Archive for October 24th, 2008

I caught a quick blurb of Dennis Miller (comedian) the other night about a petition to establish a National Remembrance Flag.  This was my first introduction to the concept and decided to check it out.

The origin of this idea and petition is based on George Anthony Lutz II  (Tony) who was killed on patrol inside Fallujah, Iraq. His family and friends endured the loss and after their grief had transitioned to acceptance the family like so many other families wanted to know two things: their sacrifice was not in vain and the nation would never forget.  This has led to a quest to promote a universally recognized symbol that acknowledges the American servicemen and servicewomen who never made it home — Remembrance.

In the nation’s history there has never been an officially recognized symbol that reminds us daily of the sacrifices made by members of our military and the lives lost in service to our country.  They have proposed a Honor and Remember Flag as a national emblem for that purpose.

It seems like a good cause in support of our Vets and I wanted to pass it along.  If you’re interested in supporting the initiative the site has a lot of information about the petition.

Flag photo courtesy of web site.

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I dreamt about blog comments last night.  Indeed I need a good night’s sleep.  The bad dream went something like this…

Fulfilling Dreams:  Mac, you are an amateur, arrogant, vindictive little brat who has irreparably damaged the Harley-Davidson brand and soiled the reputation of motorcycle journalism as a whole. Not only are you as inarticulate as a child raised by wolves, but you know virtually nothing about the biker industry that you attempt to cover–a few weeks back, while you were sleeping off yet another of your many benders, your helper monkey ghost-wrote the blog in your place, and several readers remarked that it was the most coherent and insightful posts of the Northwest Harley Blog in months. It’s a shame your helper monkey didn’t return to write more columns.  Signed: Jim Ziemer (H-D CEO)

Whew, glad it was a dream.  Yep, I’m an amateur blogger.  Amateur being defined as ZERO income generated from the site. Zero revenue is by design.  This blog is a hobby centered around motorcycle passions and a dislike of advertisements.  I truly despise sites that have rolling ads prior to content, or flashy-blinky-things detracting me or a link feast of ads.   In my mind having a focus on generating revenue changes behavior.  Aspirations of a “dollar-per-word” gig…would drive a vicious cycle of attracting eye-balls and the lure of becoming “rich-n-famous”.  Sure there comes a time when the enticement of publishing AdSense links or using a lot of affiliate programs makes a person stop and take pause…one Mississippi, two Mississippi…then you realize it’s less about Google pennies and more about blog visibility. 

Speaking of visibility, web syndication is basically a form of print syndication or duplicating website material and making it available to multiple other sites. Blog syndication is the use of your blog’s RSS feed to deliver your blog’s content to other blogs, feed readers and aggregators.  There are many “no-goodnics” or hackers with questionable aggregation sites that have created syndication services explicitly to drive AdSense revenue.  However there are only a few reputable sites who service the mainstream media.  BlogBurst is one of those companies who give publishers access to the best of the blogosphere.

Recently the Northwest Harley blog received approval for syndication which means that content will be place on top-tier online media destinations like Reuters, USA Today, Gannett, McGraw-Hill and Fox News.  In fact, here is a post that received broader distribution on the Reuters site.  The original post is HERE.

Who knows, but maybe this will even change Mr. Ziemer’s viewpoint …in my dreams?

Screen scrap courtesy of Reuters.

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Good morning.  It appears that I’m not the only one up early this morning surfing the web.  Wow, I hit the sleep number mattress for a few hours and the site is ambushed by “FU” or “Anonymous.”  He’s one busy guy!

A few comments about blog trolls and SPAM.  First of all I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to those posting who have kept things respectful and provided level headed, well thought out responses (while disagreeing) which added to the collective intelligence and discussion on this blog.  Thank you!

However, I must confess that my herculean due diligence efforts to moderate all the comments each day and then make a determination after reading the author’s mind as to their real motive means — I may have made a couple errors and ‘inadvertently’ deleted some posts.  I hate when that happens!  Below are some examples, the full contents of which are not available for posting, but represents their sentiments:

  1. To the dude out of Las Vegas…give it up…please cease and desist your dullard (look it up) posts. They are not going up.  Oh, so sorry about that IP address getting published above…
  2. To the financial institution who needs my bank account information for a lung transplant – Not gonna happen.
  3. To the high school kid in Quebec that rallied all her “friends” to email me – I’m not as dumb as your parents so get over it.
  4. To the woman who faked cancer (three times) – I’m not cruel, but just between us, are those tears real?  See #2 above.
  5. To number “23” – how many souls are truly looking to be adopted into the “brotherhood?”
  6. To “big 1” and the x-rated site redirects – Thx for the URL’s! A person can never have enough animal romance DVD’s – NOT.
  7. To the Italian site who copies all my posts/content including photo’s.  I must admit you’ve become my technology challenge of the month, but know that I’m working it!

The point being?  I’m down on you blog Trolls, but let’s be clear — I’m not a free speech squishier.  It’s a fine line I walk and lately its one that has become increasingly difficult.  I’ve seen comments posted under the guise of “concern” for others or be incendiary and deliberately flame the author to disrupt dialogue or undermine the thread.  They generally start out as condescending and quickly resort to name calling.   The intent is to derail, stifle or control the dialogue.  In some cases these posts are there for the sole purpose of agitating people, sparking arguments, inflaming without substance and in general lack the ‘class’ to address the essence of the topic.  Please know that your comments will not be approved or deleted if you elect to try and “fake” the moderator.

I’m sure some do not share in my sentiments.  That is fine.  It’s one of your freedoms and a choice to disagree.  For those of you who feel trolls are quite intelligent and fully aware of their excessive self-importance as forum “enthusiasts” I say — there are many, many other blogs and forums to post your mindless dribble — your “noble” efforts are not welcome here.  See ya.

Full disclosure – I lack the ability to read minds.

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