Thursday, March 29, 2012

Facebook Popularity: Narcissism or Proactive Self Marketing??
Popular on Facebook? You’re so Vain According to New Study
A new study connects Facebook activity with narcissism. While some may think "doh" or "that’s news?" -- others counter that egotism on social networking sites is just self-promotion for a reasonable purpose. So what's the diff?

COMMENTARY | ABC News reported a new study... Is being popular and active on Facebook really anti-social, egotism too? Maybe, maybe not… Read More  


This was a Wild Card News Topic assignment from the Yahoo! Contributor assignment desk with a small upfront payment and is page view performance bonused. Mark Zuckerberg... not a favorite of mine... but popular search topic... Facebook IPO in a month or two or so... Yahoo! suing Facebook... there's just gotta be some page view magic for this article -- right? 

Well, not yet. One of the things I'm learning is that popular topics also have a lot of search results for my lil ol' article to compete with. The experienced writers say that photos matter -- having a great pic in the article that appears in search results will generate significantly more page views. 

But, a free and allowable pic for this article has been elusive so far. We're only allowed to use free photos from stock.xchange and wikimedia commons and any free-for-public-use online media kits. Even then, we can only use those with standard restrictions. 

If there's any extra special restrictions -- we can't use them. A "photographer must be notified" restriction is ok, the problem is with a bunch-o'-extra restrictions like "share alike" and stuff like that - most often found on the wikimedia site. 

Then there's the Facebook-icons-are-trademarked thing, so can't use those either for the article. We can use only one paid photo site,, but I'm not going there just yet.

So, I'm trying again to find a free & allowable pic that might fit the article. I'll post each pic here as I find them - first up is the I heart myself button above. 

Let me know what ya think!  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Obamacare (aka Romneycare) Matters to Me and Should to You

Republicans: Does the Right to Life Include Right to Health Care?
 The Supreme Court needs to be the adult in this Left Wing vs. Right Wing health care reform feud. In a twisted paradox, it's a Right to Choose Healthcare righties vs. the Right to Choose Life lefties political showdown.

COMMENTARY | According to the Associated Press, the fate of the Affordable Health Care Act rests with the Republican appointees on the Supreme Court. The old health care system was not working because of denial of coverage to those with pre-existing... Read More

This blog post is an experiment in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) magic. Hey, why not try to get some page view magic from a hot topic for next three days since Obamacare is in the Supreme Court today and for the next two days? 

The article was written for a Wild Card News Topic assignment picked up from the Yahoo! Voices Assignment Desk. I chose to write about Obamacare health care because of the AP article that was published when the Supreme Court case was two weeks ahead, thinkin' it'd be relevant for a few weeks. It did include an upfront payment ($5)  - YAY - and gets page view bonused at  $1.xx per 1K views.   

Even better, it was selected as an Editor's Pick Feature, meaning that it's prominently displayed on the Yahoo! Voices News front page - YAY - again! It started on the day of publication as the largest feature on the top left of the page. It migrated after a day or so to the top right spot, then down to the "More Picks" list. As of this moment, it's 5th down on the list. 

The Featured status is soooooo very helpful with racking up page views. I'm not yet in the six-digits page views like many of the News and Political Featured Contributors are -- more like low four-figures per featured article. This article is almost at 3K page views as of now. I'm hoping the Supreme Court case this week will pick up the pace from searches and such. 

One bummer though: I've had three similar Wild Card News Topic assignments be picked up and published in the regular Yahoo! News also. That's usually generates some great numbers too. But this article didn't go there, (no idea why not), but the Voices Feature selection got about as many page views as the others that did go there. So it worked out, I 'spose...

This past Saturday, I stumbled into Twitter and noticed one of the top trending hashtags was #ILikeObamacare. So I jumped on that trend and had a great time tweeting this article and retweeting all of the other pro-Obamacare tweets that I agreed with. I noticed that anti-Obamacare folks got into the tweetup as well. Those folks really like to post comments and such in articles too - so we'll see how this blog post goes. Hey, feel free to rant or rave in comments - just no personal attacks or irrelevant spam & stuff...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Have a Fear of Public Speaking or Stage Fright?

