rag, do I? Or frumpy butt business schmucks who are racing to eat China's butt hole to sell products in that crap ass totalitarian regime?

I'm so civil, polite, and freaking gentle to all my enemies, it can't be that I've alienated everyone with my posting policies? Right?

Oh well. I'll Google "Feedburner subscriber problems" or something. And I'll look at my Sitemeter stats.

Stay tuned.

CyberGal teaches me a thing or two

I don't get it. How can there be two of me, when I'm no one at all?

I mean, what gives? And she's all the way out, er, in Indonesia, or Neptune, or Alpha Centauri (my hometown). I forget where she said she struggles to live. But wherever it is, there's something in the water. Or Kool Aid.

See, she last night Skyped me. I know. That sounds dirty, doesn't it? Well, that's just your filthy thought life rearing its ugly decapitated head again.

Anyway, as she Skyped me, I learned that there are two ways to deal with online detractors, abusive commenters, and general rabble rousers at your site...

CyberGal Anti-Flame Tips:

(1) Rant endlessly on the topic, even if you know absolutely *nothing* about it.

Quote: "I can jabber forever on any topic. I have strong opinions about every single thing in the universe, and it doesn't matter if I don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about, or if I'm using correct protocols and terminology."

(2) Use foreign language sentences in reply to flames.

She gave me two French sentences, taken from her Mac translator program thingamajig. You can see how I used them over at A Jack of All Blogs.

One is the French version of "I'm sorry, I was cleaning out my sock drawer, what did you say?"

The other is the French version of "You may not be full of crap, but you still smell bad anyway."

[EDITOR: Deep link post comment URLs will be provided shortly, in this post.]

CONCLUSION: Don't mess with this lady. She'll devour your empty head while she forces you to polish her storm trooper boots. Spit polish. Very shiney.

Pure and utter freaking genius.

I...am...deeply...humbled...and grateful. She's not too shabby of a Skyper, too.


Miserably Servile Customer Pampering: intro

Have you ever heard of MSCP?

Of course you haven't. I just now decided to reveal it.

Miserably Servile Customer Pampering, or MSCP, is a fool-proof form of groveling that is guaranteed to increase sales, consumer satisfaction, and headaches for any company.

All you have to do is bend over backwards, and turn heaven and earth upside down for every customer request.

I learned this at Boring Pseudo-Christian Bookstores International, a mediocrely successful enterprise.

They give you an antiquated computer to look up products for special orders. The database is not updated in a timely manner. The search program is sluggish, and extremely problematic.

You type in the "Artist Name" and, for say Michael W. Smith, you get 3,012 hits. His album CDs, songbooks, accompaniment tracks, singles CDs, etc., everything he's ever done.

The program always dumps you somewhere within this file, then you have to press P for previous or N for next, then Enter, over and over and over again, to find the randomized, non-alphabeticized entry you are seeking, like "Friends" AC (accompaniment track CD, churchy people sing along with it in a church gathering).

Well, now. When a customer asks for the item, and you don't have it, you say: "Like me to special order it for you?" You hope they say no. Your Music Manager instructed you to just send them to Barnes & Noble. But you know that is unprofitable for the store, and the customer gives you that critical look, and says, "Yes."

MSCP dictates that you oblige.

You search and search for it. Can't find it. You do another search, on other branches, then on distributors, and finally, on the manufacturer. Still no luck.

"I'm sorry, ma'am," you say sweetly. "It says, see?, that the UPC number is invalid. This means that not only does no store have it, nor any distributor, but also it is out of print."

You, in obedience to MSCP, and the Music Manager, suggest they try Barnes & Noble, All That Matters, A Christ-Centered Store, Zondervan Bookstore, Thomas Nelson Outlet Shop, eBay, Goodwill, Southside Mission Mart, Lagron Miller, The Family Resource Center, or the artist/record company web site.

You do everything you can to keep the customers happy and satisfied. Even if it means driving business to your heartlessly ruthless, but more organized and efficient, competitors.

Even if they don't believe you, about the item being "out of print", and think you have a personal vendetta against them, at least you conformed to the terrific MSCP system of customer relations.

The one drawback to Miserably Servile Customer Pampering is this: your customers become hardened complainers anyway. And they start to enjoy watching you fawn all over them as you use broken computer configurations to solve their miniscule, insignificant problems.

