An unprecedented announcement by Twitter sheds light on site’s popularity.

According to CNN, it’s the first time Twitter has officially released an accurate number of accounts. That number turned out to be over 100 million. That’s

Courtesy Wiki-Commons

just one-fourth the population of Facebook[which has now outgrown the population of the United States], but still respectable.

Comments were mostly sarcastic, one stating, “Maybe I will sign up[for a twitter account] once I am through watching paint dry.” Although I don’t

agree with this comment, it’s certainly an opinion shared by many.

According to the numbers, Facebook users aren’t checking their twitter

accounts simultaneously. An obvious statement as there are far less ‘tweeters’ than facebookers. 100 million is still probably enough to write home about, however. The announcement comes on a day when twitter unleashes their new advertising platform as well.

Over a month ago, MediaPost ran a story explaining Twitter’s plan for a working ad platform. As the article explains, the platform is intended to be as unobtrusive as possible, providing relevant, helpful advertising to users.

This, of course, is the purpose of all advertising and there are sure to be some speedbumps as Twitter tries to use branding and ads to connect with it’s enormous audience.

Tweet with me.

Courtesy NCAA

NEW YORK — The NCAA championship game earned its highest television rating since 2005.

Duke’s 61-59 win over Butler on Monday night on CBS earned a 14.2 fast national rating and 23 share. That’s up 31 percent from the 10.8/18 for North Carolina’s blowout against Michigan State last year.

It’s the best rating since a 15.0/23 for North Carolina-Illinois in 2005. More than 48 million viewers watched at least some of the game, the most since 50 million tuned in for Arizona-Kentucky in 1997 when the population was smaller.

The entire tournament averaged a 6.0 rating, up 5 percent from last season.

Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.

In this report by the Associated Press, we see the efforts of CBS and the NCAA paying off with impressive ratings for Duke’s victory over Butler, Monday.

Personally, I wouldn’t know where to begin with 48 million viewers watching any one sporting event at a single time. But it does more than begin to explain the must-see aspect behind these games.

As soon as one is done, we’re on to the next. The Master’s was looking more like ‘may-see if someone loses the remote’ type of TV…That is, until Tiger decided to show up.

Sure, society has all but signed a petition banning Tiger Woods from golf forever, but are we truly concerned? I’ll side with the sensible sports fan and say no, we aren’t too upset…well, not as upset as Tiger.

Are we bothered Tiger achieved Hugh Hefner status while dominating the game of golf for a decade straight? Nah. It gets a chuckle out of the sports fans I know. Right or wrong, we’re not hoping they win a humanitarian award.

Do we care how any different kinds of illegal substances David Ortiz may or may not have used helping the Red Sox win two Championships for the Sox? Not really. More star players than we care to admit were juicing since before we had their RC’s.

In Major League Baseball, steroids potentially altered the outcomes of games with players performing above their normal capacity. It’s understood that so many were doing it, however, it wasn’t the ‘worst’ type of cheating…From the sports fans perspective anyway.

Yes, steroids are bad. Yes, cheating on your wife will get you on the cover of every sports section in the US…If you’re Tiger Woods.  But we accept it. It’s understood. If the culture in professional sports doesn’t change, who are we to judge what will inevitably come to pass?

You are an awful role model, Mr. Woods. You disgraced your family and embarrassed the PGA.

With that in mind, who wants to come over to my place and watch Tiger drive a par 5 green in 2, and hit a ball further with his putter than you can with your 3-wood? I think we can all agree on that.

Don’t worry about the ratings either. And guess who you can thank for those once again?

WATCH THE MASTERS LIVE

The news of Major League Baseball manager Ron Washington’s affinity for cocaine Wednesday did little to quell the League’s drug-induced reputation. Heckled by steroids for the past decade, America’s past time has quickly become the ‘who’s who’ of cheaters we love to judge. What has Washington done but elevate criticism to a level surely surpassed by the next scandal? It seems to me Ron and his dope fiend pals should rise up and stage some sort of coup against Bud Selig, storm into MLB headquarters, and accidentally burn it to the ground with one of Tim Lincecum’s misplaced joints.

