Google’s False Confessions

Inside the company’s daring plan to control the news

The greatest trick that Google Corporation ever pulled, was to convince the world it didn’t exist. Although its shareholders know it as a profitable advertising brokerage, the majority of Internet users believe it to be nothing more than a benevolent purveyor of web search, email, and other free online services.

Google is a fierce and formidable competitor. Its network of websites is the Internet’s single most popular destination; it processes more search queries than all its competitors combined, including stalwarts Microsoft and Yahoo; its annual revenues and profits are measured in billions. Through all its successful expansions, Google has worked to maintain an image of simplicity and altruism.

Google’s bungled launch of their Buzz platform illustrated the pervasiveness, and the deceptive nature of this public image. Continue reading Google’s False Confessions

Bearish on the Blogosphere: A 2009 Forecast

In last Tuesday’s presidential debates, moderator Tom Brokaw asked the candidates a difficult question: will the economy get worse before it gets better? Arguably, it is the President’s job to inspire confidence in our financial system, not to deliver candid investment advice. Unfortunately, such cheerleading amounts to a tax on the credulous buy-and-hold investor, favoring those who better understand the political game.

As I skimmed Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report yesterday, I was reminded of McCain and Obama’s earlier performances. Technorati’s investigation reveals that bloggers are “savvy and sophisticated,” and their daily output is “integral to the media ecosystem.”

Technorati, in case you didn’t know, is a blog aggregation service, whose business is built upon the free content we bloggers create. Like our presidential candidates, it is not necessarily in Technorati’s best interest to provide a frank assessment of our future. So let me provide my own frank assessment. Continue reading Bearish on the Blogosphere: A 2009 Forecast

The Unconventional Wisdom Blogging Awards

April 14 is Darren Rowse’s Blogger Appreciation Day.

Unconventional Wisdom Awards
Martial Development
Unconventional Wisdom
Award Winner

What are the Unconventional Wisdom Awards?
I created the Unconventional Wisdom Awards to give recognition to, and show my appreciation for unusually insightful, thought-provoking blog content. Continue reading The Unconventional Wisdom Blogging Awards

From Chi Kung Skeptic to Iron Shirt Master in 28 Days

Qigong and Energy Arts Forum welcomes any submissions related to chi, ki, prana, orgone, et cetera. For this edition, I would also like to extend a special invitation to skeptics, rationalists and disbelievers.

Do you know why chi kung doesn’t exist? Can you prove it is scientifically impossible? Have you personally encountered any frauds, mountebanks or charlatans? Educate us.

Iron Shirt
Iron Shirt

Provide your best evidence, clearest arguments and most entertaining stories. One participant will be randomly selected to win a prize from the new Martial Development Shop. Continue reading From Chi Kung Skeptic to Iron Shirt Master in 28 Days

How Amateur Bloggers Create Great Posts

While thumbing through the letters to the editor in one of my favorite magazines, I made a troubling observation. Nobody seemed to congratulate the authors on a job well done, or expressed appreciation for all their hard work.

Some letters highlighted an important point that the author missed, while others had the temerity to disagree with the author’s conclusion. How very rude, I thought!

USa Today

Indignant, I perused the other newsstand periodicals for validation of my feelings. I found none. From obscure technical journals to USA Today, every professionally edited publication followed the same pattern.

Rather than showing gratitude for tight prose and well-researched reporting, readers seemed to expect them; and they spoke up only when writers failed to meet this high standard.

Walking away from the kiosk, I realized that I was judging these professional authors by the standards of an amateur blogger. Anyone who aspires to creating high-quality content and a respectable audience, through a blog or any other medium, should appreciate the difference. Continue reading How Amateur Bloggers Create Great Posts

Personal Development Out The Wazoo

A few weeks ago, Priscilla Palmer graciously included me on her list of top personal development bloggers, and invited me to contribute a few more entries.  In her words, “This list should include any blog you feel can benefit us in our growth process.”

I’ll take this opportunity to mention some of the articles I’ve read and enjoyed over the past few months:

With respect to all the other members, the complete personal development list is far too long to repost here; if you read all that stuff, you won’t have any time left to practice martial arts!  Here is the subset that most clearly relates to topics we discuss here at Martial Development: Continue reading Personal Development Out The Wazoo

Click Here to Fix This Ugly Blog

I stopped tweaking my Ninja Scroll theme for WordPress a few months back, after deciding it was good enough. I just remembered that I am publishing a personal development website, and good enough is never good enough!

Virtual blog dissection

Wild Bill, the Passionate Blogger, is giving away free blog makeovers to five lucky bloggers. If you’d like to see a new and improved look for Martial Development, please take 30 seconds to stop by his blog and vote for me us.

Update: Voting has ended. Thank you for voting Martial Development into the top 5!

Raving Lunatics of the Twenty-First Century

Based Upon a True Story
Imagine yourself walking through a busy outdoor mall, surrounded by hundreds of shoppers and tourists. Casually perusing the fresh produce and handicrafts, you are suddenly confronted with a disturbing spectacle.

(Photo Credit: Gina Fish)

An unkempt, fifty-something man stands alone in the middle of the boardwalk, carrying on a loud and emotional conversation with nobody in particular. Interspersing pointless vignettes on politics, culture and yesterday’s supper with violent and unpredictable gestures, he manages to draw the attention of a small crowd. They watch and listen from a safe distance. Continue reading Raving Lunatics of the Twenty-First Century

Read More, Write Less: The Key to Blogging Growth

Though you might infer otherwise from the proliferation of high-priced self-improvement seminars, personal growth is basically a simple equation. If you eat more than you excrete, then you grow. Eat less, and you shrink.

Not all growth is positive, of course. If you can’t metabolize what you eat, then you will grow bloated and sick, not strong and healthy. So the desired equation is slightly more complicated: personal growth requires both digestion, and nutritious food to digest.

This rule applies to the physical body, and equally so to the work of a blogger. Continue reading Read More, Write Less: The Key to Blogging Growth

My Experiment with Intention-Manifestation Theory

I was delighted to stumble across the Intention-Manifestation Theory of reality a few months ago. As I understood this theory, the key to achieving success in the spheres of business, dating and health is to intend it.

Fortune smiled upon me that day. Intention-Manifestation Theory seemed the greatest labor-saving discovery since the cotton gin, and I was sorely in need of its utility. Since starting my website last year, I had been overwhelmed by article ideas, but never had enough time to fully develop, transcribe and publish them.

I decided to employ the theory straight away. Continue reading My Experiment with Intention-Manifestation Theory