I have worked in the financial industry for many years. Most recently I worked as a financial advisor for a fortune 300 national financial advisory company. I love helping people. The most rewarding part of being a financial advisor was helping my clients with their comprehensive financial picture with a long-term perspective. I built strong and lasting friendships with many of my former clients. And I look forward towards building the same level of friendships on the blogoshphere.
An indispensable feature of a blog is its aesthetics, the blog design. Unlike a website, web usability standards for blogs are in an undefined league. However, Matt Blancarte, Scott Allen, Christopher Schmitt helped decipher the puzzle of good blog design.
Here is the panel discussion on blog design optimization:No Comments »
The infamous video blogger Loren Feldman with his cocky bravado gave his insights into successful video blogging. He has created a successful brand name as the goto videographer and video blogger.
Here is Loren Feldman’s speech on How to Video Blog:No Comments »
Merlin Mann spoke about Building a Good Blog that Can Generate Loyal Audience Traffic. His mantra about smart blog and smart blogging essentials are:
Find your obsession.
Everyday, explain it to one person you respect.
Edit everything, skip shortcuts, and try not to be a d_ _ _.
Here is The Mann’s speech:No Comments »
Social networking is critical to generating buzz about your blog. Lena West, Sean Bonner, and Ethan Horowitz shared their experiences with social network experimentation. Lena West presented a more traditional approach to social networking while Sean Bonner presented the generation X & Y view. It was interesting to see them duke it out.
Here is the panel on social networking:8 Comments »
Some renowned bloggers Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Lea Alcantara, Alex Schek, Tamar Weinberg, and Steve Spalding shared their thoughts on tips to grow blog traffic. I was pleased to see Alex join the panel, as he services the needs of the the growing Spanish-speaking community with sites like FayerWare. Overall, a robust panel discussion on “Increase Blog Traffic.”
Here is the panel discussion on Growing Blog Traffic:No Comments »
Straight from the horse’s mouth, it was quite insightful to hear from internet advertisers and blog advertisers, what they are looking for from blogs. Randall Richards, Michael Brito, Katia Adams, and Michael Jenkins raised some valid points from the blog advertisers point of view. But the take home message was that blog traffic is important but so is the blog’s and blogger’s reputation, and the content.
Here are tips on getting blog advertisers:No Comments »
This was a very interesting panel discussion composed of Jeremy Shoemaker, John Chow, Neil Patel, and Stephanie Agresta. I found it intriguing how off-cuff the discussion was, no holds barred. They were frank and honest about their start, what they are doing, and why they are doing it.
It was refreshing to see such candor, Shoemoney simply stated that he is doing the internet/blogging thing just to make money and nothing else.
Here is the panel discussion:No Comments »
I have read Blogging for Dummies and it is a must have reading for anyone thinking about getting into blogging. I can’t believe I finally got to meet her because I am big fan of her book. She did a nice job of laying out the fundamentals of blogging.
Here is her speech:2 Comments »
It was a great to go IzeaFest 2008. I had a great time learning about new blogging topics, while some topics helped reinforce existing knowledge. The first keynote speaker of the event was Jeremy Shoemaker of Shoemoney fame. He speech was really good, basically stating that if he could make money blogging, then anyone can. He emphasized that you have to be focused and driven to achieve results.
Here is his speech from IzeaFest 2008:No Comments »
I found this interesting Bill Moyers documentary on our publicized foibles by sections of our government. There are many sections of our government that have consistently undermined our constitution, national laws, Democratic temper, and international laws and treaties.