Ok, that’s simply awful to suggest. But it is an interesting idea for a youtube video. Whether you like it or not, a short like that is bound to generate some serious traffic to your flick. After all, the point of uploading web videos is to get the most people to see them, right? The problem is most people don’t understand how to do this. Well, let’s use Mr. Washington as an example and see what we come up with for ideas to make your video as viral as skinny jeans and ex-girlfriends.

1. Be timely. Everything runs its course, and you want to be on top of things in a hurry. By the weekend we’ll all be talking about the health care vote or looking ahead to April Fools, not a ‘breaking’ story about another millionaire hooked on coke.

2. Be visible. A unique thumbnail to draw some interest is important. A headline combining wit and relevance is a must. i.e. Coach or Crackhead?

3. Be creative. If we wanted to watch a linked news interview, we would consult CNN, not youtube.Viral video fail here. Take some liberty and distinguish yourself from the others. You can do this with music, personal opinion, or some finely tuned Final Cut Pro skills. Most popular videos are filmed by the person posting anyway.

4. Be risky. What’s the worst that could happen? One to two hundred negative comments but enough interest to grow your viewership greatly. If you aren’t sure what your niche is, upload into all kinds of categories and develop a theme, it will help keep your viewers loyal.

5. Be yourself. Probably the most important aspect is showing why people need to watch your video. If you aren’t interesting enough (you know who you are), don’t waste the webspace. Find the Numa Numa guy you know and film the heck out of him until you get something useful. Not every video will be a hit. You never know what people will find amusing, but it’s guaranteed to be real or outrageous enough to appear so.

Now, back to Ronny and his habits.

I would be amiss to not use Dock Ellis as an example for a great viral video. James Blagden & No Mas developed a video from Ellis’ incident involving LSD and the most unlikely no-hitter in all of baseball. 950,000+ views in four months is not so bad. The video can be seen below.

Ron Washington, beware the power of viral…and stimulants.

As of March 15th, the fourth most visited website in the US was Youtube. Given the popularity of videos online and the fact that it is mainly user generated content, it seems like a logical pitstop for many internet users. Later on this year the site will celebrate its fifth anniversary making it the most – – – well there are just too many superlatives to put here so we’ll simply call it five years old.

It took just half a decade for all nearly apt internet users to become aware of the video upload giant. But just how popular is Youtube? Is there actually a group in the online community content to avoid it?

According to Alexa Internet ratings, Youtube is (to no surprise for any parent with a teenager) over-represented among the 18-24 demographic of the general internet population. I shudder to think of time spent differently among this age group…Studying? Working? Cleaning the pizza/beer/weird stain off the dorm room carpet? We understand the recreation side of videos for teens and undergrads, but what of their parents, or even their grandparents?

Between the ages of 25 and 54, traffic to the

Euchre Champ or Youtube Fanatic?

site is average, telling us they don’t lean to either extreme. However, once you hit the 55-64 demo., things

get interesting. This group (all prepped and groomed for retirement) visits Youtube much less than every other age range. More intriguing is the turnaround once you get into the numbers for 65+.

Audience ratings from Alexa tell us the 65 and older crowd is commonly over-represented at Youtube. This could mean a lot of things, but I’ll limit us to the most plausible.

1. The small number of grandparents exploring cyberspace have quite a fondness for online media.

2. The older generation uses it to keep in touch with extended family.

3. There are a lot of grandchildren with unlimited access to their grandparents internet.

Number 1 is by far the most likely simply because of the really helpful things on Youtube many people don’t ever think to use. If you have a chance or are in a bind, try a few of these links and see how Youtube can start being a resource as well as entertainment. And not just for the kids anymore!

Youtube How-to And Style

Cooking

Dance

Outdoors

Technology/Electronics

Photo Courtesy of Konstantin Sutyagin.

75 Million. That’s a pretty high number.

A number which could refer to the selling price of an enormous mansion in California featured on E! channel’s ‘The Insider’. $75 million. That’ s a lot of money.

It could also reflect the amount of CO2 a South American country did not send out into the atmosphere as a result of switching to a flex fuel used by 94% of the country’s vehicles. 75 million tons of carbon dioxide. That’s a lot of gas. (read more)

The 75 million I’m talking about happens to be more ridiculous than an unbelievably expensive house, but much less impressive than Brazil’s environmental efforts.

