leegovatos.com’s Saved Items http://www.leegovatos.com/fever Shaun Inman’s Fever http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Lenovo’s 25th anniversary ThinkPad will feature retro style design (a few more details)]]> Lenovo’s 25th anniversary ThinkPad will feature retro style design (a few more details)

Lenovo recently confirmed that a 25th-anniversary ThinkPad laptop is coming later this year, but the company hasn’t provided many details about what that means. Now we have (a little) more information. About two years ago Lenovo’s chief design officer David Hill started hinting that the company was considering releasing a “retro ThinkPad” that combines modern […]

Lenovo’s 25th anniversary ThinkPad will feature retro style design (a few more details) is a post from: Liliputing

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https://liliputing.com/2017/06/lenovos-25th-anniversary-thinkpad-will-feature-retro-style-design-details.html 922177@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:37:25 GMT
<![CDATA[The Harry Potter books according to Ron and Hermione]]>

German artist Floccinaucinihilipilification has a hilarious series in which she reimagines the Harry Potter books as seen through the eyes of Ron and Hermione. You can see more of Floccinaucinihilipilification’s work on her Tumblr and her Instagram.

http://floccinaucinihilipilificationa.tumblr.com/post/160340936572#notes

http://floccinaucinihilipilificationa.tumblr.com/post/160991644647#notes

[via @LE_DeLano]

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http://boingboing.net/2017/06/22/the-harry-potter-books-accordi.html 922131@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:49:08 GMT
<![CDATA[Google: We Like Breadcrumb Navigation Links On Your Site]]> ]]> https://www.seroundtable.com/google-breadcrumb-navigation-links-24040.html 922112@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:16:03 GMT <![CDATA[A Complete Local SEO Checklist by @MaddyOsman]]> This complete local SEO checklist will help you optimize your website, reach more local customers, and bring in more revenue.

The post A Complete Local SEO Checklist by @MaddyOsman appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/6070947 922102@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:30:08 GMT
<![CDATA[Muy Bueno]]>

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http://www.cookingcomically.com/?p=1276 922041@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 04:02:44 GMT
<![CDATA[g1988:Scott Listfield’s Franchise is online and available to...]]>

g1988:

Scott Listfield’s Franchise is online and available to purchase and view - check out this amazing show here: nineteeneightyeight.com/collections/franchise

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https://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/162107204920 922036@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 02:12:09 GMT
<![CDATA[taylrswyft: Lorde hitting the nail on the head ]]>











taylrswyft:

Lorde hitting the nail on the head 

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https://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/162105488055 922037@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 01:16:21 GMT
<![CDATA[marzipanandminutiae: glamaphonic: moniquill: No guys, I need...]]>







marzipanandminutiae:

glamaphonic:

moniquill:

No guys, I need to stop and talk about something in this movie and how fucking revolutionary it was; something that I haven’t seen in a movie before or since.

This is a movie about a kid who leaves her birth family.

Not a kid who find that they have a secret lineage or something that allows them to find their ‘true family’ - this is a movie about a kid whose true birth family is made up of bad people. So she gets out. And that is played as the right thing to do. She isn’t punished for it or made to feel bad about ‘abandoning her family’. There isn’t an underlying ‘but they’re your family and you have to love them’ or ‘they’re your family and they love you even if they don’t show it well or do hurtful things’ message of the kind that I see OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER in media. Matilda gets out and lives happily ever after because of it.

We need a million more movies like this to counter the metric shit ton of movies that directly counter this message.

 #sometimes the family you start with isn’t a good one #but you can find your own #family is not absolute #blood is not absolute

not to mention, Miss Honey is an abuse survivor herself (and in the book, she’s only 23 years old)

they both got out. they both became each other’s happy ending.

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https://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/162103931914 922007@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:26:05 GMT
<![CDATA[The Case For & Against Attending Marketing Conferences]]> Posted by randfish

I just finished reading Jan Schaumann's short post on Why Companies Should Pay for Their Employees to Attend Conferences. I liked it. I generally agree with it. But I have more to add.

First off, I think it's reasonable for managers and company leaders to be wary of conferences and events. It is absolutely true that if your employees attend them, there will be costs associated, and it's logical for businesses to seek a return on investment.

What do you sacrifice when sending a team member to an event?

Let's start by attempting to tally up the costs:

  • Lost productivity – Usually on the order of 1 to 4 days depending on the length of the event, travel distance, tiredness from travel, whether the team member does some work at the event or makes up with evenings/weekends, etc. Given marketing salaries ranging from $40K–$100K, this could be as little as $150 (~1 day's cost at the lower end) to $1,900 (a week's cost on the high end).
  • Cost of tickets – In the web marketing world, the range of events is fairly standard, between ~$1,000 and $2,000, with discounts of 20–50% off those prices for early registration (or with speaker codes). Some examples:
    • CTAConf in Vancouver is $999 ($849 if you're an Unbounce customer)
    • Content Marketing World in Cleveland is $1,195 (early rate) or $1,395 later
    • Pubcon Las Vegas in $1,099 (early rate), not sure what it goes up to
    • HubSpot's INBOUND is $1,299 (or $1,899 for a VIP pass)
    • SMX East is $1,795 (or $2,595 for all access)
    • SearchLove London is $890 (or $1,208 for VIP)
    • MozCon in Seattle is $1,549 (or $1,049 for Moz subscribers)
  • Cost of travel and lodging – Often between $1,000–$3,000/person depending on location, length, and flight+hotel costs.
  • Potential loss of employee through recruitment or networking – It's a thorny one, but it has to be addressed. I know many employers who fear sending their staff to events because they worry that the great networking opportunities will yield a higher-paying or more exciting offer in the future. Let's say that for every 30 employees you send (or every 30 events you send an employee to), you'll lose one to an opportunity that otherwise wouldn't have had them considering a departure. I think that's way too high (not because marketers don't leave their jobs but because they almost always leave for reasons other than an opportunity that came through a conference), but we'll use it anyway. On the low end, that might cost you $10K (if you've lost a relatively junior person who can be replaced fairly quickly) and on the high end, might be as much as $100K (if you lose a senior person and have a long period without rehiring + training). We'll divide that cost by 30 using our formula of one lost employee per thirty events.

Total: $4,630–$10,230

That's no small barrier. For many small businesses or agencies, it's a month or two of their marketing expenses or the salary for an employee. There needs to be significant return on those dollars to make it worthwhile. Thankfully, in all of my experiences over hundreds of marketing events the last 12 years, there is.

What do you gain by sending a team member to an event?

Nearly all the benefits of events come from three sources: the growth (in skills, relationships, exposure to ideas, etc) of the attendee(s), applicable tactics & strategies (including all the indirect ones that come from serendipitous touch points), and the extension of your organization's brand and network.

