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Bloggers Beware: The FTC is Watching You

Demotivators

As if our government didn't have more important issues to address, now the FTC may crack down on bloggers who receive freebies for promotions via their blog. Check this out.

From Everything TypePad:

The Federal Trade Commission is keeping an eye on blogger freebies

Just as a heads up for everyone in the blogging community: the FTC is planning to start checking on the freebies that you might get from promoting someone or a company on your blog. Taking a cool camera for writing about the awesome snaps it takes? Better read this AP wire story first.

The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer — and getting commissions for any sales from it — would be enough to trigger oversight.

How do you feel about blogger "perks"? If it's clearly labeled as pay-for-play and taxed appropriately, does that make you feel more trusting of the blogger and the company?

 


Ageless Music: Blogger Album Project

Bloggeralbumprojectaward

My sister from another mother, Linda, from Ramblings of an Ageless Hippie Chick tagged me a few weeks ago with a meme on my seven favorite music albums. I’m such an eclectic music lover that I’ve started and stopped this blog post more times than I care to remember. Since it’s cold outside and I’m in for the night while I continue to fight off a cold, I’m going with whatever I write this time.

Besides, I am so tired of the Rod Blagojevich scandal and the Jesse Jackson Jr. denial tour that I really must move on for my own sanity.

THE RULES:

1. Post your list of the seven best albums, the seven bloggers you will tag, a copy of these rules,
and a link back to this page.
2. Each person tagged will put a URL to their Blogger Album Project post along with a list of the seven best albums in the comment section HERE.
3. Feel free to post the “I Contributed to the Blogger Album Project” Award Graphic on your sidebar,
along with a link back to this page.
4. Post a link back to the blogger who tagged you.


MY SEVEN ALBUMS:

1.       A Love Supreme – John Coltrane:  I can listen to this album over and over and over again. Coltrane was a musical genius and I’d choose his tunes over many of today’s musicians. That’s not a slap to just a testament to the groundbreaking sound of John Coltrane.

A love supreme

 

2.       Exitos Eternos - Celia Cruz:  There is only one Celia Cruz. I love watching her and predecessor, La Lupe. Celia Cruz mesmerized the Latin music industry and showed just why she’s the Queen with her modern tunes. My favorite song from this album is La Negra Tiene Tumbao.

Exitos externos

 

3.       Electric Circus – Common:   This album is probably the least commercially successful of Common’s tunes. I happen to like the 1970’s flavor of the tunes. Common was obviously heavily influenced by his relationship with Erykah Badu at the time this album was made. There’s also a collaboration with Mary J. Blige that is underrated.

Electric circus

 

4.       Heaven – BeBe & CeCe Winans:   Before Kirk Franklin broke ground as a contemporary gospel star, BeBe and CeCe Winans paved the way with this album. Many secular radio stations found several cuts from the album in heavy rotation on their playlists. I love every track on this album. One of my favorite songs from this album is Lost Without You 

Heaven

 

5.       West Side Story – Leonard Bernstein:   Since my mom taught dance when I was a kid, I grew up listening to show tunes. I recall watching the movie version of West Side Story and memorizing all of Rita Moreno’s lines. While I liked Natalie Wood’s role but Rita had fi-yah.

I did get that the story was based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s really interesting to hear some of the songs today but I still love the album.

West side story

 

 

6.       3 Years  5 Months & 2 Days in the Day of the Life of… - Arrested Development:   I love this album and I love this group. They remind me of Sly & the Family Stone. There tunes are upbeat message music. I love the mix of reggae, rap and R&B. This is another album that I would turn the volume up on real loud and sing as I drove in my car on long distance trips.

Arrested development

 

7.       The Isaac Hayes Movement – Isaac Hayes:   This album was released in November 1969. I remember it vividly because of the song I Stand Accused. I had just become a teenager and the older kids talked about how long the song was. Since it was a slow song, it provided couples an opportunity to dance really close for a really long time. That song was the first song I danced close with a boy. I didn’t see what was such a big deal. I was really young. LOL

The isaac hayes movement

Here are the SEVEN BLOGGERS  I’m tagging. Play if you want, if not, that’s cool too.

TGrundy of RIBS

Regina of Regina’s Family Seasons

Mr. Chap of Mr. Chap Morning Show Live

Angie of What Floats My Boat

Marty of Marty BLOGs

Theo of Now That’s What I’m Talkin’ About

 and Matt of  A Bowl of Stupid.

My brain is fried; that was hard work. Your responses will be interesting. Peace and Blessings, y’all.