Some of you who read this are most likely part of this 75 million. Some because of supposed boredom and indifference, and some because of the odd addiction only this type of internet activity can provide. Nevertheless, 75 million have worshipped at the Mecca of social networking mini-games…Farmville.

According to statistics released by Zynga.com, there has been 118 million downloads of the cyber-farming phenomenon. Zynga, the company responsible for Farmville’s success, is proud of it’s breakthrough with the unorthodox gamer. In an article by CNN’s Doug Gross, the founder of Zynga explains his motivation behind creating the insta-gaming giant.

Mark Pincus managed to create a gaming experience that bridges the generational gap between  ‘traditional’ gamers and other factions of online users not typically accounted for. By doing this, Pincus happened upon a cluster of internet gamers often ignored in the video game industry. To find out who it is, feel free to read the article  here

Back to my rant.

75 million.

Americans really shouldn’t be surprised as we’ve seen our lives change from fast to faster paces with each new invention in the technology world. Fast food is no longer the default defendant in the trial for quick and painless satiation.

i.e. – Online video games which can be started and stopped with one simple, all-mighty click. Don’t have the latest Java client? Click. Invite your friends to play. Click. Talk to them while you are playing with them. typing noises here. Instantly. But look at the clock….Not so instant was it?

Whatever happened to kickball at the park? Basketball at the open-gym? Just riding around town on bicycles with at least one flat tire.

Well, adult. You grew up didn’t you?  But maybe we’re all kids at heart, looking for a game to play with our friends. The term friends is loosely applied and can be substituted for actual friendship, an online acquaintance, co-worker, or just some random guy that joined your World Of Warcraft guild.

75 million tells me a lot of things. Most of all, that even adults tend to have more than enough time on their hands.

As the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver conclude over the next two weeks, highlights will run for the next four years with gold medal finishes and disappointing defeats. Thanks (or no) to the all seeing eye that is news media, one image is sure to stay with viewers for a very long time afterwards.

Or will it?

The death of a luge competitor making a training run on Day 1  made the larger than life events seem just the opposite. Opening Ceremonies saw members of the Georgian Olympic team in obvious shock and sadness.  For many of the 50,000 attending, the Republic of Georgia became the underdog to win a medal of any kind in that moment. But what of the hundreds of millions who couldn’t be there in that instant?

We watch and move on. We feel bad and wish it hadn’t happened, but move on. We are amazed by the man’s skill, thrilled by the speed and excitement, even appreciate the stunning photos and video. By tomorrow we’ve forgotten everything that was written about him. We disregard the image.

Why?

Tigers and penguins. According to CBS News, a South Korean zoo had their tiger cubs and baby penguins celebrating the new year with visitor activities. Following a thirteen second clip of the Vancouver tragedy, two and a half minutes were devoted to the protected breeding and nurture of South Korean zoo animals. Wait. WHICH clip was thirteen seconds?!

Thankfully, CBS covered all their bases by labeling the horrendous luge video “Graphic” in the headline. Exercising my profound naivety, I hoped for a news package to accompany the video. I was disappointed. I was also unsuspecting. Failing to exercise their right of optional video queue loops, CBS threw me a curveball. Tigers and penguins.

Maybe they arranged it as a kicker piece to leave viewers informed and entertained. Maybe and more likely, the two videos were randomly generated for that media page but at opposite sides of the news spectrum. Regardless, the revelation was there.

CBS News felt confident in placing a 13 second clip depicting a tremendous athlete losing his life. 13 seconds, by itself to tell a story. A story some would argue, told far too often from the media. CBS was not alone either. NBC’s coverage of the incident was no better. Choosing to play the video along with explicit photographs in many of their packages. Being informative can also be courteous, can it not?

There is always something to be learned from news. If not, it would not be truly newsworthy. Reporters and journalists cannot be afraid to sit behind the desk at home as well as work. We’ve got to learn. We’ve got to progress. What type of lasting effect does visual media have, and how relevant is it to what we want to say?

We cannot equate life and death to baby tigers and penguins.

As we close in on 8 pm of  the day after Valentine’s Day Eve, few remain free from the chocolatey snares of a holiday commercially devoted to giving away heart-shaped boxes crammed with enough sugar to put the state of Rhode Island into prolonged diabetic shock. Everyone knows this. But what other rights of socially accepted passage plague this contagious day of confectionery delight?