Certain powerful members of government past and present, some still in government positions and some retired to the private sector have continued to operate in shadow, accountable to none. Here is a classic documentary by Bill Moyers on the Secret Government. Brave American citizens must rise up and insist on full disclosure, a Disclosure Project on our Secret Government; its past activities, present deeds, and future actions. The topic of our Secret Government is far too vast to be covered in this post, but one thing is clear that it must be taken seriously by our citizens and Congress. If we continue to ignore the threats of an unaccountable government complex within a government, we do so at our nation’s peril.No Comments »
Gross Domestic Product has been incorrectly used as an economic indicator of the economic health and wellness of a nation and its citizens since World War II. GDP is used extensively by economists worldwide as the only and true measure of the health of an economy. As it has abroad, so has it at home, ill-served the American people by giving them a false sense of economic security. Its importance as an indicator for the standard of living has limited utility. Herein, over the years criticisms of GDP’s utility as a measure of an economy’s health and wellness are coming to the forefront.2 Comments »
Is the US economy in trouble? If it is how long will the crisis last? Will the elected representatives and traditional news media tell the American people the truth or hideNo Comments »
Is the US economy in trouble? If it is what can be the extent of the damage? What is unique about the subprime mortgage crisis? Will the elected representatives and traditional media tell the American people the truth or Read the rest of this entry »1 Comment »
Anyone who watches Fox News knows about Ann Coulter. She has built a career on being infamous for caustic remarks, fraudulent commentary, and shameless self-promotion. She has built a solid career in the conservative-Republican political arena as a political expert. However, outside of certain sections of an insulated conservative cabal her merits as an expert and author of Read the rest of this entry »No Comments »
My Presidential Candidate Predictions Are Coming True. Let us look at my predictions on August 27, 2007: the Democratic Presidential Candidates.
Presidential Election 2008 - predictions August 27, 2007:
1. Hillary Clinton
No Comments »
2. Barack Obama Read the rest of this entry »
3M LED Mobile Phone Projector
The projectors keep getting smaller and now come in micro size. Following on the heels of Texas Instruments and Microvision small projectors, 3M will be coming out with a fully operation micro projection device that can be placed in any Read the rest of this entry »4 Comments »
Jesse Jackson the famed civil rights leader and former Democratic presidential candidate (1984, 1988) has decided to mix 2008 presidential election politics and payday loans. Recently, Jackson again pointed out to the news media, the presidential candidates, and the black community that the African American vote cannot be taken for granted by the Democrat Party nor the Democratic presidential candidates.
Historically, the Democrat Party has been seen by African Americans as Read the rest of this entry »1 Comment »
In another surprising turn of events in the presidential election 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won the Democrat vote at the Iowa Caucus. Obama received 38 percent of the democratic vote, compared to 30 percent for John Edwards and 29 percent for Read the rest of this entry »1 Comment »
The housing market corrections of 2007 may well continue into 2008. The government is scrambling to forestall any further market adjustments. The government wants to be proactive in avoiding any severe downturn in the economy. There is a feeling that the government needs to be doing more than the Bush mortgage rate freeze plan for certain subprime adjustable rate mortgages.
Recently, the Bush Administration announced that Read the rest of this entry »1 Comment »
Earlier this week Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hinted that the leading presidential candidate, rival Hillary Clinton lacks foreign policy experience.
The Senator from Delaware has held his foreign policy credentials as par excellence when he compares them to his democratic rivals in election 2008. He was bringing to the American public’s attention a serious gaffe made by Hillary Clinton with regards to the recent events in Pakistan.
In two separate news interviews, Senator Clinton stated the wrong information about the upcoming Pakistani elections:
She stated on ABC Sunday that, “[if Musharraf] could be the only person on the ballot. I dont think that’s a real election.”
She stated in a Wolf Blitzer interview, “If President Musharraf wishes to stand for election, then he should abide by the same rules that every other candidate will have to follow.”
These are serious errors, and show a lack of elementary understanding of current international affairs in an important country like Pakistan. Pakistan will be holding parliamentary elections not presidential ones. Musharraf was re-elected President last year.
Her gaffes follow Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s comments last week that Afghanistan is on Pakistan’s eastern border. India shares Pakistan’s eastern border while Afghanistan shares the western.No Comments »
The credit card companies have ensnared the college and university system in their web of exploitation of college students. The schools have contracted with credit card companies in affinity programs that undermine students interests. An affinity program is a contractual agreement between a credit card issuer and a university in which a card company can market to the students, faculty, and alumni their cards exclusively; in return the university gets money.