 

© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!, www.vanessabyers.net

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Vanessa: Unplugged! Among 60 Influential Black Bloggers

Favicon.ico I was so caught up in the General Election that I neglected to let you folks know that Vanessa: Unplugged! was listed among 60 Influential Black Political and Social Action Bloggers by AAPP (African American Political Pundit). It's quite an honor to be included among many blogs and bloggers that I truly admire for their political analysis, commentary and work for the collective.

Thanks, AAPP!


© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!, www.vanessabyers.net

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.

 


Sarah Palin: The Truth is Out There

I'm going to totally date myself when I write this but some of you will be able to relate. When I was a young child and either my parents or relatives gave me money, I would love to save enough to go to the five-and-dime store.

For those of you making faces right now, the five-and-dime store was like a much smaller scale of Wal-Mart. If you remember the stories of civil rights sit-ins at Woolworth's, it was a five-and-dime. Some Woolworth's stores were sold to Wal-Mart as the Woolworth's retail chain declined. Anyhoo, back in those days, a dollar would go a long way and you buy candy for almost all the kids in the neighborhood.

Well, I bought candy sometimes but I also liked to buy jewelry. It was costume jewelry but jewelry nonetheless. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings. I loved it.

My Aunt Bert taught me to paint the jewlery with clear fingernail polish to keep it from turning your skin green. It worked. The problem is, through perspiration and wear and tear, the polish eventually wore off. If you didn't re-apply the clear polish, the jewelry would turn your skin green anyway because it's not authentic gold or silver.

That's what we have in Sarh Palin's vice-presidency. It looks all shiny, new and authentic but when she speaks you know she's not authentic.

While the Rethuglican Party tries to present Sarah Palin as the candidate of Women and such a lovable governor, voices to the contrary are getting louder and louder. Hundreds gathered in Alaska yesterday to voice their opposition to Palin as vice-president and vowed not to be swayed by her gender.

Why hasn't that story been covered by the mainstream media with the veracity they've displayed on positive Palin topics? I have to agree with the McCain-Palin camp's assessments of media bias. But the media has been biased toward the McCain camp and the untold objective stories of both McCain and Palin clearly prove that.

Ok, I'll exempt USA Today on news coverage but what about the others? I could list television and print media outlets but you already know what I mean.

Check out the post and photos on Mudflats. There are other Alaskan bloggers brave enough to tell the truth about Sarah Palin. The Rethuglican spin will only last so long. That shine will fade away and if we're not careful, it will turn our skin green.



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© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!, www.vanessabyers.net

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Truth in Blogging: Mudflats

If you're interested in a different perspective on Sarah Palin and an unfiltered version of Alaskan politics, checkout Mudflats. The author describes herself as "just a citizen who is paying attention." Wow, that's all that's needed to turn our government --- and this presidential election --- around, more citizens just paying attention.

h/t: Linda Sama



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© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!, www.vanessabyers.net

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The Hijacking of Vanessa: Unplugged!

For the last three days I've been dealing with capturing and securing my site's domain. I am not a techie so I still don't understand the details; perhaps some of you have experienced this or can provide an explanation, in English as to how this happened.

Anyhoo, on Monday evening, I tried to access my blog. I typed in the URL and was directed to a "This site is under construction page." I was certain that I must have typed the wrong URL but that couldn't be true because I the address was already in the computer's memory. I tried to check my e-mail and couldn't get to that because the page was down. The first I thought was, "See, Vanessa, you shouldn't have written all of those negative posts about the Clintons."

To make a long story short, Network Solutions deactivated my domain and my mailbox. After a couple of cryptic messages --- I really hate that crap just tell me the deal up front --- I found out that more than 40,000 e-mail messages had been sent using my e-mail address and Network Solutions received complaints. 40,000? Although the folks at Network Solutions didn't say it, those messages must have been some porno shiggity.

After several calls and e-mails; I am back on track. I do feel somewhat violated. If you sent me an e-mail message within the last two days, it may have bounced; please try again. In the meantime, I have changed passwords on my accounts and sent myself a reminder to change them every month.

This has been an interesting experience; the folks at Network Solutions were apologetic. It seems that everything is in order and I will continue to post what I think is the truth. And to the folks who hijacked my domain, [insert the appropriate expletive], I'm back!


Shout Out on Daily Telegraph

Thanks to Rose for the heads up on my Saturday Night Live – Hillary blog post being mentioned in Britain's Telegraph.co.uk on Toby Harnden's blog. He makes some great points about Hillary Rodham Clinton, the SNL skits and the Democratic presidential campaign in his post, Hillary: 'My supporters are racists'. Check it out!