Also responsible for your lack of coffee money tomorrow morning – stuffed animals. FACT: The ‘teddy’ bear is responsible for more broken post-Valentine’s Day hearts than any other mammal of the fuzz-filled creature kingdom. Even more surprising is the amount of sheer destruction and ill-will which must befall them to justify a replacement. Limb-loss, exposed wounds, and the obligatory ‘hanging eye’, are but a few of Teddy’s talking points. Recently, parallels have been drawn between these conditions and the cause, supplying one theory worthy of notice…One of their own may be responsible.

An indispensable figurehead for the stuffed ones has taken a lot of heat lately for his role in an anti-wilderness smoking campaign. That’s right kids. Smokey the Bear may in fact be the driving force behind putting out those Valentine’s Day fires set in hearts by chocolate wielding Boyds Bears for the last 60+ years.

Unfortunately, conclusive evidence is yet to  been found.  It’s too difficult to assess certain elements regarding Smokey’s involvement. For instance, experts argue some factors such as ‘sparks’ are never considered. These are very brief in relation to a fire, but excessive Valentine’s Day sparks may create ‘warmth’ which may lead to what is called a ‘glow’.  The glow cannot be understated.

A glow will give the subject’s face a look of cheer and joy. It is immediately after the glow when friends and relatives typically see smoke coming from one or both of the subjects when together. At this point, the heart seems a complete loss… Smokey is not so easily discouraged.

Eliminating the coal that keeps the V-Day train on track was not always easy for the shamed carnivore. Smokey once felt the fire and was consumed with the illogical idea of it. He felt the spark, the warmth, and the glow. He saw the smoke and knew. Valentine’s Day was a day to look forward to. But as circumstance put his fire out, his outlook also changed.

Now, he looks forward to mid-February more than he lets on. More aware of Russel Stover than ever before.

Valentine’s Day is really everyone’s day if you think about it. Sure, some get more chocolate than others, but everyone gets a little. And if you save some up maybe you’ll get more next year! Bon Appétit

Any and all information featured above collected and reported by the millions of
single men and women who would just as soon February 14 eat itself into a
bonbon-like stupor at approximately 12:01 am each year.
ROCK ON!

As the Spring semester winds down for college students, entry positions for 2010 graduates will start being filled by the most capable applicants. Major corporations, business chains, and thousands of smaller firms will begin seeking new and cost-effective replacements or additions to their current employee base.

So where will the class of 2010 begin their careers? Well, the Northeast region will be in good hands according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. They report that 17.6% of companies will be increasing the number of graduates hired this year. But apart from the government and financial sectors, where most of these Northeast jobs will be located, who goes where?

Many will find jobs completely unrelated to the degree they have poured their blood, sweat, and excess Ramen noodle broth into these last four years. Others will most likely be hired by companies they never thought about working for, but on the basis of their schooling, met the requirements for the position.

However, for the Charlie’s out there who find themselves working in the chocolate factory they always dreamed about, a really sweet lesson is to be learned. So while you’re emailing your ‘favorite’ professor the written assignment for the final at 11:59 PM the night before commencement, do your sleep-deprived self a favor; Find your chocolate factory, and show Mr. Wonka any job an orange-toned, green-haired clone can do, so can you! And here’s how.

Listed below are several key points to impressing the Willy Wonka out of ‘the suits’ with your entry-level resumé.

1. Include a cover letter (and be specific, please.)

According to former professional resumé writer, Heather Eagar, employers expect you to be up front about the position you are looking to fill.

“Include the job you’re applying for towards the beginning of the cover letter. You could even make it a header to your letter. Make it apparent so the hiring manager doesn’t have to spend time looking for it.” Says Eagar.

Other cover letter must’s include contact information and unique skills which may qualify you for the job above another cover letter connoisseur.

2. Be Professional

Spell check should no longer be an option, college graduate. All words within each sentence, phrase, and talking point must be spelled correctly and stated with solid grammar. As unsure as you may be about your interview skills, your paperwork should stand alone and at least create enough buzz to get you an interview with the man.