The money in return for exclusivity can run into multi-millions, much needed funds for many universities. However, this comes at a steep price, with colleges forgoing their responsibilities to students. An inherent conflict of interest arises with these affinity programs; as the college overlooks student interest for sake of credit card company interest.
Affinity relationships can be worth more than $15 million, depending on the university. Usually, the affinity agreement includes the school partnering with a credit company to issue a co-branded card, a school logo card. Bank of America has majority of the exclusive deals with colleges, with 900 agreements. Chase has 40 affinity partnerships with schools nationwide.
Also, the schools can earn annual royalties, in the millions. In return for payments, card companies get access to entire student, faculty, and alumni lists. They also can market at school events, such as sports events and more.
So, what is the harm, some say? The affinity programs pose a direct threat to the schools responsibility to students benefits. The colleges when tempted with easy funds will not shy away from scrutinizing the credit terms or their marketing activities.
Chase’s wonderful credit card terms included double-cycle billing, which according to the General Accounting Office is a method used by one-third of credit card issuers. A double cycle billing example: I have zero balance and I purchase something for a $100. I make my payment on-time of $75 and carry over a $25 balance into the next statement. When I get me next statement, under the double-billing method I would be charged interest on the full $100, rather than the $25 balance alone. This is one of the most audacious, loan shark like, weasely, and reprehensible things credit card companies do.
Imagine, exploiting financially innocent students this way, let alone general consumers. Unless, there is grassroots uproar against the cozy nexus between the colleges and credit card companies, such practices will continue. The only ones to suffer will be students and their families.
Part 4: Coming soon…No Comments »
In the world of credit card companies, anything and anyone is fair game, until the laws say otherwise. The targeting of college students is well researched and positioned. Like other predatory business, such as payday loans, credit card issuers also prey upon the weak, the financially unsavvy. Like cigarette companies, card companies want to hook consumers to their product at a young age. In their quest for business perpetuity, card companies have expanded their innovative marketing efforts to the halls of higher education.
The aim of credit card companies on campus is to get college students to fill out completed applications. With the full acquiescence of the college and university, college students are recruited by card companies to solicit their fellow college students to apply for credit cards.
A credit card college representative provides the initial training to a group of students interested in making easy money, commission sales. A student card salesman can earn up to $15 for every completed application. In return for completing an application, you get a free shirt or some other trinket. That seems like a fair trade, your personal information for a t-shirt.
So student salesmen play the role of enthusiastic credit card pushers; while their prey, fellow college students may end up as credit card addicts. This is a clever strategy, hiring college students to seek out their circle of influence (friends) and then walk the corridors of their university to target other unsuspecting students.
Students are employed to target students because they come off as non-threatening, as being one of their own. Certainly a middle aged person would have less success marketing to young college students, than another student. The student salesmen are provided training by the card reps on how to approach students, giveaway free gifts, and most importantly, how to overcome objections.
Some of the objection handlers are, “Once you get the card, you don’t have to use it, you can cut it up,” “Once you get your dream job after graduating, you can easily payoff the card,” “If you start building your credit history now, you’ll have great credit right out of college,” “Can come in handy when you’re strapped for cash,” “Show your college pride by getting your very own college logo credit card,” and more.
In addition to college campuses, card issuers use high traffic strategic locations around campus to market to students. They put up their flee market tents in these areas, and start doling out trinkets in exchange for completed applications.
However you look at it this is exploitation of financially unsophisticated students for profit. Where is the corporate conscience, doesn’t corporate citizenship extend to putting an end to such abhorrent marketing practices?
Ron Paul and his Presidential Election 2008 bid to become the Republican Presidential Candidate may have hit a speed bump. The Ron Paul 2008 campaign and Ron Paul may have some explaining to do to the American public. It is alleged that Ron Paul made racist and anti-Semitic statements in his eight-page newsletter The Ron Paul Political Report, founded in 1985. In the DailyKos, writer phenry gives great detailed insight into the matter. The Houston Chronicle first brought to public limelight Ron Paul’s musings in his The Ron Paul Political Report. So far, neither Ron Paul nor the Ron Paul 2008 campaign has made public any issues of his newsletter.
