Glass Beach – The Dump You’ll Want to Visit (by Gina)

Before you say anything about the content of this article, I hate people who litter. I’ll judge you if I think you’re too lazy to recycle. I hate pollution and the death of our fragile ecosystems and all the rest. But- with that disclaimer out of the way- Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California is the incredible result of human wastefulness and the resilience of nature. I’ve been trolling around for lesser known landscapes to road trip to and explore, and stumbled across this chunk of multicoloured west coast paradise. These days, Glass Beach is a protected part of MacKerricher State Park, but in 1949, it was the site of an unrestricted dump. For 18 years, people drove out to the scenic expanse of ocean cliffs, marveled at the beauty of the natural world and the majesty of the depths, and then threw all their shit in.

sea glass beach and tide poolEventually, California realized that dumping automobiles, appliances, toxic substances and razor sharp shards of glass into the water was probably a bad idea, and looked elsewhere for a dumping site. The beaches under the cliffs lay polluted, cluttered and ruined, and were basically treated as a forgotten ‘mistake.’ Despite our obviously brilliant handling of the situation, Mother Earth had a few tricks up her sleeve, and spent the next 30 years tumbling away the jagged edges of our insensitivity and leaving behind brilliant pebbles of polished glass. As the shores grew into glimmering beaches, the state realized that people were visiting to collect the glass and to see the rainbow sands reflecting the sun, and quickly annexed it into a national park. The result? We finished up what nature graciously started, spent a few years cleaning up rusting metal hulks and all sorts of wonderfully dangerous debris (nothing says sandcastle fun like getting tetanus from a lead-filled 50s throwback), and Glass Beach is now a protected treasure that I’m dying to visit. While I can only imagine the sight of the colours of translucent glass turning in the sun and turbulent surf, I’m thinking I might just keep my shoes on.

bare feet on sea glass beachmulticolored sea glass beach and tide pool

Glass Ground by Surf at Fort Bragg's Glass Beach by digggs on flickr

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Avoiding Viral Marketing Regrets (by Alex Petrovic Dejan)

Viral marketing is one of the most sought-after phenomena in all of Internet marketing. For business people, there are few things sweeter than the idea of their product, idea, or message spreading across the vast reaches of the Internet with almost preternatural speed and profound impact.

As a result, when entrepreneurs finally manage to crack the code, so to speak, and get their first couple of viral campaigns to really take off, they can sometimes forget that there’s still work to be done.
See, for all of viral marketing’s potential, there exists a dark side: Once you send something out into cyberspace, it’s out there for keeps. If you screw up the planning, the execution will fail, and fail in a big way.

If you want to avoid such nasty consequences, then check out this handy guide from our experience on how to avoid viral marketing regrets.


Fact Check

This rule is as simple and as basic as they come, yet there are still people who overlook it. When preparing to execute a viral marketing campaign, always, always, ALWAYS make sure your research & statements of fact are legitimate!

Not only will you as a business owner or entity be made to look foolish if you misrepresent facts which can be verified through a simple Google search (which, by the way, you can rest assured that the people seeing your material will perform), but if you stray too far outside the realm of veracity, you can find yourself in serious legal trouble.


Unity is the Answer

No, you haven’t bumped your head and woken up in 1967. It’s just that in marketing, as with plenty of other things, the presentation of a solid, unified front is best. For example, everyone knows about Angry Birds. It’s a viral sensation, and that’s what you want to be, right? If so, then take a tip from them and always keep your campaigns to as few URLs as possible.

Think of it this way: When something goes viral on YouTube, people share a YouTube link. They don’t show each other 50,000 different URLs! Everyone knows that the hilarious cat-playing-piano video zinging around the office like wildfire is on YouTube, and thus, is easy to find, share, and, for the originators of the video, to measure.

This is also true for media outlets, at least until you’re very well established. Fragmented media not only makes media virulence more difficult to achieve, it also makes meaningful data analysis very hard to undertake.

You always want to be better the next time out, and if you don’t know what worked – and what didn’t – from your last campaign, then you’ve wasted your time and money, and you’re back at square one.


Son of a Glitch

Look, this one’s another no-brainer. You can have the best, most awesome, most life-changing viral campaign ever crafted by the hands of Man, but if your technology can’t handle the traffic, all your visitors will see is an error page. This will leave them disgusted, and it’ll leave your wallet empty.