In the personal growth department, we see benefits like:

  • New skills, often gained through exposure at events and then followed up on through individual research and effort. It's absolutely true that few attendees will learn enough at a 30-minute talk to excel at some new tactic. But what they will learn is that tactic's existence, and a way to potentially invest in it.
  • Unique ideas, undiscoverable through solo work or in existing team structures. I've experienced this benefit myself many times, and I've seen it on Moz's team countless times.
  • The courage, commitment, inspiration, or simply the catalyst for experimentation or investment. Sometimes it's not even something new, or something you've never talked about as a team. You might even be frustrated to find that your coworker comes back from an event, puts their head down for a week, and shows you a brilliant new process or meaningful result that you've been trying to convince them to do for months. Months! The will to do new things strikes whenever and however it strikes. Events often deliver that strike. I've sat next to engineers whom I've tried to convince for years to make something happen in our tools, but when they see a presenter at MozCon show off another tool that does it or bemoan the manual process currently required, they suddenly set their minds to it and deliver. That inspiration and motivation are priceless.
  • New relationships that unlock additional skill growth, amplification opportunities, business development or partnership possibilities, references, testimonials, social networking, peer validation, and all the other myriad advancements that accompany human connections.
  • Upgrading the ability to learn, to process data and stories and turn them into useful takeaways.
  • Alongside that, upgraded abilities to interact with others, form connections, learn from people, and form or strengthen bonds with colleagues. We learn, even in adulthood, through observation and imitation, and events bring people together in ways that are more memorable, more imprinted, and more likely to resonate and be copied than our day-to-day office interactions.

A gentleman at SearchLove London 2016 gives me an excellent (though slightly blurry) thumbs up

In the applicable tactics & strategies, we get benefits like:

  • New tools or processes that can speed up work, or make the impossible possible.
  • Resources for advancing skills and information on a topic that's important to one's job or to a project in particular.
  • Actionable ideas to make an existing task, process, or result easier to achieve or more likely to produce improved results.
  • Bigger-picture concepts that spur an examination of existing direction and can improve broad, strategic approaches.
  • People & organizations who can help with all above, formally or informally, paid as consultants, or just happy to answer a couple questions over email or Twitter.

Purna Virji at SMX Munich 2017

In the extension of organizational brand/network, we get benefits like:

  • Brand exposure to people you meet and interact with at conferences. Since we know the world of sales & marketing is multi-touch, this can have a big impact, especially if either your customers or your amplification targets include anyone in your professional field.
  • Contacts at other companies that can help you reach people or organizations (this benefit has grown massively thanks to the proliferation of professional social networks like those on LinkedIn and Twitter)
  • Potential media contacts, including the more traditional (journalists, news publications) and the emerging (bloggers, online publishers, powerful social amplifiers, etc)
  • A direct introduction point to speakers and organizers (e.g. if anyone emails me saying "I saw you speak at XYZ and wanted to follow up about..." the likelihood of an invested reply goes way up vs. purely online outreach)

But I said above that these three included "nearly all" the benefits, didn't I? :-)

Daisy Quaker at MozCon Ignite

It's true. There are more intangible forms of value events provide. I think one of the biggest is the trust gained between a manager and their team or an employer and their employees. When organizations offer an events budget, especially when they offer it with relative freedom for the team member to choose how and where to spend it, a clear message is sent. The organization believes in its people. It trusts its people. It is willing to sacrifice short-term work for the long-term good of its people. The organization accepts that someone might be recruited away through the network they gain at an event, but is willing to make the trade-off for a more trusting, more valuable team. As the meme goes:

CFO: What if we invest in our people and they leave?
CEO: What if we don’t and they stay?

Total: $A Lot?

How do you measure the returns?

The challenge comes in because these are hard things for which to calculate ROI. In fact, any number I throw out for any of these above will absolutely be wrong for your particular situation and organization. The only true way to estimate value is through hindsight, and that means having faith that the future will look like the past (or rigorous, statistically sound models with large sample sizes, validated through years of controlled comparison... which only a handful of the world's biggest and richest companies do).

It's easy to see stories like "The biggest deals I've ever done, mostly (80%) came from meeting people at conferences" and "I've had the opportunity to open the door of conversations previously thought locked" and "When I send people on my team I almost always find they come back more inspired, rejuvenated, and full of fire" and dismiss them as outliers or invent reasons why the same won't apply to you. It's also easy explain away past successes gained through events as not necessarily requiring the in-person component.

I see this happen a lot. I'm embarrassed to say I've seen it at Moz. Remember last summer, when we did layoffs? One of the benefits cut was the conference and events budget for team members. While I think that was the right decision, I'm also hopeful & pushing for that to be one of the first benefits we reinstate now that we're profitable again.

Lexi Mills at Turing Festival in Edinburgh

Over the years of my event participation, first as an attendee, and later as a speaker, I can measure my personal and Moz's professional benefits, and come up with some ballpark range. It's harder to do with my team members because I can't observe every benefit, but I can certainly see every cost in line-item format. Human beings are pretty awful in situations like these. We bias to loss aversion over potential gain. We rationalize why others benefit when we don't. We don't know what we're missing so we use logic to convince ourselves it's ROI negative to justify our decision.

It's the same principle that often makes hard-to-measure marketing channels the best ROI ones.

Some broader discussions around marketing event issues

Before writing this post, I asked on Twitter about the pros and cons of marketing conferences that folks felt were less often covered. A number of the responses were insightful and worthy of discussion follow-ups, so I wanted to include them here, with some thoughts.

If you're a conference organizer, you know how tough a conversation this is. Want to bring in outside food vendors (which are much more affordable and interesting than what venues themselves usually offer)? 90% of venues have restrictions against it. Want to get great food for attendees? That same 90% are going to charge you on the order of hundreds of dollars per attendee. MozCon's food costs are literally 25%+ of our entire budget, and considering we usually break even or lose a little money, that's huge.

If you're a media company and you run events for profit, or you're a smaller business that can't afford to have your events be a money-losing endeavor, you're between a rock and a hard place. At places like MozCon and CTAConf, the food is pretty killer, but the flip side is there's no margin at all. Many conferences simply can't afford to swing that.

Totally agree with Ross — interesting one, and pros/cons to each. At smaller shows, I love the more intimate connections, but I'm also well aware that for most speakers, it's a tough proposition to ask for a new presentation or to bring their best stuff. It's also hard to get many big-name speakers. And, as Ross points out, the networking can be deeper, but with a smaller group. If you're hoping to meet someone from company X or run into colleagues from the past, small size may inhibit.

For years prior to MozCon, I'd only ever been to events with a couple keynotes and then panels of 3–6 people in breakout sessions the rest of the day. I naively thought we'd invented some brilliant new system with the all-keynote-style conference (it had obviously been around for decades; I just wasn't exposed to it). It also became clear over time that many other marketing conferences had the same idea and today, it's an even split between those that do all-keynotes vs. those with a hybrid of breakouts, panels, and keynotes.

Personally, my preference is still all-keynote. I agree with Greg that, on occasion, a speaker won't do a great job, and sitting through those 20–40 minutes can be frustrating. But I can count on a single hand the number of panel sessions I've ever found value in, and I strongly dislike being forced to choose between sessions and not sharing the same experience with other attendees. Even when the session I've chosen is a good one, I have FOMO ("what if that other session around the corner is even better?!") and that drives my quality of experience down.

This, though, is personal preference. If you like panels, breakouts, and multi-track options, stick to SMX, Content Marketing World, INBOUND, and others like them. If you're like me and prefer all keynotes, single track, go for CTAConf, Searchlove, Inbounder, MozCon, and their ilk.

I agree this is a real problem. Being a conference organizer, I get to see a lot of the feedback and requests, and I think that's where the issue stems from. For example, a few years back, Brittan Bright, who now does sales at Google in New York, gave a brilliant talk about the soft skills of selling and client relations. It scored OK in the lineup, but a lot of the feedback overall that year was from people who wanted more "tactical tips" and "technical tricks" and less "soft skills" content. Every conference has to deal with this demand and supply issue. You might respond (as my friend Wil Reynolds often does) with "who cares what people say they want?! Give them what they don't know they need!"