Here are some excerpts from the Houston Chronicle article 05/23/1996:
The Racist Ron Paul
Paul, writing in his independent political newsletter in 1992, reported about unspecified surveys of blacks.”Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action,” Paul wrote.
Paul continued that politically sensible blacks are outnumbered “”as decent people.” Citing reports that 85 percent of all black men in the District of Columbia are arrested, Paul wrote:
“”Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal,” Paul said.
Paul also wrote that although “”we are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers.”
The Anti-Semite Ron Paul
In later newsletters, Paul aimed criticism at the Israeli government’s U.S. lobbying efforts…Stating that lobbying groups who seek special favors and handouts are evil, Paul wrote, “”By far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government” and that the goal of the Zionist movement is to stifle criticism.
Ron Paul thus far, has defended the allegations by insinuating that he had no control over those particular issues’ content and a ghostwriter wrote the particular articles for The Ron Paul Political Report. Hence, Ron Paul is not denying the published contents but the authorship and editorial control over his own newsletter, a newsletter that carried his name.
However, wouldn’t common sense and logic impede acceptance of his defense of the published words in his The Ron Paul Political Report.
Also, even if we suspend common sense and logic regarding his defense on the issue, wouldnt we again be impeded by common sense and logic, in order to believe that a newsletter with seven thousand subscriptions didnt reserve one subscription addressed to Ron Paul’s home. Moreover, is it plausible to believe that he would pay for mass publication of the newsletter, out of his pocket, without reviewing the content beforehand? Highly unlikely.
Logically, how can Ron Paul’s vanity prohibit him from reading any issue of The Ron Paul Political Report? Similarly, Ron Paul using his own funds to finance his newsletter, not being aware of how, what, and where of his newsletter seems implausible to me.
Additionally, outrageous and egregious is that when those particular issues of The Ron Paul Political Report were published and disseminated; he didnt admonish the articles content nor denounce the racist and anti-Semitic statements. So by staying silent on the issues at the time of the newsletters’ publication, was he simply endorsing and condoning the racist and anti-Semitic contained within?
Furthermore, even if common sense and logic permits us to accept Ron Paul’s assertion that a ghostwriter wrote the articles in question; we would have to suspend reality by accepting that he doesnt know who the ghostwriter is? In such a mom-n-pop small newsletter like The Ron Paul Political Report, how is it possible not to know who is writing for you, especially on your behalf. If he knows the person who wrote the articles that means Ron Paul at worse, associates with racists and Anti-Semites and at worst, is friends with such a person and shares such despicable views.
Now let’s look at a comparison of basic job duties of Ron Paul the publisher/editor/writer of The Ron Paul Political Report and Ron Paul the Congressman:
Publisher/Editor/Writer Ron Paul - The Ron Paul Political Report
Congressman Ron Paul
So if we are to forgo common sense and logic as Americans and accept that Ron Paul’s duties as publisher and editor of The Ron Paul Political Report were remiss during publication of only those particular controversial newsletter editions, then it reflects poorly on his judgment and oversight abilities as publisher.
The basic duty of a Congressman as it relates to a publisher and editor is to review (meaning read) in detail legislation you sponsor and support. Herein, if he didnt read nor review that vile content, how can we expect him to be a competent public servant as Congressman?
If Ron Paul was remiss in his basic duty as publisher in not reviewing his own newsletter, what makes you think he is not doing the same as Congressman by avoiding his job of critical reading and review of the people’s legislation?
Scary, thought isnt it. Isnt that how we classify incompetence?
So let’s assume that he is not fulfilling his basic duties as Congressman, what makes you think he is fulfilling his other duties as Congressman?
Hence, on what merit is Ron Paul seeking to be President of our great country when he may not be fulfilling even the most rudimentary duties as Congressman and in the past as Publisher/Editor of The Ron Paul Political Report.
The American public would agree that if he couldnt manage with proper oversight the content of his own publication and have checks and balances in place to make sure vile articles such as attributed to the controversial issues of the mom-n-pop The Ron Paul Political Report could never be published; on what credible basis are Americans to believe that he can carry on the basic duties of a President in oversight of the US and managing checks and balances with the other two branches of government, Congress, and Supreme Court.
