The Centrist Creed

Centrist's Creed
Centrist's Creed – Posted August 5th, 2012 on Facebook by Eric Brooks

I’m not gay… but I can understand the importance of spending the rest of your life with the person you love, and have society recognize it.

I don’t have any tattoos or piercings… but I understand the need for people to express themselves.

I don’t own a gun… but I understand why some people want them to protect their family.

I don’t own a pitbull… but I can understand how people love them for their loyalty and sweetness, and how fears and exaggerations from the media can spin so much bullshit and unfair laws against them.

I don’t own a uterus…
but I can understand why someone would not want to have a child at this current time, and would prefer to not bleed to death correcting that mistake.

I most likely don’t share the same beliefs in your God, nor do I dismiss the idea of a Higher Being and order in the universe. If it brings you comfort, and makes you a better person, then I respect you for it.

I am neither Conservative or Liberal… I make up my own mind and see one or the other makes a good point here and there.

It’s called compassion. The ability to see things from another person’s point of view, and realize not everything is about you.

We are all set on different paths, headed for the same destination. The difference is the stops we make on that road, and the lessons we need to learn along the way to become better people.

It’s all about Love and living without Fear.
Don’t be assholes, unless it’s absolutely funny.

NOTE: I originally wrote this August 5, 2012 on my Facebook page. Took me forever to find it as it’s deep down in the in the memory hole over there. I have to wonder why I bother writing anything over there as we have the attention span of gnats now, and unless it fits in a meme, no one will bother to read it. So I figured, “Let me post it on my site, where no one will read it!”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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20th Anniversary of my First Blog Post

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Looking back on 2 decades of being an old school web guy and obnoxious jackass…

“Whuzzup” Created. “Free Stuff” created. “Avon Order” demo created. Website receives RSACi rating. URL added to AOL Netfind, Lycos, Yahoo!, HotBot, and Alta Vista. “Non-frames” version of Erox Graphix created for browsers that cannot view frames.(Originally published in XOOM)
~ April 15, 1998


That was my first ever blog post made 20 years ago in April, 2008.

Kinda.

Sorta.

My EroxGraphix site on XoomWell EricBrooks.Com didn’t exist until July of 1999. Blogger.com didn’t exist until that year either. Heck it wasn’t even my original EroxGraphix site (long since become a p0rn site… don’t go there. I posted a link to the Wayback Machine.). It was on a free site named Xoom. Like most old schoolers, we practiced on a site like that, or Geocities, or Angelfire before we felt we can move up to the “Big Leagues” and get a “real site”.

And like most Webmasters of those days, we made a “What’s New?” page just to keep our (virtually non-existent) visitors updated to new features we added to the site. Eventually we also promoted other web friends, injected our political opinions, talked about recent national news…

The weblog was inevitable.

Many of us saw what WebGod and pioneer Jeffrey Zeldman did: Posting daily, talking about others, drawing in a HUGE FOLLOWING… so we stepped up with our “What’s New” pages.

One weekend in 1998, the family made a trip to Queens, NY from the Poconos and I wanted to post updates remotely (back then, you’d write the web page and FTP’d it up). So I took Matt Wright’s Guestbook script (we all had that and his FormMail script.), and hacked it to post entries on a page.

Still, before weblogs existed.

So, fast forward to the early 200’s. With blogging becoming a full-blown thing all the cool kids were doing as we hung out on MetaFilter, I fought the term “blogger” for at least two years. Blogs were boring. People talked about going to the store and buying kale and assembling IKEA furniture. WTF? I am trying to entertain people and they are wasting some poor schmuck’s bandwidth with mundane details of their lives.

My stuff was special.
I’m special.
My mom said so.

DRAMA = AN AUDIENCE. WHO KNEW?Drama brings an audience to your blog every night... who knew?
"No Such Thing As Bad Press" and all that stuff…

Recently, I was optimizing my site, going over old posts and I realized… HOLY SHIT, I WAS A PRICK!!!! I was looking at it all from an outsider’s point of view, and wondered what the hell was going on in my head at the time. I kind of thought of myself as some kind of “Internet Superhero” who would defend the little guy and use my influence to make change… but man, was I overbearing.

No wonder why I hate Social Justice Warriors so much. I was just like them.

Poor Joe Jenett of Coolstop. I missed his email politely letting me down from inclusion in one of his projects, so I got the impression he was a cruel snob, and launched an electronic Jihad on him for years.

Man I am so sorry, dude! (uhm… well, the time where I rigged a bot to keep voting us as “blog twins” was pretty funny though.). 😀

Blog Twins...

It was around that time I caught the attention of Faith from ctrl-alt-ego.
A tough no-nonsense lawyer from New York.