It tends to make customers more sadistic and demanding than they already are. But that's life...and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Meet Vernon: death row proxy blogger

Meet Vernon


is a "proxy" blog of a death row inmate.

Proxy Blog means you email questions to his representative, they forward messages to Vernon, and his replies are posted to his blog by his representative.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

China Sucks: torture, etc. of Falun Gong

Here's another reason why the Communist government of China, and the people who will not rise up against it and overthrow it, SUCK.

"China's fight with Falun Gong"


Chinese government is torturing and imprisoning peaceful citizens.

I've watched a Falun Gong video from the local library. It used overt hypnotic techniques. The cult leader said: "I'm going to now deposit within you a [something mystical, like an inner mantra mechanism] so that you will always automatically be practicing Falun Gong Buddhism, even while you work and sleep." (my paraphrase, but very close to actual quote)

Falun Gong leader will implant a mystical "device" within me? No thanks. Stupid.

Yet, I defend their right to free expression, functioning web sites, and freedom of association. Paranoid Commie China government wishes only to repress.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tech Republic on Firefox problems

"Firefox has problems"


I copy and pasted that post URL, but it will not work. Anybody explain that to me?

Just go to TechRepublic Blog


and click-select "Firefox has problems" from Latest Articles list.

Seems I'm not the only one to temporarily ditch the plagued new Firefox browser. It keeps crashing when I attempt to visit my Gmail account.

The comment posters to this TechRepublic Blog post have some other observations pertaining to "Default" error messages, Control Alt Delete to get download manager, problems with dl overload, etc.

Increase comments with comment post blitz

Not getting many comments on your blog?

Here's just about the best cure there is: a comment post blitz.

A blitz is a sudden-onset, overwhelming onrush of aggression or benevolent activity, a shock and awe wave of tsunami proportions and laser perforations. It means a massive attack, a huge campaign, sprawling almost out of control, with incredible precision and impact.

So, go post comments on about 40 to 100 blogs, starting with blogs of those who have posted comments on your blog ("reciprocal commenting"), then blogs you've already posted comments on in the past, then to whatever blogs you have on your blogroll, and so on and on and on.

If you post comments on that many blogs, 40 to 100, and the comments are good, I guarantee you'll get some comments on your blog.

Just make sure your comments are (1) relevant, (2) smart, (3) interesting, (4) well written, (5) funny or profound or anecdotally clever, (6) brief as possible, (7) not spammy, not embedding a link to one of your posts, (8) not self-serving, (9) tailored to that blog's audience and atmosphere, (10) assertive, (11) friendly, (12) helpful, (13) insightful, (14) complimentary.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Your hate posts may pin a crime on you

Blogs and murder are intimately connected, and we can be glad.

Stupid bloggers, who happen to be pychopathic killers, are blabbering all their thoughts and feelings on their blogs.

Law enforcement officials are happy that personal trivia bloggers post so much on their blogs.

They say that blogs are a series of snapshots of a person's inner self. Regardless of how much is strictly factual, a personal trivia blog can provide "motive", "key witnesseses", "intent", and many other clues that can help solve serious crimes.

Also, victims are leaving blog posts behind, posts that contain clues or direct references to those who seemed to wish harm to the blogger, like an alcoholic ex-boyfriend or a vengeful neighbor. Bloggers use such little discrimination when posting, they are a goldmine of criminal investigation information.

So, the next time you feel like venting, expressing your loathing for a person, for example, just hope nobody kills that person any time soon. Because, if your blog contains probable motive, you may be a suspect. And many who are in prison are innocent, as DNA tests and other evidence have proven.

So, even if you're Not Guilty, you might still accidentally be convicted, based on what you write in your blog.

"Killers, victims post their thoughts on personal Web pages"


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Your blog is selling you

Your blog is a sales tool.

NO--I don't mean you are selling, or could sell, products on it.

I mean, your blog sells YOU...with every post, every sidebar enhancement, and every new design.

You're selling your humor, expertise, style, content, presentation, information, personality, human warmth, altruism, compassion, and other reader benefits--like links to cool sites and safe downloads.

