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Use your head(line)

Robert Scoble offers advice on how to interact better with your blog readers.  It's mostly the kind of basic "how to blog" advice we used to see a lot of when the blogging wave was really cresting.  His item 10 is about writing good headlines.  Though I have fun trying to think of clever headlines for this blog, I often wonder if I'm hurting my own traffic.  When people come to the front of MSNBC.com and see my headline way down at the bottom, do they click it out of interest or ignore it because it has no clear meaning?  Looking at my Google referral stats this week, I'd do well to title every post "pantiless Britney."

Speaking of advice on engaging people online, Diggers Are Getting Paid — But Not By Kevin Rose - I hadn't thought of this, but I guess it makes sense.  Rather than learn how to participate in online social sites, some companies are reportedly paying active social site participants to advocate on their behalf.  But don't think Digg is taking that lying down.

Still speaking of efforts to engage the online audience, "This is a rumor that just won't die: The major television networks are considering creating a new online video service joint venture to compete with YouTube."  What I don't understand about this idea of the networks teaming up is that if they would just put the video on their own sites with a link that can easily be shared, why do they need to form a partnership in the matter?  I go to Comedy Central and find their video stuff hard to use so I search for it on YouTube and find a better link.  But if I go to NBC, ABC or CBS, I can find their shows and watch them in full (with mixed results on stream quality and finding a direct URL).  I'd be real interested to know if they see a decrease in pirated versions now that they host it themselves.  The only thing they'd need YouTube functionality for then is fan mashups and user submission contests.

Elsewhere, "Major media companies are realizing that their digital assets are far more valuable than they initially thought, and they are reacting by putting folks in charge of those assets who they believe will protect the company."

How to make ginger ale - The real kind, with yeast that makes its own CO2 and the result has a bit of alcohol in it.

Mysterious Arctic sharks found in Québec - I love mysterious aquatic life stories.  That's why I was bummed when they axed Surface.

The Christian vs. Christ follower video series has caused a stir among online Christians.

Speaking of upsetting Christians, Jesus Christ in a romantic comedy might be one of the worst ideas ever.  But I do like this quote: "You see something basic like Britney Spears showing her crazy monkey to everybody, you find yourself thinking, is this the fall of the Roman Empire?"  Who needs horsemen when there's the crazy monkey of the apocalypse?

SchoolFizz is like Digg using campus news outlets.  My only complaint is that it takes two clicks to see the referenced story.

Condoms 'too big' for Indian men - Time to recalibrate your gross cultural stereotypes.  Also consider updating the list of worst jobs in the world.

Just as we read that piece from Dave Neiwert complaining about the lack of coverage of a white terrorist, the news explodes all over the TV screen that a potential terrorist has been arrested, last name Shareef.  I'm almost afraid to check back for his reaction.

Llamas Enlisted to Thwart Biological Weapons - Apparently they have a special antibody in their blood that would serve as a signal, so their role would be more like a canary in a coal mine than a drug sniffing dog.

The most popular 10,000 websites analyzed - 8 Questions & Answers - Includes many surprises.

Top 50 Music Videos Of 2006

One more for the Christmas list.  White Christmas doo-wop animation.  No tricks or jokes or obnoxiousness.

Don't blame Google Maps for Kim's death - Doesn't include mention of the vandal.

"The James Kim thing has me thinking - what would I want in my car if that happened to me?"

How I Knew James Kim - Points out that the depth of the online material surrounding the lives of the Kim family members was part of what made the public care so much about the family.

Maps of James Kim's path

The rollertoaster is the flatscreen TV of toasters.

NASA Images Suggest Water Still Flows in Brief Spurts on Mars.

History of snowboarding in 2 minutes - An actual survey of the history, not a joke video.

Turkish Star Wars?!?!  And a clip.  I would have thought that Star Wars would be a particularly good movie to dub to other languages.  Half the characters don't even have mouths that move.

"ComicSpace is a place for comic fans and creators to connect with each other. Comic creators can host their comics for free."  It's MySpace for the comics community.

Santastic II - One of those DJ mash-up CDs.  "This collection of Holiday mash-ups and bootleg remixes offers a new and unusual spin on the classics you know and love."  Since this makes two years in a row, we can probably add this to the seasonal online traditions list too.  NOTE:  I've only listened to the first few tracks so far so be aware of the potential for headphones moments in some of these.

Mountain Bike Trickster - Don't let your kids see this.

"Utah Supreme Court justices acknowledged Tuesday that they were struggling to wrap their minds around the concept that a 13-year-old girl could be both an offender and a victim for the same act - in this case, having consensual sex with her 12-year-old boyfriend."  This might be an amusing story if being a sex offender weren't such a serious label.

Check out the reaction from the uTorrent community on the news that their preferred filetrading service has been sold.

"1,200 people came out to play Capture the Flag on the streets of downtown Toronto."

America Before Pearl Harbor - Early Kodachrome Images

"Portland's so-called 'festival street,' which opened two months ago, is one of a small but growing number of projects in the United States that seek to reclaim streets used by cars as public places for people, too."  I am really excited for this idea to spread.  Basically they didn't ban cars from the street, but they took out all the things that signify that it is purely the domain of the automobile.  Drivers are forced to proceed slowly and with caution because they're essentially driving through a pedestrian mall.  "If cities replace what he called "traffic artifacts" with "living room artifacts"—people, landscaping and street furniture—drivers will lose interest in speed and identify themselves as part of the larger social landscape."

Turn a tea bag into a hot air balloon - Or, how to set the kitchen on fire - Or, how to put a black mark on the white ceiling to make mom freak out.

Say hello to the good bye weapon - I always thought that non-lethal weapons would be a great advance for civilization but between all the taser headlines and this thing it seems like we've found an unknown sadistic middle ground.