The last point discusses the design of your resumé. Coming from a Communications School soaked to it’s Photoshopping core with creativity, I know this will be a hard pill to swallow. So take a deep breath (while simultaneously ashing your 4th cigarette of this blog), switch iPod to shuffle (I know it’s a long shot but maybe there’s  a song nowadays with comprehensible lyrics), and read 32 times to be sure you remember:

3. Stick with the default setting

After you exhale, switch back to some type of scream-oh-why is this a genre, and finish reading 32 glorious times, you may be interested in the expert’s opinion.

“Another design error that many make when creating their resumes is adding decorations. This is definitely a risky move to take because while one employer might absolutely love your cute form of expression another might feel sick to his stomach. So instead of using flower borders in your design, think about making your name a little larger (and using a different typeface) than the rest of the content to add a little character to your resumé.” Says resumé aficionado, Heather Eagar.

Eagar, now operating her own job seeker help  website, sums up the necessity of  a good-looking resumé with one final sentiment.

“However simple these (tips) may seem, they are vital to getting interviews. If you overlook the obvious, then the employers will obviously overlook you.”

Charlie, let’s recap.

Before you get yourself scooped by someone with half the experience and as much promise as Hugh Hefner’s 9th engagement ring, take heed. Build yourself an impressive resumé and perhaps the chocolate factories will come looking for you.

For more advice on resumé writing, Eagar’s tips can be read at jobdig.com

2-0-1-0

If binary code were able to accurately describe the condition of our country, perhaps the US could diagnose it’s current eco-socio-political ailment and hook itself on some sort of miracle drug. Let’s pretend 0 is no, 1 is yes, and 2 is just obtrusive [and disregards the binary aspect altogether], but counts for a maybe.

2. Maybe Obama will heal all our wounds…

o. No. The economy is doing horribly, this Presidency will fail.

1. Yes, bailout! Doesn’t quite seem right, but what choice do we have?

0. No. This was a terrible decision. Barack, save us!

In a perfect western hemisphere, this drug would eliminate unemployment, lower taxes, create jobs, and be available to all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions.

Take as necessary.

However addicted this country has become, Barack Obama is no miracle drug.

In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, Obama made clear his intent on seeing his health care bill passed.

“I don’t quit.” A claim Obama has certainly upheld in doing all he can to see a plan he says will give every American who wants it, affordable healthcare.

But at what cost?

While the ‘little guy’ continues to climb the ladder of success in hopes of a better tomorrow, unemployment pushes him aside and climbs even higher. As job creation seeks to make a splash in the ocean of a lost cause, foreign policy seems to be increasing the distance between us and our allies. America has seen it’s lawmakers transition from agreeing to disagree, to cutting party lines down the center like a belated birthday cake; fake and out of obligation.

Though captivating and hopeful, President Obama has shown us time and again that great speeches carry only as far as those listening.  And if the President would like an audience, maybe he should tell us less of what HE wants us to hear and show us more of what WE want to see.

The sickness lingers, and President Obama is no miracle cure. Isn’t the miracle in a people willing to do what’s best for their country, and a legislature choosing to do what’s best for the people?

So you think you’re ready to blog, huh?

Blog

Blogger for Life

Although a quick and painless way to get your unscripted, unfiltered, and often unintelligible words to the masses, blogging has become much more than a world-wide forward. The modern blogger has more and more resources, less restrictions, and greater influence than ever before.

News organizations across all media types often encourage their employees to maintain an up-to-date blog.Unlike other social networks [Facebook,Twitter], blogging sites like blogspot, livejournal, wordpress, etc.  have frequently been used as a legitimate news source. Some, rightfully so, take issue with trusting any such cyber-couch potato to deliver breaking news on a real news story.

Whether you intend to use your blog for the occasional teenage rant, an attempt at literary greatness [which is unlikely given your outlet of choice], or just to take advantage of the omnipotent FWD so all your friends can check out your latest youtube flick; be prepared.

As with most topics on the web, searching for help with your blog will give you a result for every person on the planet. But unless you have as much time as the folks at TMZ, you probably won’t get past the first page of results. Luckily, I’ve done the groundwork for you.

Not all-inclusive by any means, the links below will take you to trusted sites designed to put the awesome back into your blog. The rest is up to you. As the rest happens to be the most important part, I suggest you also consider taking a writing course or read a good book.

Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well… – Blaise Pascal

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