That's how conferences go broke, my friends. :-) Every year, we try to include at least a few sessions that focus on these softer skills (in numerous ways), and every year, there's pushback from folks who wish we'd just show them how to get more easy links, or present some new tool they haven't heard of before. It's a tough give and take, but I'm empathetic to both sides on this issue. Actionable tactics matter, and they make for big, immediate wins. Soft skills are important, too, but there's a significant portion of the audience who'll get frustrated seeing talks on these topics.

Hrm... I think I agree more with Freja than with Herman, but it's entirely a personal preference. If you know yourself well enough to know that you'll benefit more (or less) by attending with others from your team, make the call. This is one reason I love the idea of businesses offering the freedom of choice on how to use their event budget.

There were a number of these conflicting points-of-view in reply to my tweet, and I think they indicate the challenge for attendees and organizers. Opinions vary about what makes for a great conference, a great speaker or session, or the best way to get value from them.

Which marketing conferences do I recommend?

I get this question a lot (which is fair, I go to *a lot* of events). It really depends what you like, so I'll try to break down my recommendations in that format.

Big, industry-wide events with many thousands of attendees, big name keynotes, famous musical acts, and hundreds of breakout session options:

  • INBOUND by Hubspot (Boston, MA 9/25–9/28) is a clear choice here. If you craft your experience well, you can get an immense amount of value.
  • Content Marketing World (Cleveland, OH 9/5–9/8) is always a good show, and they've recently focused on getting more gender-diverse.
  • Dreamforce by Salesforce (San Francisco, CA 11/6–11/9) has a similar feel to INBOUND in size and format, though it's generally more classic sales & marketing focused, and has less programming that overlaps with our/my world of SEO, social media, content marketing, etc.
  • Web Summit (Lisbon, Portugal 11/6–11/9) is even broader, focusing on technology, startups, entrepreneurship, and sales+marketing. If you're looking to break out of the marketing bubble and get a chance to see some "where are we going" and "what's driving innovation" content, this is a good one.
  • SMX Munich (Munich, Germany 3/20–3/21 2018) is one of the best produced and best attended shows in Europe. This event consistently delivers great presentations. Because of its location on the calendar, it's also where many speakers debut their theses and tactics each year, and since it's in Germany (or, more probably because it's run by the amazing Sandra & Matthew Finlay), everything is executed to perfection.

Mid-tier events with 1,000–1,500 attendee:

  • MozCon by Moz (Seattle, WA 7/17–7/19) I'm obviously biased, but I also get to see the survey data from attendees. The ratings of "excellent" or "outstanding" and the high number of people who buy tickets for the following year within a few days of leaving give me confidence that this is still one of the best events in the web marketing world.
  • CTAConf by Unbounce (Vancouver, BC 6/25–6/27) Oli Gardner, who's become an exceptional speaker himself, works directly with every presenter (all invitation-only, like MozCon) to make sure the decks are top notch. In addition, the setting in Vancouver, the food trucks, the staging, the networking, and the kindness of Canada are all wonderful.
  • Inbounder (Valencia, Spain 5/2018) This event only happens every other year, but if 2016 was anything to judge by, it's one of Europe's best. Certainly, you won't find a more incredible city or a better location. The conference hall is inside a spaceship that's landed on a grassy park surrounding an ancient walled city. Even Seattle's glacier-ringed beauty can't top that.
  • ConversionXL Live (Austin, TX 3/28–3/30) Peep Laja and crew put on a terrific event with a lovely venue and clear attention paid to the actionable, tactical value of takeaways. I came back from the few sessions I attended with all sorts of suggestions for the Moz team to try (if only webdev resources weren't so difficult to wrangle).
  • SMX Advanced (Seattle, WA TBD 2018) I haven't been in a couple years, but many search marketers rave about this show's location, production quality, panels, and speakers. It's one of the few places that still attracts the big-name representatives from Google & Bing, so if you want to hear directly from the horse's mouth a few seconds before it's broadcast and analyzed a million ways on Twitter, this is the spot.

Outside The Inbounder Conference in Valencia, Spain

Smaller, local, & niche events with a few hundred attendees and a more intimate setting:

  • SearchLove (San Diego, Boston, & London 10/16–10/17) It's somewhat extraordinary that this event remains small, like a hidden secret in the web marketing world. The quality of content and presentations are on par with MozCon (as are the ratings, and I know from other events how rare those are), but the settings are more intimate with only 2-300 participants in San Diego & Boston, and a larger, but still convivial crowd of 4-600 in London. I personally learn more at Searchlove than any other show.
  • Engage (formerly Searchfest) The SEMPDX crew has always had a unique, wonderful event, and Portland, OR is one of my favorite cities to visit.
  • MNSearch (Minneapolis 6/23) One of the exciting up-and-coming local events in our space. The MNSearch folks have brought together great speakers in fun venues at a surprisingly affordable price, and with some killer after-hours events, too. I've been twice and was very impressed both times.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I'm certain there are many other events that give great value. I can only speak from my own experiences, which are going to carry the bias of what I've seen and what I like.

Help us better understand the value of conferences to you

Two years ago, I ran a survey about marketing conferences and received, analyzed, then published the results. I'd like to repeat that again, and see what's changed. Please contribute and tell us what matters to you:

Take the survey here

I look forward to the discussion in the comments. If the Twitter thread was any indication, there's a lot of passion and interest around this topic, one that I share. And of course, if you'd like to chat in person about this and see how we're doing things at Moz, I hope you'll consider MozCon in just a few weeks in Seattle.


Roger MozBotRoger's note: *beep* Rogerbot here! I think Rand forgot an important benefit of one conference: At MozCon, you can hug a robot. If you're considering joining us in Seattle this July, we're over 75% sold out! Be sure to grab your ticket while you can.


Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!

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https://moz.com/blog/marketing-conferences 922057@leegovatos.com/fever Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:04:00 GMT
<![CDATA[chaboykravitz: my brother, my brother and me -...]]>















chaboykravitz:

my brother, my brother and me - s01e05

bonus:

“You look like if hepatitis was a person” HAHAHAHAHA

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https://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/162096647024 921870@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:38:33 GMT
<![CDATA[madlori: tzikeh: I know that I’m just one of the millions of...]]>

















madlori:

tzikeh:

I know that I’m just one of the millions of people who will lose their health care if the ACA is repealed and this becomes law, and I don’t have that many followers on tumblr and I’m not “important” in fandom. But I am a human being, and the ACA is all that stands between me and suicide.

The anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications I take are literally (and I am using this word correctly) keeping me alive at this point in my life. If Trumpcare goes through, it will mean my death, unless I can find a way to come up with $2250 a month to pay for my medications, because with Trump’s health care plan, even if I were able to get a full-time job with a health insurance package, my employer’s insurance could deny me benefits due to my pre-existing conditions. 

I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve tried pretty much all of the meds (and combos) available for my illnesses, back when I had a job with insurance. Now I pay into the Marketplace and get my insurance there, and I’m finally at a steady place w/r/t my disease. I’m not going to go all caps-lock and bold and whatever, but “death” is the outcome if I lose my ACA coverage.

I hope you are all calling your senators. I have been. 

My GOP Senator is one of the ones on the fence. He hears from me a lot.

But no matter who your Senator is, GOP or Dem, let them hear from you. A LOT.