Thus, Ron Paul’s defense completely falls apart under common sense and logical scrutiny. Where is the fundamental journalistic scrutiny from the “legitimate media?” Why are people contributing to this man? Why are some Americans supporting him? Who is voting for this man to be re-elected to an august body such as the Congress? Is he fit to sponsor and support legislation in Congress that affects all Americans with his belief system?
Lastly, Ron Paul is unwilling to accept responsibility for the contents of his newsletter that carried his name. A publisher is always responsible for the content of his publication. Ron Paul is attempting to escape accountability and responsibility as a publisher and blames someone else, a “ghostwriter” for the content; then on what basis can he ridicule George Bush, another “public servant” who doesnt accept responsibility for his actions and blames others for his misdeeds. Can the country handle another incarnation of George Bush in Ron Paul?
The supporters of Ron Paul must not be carried away by the veneer of Ron Paul but examine the underpinnings of the man himself.
Would you really support him after reading Gaurav Bhola Makes a Case Against Ron Paul?
If you do, God help you.12 Comments »
The Microsoft monopoly has been in full throttle for years, too many years. Many software came and went, many seemed promising like the beautiful Lotus Smart Suite. Many consumers and experts concur that this was the best office suite package ever. Alas, it wasnt meant to last as MS Office was the dominant force on desktops, a strangle hold engendered by exclusive agreements with hardware desktop makers.
Now those same companies are lamenting their complicity in making Microsoft the monopoly it is today. If they hadnt given the sole space on their desktops to Microsoft, then the current productive office suite landscape would be different.
Now IBM, amongst others are attempting to seek redemption by promoting Free of Charge Ubuntu, Symphony, and Sun Microsystems’ Open Office, etc. Please find information about each:
What does the Ubuntu mean: “African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are.”
Ubuntu is an operating system like Microsoft Windows that is can be placed on laptops, desktops and servers. It has all the applications you desire such as, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, email, note-taking, photo editor, music and video.
Watch this great Microsoft Vista versus Ubuntu video:
It is full personal productivity application suite that is a competitor of MS Office. It is a derivative of Sun Microsystems’ Star Office suite. Open Office includes a word processor, draw, spreadsheet, database, mathematical function creator, and a presentation tool.
You are not locked in the unending chain of Microsoft Office upgrades, paying ever exorbitant funds to upgrade buggy software that needs patches continually. Like Open Office, IBM Symphony is free to download and use. Also when upgrades are available, you can download them for free, no purchase is ever necessary. Symphony includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and a presentation.
Are internet based online productivity applications the wave of the future? Google thinks so. Google offers an internet based Microsoft Office alternative that has a word processor, spreadsheet, and a presentation suite. There are limitations with regards to file size, etc. You must first sign up for Google Mail, to access the office suite.
Want an alternative to Microsoft Project? Guess what, Projity is the open source answer called OpenProj. It does have the same learning curve as Microsoft Project but hey, it free. There is a paid robust version, Project-ON-Demand, but for most people the free version will suffice. OpenProj is perfect for small business owners managing group projects. As in case of other open source software, OpenProj is available for Linux, Mac or Windows.
The presidential election is heating up as the presidential candidates reach out to voters in the 2008 election. As the election season of the national primary kicks off with the Iowa Primary, New Hampshire Primary, South Carolina Primary, Nevada Primary, and Florida Primary, for many the national presidential primary season has come too early in many states.
For example, in Florida the state legislature moved up the date for the state primary to January 28, in order to give Florida more of a role in choosing the presidential candidates for their respective parties, thus influencing election results.
The election is now left with the following candidates:
John Edwards Bill Richardson
Joe Biden Christopher Dodd
Dennis Kucinich Mike Gravel
Republican candidates: 2008 presidential election
Mitt Romney John McCain
Rudolph Giuliani Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter Tom Tancredo
Fred Thompson Ron Paul
Source: Fox News
Source: Newsweek2 Comments »
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