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Category: Web Finds

all the things that I come across online that are fascinating and different.

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Successes in Self-Publishing

Successes in Self-Publishing

Everyone loves a success from scratch story, and I am no different.  I have been reading about authors that are beginning to self-publish.  This trend has traditional publishers nervous to say the least.  I can completely understand publishers’ concerns about losing their authors and book sales.  For the authors, I completely understand why they are beginning to push into the self-publishing space.  Why give a majority of the proceeds away from the book sales to the publisher and deal with the creative differences between the author and the business side of publishing when the Internet and e-books are readily available.

A case in point to consider is Amanda Hocking.  She is a twenty something author that has successfully published several e-books and generated more than $1 million in personal revenue from her book sales.  She is making a serious name for herself and has her own author page on the Amazon bookstore.  This is a true success from scratch story, and I love her approach and tenacity to pull off what, just a few years ago, would have been impossible.  She has broken into that small select group of published authors without a traditional publisher.

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Fanboys/Fangirls, they just crack me up

Fanboys/Fangirls, they just crack me up

PC World had a funny post about “fanboys”.  As I was reading it, I started to laugh because I actually know some people who would qualify as fanboys.  PC World has several more descriptions, take a read, and see how many people in your life you can recognize.

…every story written by professional journalists who don’t think like you are totally “teh biased”, “on the take” or “in the back pocket of [Insert your least favorite company here].” –Darren Gladstone, PC World

…you feel utter contempt not only for Mac and Windows users, but for users of any Linux distribution other than your own. –Steven Gray, PC World

…you believe that the world is divided into a force for good, as embodied in Steve (Ballmer or Jobs), and a force for evil, as embodied in Steve (Jobs or Ballmer). –Steven Gray, PC World

A few of my own definitions of a fanboy/fangirl:

  • Anyone that is not able to engage in actual conversation with another human being about any topic other then their pet company or product
  • People who take shorthand or vernacular from one media, like a video game, and use it in daily conversations and/or writing (this one really bugs me)

Overzealous fans are not limited to the tech world, just look at the nut jobs that obsess about Hollywood celebrities. So many people need to unplug for a while and take a serious assessment of their lives. It is crazy some of the discussions I have gotten myself into with over obsessed people. You can find the same kind of blind allegiance in extremes of both political parties. Those ones really keep me up at night. . .most people in the world need a serious vacation.

Finding what can be found

Finding what can be found

Is all information cataloged at this point?  How many major search providers are left and do they have all the information of the world cataloged?  I have no clue, but another search engine is hitting the net.  This one says they are different, but then again, so did Cuil.com.  And needless to say, I was not overly impressed with Cuil.com offering.

Enter Wolfram Alpha (http://www.wolframalpha.com)

Is it different from the rest?  From what I can tell so far – Yes!

How is it to be used in relation to other search engines?   Not a clue yet…

Update 1:

I have been doing some additional searches on Wolfram Alpha and I have found some interesting results.  So far one of the best has been putting two stocks in as a search query and seeing the quick comparison.  This is very cool.

This site will require some getting used to, as far as learning how to write great search statements, but do not let that be a deterrent.  The examples sections is very helpful for getting started (http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/).

Wolfram Alpha is worth checking out, but it is not a replacement for your daily searches at Google or Yahoo at this time.

Update 2:

I am not the only one who likes it for investing…”Using Wolfram Alpha in researching investments

Blown Away

Blown Away

I may be late on this trend but I was sent a link to the Susan Boyle video on YouTube.  I was expecting a joke video, but I was in for a shock.  Watch the video and see if you are shocked as well.

What does that say about the value we place on superficial first impressions?

I have been doing a little reading about her, and she is not your typical 40 something.  I found many stories posted online, many from major publications, which go a bit into her background.  Do a Google search and read a little bit about her.

Watch Susan Boyle on YouTube

As of this posting, the video had been viewed over 16 million times on YouTube.