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https://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/162096593034 921871@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:36:54 GMT
<![CDATA[An update to Hidden Folks]]> Hidden Folks

I love the aesthetic for Hidden Folks, an iOS game that’s like an interactive version of Where’s Waldo? in black & white. The creators just released a big update to the game and explained how they designed and built the new level.

Like everything in Hidden Folks, the Factory started on paper. Sylvain Tegroeg, the Illustrator with whom I made the game, uses a fineliner to draw every single element individually. Sylvain and I brainstorm on the theme and possible sub-themes that could work well with interactions, after which Sylvain enters The Zone™ and just draws whatever comes to mind. After drawing a bunch of things, Sylvain scans them and (manually) places them in a sprite sheet.

Sometimes, the technology you use ends up unexpectedly affecting your creative output:

When Sylvain and I started working on Hidden Folks about three years ago, he decided to buy a somewhat medium-quality / cost-efficient scanner for the project. When that scanner broke down recently, he used a better scanner for a while only to discover that his digital drawings suddenly looked very different, and so we bought that same low-budget scanner just to make sure all Hidden Folks drawings look consistent.

(via @njvack)

Tags: iPhone games   video games ]]>
http://kottke.org/17/06/an-update-to-hidden-folks 921883@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:33:17 GMT
<![CDATA[Award winning teacher wanted to be ‘visibly queer’ in Oval Office photo with Trumps]]>

I have a feeling Donald Trump (and most of the rest of the human race) would be happier if he were starring in the sitcom suggested by this photo insteading of serving the American people as a federal bureaucrat. In actuality, it's a photo of Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s teacher of the year, who said he wanted to be ‘visibly queer’ when he posed for this photo with Mr. and Mrs. Trump.

From Washington Post:

Giannopoulos grew more confident then — enough that when an aide asked him to put the fan away for his private photo, he raised a small protest.

“I said, ‘I was hoping to pose with this,’ ” he said. “They said, ‘No — just put it away.’ ”

He did, for a minute. But before the shutter snapped, Giannopoulos asked the president if he minded.

“He said, sure.” So the fan came out, the ensemble was complete, “and the rest is history,” Giannopoulos said.

“To be clear, the whole thing was surreal and very brief.”

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http://boingboing.net/2017/06/21/award-winning-teacher-wanted-t.html 921799@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:58:55 GMT
<![CDATA[MASK OF THE PHANTASM Is Finally Getting A Blu-ray Release]]>

The best Batman movie, now in 1080p.

Read more...

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http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/06/21/mask-of-the-phantasm-is-finally-getting-a-bluray-release 921794@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:28:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Talk During THE BIG SICK And Kumail Nanjiani Will Shssh The Hell Out Of You]]>

You've been warned.

Read more...

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http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/06/21/talk-during-the-big-sick-and-kumail-nanjiani-will-shssh-the-hell-out-of-you 921795@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:26:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Ann Druyan on the new Carl Sagan-narrated Apple commercial]]>

Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan's wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being the "keeper of (Carl's) flame," her own work, and the politics of science. As always, Annie is profoundly eloquent and inspiring. From Adweek:

It feels like science has been so embattled recently, that just being a scientist, just advocating for science has become a political stance in a way that it wouldn’t have been, say, six years ago.

That’s a really good point, but it’s also true there are perturbations. The pendulum swings back and forth.There are moments when science is considered heroic.

A good example from my point of view is that I was completely opposed to the war against Vietnam and to the institutional and social racism of the 1960s and generally America’s conduct throughout the world, and yet when we landed on the moon, I was proud to be an American. Even though I knew how complicated the road to the moon had been in terms of international politics and competition in the nuclear arms race, I thought this mythic accomplishment was something that really spoke well of us. It was a rare moment for human self-esteem and American self-esteem at that time.

Think back to the 1920s and Charles Darwin on trial, and you can say it was really a political statement to believe in modern biology and be a biologist at that time. So there are these moments in history when our politics and our science diverged very dramatically, and those are moments when I think scientists have to stand up.

"Q&A: Ann Druyan on Preserving Carl Sagan’s Memory and Inspiring a New Generation of Science Lovers" (Adweek) ]]>
http://boingboing.net/2017/06/21/ann-druyan-on-the-new-carl-sag.html 921750@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:57:57 GMT
<![CDATA[PSA: RAW, The Best New Horror Movie You’ve Not Seen, Is Now Rentable Via Amazon]]>

Well worth your $6.

Read more...

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<![CDATA[Marvel at New York City in this 1911 documentary travelogue]]>

This film of New York City was shot in 1911, and it is in excellent condition. Everything is in sharp focus. It is as vibrant and picturesque as a Scorcese period film. Almost everyone wears a hat. All the men wear suits and ties. There are all kinds of public transportation - trolleys, cable cars, trains. Lots of horse-drawn carriages, and more automobiles than I would have guessed.

(more…)

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<![CDATA[The Snap Map is another way to stalk your pals in real time]]> In addition to being the place you share evidence of all the fun you're having and potentially where you land a job with McDonald's, Snapchat also wants to be the app you use to find cool stuff to do. Its latest feature, called the Snap Map, shows co... ]]> https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/21/snapchat-snap-map/ 921647@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:21:00 GMT <![CDATA[These Spectacular Portraits Celebrate How Unique We Are]]> These Spectacular Portraits Celebrate How Unique We Are

During the working week you'll find Anastasija Jevstafjeva sitting at her desk, earning a solid wage and being part of a company deeply rooted in the global financial system.

But away from office, boardrooms and endless meetings - her true passion lies in the world of makeup and fashion. A place where the only limit is her imagination, where her creativity is allowed to flourish without every being stifled or questioned.

Anastasija has Vitiligo, a rare skin condition that is characterised by patches of the skin losing their pigment.

"With makeup, I can become any person and fantasy creature. It all has started when I understood that my Vitiligo is beautiful and it distinguishes me from the others. Nature created its own makeup on my body and face using white patches, and now I evolve it using cosmetics and brushes." she explains.

It's that freedom and passion that has resulted in this eye-catching collaboration with handcrafted handbag manufacture Mardere. Armed with her make-up kit and her ever trusty remote control for her camera Anastasija set about shooting this series of remarkable portraits.

Each image is designed to showcase how unique can every person be, with different tastes, characters, and beautiful defects mimicked in each clutch bag.

What I’m trying to do is make other people feel the power of imagination and the beauty of everyone’s uniqueness.

Consider your mission accomplished Anastasija!

Via Anastasija Jevstafjeva

These Spectacular Portraits Celebrate How Unique We Are

These Spectacular Portraits Celebrate How Unique We Are
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http://sobadsogood.com/2017/06/21/these-spectacular-portraits-celebrate-how-unique-we-are-Anastasija-Jevstafjeva-mardere-handbags/ 921595@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:01:00 GMT
<![CDATA[10 Smart Ways to Use Leftover Pasta (Smart Staple Strategies #3)]]> For the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about some smart strategies for using leftover staple foods – things like rice, beans, pasta, and so on. Here’s what you do when you cook a bit too much and don’t know what to do with the rest!

It’s tricky to cook the right amount of pasta for a meal. Because you want to make sure that you have enough pasta, it’s very, very easy to cook too much pasta, often leaving you with excess pasta.

Sometimes, we add sauce to all of the pasta, locking it into being used as a straightforward leftover meal. We put the sauced pasta in a container and pop it in the fridge to be used later on.

At other times, though, we make a much wiser choice. We don’t sauce the pasta at all and leave it plain, often keeping it from sticking together by mixing in just a tiny bit of olive oil. On those occasions, we find ourselves with some cooked but unused pasta in a container in the fridge.