These are not conditions you want to find yourself in, so to avoid this particular viral marketing regret, you simply need to ensure that your servers and other elements of your technical framework are updated and ready to take on the upswing in traffic your viral campaign will bring.


Use Protection

For your source files, that is. If the source material that makes up your campaign materials is left unprotected, people can steal it, change it, and stand on all your hard work to make money that should be yours.

Therefore, to save wads of cash, as well as the time & headache of rooting out material that looks suspiciously like your own, you should make sure that the only thing about your campaign that goes viral is the stuff that you WANT to go viral – viral YouTube spot or Reddit bit? Good.

Raw MP4s & Word documents just bursting with sensitive / proprietary info spread all over the web for anyone to read, copy, or manipulate as and when they see fit? Not so good. The quickest way for your viral campaign to fail is by not taking the time to protect the foundation it’s built upon. Take precautions.

And there you have it. Despite the somewhat lighthearted delivery method, the message behind this article is serious: Use caution and forethought when planning your viral marketing campaigns and you can avoid the viral marketing regrets that plague so many.


Guest post written by Alex Petrovic – Dejan SEO company – Advanced SEO strategist and Link building team leader.

Found on Viral Blog

Twitter Is A Life-Ruiner (by Eric Randall)

The New York Times Magazine has posted a personal essay that will be unsettling to those of you who can’t stop tweeting. In “Confessions of a Tweeter,” writer Larry Carlat describes his terrifying descent into a life-destroying Twitter addiction:

Soon my entire life revolved around tweeting. I stopped reading, rarely listened to music or watched TV. When I was out with friends, I would duck into the bathroom with my iPhone. I tweeted while driving, between sets of tennis, even at the movies. (“I love holding your hand in the dark.”) When I wasn’t on Twitter, I would compose faux aphorisms that I might use later. I began to talk that way too. I sounded like a cross between a Barbara Kruger installation and a fortune cookie.

And that’s before his addiction starts to mess with his job and his marriage. Predictably, our Twitter follows include many Twitter aficionados who find the account rather chilling. “Scariest thing I’ve read in months,” tweets Politico’s Reid Epstein. “Yikes” tweets his colleague, Ben Smith. Nonetheless, Smith has tweeted seven times since then, so, despite Carlat’s noble effort, we think this might be a lesson people just have to learn the hard way. Now we’re off to figure out how to condense this post into 140 characters …

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What Is Twitter Doing to Teen Brains? (by Dr. Gregory Jantz, Ph.D.)

Last year, the International Center for Media & the Public Affairs (ICMPA) teamed up with the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change to conduct a study called Unplugged. They got around 1,000 university students from 10 countries over five continents to go 24 hours without media. No television, no radio, no Internet, no cell phones. Students came from Mexico, Uganda, Lebanon, the United States, Chile, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, China, Argentina and Slovakia. What resulted was a diverse group reporting remarkably uniform responses to this exercise in 21st century sensory deprivation.

A majority of students regardless of country couldn’t successfully unplug for 24 hours. Either they cheated on their own or found it impossible to avoid the atmospheric nature of media. Students reported feeling depressed, anxious, lonely, bored and sad without technology in general. In particular, they were lost without their cell phones, which function as both “Swiss Army knife and security blanket” for this digital generation.

One of the 15 highlights on the study website caught my attention. It was down the list at No. 11: “140 characters of news is all I need.” Students said they had neither the time nor interest to follow up on news that didn’t impact them because the sheer flood of information was so great. They admitted they are headline skimmers, rarely diving below the surface into deeper informational or evaluative waters unless somehow pinged personally.

This disturbed me on a couple of levels. First, I like words. 140 words aren’t that much — not nearly enough to get complex ideas across. How do you convey complicated themes, nuances, pros and cons, in just 140 characters? I understand 140 is the latest challenging endeavor but there the goal is clever brevity. Some things worthy of attention simply take more time to develop.

Speaking of development, that’s the second thing that disturbed me. Headline skimming instead of analytic deepwater diving might just have an affect on brain development, especially in teenagers. It used to be thought that the brain was pretty much done developing by early childhood. Not anymore. “Maturation does not stop at age 10, but continues into the teen years and even the 20’s,” says Dr. Jay Giedd, a neuroscientist with the National Institute of Mental Health in a “Newsweek” article on the teenage brain. In a PBS interview, Dr. Giedd explained the brain has a “use it or lose it” function where neural connections are concerned. “So, if a teen is doing music or sports or academics, those are the cells and connections that will be hard-wired. If they’re lying on the couch or playing video games or watching MTV, those are the cells and connections that are going [to] survive.”

