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Archive for October, 2012

Voting Pressure, Hurricane Sandy, the Homosexual Agenda and more – Barometer

by kaley
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Welcome to the eleventh post in our Barometer series, helping you gauge the atmosphere in the political blogosphere just 1 week before election day.

The Volokh Conspiracy – Employers’ Urging Employees to Vote a Particular Way, and Warning of Dangers if a Particular Candidate is Elected
You can’t be fired based on your vote, but may your employer try to persuade you to vote a certain way? Volokh takes a legal look.

Think Progress – How House Republicans Would Make it Harder to Provide Hurricane Relief
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Aviva Shen contemplates Republican-proposed spending cuts for emergencies and privatizing FEMA.

Outside the Beltway- The Race Might Not Be Over on November 6th
Recounts, provisional ballots and an electoral-college tie threaten to drag out final election results.

The New Civil Rights Movement – Hurricane Sandy: Minister Blames Gays and ‘Pro-Homosexual’ Romney and Obama
Says Christian minister John P. McTernan: God is systematically destroying America due to the candidates’ homosexual agenda.

Photos from: seanmcmenemy, NASA Goddard Photo and Video, torbakhopper

Happy (Almost) Halloween! – Links from the Blogads Network

by Paige Wilcox
Thursday, October 25th, 2012

This may be jumping the gun just a bit, but assuming that you’ll be celebrating Halloween this weekend rather than next Wednesday in order to avoid a brutal Thursday at work/school, gear up with these festive Halloween-themed posts from around the Blogads Network:

Betches Love This recap Pretty Little Liars‘ annual Halloween special episode:

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to be a full-grown adult and be completely invested in a high school show. No shame.

Gala Darling highlights some of last year’s best dog costumes at the Tompkins Square Park parade in the East Village:

Special shout-out to the hammerhead shark and the stegosaurus for teaching my heart what love is.

Oh, look! I also found Gala Darling’s 2010 coverage of the Tompkins Square Park dog parade:

Honorable mentions to Tron, Antoine Dodson and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Of course Regretsy has incredible Halloween costumes to share and inspire:

Aw, Bethany Hamilton…too soon.

Cutest Food shows off some tempting Halloween donuts:

WARNING: Do not go to this site when you’re hungry. It’s cruel.

The Pintester tries her hand at baking witch finger cookies:

Nailed it.


photo by flickr user hanna_horwarth

Poll conflicts, George McGovern, Foreign Policy and more – Barometer

by kaley
Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Welcome to the tenth post in our Barometer series, helping you gauge the atmosphere in the political blogosphere just 2 weeks before election day.

Electoral Vote – Dueling Polls are in Deep Conflict
Gallup’s election poll shows a much wider margin than the Wall Street Journal and others- this blog’s map algorithm will show you averages by state.

Althouse – George McGovern has Died
The ’72 Democratic presidential nominee, North Dakota representative and senator died this weekend at the age of 90.

Balloon Juice – Tonight’s Debate
Foreign policy takes center stage in tonight’s third and final presidential debate. Balloon Juice’s live blog begins at 8:30, with the main event at 9.

Patterico’s Pontifications – Topics for Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate
An outline of opportunities Governor Romney (and potential landmines for President Obama).

Photos from: Martin Bamford, silbigread, borkur.net

This Week’s Top Finds – Links from the Blogads Network

by Paige Wilcox
Friday, October 19th, 2012

In case you’ve missed out on any of the following great finds from around the Blogads network, here’s a cheat sheet curated just for you:

The Comics Curmudgeon showcases what he does best- provides biting commentary on today’s comic strips:

Today’s selection includes disproportionate heads, an unrealistic celebrity drug deal and a pill-popping parent. Where is Peanuts when you need it?

Tom and Lorenzo takes a look at W‘s celebrity portrayal of style across the decades:

Looks like the art of not smiling was the only consistent trend over the years.

Regretsy offers up a peanut butter and jelly couple beard:

Just in time for Halloween! EVERYONE will get it.

Lamebook highlights some of the most successful Facebook statuses:

Liam Neeson quotes instantly up anybody’s Facebook street cred.

The Pintester answers the age old Pinterest question, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?“:

Spoiler alert: It’s not world peace.

photo by flickr user Kara Allyson

Global Warming, Candy Crowley, Debate #2 and more – Barometer

by kaley
Monday, October 15th, 2012

Welcome to the ninth post in our Barometer series, helping you gauge the atmosphere in the political blogosphere just 3 weeks before the election.