On those occasions, we have a leftover food item with a lot of possibilities.

Here are ten ways to use a container of leftover pasta. Most of these ideas are frameworks rather than strict recipes – play around with the ingredient proportions yourself to see what delicious creations you might make!

Strategy #1: Make a casserole.

Perhaps my favorite use of leftover pasta is to turn it into a casserole by layering the pasta in a casserole dish with sauce and leftover vegetables and seasonings and cheese, then baking the whole thing in the oven until it transforms into a delicious casserole that can easily be served in slices.

Just cover the insides of a casserole dish with a bit of olive oil, add a bit of pasta sauce or tomato sauce to the bottom of the pan, then add perhaps a third of your pasta on top of it, then add some vegetables, then add some cheese. Repeat this three times, then top it with a layer of your remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350 F for thirty minutes, then remove the foil on top and put it under the broiler for a minute or two to gently brown the cheese on top.

This is such an amazing dish and it’s so flexible! It works with almost any kind of sauce you have available, whether it’s just a mix of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes or some kind of crazy vodka sauce or anything else. It works with practically any kind of pasta and almost any kind of cheese as well.

Strategy #2: Transform the pasta into a frittata.

I sometimes eat leftover pasta for breakfast. There, I said it.

All I do is essentially make scrambled eggs with some of the leftover pasta broken up in it, along with a bunch of leftover vegetables mixed in. Just take a dozen or so eggs, scramble them, toss in your vegetables and a few seasonings that seem tasty, then melt a tablespoon or so of butter in a skillet over medium heat and then pour this mix over the top and cook it over medium heat. Once the bottom layer is solidly cooked, I usually lift it up to get some of the uncooked egg underneath it – sometimes, if I’m feeling adept and the bottom layer is well done, I’ll flip the whole thing.

Once all of the egg is cooked, add some shredded cheese on top and serve it. I usually cut it up into wedges and serve it with some fruit on the side. It makes for a really filling breakfast and can work for other meals, too. The pasta really adds some weight to the meal, making something fairly light into something fairly filling.

Strategy #3: Fry them for some delicious stir-fried noodles.

Almost all pasta can be used to make a stir fry meal. All you really need to do is add some oil to a pan or skillet and turn up the heat, cook some vegetables that you like in that oil for a minute or two, then add in the noodles. Keep tossing the whole mix together until everything is nice and hot. Add a sauce of your choosing – I often use straight soy sauce, or I might mix some soy sauce with peanut butter – and enjoy!

This is a great way to use leftover vegetables, too, as almost any vegetable that might work well in a stir fry – onions, peppers, carrots, and so on – works well here. It just gives you an excuse to fry up some extra vegetables and pasta, add a bit of sauce at the end, and enjoy it.

Strategy #4: Make them portable by making ‘pasta muffins.’

Pasta muffins? Basically, I just mix together “good stuff” with some chopped-up pasta, a few scrambled eggs (which serve as a binder), and some cheese. What do I mean by “good stuff”? Well, I mean almost anything that tastes good. I like using mushrooms myself – leftover mushrooms in this is amazing. You can use leftover vegetables, cooked ground beef, cooked ground sausage, cooked chicken – almost anything works.

Just take your leftover pasta, mix in about half as much “other stuff” as the total amount of pasta that you have, and then for every three cups of mix that you have at this point, add a beaten egg. Then preheat the oven to 350 F, spray down a muffin tin with nonstick spray, and add some of the mix to each container, pressing it down in there so that it’s tightly packed in each muffin slot. Add a bit of cheese on top and bake for about eight minutes or so, until the egg firms up well and holds everything together.

These “pasta muffins” make for a great savory snack. A couple of them can even work as a light “on the go” meal when you’re in a rush.

Strategy #5: Turn them into a brightly-flavored pasta salad.

Whenever I see leftover pasta, I find myself always thinking of a pasta salad in which I make some kind of flavorful dressing and mix on some additional tasty items such as a bit of cheese.

My favorite thing to do is to simply take whatever vegetables we have in abundance in the garden, chop them up into small pieces, then add some Italian dressing and the vegetables to some leftover pasta and mix, adding just a bit of cheese for extra kick.

This is a great way to use up excess vegetables and excess pasta very easily, which is perfect for a late summer afternoon when you can get fresh vegetables in abundance at the farmers market or out of your own garden.

Strategy #6: Make some soup.

Chicken noodle soup works wonderfully with most kinds of leftover pasta. So does a vegetable noodle soup. All you really need is some broth, some leftover vegetables and/or cooked chicken, and your remaining pasta. Just add everything together, season to taste, and heat the whole thing up.

This is our go-to solution for leftover pasta in the winter. Submerged in a rich vegetable or chicken broth, pasta transforms into the backbone of a delicious heart-warming soup.

Strategy #7: Make some amazing mac-and-cheese.

I love my simple three-ingredient mac and cheese recipe. I just take leftover pasta, add it to a sauce pan, add a tiny bit of water and a full can of evaporated milk, then heat it over medium heat until the evaporated milk is just on the verge of boiling. At that point, I just add a couple of cups of shredded cheese that melts well – cheddar is fine, as is gruyere or fontina or jack cheese – and mix the whole thing together. Boom – you have a creamy mac and cheese!

My children absolutely flip over this, and it appeals to me as well because I can use a variety of cheeses to change it up or add other leftover items if they’re on hand, such as chopped broccoli or chopped cooked chicken breast.

Strategy #8: Turn the pasta and leftover rice into a super-flexible side dish.

I’m sure you’re familiar with Rice-A-Roni. It’s basically just instant rice and tiny bits of pasta with flavoring, right? Easy enough. Well, it’s super-easy if you happen to have some leftover pasta, too.

All you need to do is chop up your leftover pasta into small pieces, then add it to a saucepan along with some leftover rice and a bit of oil. Heat this until everything is hot, then add whatever flavorings you might like, from Italian seasoning and a bit of cheese to a taco seasoning packet or some steak seasoning, and add a bit of water or milk, just enough to coat everything with the flavoring.

This is a super-cheap and tasty side dish that’s so flexible because of the seasonings. You can serve it as a side dish with almost any entree depending on how you season it.

Strategy #9: Transform the pasta into crunchy flavorful fritters.

Here, you just take leftover pasta and fry it thoroughly in disc shapes in a bit of oil to make a crispy snack, and it can be easily flavored in a variety of ways.

For every cup of leftover pasta you have, add a beaten egg and a quarter of a cup of breadcrumbs. Mix all of this together with whatever seasonings you like and a bit of cheese (perhaps a quarter of a cup of shredded cheese for every two cups of pasta you’re using). Heat up some oil in a skillet, then form this mix into small firm discs and put it in the skillet. Flip the discs regularly until they’re nice and brown and crispy but not burnt, then serve them.

Strategy #10: Make a ‘noodle cup’ in a spare jar.

This is a trick I learned from an old coworker. What she would do is bring a jar to work that featured layers of pasta and whatever ingredients she liked around the house and she’d often eat it as a cold lunch straight from the fridge.

She might simply have some leftover chopped chicken as layers between the pasta, or maybe some kimchi or some sauerkraut, or maybe some cucumbers with a bit of Italian dressing mixed with them. It was basically a clever and very convenient way to use leftovers, as it just required a jar to take them to work and it was easy to eat it out of the fridge.

