Beyond the Rhetoric


What’s Up Wednesdays: Controversy and Punishment

February 6th, 2013 by
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On Profanity

Every Wednesday, I gather together a collection of blog posts from around the Internet that I think are worth sharing. This week’s collection is themed around the concepts of controversy, confusion and punishment. Let’s get down to it.

We start off with Mark Nichol who is discussing how to style profanity in your writing. I generally try to keep this blog (and my social media presence) as PG-13 as possible, avoiding the blue language where I can. It may be appropriate elsewhere, but how do you circumvent this problem if you want to to be true to a quote, for example? Just referring to it as “colorful language” doesn’t really cut it.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. It seems that Vance Sova may have learned that lesson the hard way after writing about Google search results and then getting swiftly punished for it the next day. Now, this could just be a matter of coincidence and Vance’s blog could have just lost PageRank anyway, but the timing might seem a little too perfect for that.

There has been a recent backlash against food photography, but bloggers like Buzz Bishop are coming to its defense. He explains why he takes pictures of his food and it’s because he is reviewing the restaurants semi-professionally. I’m sure they wouldn’t stop the New York Times from taking pictures and they shouldn’t stop me either.

Many of us have come to rely on WordPress for a lot of things, but Thursday Bram is really starting to second-guess the whole situation. On the surface, the open source nature sounds like it’s great, because WordPress is free, but the Gnu General Public License (GPL) could prove to be a business nightmare. One interpretation is all derivative works must also be released under GPL, meaning all those paid plugins and themes should technically be free… right?

But how about something a little more inspiring? For that, we turn to Early Jackson who discusses how we can reboot our lives like Betty White. Every time that we think our pal Betty is done with the business, she shows up with yet another commercial, yet another program, and yet another television special. Remember that success is a journey and not a race. It wasn’t until Betty was 63 years old that she “stepped into her most defining role” on The Golden Girls.

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Michael Kwan Freelance Writer

6 Responses to “What’s Up Wednesdays: Controversy and Punishment”

  1. Vance Sova says:

    That’s a cool selection of posts Michael.

    I think that the hand you speak of doesn’t feed us but it’s grabbing food from us instead.

    What would be the bully search engine without content? It uses our content for its very existence. We feed the beast and not the other way around wouldn’t you think?

    • Michael Kwan says:

      But you are relying on that search engine for a significant part of your traffic. If the vast majority of your traffic came from elsewhere, then you wouldn’t care where you were ranked in the search engine results page.

      For example, Alexa rankings are great and all, but I don’t really care what is my Alexa ranking because it doesn’t really affect me aside from how certain ad networks may interpret that data. If my Alexa ranking bombs, it’s not really something that would concern me.

    • Michael Kwan says:

      We may feed the beast, but the beast feeds you right back with a free search engine, free calendar, free e-mail, free video hosting, free social network, free online storage… you could say that you are paying with your privacy, but you did opt into that. You could just as easily switch to Bing, Flickr,, Vimeo, Dropbox, etc.

      • Vance Sova says:

        I see that you are a big fan of the beast. It does provide all the things you mention but the way they treat people that contribute content to its mouth is sometimes deplorable. It’s a horrible faceless beast that doesn’t talk to anyone and doesn’t care about anyone.

        I do understand that they can’t respond to everyone. But they should have a system to allow legitimate contributors to contact them even if they might have to run them through multiple hoops and an obstacle course to make sure that they are legit and contacting them for a very good reason.

        It could be done but they’d have to care at least one bit.

  2. John Chow says:

    Live by the Google, die by the Google!

    • Vance Sova says:

      Thanks for the witty comment John. It’s good that it’s possible to not live by Google. I think that they may not be dominant forever. Mostly because of their arrogance.

      I get a sense of how so many people are afraid of them. I hear stories of wiped out businesses because of Google. One day they were up when in favor and the next day nowhere to be found.

      Nobody gets so bad that quickly. But the beast has all the power to lift sites up and drown them to oblivion anytime they want.

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