Two loudmouths from New York… this ought to be interesting. We traded barbs almost nightly, and people had to come back and forth to read the latest. After the September 11th 2001 attacks, we both sort of formed an unspoken truce. But we kept the feud going for appearances sake. We sent emails laughing at our jabs.She was also a key ally in helping me get my kids back and getting CPS off my family’s back after a grueling 3 year battle of bullshit with them. I will always be grateful for that.

Dialup and 14K modems... aka the stone age.Dialup and 14K modems… aka the stone age.
Yeah the good old days where people made Javascript popups for no reason, posted rainbow unicorns (which made a big comeback on MySpace a few years later). Learned HTML without any schooling and some did quite well for themselves freelancing after honing their skills on Angelfire and GeoCities. People editing their web pages in Microsoft FrontPage and uploading it with WS FTP Uploader… The LinkExchange banners and counters… it was a totally different landscape in 1998.

A hoax involving a fake girl dying of leukemia also humbled the hell out of me and taught me to listen instead of running my big mouth. (I still hear about that to this day despite apologizing twice in the MetaFilter thread.) You know what, though? I deserved it. It made me a better person.

I was an asshole on the internet, and all I got was this Urban Dictionary entry to show for it. No Encyclopedia Dramatica. No Wikipedia. Nothing.

Ah well, at least somebody remembered me… Thanks, Mike. 🙂



Broken Link Exchange counter

So, what was the web like when you started? How has it changed?


Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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Americans Share Their Brave 9/11 Stories How They Watched Television All Day

SoApBoX Citizens all over America will recall their ‘Where were you when September 11th Attacks Happened?’ moments on social media today… usually starting with someone telling them ‘Hey, Quick, turn on the tv!!!’

While this is clearly the ‘Where Were You When Kennedy Was Shot?’ for GenX’ers and GenY’ers, surely they can’t possibly think it’s merciful to subject their friends to paragraphs of mundane details about their lives surrounding this event, is it?

Look, we get it. You want to infuse yourselves into the story like Jack and Rose in ‘Titanic’, but that was fictional.

Also, they did exciting stuff while all this was going down.

Also, they got laid.

Jack and Rose talk about their future as Jack slowly dies of hypothermia. C’est l’amour!

Most of the really great stories will probably never be told. For the people who lost family, were first responders, or witnesses to the people jumping to their deaths or being covered in a cloud of asbestos, sheetrock, and pulverized human remains… It was too much. They don’t want to talk about it. They still don’t.

So that left the people online seeking attention, and who later, worried that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would crash a plane into their midwestern county fair next.

Fast-Forward, to 2031: These overly-narcissistic senior citizen ex-bloggers regale the story of their glory days to their grand children in the Sunnydale Nursing Home…

“So there I was on this beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, when my mother called and said ‘QUICK TURN ON THE TV!’, and there it was…”

“Incredible, grandma! So what happened next?”

“Nothing, I just watched it on tv. It was the only thing running day and night.”

“Yes, but what did you do afterwards, did you join the army to fight them like great-great grandpa did in World War 2?”

Grandma explains her 9/11 tale to unimpressed granddaughter
“OMG GRANDMA! WHY DO I EVEN PAY FOR YOUR OXYGEN TANK??!?”

“No. I told you, I watched this horror on tv. My world was changed forever. I made Facebook posts about it.”

“Did you go to NYC and help as a first responder?”

“NO! I WAS HORRIFIED BY WATCHING IT ON TV, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME???”

“Please tell me you at least donated blood!”

*BLANK STARE*

“UGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!”

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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10 Tips to Become a Blogging Superstar on MySpace

How to become a Blogging Superstar

Some of you may remember this blog as the first time you’ve ever heard of me… because HOLY SHIT, DID THIS START SOME DRAMA! People weren’t used to me and how tongue-in-cheek I was through most of this, and I forgot that blogging is SERIOUS BUSINESS on MySpace. This time around I will keep it short, to the point, and as humor-free as possible.
————————————————-

I’ve been blogging since 1998 (that’s right, a year before Blogger came out), I’ve been on MySpace since 2006. I watched and studied the most successful bloggers here, saw what works, and brought a few tricks of my own…

TIP #1 – READ & COMMENT OTHER BLOGS
First and most important. Most of your readers are bloggers themselves. This is how people will hear about you and you make your presence known. I can’t tell you how many bloggers I’ve gotten into after I was impressed by their comment in a blog somewhere. Blogging is a community where we all support each other. If you comment someone’s blog, they will most likely come visit yours. You need to build readership… and the best way to GET readers, is to BECOME a reader. (Kind of like the old adage “If you want a friend, then you have to BE a friend”. Makes perfect sense when you think about it.)