I started doing this myself and I found that I loved how flavors would meld together in the jar. As with many of these recipes, the ingredients you add drastically change the flavor, so just add things you like. I’m a huge fan of kimchi, for example, so layering the pasta with the kimchi made for a flavorful and hearty salad.

Next time, we’ll look at some awesome strategies for using extra potatoes!

Related Articles: 

The post 10 Smart Ways to Use Leftover Pasta (Smart Staple Strategies #3) appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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<![CDATA[Brian Bendis Redefines “616” In Today’s Invincible Iron Man]]> One of the jobs of the Secret Wars series was to do away with the 616 sobriquet for the Marvel Universe, created by Dave Thorpe/Alan Moore for Captain Britain, picked up by Chris Claremont for the X-Men and eventually infecting the whole of the Marvel Universe. It was a good gag, while DC Comics obsessed with Earth 1, Earth 2, Earth 3,  the Marvel Universe was a world outside your window, nothing special, much further down the dial;, and a lot more confident with its status.

As Marvel developed further dimensional realities, they all got their own similarly long numbers and as Marvel published the Ultimate Universe, so fans distinguished between that and the “616” universe.

Marvel execs and editors seemed to have an antipathy to the use, seeing it as bogged down in fanboy excess and off-putting to the casual reader. But in the year before Secret Wars, its use increased, principally by Dan Slott in Spider-Verse and Jonathan Hickman in Time Runs Out. Secret Wars put an end to all realities, then rebooted them, with the Marvel Universe no longer 616 but Prime.

Since then, apart from a few editorial mistakes in Web Warriors, Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen, Marvel has stayed pretty united on this. No one uses the 616 numbering.

No one, that is, except Brian Bendis, in today’s Invincible Iron Man #8. With Stefano Caselli and Marte Gracia.

Now the Marvel Comics code for a terrorist attack at the stage of an existing terrorist attack. And now that’s Marvel canon… after all, langauge is so important…

“One of the good ones”… 

Weapons Of Mutant Destruction #1 by Greg Pak, Mahmud Asrar and Nolan Woodward is all up in that as well. Rather good too, especially for X-Men readers feeling X-Men Gold is a little lacking today…

 

Brian Bendis Redefines “616” In Today’s Invincible Iron Man

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https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/06/21/brian-bendis-redefines-616-in-todays-invincible-iron-man/ 921543@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:38:28 GMT
<![CDATA[Bonkers Launch Trailer Hits For GET EVEN]]>

In just a couple days you'll be able to jump into Bandai Namco's most interesting title to date Get Even, and you really should! If you're unfamiliar with the project so far, take a look at the description and continue reading below...read more on GameTyrant

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]]> http://gametyrant.com/news/bonkers-launch-trailer-hits-for-get-even 921532@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:30:01 GMT <![CDATA[The SEO Movie Is Now Out]]> ]]> https://www.seroundtable.com/watch-the-seo-movie-24035.html 921508@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:53:23 GMT <![CDATA[Three Firefly Cast Members Toy With Our Emotions On A Boat In Canada]]> It seems as though Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, and Morena Baccarin got together for a boat ride and a bite at Cardero’s Restaurant (based on the menu in the pic below) in Vancouver. I’m not sure if they were just spending time together or if some sort of project was involved, but I do know that they did spend some of their time toying with our fragile Firefly emotions. See more on Nerd Approved

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<![CDATA[The Town Of Light Is A Hauntingly Beautiful Psychological Horror Story]]>

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The Town of Light
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Summary
Publisher: Wired Productions Developer: LKA Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One Release Date: February 26, 2016 (PC), June 6, 2017 (PS4, Xbox One)
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If you’re in need of another reason to lose all faith in humanity as a whole, I can direct you to no better a game than The Town of Light. Developed by LKA and produced by Wired Productions, the psychological thriller game made the jump to consoles recently and is absolutely one of the best narrative games I’ve played. You take control of a young, nameless, woman in the present day who is wandering around the remains of the Volterra Lunatic Asylum in Tuscany. Through the games use of diary entries, flashbacks, still art, and puzzles it becomes obvious that the player you are controlling has a deep connection to the asylum. Now, who exactly you are and what your connection to Volterra is, are left entirely up to the player.

The real story comes through the diary entries, flashbacks, medical records, found items, graffiti, and random interrogatory sequences with yourself. The real protagonist of The Town of Light is a young Italian woman named Renee who was admitted to the hospital in the late 1930s and remained there through WWII. While Renee’s story is fictional, Volterra Lunatic Asylum is not. Which adds an incredibly eerie aspect to playing the game, as you are walking around the crumbling ruins of an actual asylum. If you look into the history of the Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra, you’ll find that the hospital was shut down due to the particularly cruel treatment of its patients which included things like placing patients in tanks of ice, using insulin to induce comas, and good old fashioned medical experimentation. And going back to Volterra in from 1938-1944, an era when electroshock therapy and lobotomies were still in fashion, that should give you some clues as to what you should be expecting going into the game.

Renee’s tale is a compelling one, in the way that stories of women put through absolute hell are always compelling for me. It’s something like three parts morbid curiosity, five parts empathy, and two parts masochism because we know how these stories end. The tale includes references to repeated sexual violence, which are handled relatively deftly by the development team. Renee may be a victim of some terrible crimes, but she is always treated with, if not respect, than compassion by the game itself. Granted, you do have the option to tell her that she deserved what she got, but the gameplay puts you in Renee’s position during many of the worst experiences in her life. It would be a bit hard to go with those dialogue options, if you ask me.

The horror in this game is almost entirely situational. There are maybe two moments that might end in jump scares, the rest of the game is just eerie. There’s nothing jumping out at you, no literal monsters in the dark, and you just might want to sit in the pitch black every now and again.

The inclusion of graffiti here at Volterra is an interesting one, in the game it’s a look into Renee’s understanding of the world around herself. But the real-life Ospitale is known for the “brut art” graffiti of one former inmate. Oreste Fernando Nannetti, who often signed his work as NOF4, dug into the plaster of the Ferri building with a buckle from his uniform in order to record everything from his own life and crimes, as well as works of science fiction.

Outside of Renee’s haunting tale of personal tragedy, the gameplay mechanics are incredibly simple. You walk around an abandoned mental facility with a flashlight and the ability to pick up only certain objects. While you collect diary pieces and reports about Renee’s life and the general functioning of the hospital, the ruins are filled with books, letters, and medical journals. Most of which you cannot interact with. And since the interact button is just a slight change in the focus target reticle, it can be rather tricky to figure out what you can and cannot pick up. Personally, I went with the plan of trying to select everything so I wouldn’t miss parts of the story, but that’s not ideal for most players.

The graphics aren’t the greatest either, with many of the textures being rather painful to look at, and some of the dialogue is given to us with white text overlaid on off-white paper, which is a terrible stylistic choice. Because then nothing is readable.

While controlling Renee in flashbacks you have to content with some wonky physics, waving backgrounds, and blinding lights. It gives you a great glimpse into what its like to be a questionably sane woman in a mental hospital circa 1942, if nothing else. But being in control of Renee at these moments, many of which end in terrible ways, really does make you take a long look at your life.

Naturally, the game does have a few cliches. The first is an inordinate amount of long hallway sequences, the second is the inclusion of a creeepy, decaying doll. But, the worst thing in the game has to be the damn elevator. My advice? Only take it when you have to.

But if you can get across some rather decent gameplay hurdles and actually sit down with say, 5 spare hours, to play the game, it is absolutely worth it. The Town of Light is a hauntingly beautiful psychological horror story, and you don’t want to overlook it.