You're in sales if you deal with people in any way at all. We are all sales professionals, by default, by being social creature. You could do worse than to study a sales professional's book on how to sell. It could improve your situation at work, at home, and among friends.

Sales is simply being mindful of words, feelings, and needs. Being scientifically, almost Buddhistically, attentive to the powers and effects of direct communication. Knowing more about good sales techniques can help your blog. Your blog is a store selling opinions, news, links, or expertise.

Sales is just street smarts, hardened psychology. Selling is guiding another's actions in regard to their money purse. It's getting them to open the gates and allow some treasures to flow your way.

Dating is a sales relationship. So is parenting. Children must be "sold" on your authority, integrity, and reliability.

Blogging also is sales. Your blog is working hard to sell you and your opinions or know-how to an audience of readers.


How to Master the Art of Selling
by Tom Hopkins
(Warner Books, 1982)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Exo-blog promo: be an expert

Are you an expert? Is your blog your way of displaying your skills, ideas, scholarship, proficiency?

Here is an "exo-blog" strategy, something you can do outside the blogosphere, to promote your expertise.

Listen to direct marketing specialist, and blogger, Robert Bly in his book Selling Your Services (Henry Holt, 1991, p.76)...

Other service providers position themselves as experts by sending letters to editors that say, in essence, "I am an expert in so-and-so subject, and I am very open to being interviewed by the media. So if you ever do a story on so-and-so subject, and need information, feel free to call me."
The strategy here is to offer yourself as a source.
Many editors and reporters are not experts in the topics they write about, and are in constant need of experts they can interview--frequently on a moment's notice.
If you have expertise in a subject they cover, and are cooperative and available when they need you, they'll interview you.
The benefit? You get quoted as an expert source in the article, your name is given visibility, and you become known as an authority in your field.
When mailing such a letter...include a printed Rolodex card the reporter or editor can keep on file....
When being interviewed, always have some free booklet or brochure [or URL to announce] to offer listeners, and make sure you give your name and address [email and blog/site URL, Skype name], so listeners can contact you to receive your material. ...clear this with the host or interviewer before you go on.


Thanks for sharing this great tip in your book, Robert. Hope people buy it now that I've mentioned it.

bloggers are revolutionists

You are not random pieces of amphibian crud.

You, blogger, are a living act of aggression against Global Mind Control.

You, blogger, are a continuous behavioral pattern of deconstruction of your personality, your faith, your feelings, your own opinions. You hate and persecute anything that threatens Free Speech, Free Food, and Free Music.

Speaking of music, it can soothe and it can also give you that kick in the rump we all need from time to time. I listen to protest music of every stripe I can find, except white supremacy, misanthropy, or religious intolerance cultism, and crank it up.

The harder the better. You know: Noize Punishment, Ambassador 21, Atari Teenage Riot, Skin Chamber, Tourniquet, Attrition, Techno Animal, Bob Dylan.

You can feel the Passion, Angst, Pain, Anguish coming through the music.

If you don't listen to some purely violent music now and then, and I mean really violent in every possible musical way, I ask you: where's yr Passion?

Skip the soft stuff and go for the gusto once in a while. It might light a fire where only a soggy mess sits now.

You, Guy-blogger or She-blogger, are a Revolutionist. You already know till your ready to puke that this is a Blog Revolution, Information Catastrophe, Communications Mutiny.

Look upward.

Domination Systems have left the building. The universal electro-telepathic realm we call The Blogosphere: it's ours now and maybe for a while longer.

You quit your whining and weeping about no comments, no link popularity, no reason to go on blogging. I fired the violin players long ago. No droopy drippings allowed.

Either blog until your head falls off, or get out.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stick with your creative insights

Listen to, or see and read, what Harvey MacKay says about creativity and book titles. This is quoted from a print book, but it reads like a sharp-tongued, pajama clad blogger, does it not?

My point here is that the anecdote is written concisely, it reads quickly.

Blog readers are always in a hurry. So keep your posts, post titles, paragraphs, descriptions brief, not verbose or prolix.

Don't be afraid to be creative, break some rules for shock effect, doing the opposite of what you and millions of others are "supposed" to do, don't refrain from sometimes using wild titles and zealous language.

You defend your country, your family, your faith.