Q and O Online Magazine – Global Warming Appears to Have Stopped 16 Years Ago
New data may push climate change to the front of the election agenda.

Taylor Marsh – Scandal Erupts as Candy Crowley Reveals She Might Go Rogue
The Obama and Romney camps want tomorrow night’s moderator to play a limited role in the town-hall style debate, but will the CNN correspondent play along?

The Lonely Conservative – Photographer Believes Racist Romney T-Shirt Was Photo-Shopped
“Put the white back in the White House” shirt goes viral, but some say it’s a hoax.

Democratic Underground- Obama Camp Tips Hand on Debate
Obama to take a Biden-style approach, aggressively going after Bain, the $5 trillion tax cut and women’s healthcare.

Photos from: Kevin M. Gill, DonkeyHotey, Don Relyea

Doctor Recommended Dose of Adorable – Links from the Blogads Network

by Paige Wilcox
Friday, October 12th, 2012

If it’s been a long, exhausting week for you, we’ve got the perfect prescription to perk you back up. Doctor’s orders: take a minute to let your heart melt over some of the cutest posts around the Blogads network:

Cute Overload displays a precious baby animal that I’ve never heard of.

-What is that, and how do I get one immediately?!

Hawaii Kawaii shows off snuggly Alpaca earmuffs.

-I’m glad to see alpacas finally getting some recognition in the fashion industry. This has been a long time coming.

Love Meow introduces us to best friends, Ollie the kitten and Bacon the dog.

-They’re the new Milo and Otis, minus the all of the life-threatening adventures.

Cutest Foods features candy corn marshmallows for Halloween.

-So cute, I could eat them! But, really.

What Should We Call Me illustrates what happens when someone cute smiles at you.

-That’s a smiling bunny, folks.

photo by flickr user a.drian

Barometer: Fox News, VP Debate, Foreign Policy and more

by kaley
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Welcome to the eighth post in our Barometer series, helping you gauge the atmosphere in the political blogosphere 4 weeks before the election.

Wonkette – Fox News Starting to Get a Wee Bit Cocky
That election forecast is looking mighty red.

Powerline – Previewing the Vice Presidential Debate
The Biden-Ryan debate isn’t likely to sway the election, but is likely to provide some entertaining TV. Catch it Thursday at 9pm EST.

Truthdig – Romney’s Foreign Policy a Puzzle that Doesn’t Fit Together
Columnist William Pfaff suggests that Romney’s policy swings are rooted in a lack of understanding rather than strategy.

Yid with Lid – Bias? Obama Attended VP Debate Moderator’s Wedding
While Harvard Law peers, Obama attended Martha Raddatz’s first wedding. Will she be a fair moderator?

Photos from: mroach, Gage Skidmore, DVIDSHUB

TGIF – Links from the Blogads Network

by Paige Wilcox
Friday, October 5th, 2012

It’s Friday! In celebration of this momentous occasion, especially if this will also be a long weekend for you thanks to Columbus Day, here are some completely unrelated but highly enjoyable posts floating around the Blogads network:

GalaDarling gives a round-up of some of her recent favorite Internet finds:

A round-up within a round-up. This is very inception-y.

Design Seeds offers up pretty design inspiration based on colorful yarn:

Almost inspires a person to learn how to knit. Almost.

Immaculate Infatuation’s weekly Friday Fives feature gets a revamped format from Anson Mount of Hell on Wheels:

Rather than Mount just giving a straightforward rundown his favorite restaurant recs, the man wrote a screenplay. Definitely worth a read.

In case you’ve forgotten, the Rich Kids of Instagram are still rich. Need proof? They’re still documenting it, too:

So very happy for them.

The brave WTF, Pinterest? blogger divulges a dark secret–her ’80s glamour shot:


photo by flickr user Bob B. Brown

Bigger Blog Traffic in Ten Steps

by kaley
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

So, you’ve started a blog to share your insights, poems, dreams or rants. Now what? Blogging is easy — just a few clicks and publish! — but building a widely read blog takes planning, hard work, and (often) some luck. Here are ten steps that will help you grow your  blog’s readership:

1. Find your niche

Write about what you know best, and be sure it’s something that you find interesting– if your blog doesn’t interest you, how will it interest your readers?