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The Town Of Light Is A Hauntingly Beautiful Psychological Horror Story

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https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/06/21/669479/ 921512@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:45:21 GMT
<![CDATA[Summer of Love 'trading cards' hit San Francisco bus stops]]>

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the city of San Francisco has created a trippy 13-poster series of "trading card" posters.

Conceived by Kate Haug and produced by Ivan Uranga, both Bay Area artists, the groovy posters feature the "all-stars of 1967s counterculture and political scene," including the likes of Joan Baez, Timothy Leary, Jerry Garcia, Sly Stone, Sonny Barger, Bobby Seale, Lenore Kandel, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin, Reverend Cecil Williams, Janice Mirikitani, Joan Didion, and even Ronald Reagan.

According to a press release from the San Francisco Arts Commission:

Haug collaborated with Ivan Uranga to produce the poster’s bold graphic style. Drawing from the vernacular of trading card, black and white photographs of each personage is set against a vibrant background, reminiscent of the era’s psychedelic rock posters. Each figure is given a title that reflects his/her role in the Summer of Love. For example, Leary appears under the title “Psychedelic Evangelist” along with his famous call from the Human Be-In, the prelude to the Summer of Love, to “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.” The use of the trading card format suggests that these diverse legacies have been commodified, gaining and losing value through the passage of time.

The series includes other details that are the artist’s own invention. For example, a price is included on the bottom of each card, which was not standard trading card practice. She also uses the figures’ birthdates for their serial number. For instance, Allen Ginsberg is number 26, because he was born in 1926. An exception is Janis Joplin; she is no. 27, the age at which she died.

If you want to check them out, the oversized "trading cards" are currently hanging in bus shelters on Market Street, one of the city's main thoroughfares.

Thanks, Hal! ]]> http://boingboing.net/2017/06/21/summer-of-love-trading-cards.html 921476@leegovatos.com/fever Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:59:30 GMT <![CDATA[How to achieve off the charts off-page SEO that will boost traffic]]> When you think about improving your SEO, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Maybe you think of rewriting your web copy to rank better for certain keywords, churning out new posts for your blog, or making sure your website is structured in a logical way.

All of these are important aspects of ranking well in search engines, but they aren’t the only ways you can optimize your web presence. If you want to rank better and get more traffic, you need to improve your off-page SEO, too. This guide will help you get started.

So, what exactly is off-page SEO?

In the simplest terms, off-page SEO encompasses all the aspects of SEO that occur outside your website (yes, it’s true). You can think of it as your reputation. Off-page SEO includes the things you do as well as the things other people say about you. Your social media activity, your customer service practices, and the online reviews customers leave for you on other sites are all examples of off-page SEO. Below is an example of reviews for realtors on Redfin:

Many people think that off-page SEO is just about link-building. It’s true that, at its core, the objective of good off-page SEO is to drive traffic to your site by earning plenty of high-quality links.

But if you just think of your strategy as a way to get more link juice, you’ll be missing a lot of the potential nuance of this topic.

Getting started with off-page SEO

Instead of focusing solely on links, it’s better to improve your off-page SEO by working on your reputation, your authority, and your popularity. In a nutshell, your objective should be to provide excellent value and connect with as many people as possible.

This is a long-term strategy, but your patience will pay off down the road – your business will gain recognition, you’ll establish your expertise in your field, and eventually you’ll start earning links from respected sites.

With that said, there are two main ways you can start improving your off-page SEO: connecting with your target audience and networking with influencers.

#1: Connecting with your target audience

Interacting with the people who might need or want your product or service is smart, both in terms of making more sales and thus improving your SEO because of the traffic that comes with it. However, it’s important to connect with people the right way.

Consumers are savvy, and they don’t like feeling pressured to buy things. Instead of focusing on what you’re selling, which can come across as spammy, grow your following by finding ways to help other people without asking for anything in return. A few ideas include:

Stay active on social media the right way

It goes without saying, but social media is one of the best ways you can connect personally with people who might need or want your service. Figure out where your target audience spends time online (this article covers how to do so in more detail), and make sure you have accounts on those platforms.

In general, the more accounts you have, the better, but keep ROI in mind – there is obviously no point wasting time on an obscure platform most people don’t use.

Furthermore, if you don’t have the resources to manage a lot of social pages, that can end up hurting your reputation, so start with the ones that matter most, post regular updates about your business, product, or service, and engage with your customers every chance you get.

Always remember, people like to know there’s a human behind their favorite business.

Share your knowledge on forums and message boards

If your target audience spends time on sites like Quora or Reddit, create accounts there and start posting. Join interesting conversations and answer other people’s questions. Aim to provide value instead of just increasing your post count.

It’s okay to mention your business if it’s pertinent to a question – for instance, you might tell a story about how you solved a problem with a customer. Just don’t push your product or service.

Your strategy on forums should just be to build up your reputation as an authority in your field. Over time, people will start to recognize you and come to you for advice.

There are tons of people online doing a great job of this. The example below from a personal trainer is just one example of someone who answers a lot of questions, has gained followers because of it, yet doesn’t focus on self-promotion but rather just making those connections:

Be on the lookout for opportunities to create useful off-site content

You might already do content marketing with your on-site blog, but why stop there? Consider incorporating various types of content, like videos, images, and infographics, into your social media marketing and your forum posts.

It’s rare these days to see an infographic on a forum (except for maybe something like Reddit or Tumblr), but when you do, it stands out. Guest posting is also, of course, another great way to do off-site content marketing, but more on this later.

Screencap of a discussion thread about a picture of a cute dog on Reddit.

#2: Building relationships

Connecting with your target audience is essential for good off-page SEO, but it will only take you so far. To become a recognized authority, and to start earning valuable links from experts in your field, you’ll have to network, too. Here are some tips for building strong relationships.

Guest post on other people’s blogs

Guest posting is a tried-and-true strategy for getting links back to your site. But while it’s a useful way to build your link profile, that’s not the main reason you should offer a guest post.

Instead, think of guest posting as a way to forge new relationships and help people who aren’t in your circle of regular blog readers.

The problem with guest posting for links is that you might be tempted to go for quantity over quality. But writing a lot of low-quality posts on blogs that don’t get much traffic won’t actually help you that much, and depending on where you’re published, it could even damage your reputation.

Instead, pitch guest posts only when you think you have something useful to say. Choose blogs you’d be proud to appear on, and make sure your idea is a good fit by studying the style and content of the blogs you’re pitching to.

Of course, not every blog you write for has to be a household name. In fact, if you’re just starting to guest post, they almost certainly won’t be. Still, you’ll get better results (and you’ll be able to publish on the big-name blogs sooner) if you focus on making genuine connections with other bloggers and saying something of value every time you write a guest post.

Leave comments on the blogs you read regularly

If you find certain bloggers helpful or inspiring, let them know! Bloggers love it when readers leave them thoughtful comments, and commenting on a blog post is one of the easiest ways to connect with someone you admire.

Keep in mind that there’s a right way and a wrong way to comment on blogs. Take the same approach here as you would for a guest post – focus on connecting, not just on commenting for its own sake. Don’t leave generic comments, don’t link to your website or blog, and don’t comment on a post if you didn’t actually read it.

Instead, say something relevant to the post itself. Greet the blogger by name and tell them why you liked this post. Was it helpful? Thought-provoking? Tell them how you implemented their ideas, or ask a question inspired by the post.