Today’s teens and college students are certainly using their skimming cells and connections. They are using their grey matter to navigate cyber channels and digital data-streams. But what’s the lose-it part of that equation for this technology-tethered generation? What do they lose if they cannot be bothered to delve into complex thought unless someone tweets their interest? Unused neural pathways, according to Dr. Giedd, wither away in a process called pruning. What pruning takes place when all you have time for is digital skimming?

The students in this study knew a lot about technology, but they had forgotten what it’s like to plan ahead and organize your day. They’d forgotten the simple pleasures of taking a walk, in silence with just yourself, or with actual people by your side, talking not texting. They had forgotten how to fill up time without the constant white-noise of technology and some discovered just how lonely their lives really were.

Highlight No. 3 in this study was “Students reported that media — especially their mobile phones — have literally become an extension of themselves. Going without media, therefore, made it seem like they had lost a part of themselves.” I understand there are important connections being made through all of this technology. I just hope the most important, albeit complex and complicated connection there is — the one to self — doesn’t get pruned in the process.

Original Article on Huffingtonpost

Beyond Barrel Roll: 10 fun Google tricks (By: Terron R. Moore)

‘Do A Barrel Roll’ And The 10 Greatest Google Tricks Ever

If you’re a normal warm-blooded mammal, chances are that you use Google at least once a day. Whether you’re stalking your favorite celeb, figuring out how to get rid of that rash, looking for love advice, or searching for dirty videos (you’re so naughty and we like that), the Googs is the gateway to the entire interweb—but did you know that it’s also a funny trickster? If you know how, Google can be the most fun site on the entire internet! Here are ten cool Google-related tricks you can use to have fun without porn!

1. Tilt!
If you’re using Google on either Chrome or Safari, go ahead and Google the word “tilt”, and the entire screen tilts a bit to the right!

2. Do A Barrel Roll
It’s simple and works just like Tilt- go and Google the phrase “do a barrel roll” and watch what happens!

3. Ninja!
In your Google Reader feed, press the keys “up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A” and watch a Ninja appear! The word “Ninja!” also appears in the searchbox.

4. Google Reader Languages
Of course there are the normal languages like “English” and “Spanish”, but there’s also “Pig Latin”, “Klingon”, “Pirate”, “Elmer Fudd”, and whatever “Bork, bork, bork” is. Try them out!

5. Let Me Google That For You
Don’t you absolutely hate when someone asks you “hey, what’s (so-obvious-thing)” when they could just Google it and immediately know what you’re talking about? LMGTFY is a site that allows you to be a total smartass. Just type in the search object for them, then hand them the tinyurl link. They’ll feel silly and you’ll feel awesome!

6. Google Doodles
This page here
is a history of all the sites’ Google Doodles- not just American versions, but those the site hosts all around the world.

7. Google Gravity
This is perhaps the coolest Google trick of all, so cool that I won’t even ruin the surprise for you. Go ahead and try it here, and don’t be afraid to search. You can even move things around!

8. Google Spam
In most Gmail folders, a one-line advertisement sits above every e-mail list. But if you go into your Spam folder, you’ll see an actual SPAM recipe.

9. YouTube Snake
Not exactly Google, but we had to throw it in: on any YouTube video, hold down the up key while the video loads followed by holding down the left key. You can play the Snake Game while your video plays!

10. Slay The Dragon
In Google Docs, open any spreadsheet and if you press Shift+F12, a message will pop up announcing “Dragon slain! Congratulations, you’ve slain the dragon!”

Original Article on:

WSJ – Google Ponders Pay-TV Business

Pilot Project in Kansas City Would Rival Cable, Satellite

Internet giant Google Inc. is considering a plan to offer paid cable-TV services to consumers, a move that could unleash a new wave of competition within the traditional TV business.

Google has looked at ways to expand a previously announced project to build a high-speed Internet service in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., adding video and phone service in a mirror of offerings from cable and telecom companies, according to people briefed on its plans. As a result, Google has discussed distributing major TV channels from companies like Walt Disney Co., Time Warner Inc. and Discovery Communications Inc. …