TIP #2 – END YOUR BLOG WITH QUESTIONS
This will start discussion. Blogs ending with questions will be more likely to have comments. A sad fact is, most of your readers will skim through your blog and not read it fully. They also might not feel comfortable “flying blind” and feeling foolish with a comment if they didn’t get it… so why not guide them a little bit?

TIP #3 – KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE
We have a rule on the web. The rule of KISS (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”). So many bloggers think they’re the next Hemingway and then get frustrated at the lack of responses. But with all the blogs we have out there to read, do you honestly think people have the TIME to read your epic “War & Peace” novel in a medium where reading comprehension off a computer screen is significantly lower than what you’d get off a printed book or magazine? COME ON! Do you find people commenting a lot about the first or last paragraph they read? Then your blog is WAY too long. Get to the point!

TIP #4 – SUBSCRIBE TO ME LINK
Friends have pimped out your blog, people loved it. That’s the easy part, but how do you keep them coming back for more? Make them subscribe.

Sure you have the “subscribe” link up top… but they just scrolled all the way down. What better place to hit them with it than right at the end? A nice graphic to remind them: “SUBSCRIBE TO ME NOW!”. Make it easy on them.

TIP #5 – ANSWER ALL YOUR BLOG COMMENTS
You know what’s even better than comments? MORE COMMENTS! It also adds to your page views and overall ranking if your readers come back to read your response. Something witty or showing a genuine interest in them and what they have to say will work best. They will most likely comment more, particularly if you end the comment with a question (see TIP #2). One of the biggest turn-offs here is when a reader feels they’ve been ignored.

TIP #6 – FRIEND REQUEST YOUR READERS
Now with the “Activity Stream” we have here, I’m finding myself using that to read the latest blogs. I’m using it a lot more than even the “New Blog Posts” section (You post-daters have pretty much ruined that. Thanks a lot). Put in a friend request, leave a note thanking them for reading your blog. They will now be notified you have a new blog post right on their front page.

TIP #7 – BLOGDICKING (or “BLOG SKIPPING” for the “Rated G” crowd)
You have left the most thought-provocative comment ever on a very popular blog… but guess what? Who is going to read it on page 5?

“Blogdicking” is basically skipping the line and commenting under the very first comment, so there you are on page one for everyone to see. Some bloggers think it’s rude, but I personally think it keeps your blog looking fresh and helps the author find your comment so much easier.

Blogdicking Banner

Having a banner as your very first comment (because face it… “Firsters” are annoying) also makes things easier and doesn’t break up the conversation. But be fast… those sucky “firsters” are like vultures!

TIP #8 – BLOG RANKING
First thing I need to stress is that this is not the “end all be all” of blogging. People get obsessed over this as if Tom is going to send you a paycheck. But you know what? Having a blog rank nicely is a rewarding feeling too. It’s based on page views + comments + kudos.

Other factors include the time you post (best is between 4:30 AM – 10:00 AM Eastern time). You get the maximum amount of exposure as it’s all tallied up in a 24 hour period… as well as the category you post in.

The number ones in each category are lined up first in the Overall rankings, followed by the #2’s, 3’s, etc. Try and avoid “high traffic” categories like “News & Politics” or “Writing and Poetry”. You’d be amazed at how well you’ll rank in “Games” or “Automotive”, let me tell you.

TIP #9 – AUTOREFRESHING
Personally I’d prefer to just leave legitimate tips, because no one likes a cheater. But would I be your buddy if I left you with an incomplete education? I wont tell you where to find an auto refresher (because MySpace tends to delete those blogs), but you can easily Google it. Autorefreshing is how a great many of the “Top Bloggers” would rank by basically inflating their page views (And not ALL high ranking bloggers do this either). It’s cheating. But I’d be a hypocrite and a liar if I acted like I’ve never done it myself. Here’s my tip though:

Most people here can spot the cheaters. For starters, it is nearly impossible to have every one of your blogs rank consistently high, and a blog with less than 5 pages of comments is SURELY going to raise some eyebrows. Nothing will get your sorry ass beaten down here faster than lying about it and pretending you’ve done it fair and square. So if you’re gonna cheat… at least be a smartass about it.

TIP #10 – PIMP OUT AND GET PIMPED
Blogging is basically spread through word-of-mouth. Getting in the Top Blogs page will only get you a few new walk-ins at best (most people don’t even bother looking at it). Now, when I see in a blog I like that they’re raving about another blogger… or bulletins recommending you check out a certain blog? THAT gets my attention. It will on most people. Pimp out blogs you think are worth reading. More than likely people will return the favor.

WARNING: Do not ask/force people to pimp you out though. Nobody likes that, and people don’t want their credibility ruined… especially if it’s a crappy blog to begin with (which, sadly, most of these people who try to force their blogs on others to pimp out usually tend to write).

Was this tutorial helpful?
Do you have any other tips for bloggers to become more successful here?
Do I look fat in these jeans?

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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