When you interact with bloggers this way on a regular basis, they’ll start to notice and remember you. The Wired.com community seems to do this well:

Look for avenues to connect with thought leaders in your field

Leaving comments on blogs is a great way to build relationships, but it’s far from the only way. Remember those social media accounts you made? Use them to follow thought leaders and experts in your field.

Twitter, in particular, is a great way to reach out to others – it’s simple, professional, and brief enough that you don’t have to worry about bothering anyone.

Don’t forget to take advantage of offline networking opportunities, too. That’s right – your off-page SEO efforts don’t even have to involve the internet. Cyberspace makes it easy to reach out to people, but in-person networking events can be far more useful since you’re more likely to be remembered if you connect with someone in real life.

Put yourself out there by looking for some interesting conferences and meetups to attend. Start hanging out where your target audience hangs out and see how far it can take you.

The takeaway

On-page SEO is important, but it’s only half the battle if you want to maximize your success. Off-page SEO plays a huge role in building your reputation, bringing in traffic, and encouraging your target audience to choose you over your competitors.

Improving your off-page SEO is an ongoing task. Whether you’ve been working on your reputation for years or you’re just getting started, there are plenty of things you can do to connect with more people and expand your brand’s reach.

Focus on helping people out, providing useful information, and cultivating a strong network of peers and mentors. Along with a great reputation, you’ll build a profile of high-quality links that will drive more traffic to your site than ever before.

What are your favorite off-page SEO strategies? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer for NoRiskSEO, a full service SEO agency, and a contributor to SEW. You can connect with Amanda on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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<![CDATA[Why I Finally Broke Down and Bought Travel Insurance]]> When you travel as often as I do, you get used to unexpected expenses throwing your budget out of whack.

You can plan ahead all you want, but when your kid needs an $8 pack of children’s Tylenol from the airport gift shop, you buy it. Either that, or you’ll cram your carry-on luggage so full you’re forced to check the bag. Or, you’ll forget to pack snacks.

You may even make it all the way to Mexico without sunglasses, meaning you have to buy an overpriced pair once you land. Believe it or not, that has happened to my husband… twice!

This is why I usually add some “padding” to the budgets I create for every trip. Just by rounding up our planned spending by $30 to $40, I can usually account for surprise expenses or unexpected essentials for my kids.

Five Reasons I Bought Travel Insurance for My Family

Recently, however, I’ve been worried about the type of travel expenses you can’t really plan ahead for – overseas medical bills or emergencies, for example. What would happen if one of us were hospitalized in another country?

What if we lost our luggage? What if an entire trip we spent our hard-earned money on was cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control?

Up until now, I’ve gotten by piecing together different types of coverage for our trips. Since I always pay for our travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, for example, I have access to free perks like trip cancellation and interruption insurance and primary rental car coverage. Plus, I occasionally purchased a la carte travel insurance when buying airfare or travel packages online.

Still, I started to feel like I wasn’t covering our family adequately — mainly because I wasn’t.

So, I finally broke down and purchased year-long travel insurance plans for all four of us from Allianz Travel Insurance. Here’s why:

#1: Because medical emergencies happen.

My family is incredibly privileged in that we’re all in good health. None of us require regular medical treatment, and we don’t take any prescriptions.

But, that doesn’t mean we’re immune to needing medical care when we travel. What if one of my kids breaks an arm? What if one of us breaks a leg, or needs an emergency appendectomy?

With our new travel insurance plan, we have emergency medical and dental coverage, along with emergency medical transportation – and all with high limits.

While the medical coverage isn’t as robust as our health insurance at home, it will give us peace of mind in a real emergency.

#2: Because we’re spending real money on travel.

While we pay for a lot of our trips with a combination of airline miles and hotel points, we also spend some of our hard-earned money to bring our travel dreams to light. That’s money I don’t want to lose, which is yet another reason we bought a comprehensive travel insurance plan.

With our new coverage, we have trip cancellation protection, trip interruption insurance, and travel delay coverage – all with higher limits than our credit cards offer. Keep in mind that trip cancellation coverage reimburses you for non-refundable trip payments and deposits if a trip is canceled for illness, death, or other specific unforeseen circumstances. Trip interruption coverage, on the other hand, covers non-refundable trip payments and deposits if a trip is interrupted for illness, death, or other unforeseen circumstances.

We also have coverage for financial default in case a travel provider we book with files bankruptcy or goes out of business.

#3: Because renting a car comes with risks.

My husband and I love to rent cars when we travel. Not only does it help us get off the beaten path, but renting a car gives us the flexibility to change plans at the last minute.

Unfortunately, we have been through too many skeevy rental car situations to count. When we rented a car in Ireland the week of St. Patrick’s Day, for example, we were given a car with too many dings and dents to count. Since we were worried about this already, we went through extra steps to make sure every ding and scratch was accounted for before we left with the car.

But, when we brought it back a few days later, they still tried to peg some of the damage on us. Fortunately, I had kept our original paperwork where the employee had admitted to all the damage.

The bottom line: While we treat cars with respect, we aren’t all that trusting of car rental agencies in the U.S. or abroad. With that in mind, I’m so happy that our travel insurance plan offers coverage for rental damage – even if it’s our fault.

#4: Because you can’t predict when your plans will change.

Like it or not, airlines experience scheduling issues, weather delays, and mechanical breakdowns. Sometimes, these issues cause massive delays for travelers who are stuck waiting for hours and even days.

Fortunately, our new vacation delay coverage offers reimbursement for meals and accommodations when a trip is unexpectedly delayed for 12 or more hours. This will make it easier for us to pay for meals and rent a hotel if we’re stranded for more than a few hours.

While I hope we never need this coverage, having it does give me peace of mind.

#5: Because baggage gets lost, damaged, or stolen.

While I’ve never had my baggage lost or stolen, I’ve been with friends when theirs disappeared. It was a stressful, disheartening experience for us to leave the airport without their stuff. Fortunately, the bag was lost on the tail end of the trip — meaning they could just go home, instead of vacationing without any clean clothes!

This is yet another area where travel insurance can save the day. Our policy (and others like it) comes with baggage loss or damage coverage that provides reimbursement if our bags are lost, stolen, or damaged. We also have baggage delay coverage that kicks in to pay for clothing, toiletries, and essential items when luggage is delayed at least 24 hours.

The Bottom Line

While I’m generally against adding new expenses to our annual budget, this is one purchase I’m glad I made. Now that we have coverage for medical emergencies when we travel, I can stop wondering “what if” and focus more energy on the fun aspects of our trip.

Maybe one day I’ll write a review of our coverage, how it works, and whether I got my money’s worth. But for now, I’m going to treat travel insurance the way we treat our health insurance and auto insurance.

I’m glad we have it, but I hope we never have to use it.

Holly Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer and the author of Zero Down Your Debt. Johnson shares her obsession with frugality, budgeting, and travel at ClubThrifty.com.

Related Articles:

Do you buy travel insurance? Why or why not?

The post Why I Finally Broke Down and Bought Travel Insurance appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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<![CDATA[10 photography apps you need for your travel photos]]>

Did you see yesterday’s post about winning a Google Pixel Phone from EE? To celebrate EE’s recent announcement that all existing EE mobile pay monthly and pay as you go mobile customers can take their UK allowance abroad to 48 European destinations, they’ve given me a Pixel Phone by Google, featuring an amazing camera. So…

The post 10 photography apps you need for your travel photos appeared first on The Travel Hack.

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