Why not also defend your creative impulses? Don't give up. Keep blogging and whatever else you do. Stick with your creative insights. They may make you rich some day...if you persist and ignore setbacks.

Harvey MacKay

Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt

(William Morrow, 1990) p. 78, 79


"When I wrote my first book, my contract with my publisher, William Morrow, read that the title had to be "mutually agreeable." It wasn't. The publisher did not like the title I'd submitted, How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.

One, it was too long.

Two, it didn't tell the reader what the book was about.

Three,it was confusing. The casual reader would think it was about skin-diving.

Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten. They didn't like it. They didn't like it. They didn't like it.

It sounded weird for a business book. Business book titles should tell you ten ways to do something....

I hired the firm of Janz/Abrahamson to conduct market research on the title. They had a dozen creative people read a fifty-page excerpt from the book; then they conducted focus groups.

The participants came up with a list of eight hundred (800) additional titles to choose from and were not told which one I had chosen. They picked How to Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive as their number one (#1) choice.

I went back to Morrow armed with the most powerful weapon you can possess in any negotiation: superior information.

And finally reached a mutual agreement, just as the contract read. I got Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. They got to delete How to.


Do your customers WANT a conversation?

In the frenzy of relationship marketing, customer development, dialogic communications, and corporate-consumer conversation zones, are we sure our customers really want this?

How do you *know* that your customers want to engage in mutual interaction? Some industries are not set up that way. If you've ever worked in retail, you know some customers don't want to be disturbed. They don't want any help, they're not looking for assistance, they don't feel like talking. But still, they may be shopping and buying.

"What if the customer never wished to be in a 'relationship' with the organization in the first place? Just because an organization has decided to change to a relationship marketing strategy, this does not mean that customers will also make the shift to the same extent, if at all.

Customers may actually desire a one-way marketing relationship in which they do not have to expend any effort in building and maintaining the relationship, believing that it is up to the supplying organization if it wants to retain their custom....A company may then find itself in the uneconomic position of having to run with both transactional and relationship-building policies for different customer groups."

--Lisa Harris and Charles Dennis,
Marketing the e-Business
(Routledge, 2002), p. 165.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Electro Telepathic Planet

My email message today to Christa N. Hines, University of Nebraska, Omaha, School of Communication. She mentions her interest in corporate blogging and Dialogic Communications. I thought it might be nice to share my reply to her.

[QUOTE--my email to Christa]

Do you have a blog? You ought to. You need to get flamed, trolled, abused, out-debated, sleaze-linked, comment spammed, trackback spammed, and all the other nuances of the nightmare of anarchy bloggging. I love it. I especially, as a CEO and marketing consultant blogger, I love negative hateful comments directed against me.

Negative comments confront, prod, provoke, evolve you. You grow in blogocombat finesse, thinking and debating skills. I got flamed like crazy for my "Against RSS" blog post of about a year ago. Now I'm a radical RSS advocate and learner of its esoteric and exoteric indugences.

You a writer? Then write weirdly. Be totally unique, be more like yourself than anybody else.

The corporate conversation is the new revolution, social media, web hybrids, power to the people and the invasion of Post-Enron audit reformations and quantum leap innovations.

Businesses that listen to and respond favorably to customers will be the only ones left standing in a few years.

And the lucky remnant will be fighting each other mercilessly with electro-telepathic advances.

When our biological dreamworlds start connecting with each other, via electro-tranmissable neuro-exchangers, even the machines will be in trouble.

The world in a word: a giant robot, inevitable unreal servo-mechanism insurgencies. Automaton Mutiny. Viva Virtual. Dead On Digital. The Humachine. The Robocorporation. Machines talking to each other. Eavesdropping on us.

Blogs, IM, wikis, glogs, etc. assist humans in navigating nature and virtuality, which is replacing nature, and eventually us.

See my "Not against flesh and blood, but robots" for why we must continue to form connnections and conversations with customers, family, clients, colleagues, mentors, proteges, the global turned-on, frenzy-interactive, hooked-up village of Electro-Earth [electro-telepathic planet].

You can use my Search Site function or my sidebar categories to find some relevant articles.


vaspers the grate

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sign up now Krugle web dev SE

Via Christopher Locke's EGR newsletter: Krugle the Developer's Search Engine, beta launching in early March 2006.