2. Be unique

You may not be the only blog about sports, or food, or fashion, but your presentation can set you apart from the others. Alex Balcerski of Ride The Pine focused on using a unique format to differentiate from similar sports humor blogs:

The most unique thing about Ride The Pine is our video show (creatively called) Ride The Pine. I originally started the website to feature this 3-5 minute show that would focus on the lighter side of sports, the best videos of the week, and my (poorly crafted) jokes. After just a few weeks, it was featured in iTunes as a ‘New and Noteworthy’ podcast. There is not another sports blog out there that does a video show like ours.

3. Become an expert

Expertise can also set you apart, and give your blog value- particularly if you get in on the ground floor on a new craze or movement. Yes, there will always be someone better, smarter, or more skilled than you, but you don’t have to be the best to be an authority. The simplest way to be an authority? Teaching, says Copyblogger, “…taking something hard and making it easy” for your readers.

4. Be consistent

Update your blog regularly, even daily. Blogads’ bloggers spend anywhere from 3 hours a week to 3 hours a day working on their blogs. Start by focusing on the quantity of your posts, and build on the quality of your posts later (don’t forget spell check in the meantime). Your hard work will pay off in the long run, says Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra Cooks:

It brings me such joy to read an email from someone who has had success with a recipe and who has brought joy to his/her family or friends or significant other or just for his/herself in the process. Nothing makes me happier, truly. The pains I have experienced are pretty trivial overall.

5. Find an audience

Share your ideas and posts on the proper channels. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are multifaceted and ready for any type of content, but other networks can be specific to your content. Blogging about food or fashion? Some bloggers have had success with Pinterest. The benefit of participating in these networks is that they have a built-in user base ready to consume and share your content. Just be warned: creating an interesting fan page is a good step, but not as important as using it to drive traffic to your blog.

6. Join a community

Interact with new readers by liking their comments on other blogs and leaving comments of your own; just remember to be specific and don’t choke your target audience with blatant self-promotion.

7. Befriend other bloggers

Share the love with other bloggers by linking to their posts and guest blogging (also an effective way to find new readers), a little teamwork goes a long way.

8. Found (or support) a cause

Blogging for a cause isn’t just good for publicity, it’s a tangible way for you to give your support to something you believe in and for readers to “…connect with the blogger behind the blog,” says Nikki Parkinson of Styling You.

9. Forget about #7 and get in a fight

It may be controversial, but if you follow the rules, getting in a “blogfight” can be a great way to grab some attention for your blog (and some readers while you’re at it). The key, says The Blog Herald, is to stick to your guns and make your argument worthwhile:

…[I]f you have something really worthwhile to say, there is a chance you’d be taken seriously and provoke a healthy discussion…good blogfights can be made by fueling intelligent discussions, even among parties with opposing arguments… some of the world’s biggest problems are better solved by throwing bright minds into the mix and get them to bash their own ideas until the best ones stand out.

As in diplomacy, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” And inevitably when there’s a blogfight, the people to dislike the person you’re fighting with will often wade in on your side and sometimes become long-term allies.

10. One last thing- keep at it!

The best blogs weren’t a success overnight. Geraldine DeRuiter of The Everywhereist took more than 2 years 500 posts to get where she is today- one of Time’s Best Blogs of 2011. With a little bit of patience and these ten steps as your guide, you’ll soon accomplish your goal of creating a great blog.

See the Blogads blog for more helpful advice and insight into blogging, including interviews with successful bloggers like Sonja Foust of Pintester and Jim Romenesko of JimRomenesko.com.

Photo by Flickr user Christopher Stephen

Barometer: FL Voter Scandal, Univision, Debate #1 and more

by kaley
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Welcome to the seventh post in our Barometer series, helping you gauge the atmosphere in the political blogosphere 5 weeks before the election.

The Minority Report – New Poll: Americans Believe Gov’t Spending Doing More Harm Than Good
Poll shows that “likely voters” think federal spending is making the American economy worse.

The Brad Blog – Nationwide GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal Widens, Becomes Criminal Matter in Florida
Is FL the only state affected by potentially fraudulent forms?

Right Wing News – Univision Special Exposes More Gun Walking Programs
A detailed look at the deadly Operation Fast and Furious, and why it’s receiving little media attention.

Taylor Marsh – Debate Week, Romney’s Chances are “Slim”
Tune in to the first presidential debate this Wednesday at 9pm to see if Romney can turn the election momentum in his direction.

Photos from: perpetualplumqnr, Ars Skeptica

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