I Conquered Stage Fright and Fear of Public Speaking in a Most Unusual Way...Art Class
Getting beyond extreme shyness to become a (reluctant) art class model was the best personal and professional growth development thing I've ever done, albeit inadvertently. My stage fright transformed into a calm and comfortable me on stage ever since. 

Great stage presence -- or not, can make or break a promising career. In business careers, making a speech at the office requires overcoming the notorious fear of public speaking. In performaning arts careers, well...ya gotta perform. Conquering my performance paralysis and extreme shyness on stage was no easy feat... until the most unusual day when I went to an art class... Read More


Ok, so yeah -- this was an extreme way to confront that "they're all staring at me" freeze-up thing! 

I was a figure drawing model for the local Art League for about a year. The models were rotated weekly, so my turn in the limelight was once every four or five weeks, usually... 

But one time I did have a three-weeks-in-a-row run when they decided to switch to painting instead of drawing. That was tougher because I had to hold the exact same pose during each of the 20 minute sessions for the entire hour and a half workshop. 

The paintings were displayed at several art shows. I was afraid to go to them for a looksee at the final final finished paintings at the art shows, because I thought somebody might recognize me! Like my back, butt, and boobs would be recognizable in a clothed crowd on the streets at an art show!

So the experience most definitely resulted in no more paralyzing "they're all staring at me" freeze and panic during the first moment up front and center. 

And in case you were wondering, nope -- I did not turn into an extroverted exhibitionist. No graduation to topless beaches or nudist camps, then or now!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How I Make Extra Cash Working from Home (part-time)

First Person: I'm on Unemployment but I'm Still Working
Earning up to $58 a week by self-employment or part-time work is allowed without any reduction in unemployment aid in my state, Florida. This is how I've earned extra pocket cash during unemployment.

In Florida, an extra $58 per week can be earned without any reduction in unemployment benefits. Who knew? I certainly didn't during my first two months of unemployment last year! Read More

Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network


I was only on Unemployment for 3 months and only earned extra cash for a couple of weeks before I returned to work (part-time) and Unemployment comp ended. The point of the article was that I could have earned extra cash for the whole frickin 3 months if I'd only known! 

The article mentions 3 ways that I've earned extra cash (other than writing): odd jobs, paid surveys, and mystery shopping. There were some snidely comments, mysteriously gone now, noting that the article should have included links to the legitimate paid survey & such sites.

I agree, they shoulda, but the Yahoo! article format stuff has limits on how many links (3-ish) in an article and where the links are going to & such. So the below links are to legitimate sites that I have earned cash from and know first-hand are legit and are not affiliate links (just because I haven't yet figured out the how-to for that yet).

Also, scroll down on the right side to my Blog Roll to find several great "Work from Home" blogs that have done a lot of research of the many options available - site links included. For those asking, these are my favorites:

Paid Surveys:
Tip: Recommend Survey Police for checking up on the latest Paid Surveys scoop, reviews, & they have a very active discussion forum. 

Mystery Shopping:
Tip: Mystery shopping isn't as easy as it might seem, so try the above sites first if you're new to it. They provide easy & free online shopper training and you can try several types of shops before getting credentials. 

Tip: For love-it mystery shoppers, graduate to the Volition site and Job Board which is popular industry-wide with companies and shoppers actively looking for shopper gigs as well as useful tools and tips. 

TipProfessional certification is not required for most mystery shops, but can be helpful in some cases to get preferred assignments. If you decide mystery shopping is for you, professional (paid) industry association membership and certification options are found at the National Association of Mystery Shoppers web site.    

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Entertainment Industry Behaving Badly: Lindsay Lohan on Saturday Night Live March 3

Lindsay Lohan Mugshot
Industry Rewards Bad Behavior: Lindsay Lohan on SNL
Lindsay Lohan is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live on March 3. I wish the Industry would not reward her like that and here's why. 

Repeatedly on probation for drinking while driving, stealing, and a variety of other some such nonsense -- the entertainment industry is way out of touch with the rest of us... Read More.


Well, she did it anyway! Nope, I did not watch the SNL episode when Lindsay Lohan hosted. The reviews were mixed...this article from MTV News seems  like the fairest