If you work with code, even if you just fiddle with your blog template on occasion, you could do worse than add Krugle to your arsenal of internet tools.

Sign up now for the sneak preview of one of the most significant milestones in Open Source history: the launch of a FREE search engine designed exclusively for code and tech info foraging.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Dialogical communication AND books I'm reading

nBlogs are web tools for dialogical communications with an audience that is capable of existing as an online community of shared interests, marketable skills, and needs for reliable comparative product information.

In an age of growing alienation and isolation, with people cynical and hostile toward corporate pension raiding, medical benefit cuts, offshore outsourcing, downsizing, oblivion to the suffering poor and aged, blogs can save the day.

Blogs can humanize corporations, by connecting them more closely with real humans and their real world problems.

Blogs are Dialogical
Communication Generators

"By dialogical person we mean one who, by word or relationship, is in communication with his environment and open to the communication that environment offers, environment in this sense including both persons and things....

The dialogical person is a total, authentic person. He is one who responds to others with his whole being, and not with just a part of himself, and he is able to listen with his heart as well as his mind. He is really present...

The dialogical person is an open person, one who is known first by his willingness and ability to reveal himself to others, and, secondly, by his willingness and ability to hear and receive their revelation."

The Miracle of Dialogue
Reuel L. Howe
(p. 69-71)

Here's what I'm reading as we enter February 2006:


Naked Conversations

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel


Hacking RSS and Atom
Leslie M. Orchard


Information Technology Control and Audit
Second Edition
(Auerbach, 2004)

[NOTE: The most expensive book--retail: $100.00]

Frederick Gallegos,CGFM, CISA, CDE
Sandra Senft, CISA, CIA
Daniel P. Manson, Ph. D.
Carol Gonzales, CISA


Marketing the e-Business
Lisa Harris and Charles Dennis


Creating Web Sites Bible (2nd edition)
David Crowder and Andrew Bailey


The Pursuit of Wow!
Tom Peters


Credibility: how leaders gain and lose it, why people demand it
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner


The Innovator's Dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail
Clayton M. Christensen


Net Gain: expanding markets through virtual communities
John Hagell III and Arthur G. Armstrong


Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt
Harvey MacKay


Managing in the Next Society
Peter F. Drucker


Webmaster in a Nutshell
Stphen Spainhour and Robert Eckstein


Blog: understanding the information reformation that's changing your world
Hugh Hewitt


The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture
Shane Hipps (foreword by Brian McLaren)


Gonzo Marketing
Christopher Locke


Collected Poems
Edna St. Vincent Millay


F'd Companies: spectacular dot-com flameouts
Philip J. Kaplan


A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds
Edited by Peggy Kamuf

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Unmasking a spam blog

Now I reveal, unmask, demystify the Spam Blog.

I was going to embed a link to a link farm or "spam blog", but thought better of it, and am refraining. I have no wish to drive traffic to a traffic-driving site.

Instead, I'll describe what I saw, in my ongoing efforts to pre-surf the web and filter out detrimental sites...for my readers' benefit.

It was a Blogger/Blogspot blog that I visited and suddenly realized what I had done. I had followed a link to an Enemy Blog. Now, I share what I learned and observed.

I knew it was a Spam Blog, when I clicked on the link to it that was embedded in a Vaspers the Grate comment submission awaiting my moderation. I deleted it, instead of publishing. I clicked on "Reject this comment".

I know it was a Spam blog, because the Blogger Profile contained NO INFORMATION. No real name, no email address, no profile categories (favorite books, movies, etc.).

Spam blogs are usually anonymous, no profile information, no contact info, no grounding in any reality, floaters, sewage, blogo-pondscum.

Heavily linked generic copy and paste or minimalistic, impersonal text.

Links go to target sites to build traffic, to "send web surfers to" other sites. Hope to boost search engine rank. May attempt to attach, upload, install worms, viruses, Trojans, keystroke/printer command/page view logger spyware, or other malware/annoyware to your system or network.

It happened like this: it was a pseudo blog dealing with MySpace dangers and teen web surfing safety. But it was not a real human person behind it. It is a program posing as a human, or it has a human or group of people behind it, but with

... covert intentions.

Scams. Computer hijacking. Zombification of your network. Security exploits.

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate