Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In brief

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08:  Paul Costiglio, a mar...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Here are 10 tips for online marketing success.
Be brief.
Be useful.
Be bold.
I've used this blog to learn, to play, to grow.
But to be useful to anyone but me, I'm gonna' have to take my own advice.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Separated at birth

--------Fox News' Steve Doocy --------------- Ex.Sen. Lincoln Chaffee

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Show Biz, Just Show Biz

Cover of "Dreamgirls"Cover of Dreamgirls

After stomping countless miles to the Dreamgirls soundtrack,
I finally saw it.
And was thrilled,
and puzzled.
The new tour of the Broadway musical had reached Minneapolis -- my chance to see what the buzz was all about.
After less-than-stellar performances of amateur night at the Apollo which open the show, the Dreamettes entered and the thrill began. The mic'ing was not perfect,but Henry Krieger's score (Krieger had been composing for Captain Kangaroo!), Tom Eyen's libretto, and the zip of Michael Bennett's original production propelled it forward. Right up to the number that is supposed to stop the show: Effie's performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."
It did stop the show - for the wrong reasons. An understudy -- a fine singer -- was on for Effie. She'd rocked the group numbers and the audience thought she sang the heck out of this one.
But she didn't have the chops to act it. And more melisma, which came gushing out of her, was not the answer.
This production was swimming with melisma.

And melisma was not enough to move the second act. Second act problems are common, but I'd never heard of second act problems with Dreamgirls. Was it the direction of this production that made it so weak? Lack of actor skills? Or poorly written?
I went running to the library to read source material and reviews of the original production which was workshopped several times before it opened on Broadway, and incorporated improvisations by cast members including Loretta Devine's mumbling, "Show biz , just show biz".

Still it takes a creative genius to shape (and edit and hone) the contributions of actors, writers, designers, musicians; and when that genius is gone.....what happens?

In his 1981 New York Times review ("Rich Dessert Without the Main Course"
Walter Kerr lamented the book, the score, even the concept; "tinsel and only tinsel". In the same paper, Frank Rich thought the show was Michael Bennett's claim to greatness, though he, too, quibbled with the "overpat and frantic plot resolutions of act two."
So, what was it? Weak production? Weak second act?
This much I can tell you: It was not this.

This is greatness.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Who's helping Haiti?

UK Fire Service Search and Rescue team en-rout...Image by DFID - UK Department for International Development via Flickr

Last night, I told my teenager that I'd made a contribution to help earthquake relief in Haiti. I asked him if he'd like to send some of his allowance.
"Haiti is another country. When Hurricane Katrina hit, did other countries help us?" he asked.
"Yes", I told him, "Including Cuba."
Which then got me wondering about what nations have -- and have not -- responded to the Haiti earthquake. Not every country is able, but many are. So, to date, who has responded?According to the AP, these nations have responded :
Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, China, European Union, United Nations, Sweden, Venezuela, Mexico, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Taiwan, Israel, South Korea.
This list is not complete, but it leaves me wondering: Where are the Arab countries? The Islamic nations?
If anyone has heard of a response, please let me know.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Reynaud's Phenomenon

Some phenomenon. Reynaud's is a vasopastic (say what?) syndrome that ....oy, just read the links. Suffice it to say, fingers and toes flash freeze.
Twenty years ago, during my first winter in Minnesota, my freezing made me weep as I drove the icy streets. What was going on? I'm not talking about cold. I'm talking frostbitten white, almost instantly.
Once the doc gave it a name (Reynaud's), all I cold think was who was this Reynaud's person and why must they share this michigass.

Over the years, I've done layers and electric socks, and Mycoal grabbers, and every other suggestion of humankind, but this is way beyond thinsulate. Once cold, my fingers go into a sink of warm water (when available); into my armpit, when no sink is at hand, and if I've just gotten home, my whole body goes into a hot tub until all 20 digits thaw.

Yesterday when I got to the Y, I went directly into the sauna, fully dressed 'til feeling returned; anything to get those digits back. Otherwise you can lose'em. So if you see a weeping woman with her hands in the sink or fully dressed in the YMCA sauna, it's the phenomenon known as Reyanud's.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Susan 2.uh.oh

Cover of "Search Engine Optimization: An ...Cover via Amazon

Just finished reading another chapter of Search Engine Optimization: An Hour A Day and got some understanding of meta tags and invisible text, but how am I supposed to learn to write it? Is there (of course there is) HTML class? Because it sure seems like optimization is not possible without HTML.
Are there people who do all of this - form and content - for themselves?

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Monday, January 4, 2010

As the world turns

Livros de Redes Sociais, SEO e Web 2.0Image by marciookabe via Flickr

Happy 2010 and welcome to a new chapter of Susan 2.0.

We're learning SEO. It's time. It may not be the missing link, but there doesn't seem to be much forward movement without it.

Of course, in SEO terms, missing links take on a whole new meaning.

So we (Who is we? I'm an I) are reading "Search Engine Optimization: An Hour A Day". The title had appeared in more than one end-of-the-year Top 10 SEO book lists, so I queried Nathan Eide from SMBMSP, who agreed that this was the book for me.

So far so good. Two hours down and according to authors Jennifer Grappone and Gravida Couzin, millions more to go. But an hour a day is manageable. And practical. I'm practicing now, putting lots of links in this blogpost. Here's hoping the robot search engines don't miss these links.

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