Blogging for Hope: Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

Join Bloggers Unite For Human Rights On May 15!

Thanks to you, May marks the first anniversary of Bloggers Unite and this time we're launching an awareness campaign chosen by BlogCatalog members. On May 15, let's unite for human rights and make a statement that all people are born with basic rights and freedoms - life, liberty, and justice!

On May 15th 2008, let's come together and all blog about Human Rights. There are dozens and dozens of human rights issues that you can write about. The one you choose is up to you.

Topics to Consider

  • The wrongful imprisonment of journalists covering assemblies.
  • Governments that ignore the plight of citizens left tot he mercy of gangs.
  • The censorship of the Internet in order to prevent freedom of expression.
  • Harsh punishments that include torture, forced labor, and starvation.
  • Sexual assault against women by members of military or militia.

Learn More About Human Rights

There are many organizations that promote human rights and work to protect people. We've picked three to help you learn more and find breaking topics.

  • Amnesty International (http://www.amnesty.org/) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. They work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity.
  • Human Right Watch (http://www.hrw.org/) is dedicated to protecting human rights of people around the world. They stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, uphold political freedom, protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.
  • Youth For Human Rights (http://www.youthforhumanrights.org) is an independent non-profit that educates people about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights so they become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace.

We have an entire group discussion dedicated to Bloggers Unite (http://www.blogcatalog.com/group/bloggers-unite) where you can add more organizations that you think are worth including.

How To Join Bloggers Unite!

To join, simply visit the Bloggers Unite page (http://unite.blogcatalog.com/) to get more information. Then, on Thursday, May 15th, write a blog post that shares awareness about human rights.

Your blog post could:

  • Have the title "Bloggers Unite For Human Rights" (or some variation).
  • include an example of human rights so people can learn about it.
  • Explain the importance of human rights and how it applies to everyone.
  • Link to one of the sites we've listed or the most suitable site for your country.
  • And add a link to our BlogCatalog Community Human Rights Awareness Campaign page so we can give you and your blog credit for being part of it.

If you have any questions, please e-mail bloggersunite@blogcatalog.com. And please, don't forget to tell your friends to blog about this too. Together, I know we can raise awareness and prove bloggers can do good!


Crisis in Darfur and Tibet: Am I not human?

Today is April 27th. I had planned to write about the anniversary of my sorority's local chapter or about the new BlackBerry Curve I bought last week until I received an e-mail from fellow blogger, Eddie Griffin, that changed my focus for today.

The subject is the inhumanity of the crises in Darfur and Tibet. The Roots of Humanity campaign was started by a team of socially conscious bloggers to expose these atrocities to the world. Please join them in this effort.

I don't feel guilty about the conveniences I have or what I have accomplished but I can't live my life blind to the suffering heaped upon my brothers and sisters regardless of where they live.

Surely you've heard about the protests against the Olympics in Beijing and the efforts to disrupt the traditional torch run leading up to the opening games. Some folks have asked U.S. President George W. Bush not to participate in the opening games while others, such as me, think he should boycott the Games completely.

The Olympics, regardless of what some folks want you to believe, are connected to the rape, pillage and maiming of innocent people in Darfur and the murder and incarceration of the monks in Tibet. This madness must stop.

Inarguably, those of us in the United States have become dependent upon the Chinese government for so many of our routine needs. We have allowed our own government to sell us out to the lowest bidder and at what cost? The lives of so many in Darfur and Tibet are being taken everyday while future generations of Americans are headed for more despair because of jobs shipped to China.

That same Chinese government is at the core of the destruction in Darfur and Tibet. Since our United States government will not do anything about it, join the Roots of Humanity in forcing change from the bottom up.

The lives saved by exposing the impact of China's stronghold on the US, Darfur and Tibet and destroying that stronghold will benefit the planet. Is this a tremendous challenge? Yes. Will it be accomplished in a short period of time? Probably not; but we must start some time and we must not give up.

I know that I am Blessed and Highly-Favored. I owe it to my fellow citizens of the world to do what I can to help them. There but the Grace of God go You and Me; helping our fellow man is the price we pay for being here.

Am I not human?

A special thanks goes out to these bloggers for leading this charge:


Back in stride again

Much of my energy the last few days has been devoted to work issues and far too much energy completing my income tax return for 2007. My work-life balance is not and it's time to flip the script.

Several blog worthy issues have occurred recently and I'll definitely post about them soon. The presidential campaign is still somewhat controversial even if the drama is forced. In the meantime I must also get through my e-mail backlog and return phone calls.

Peace.