Archive for June, 2008

I am taking a class this summer about some of the new technology out there to help us in our quest for information, our ability to collaborate, to be efficient, blah blah blah. My group decided to investigate these crazy little things called “RSS feeds.” Until this class, I have been living a blissfully (albeit ignorant) “RSS-free” life. Somehow I was completely able to ignore this:

Be warned: If you read on, you too will know about:

And I’m here to tell you, there’s no going back! Just like Neo, you swallow that pill and your life is changed forever. You will begin noticing them on almost every Web site you visit. And you’ll click on them. You will subscibe to something like GoogleReader to gather all of these RSS Feeds and you will begin talking in code: My feeds, these aggregators, your podcast, Joe’s blog…
So if you are confused about what all of these terms mean, please take a look at the following wiki page. http://coolgroup.wikispaces.com/Sarah’s+research+on+RSS The author, Sarah, does a great job of explaining what “RSS” really is. Here is an excerpt from her page:
“You can think of RSS as TiVo (or DVR) for your computer. TiVo and DVR work through your cable television box to record your favorite programs. They recognize when your shows are on and automatically save them so you can watch at your convenience. RSS functions in much the same way. An RSS aggregator monitors your favorite websites, blogs, and podcasts for new content and collects the new information for you to view at any time. Rather than having to visit each of your favorite sites to see what’s new, you can visit your RSS aggregator (also known as an RSS reader) to see all of the new content from all of your favorite sites. Check out this video from YouTube for a great introductory tutorial on using RSS:”

I have decided to give The RSS Feed a Tiger Lily. For something that was supposed to help simplify my life, it has now overwhelmed it. This little award looks so much like an RSS Feed that I want to click on it.
Take a look at my friend’s blog posting about Facebook. http://www.angryczeck.com/2008/05/facebook-has-me-by-throat.html Please don’t go to this blog if you are faint-of-heart, but I had to link to it, because similarly, I too am addicted. I am so addicted that I’m mad at my husband every day because he refuses to join. People probably think I’m lying when I’ve posted my Relationship status as “Married.” In a pathetic effort to prove his existence I’ve posted numerous pictures of him. Also, I obsess day and night about whether or not he’s read my most recent blog entry. In fact, he should set up an RSS Feed of my blog. Of course, he’ll have to set up GoogleReader first. Now re-reading what I’ve just written, realizing how crazy that sounds, I remember why I married him in the first place, what a wise man.
So maybe this should be a Tiger Lily for all technology. Maybe I should award myself a Tiger Lily for being so completely taken in by all of this. But in my defence I’m not the only one. One of my old high school classmates, David, recently wrote (on Facebook of course) that he was going around the house naming everything an “i” something before Apple could. For instance, he had his iToaster hooked up, was watching his iTV while listening to his iRadio… you get the picture. This was hilarious to me because it is so true. It’s inevitable– technology is taking over. Pretty soon we won’t be able to carry on regular f2f conversations. And I’ll have to go to sites like www.netlingo.com/emailsh.cfm just to make it through life. 4COL.
Well, enough of this. TTFN. I’ve got to go check my GoogleReader. Tiger Lily to Technology.

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Oh Oprah

I know that as soon as you saw her face, a lot of you out there got really nervous. “Oh no, she’s going to make fun of Oprah.” Don’t worry, I’ll only make fun of her a little bit. I’ll just give Oprah a small Tiger Lily.
So just to get this out of the way, please know, I like Oprah. I like to watch her show, buy her endorsed books, build her endorsed bears, drive her give-away Pontiacs, aspire to her perfect spirituality, give as generously, and look as beautiful– inside and out. Isn’t she lovely? (Que Stevie Wonder. I think Oprah would like that.)

For Mother’s Day, I bought my mother a subscription to O, Oprah’s magazine. I was excited about it. It was one of those gifts you give and hope to borrow later. (How un-Oprah of me.) Anyway, my mom and I started talking about the fact that Oprah is on every single cover of her own magazine. And for some reason, this really bothered us. Isn’t Oprah supposed to be supremely perfect? And isn’t humility one of the attributes of a perfect person?
Well, I’m here to tell you what this is all about. Humility and godliness go hand-in-hand. And I don’t mean the Gideon-type godliness. I mean the television-type. The brand-type. The Oprah-type. Oprah is her own brand. With out her name or her face the Oprah brand wouldn’t be a brand at all. Her name and face have brand power. And by power, you know I mean money. Dollars. And lots of them.

Advertising Age wrote an article “How to get your brand on ‘Oprah'” in its June 2008 issue. The article explains that “she is–by the estimate of PR pros who besiege her producers for a chance to have their brands reflect the warm light of Oprah’s presence–the very pinnacle of product publicity.” See, she is a goddess. She even has a “warm light.” She is the goddess of product publicity and because her face and name carry such weight, she has to keep them front-and-center.

So who can blame her? This television goddess puts a book on the New York Times Best-seller List, boosts Dolly Parton’s CD sales by 70% and puts Bourdreaux’s Butt Paste on the map. And she is philanthropic too. She builds schools in South Africa, gives millions to charity and even has time for her top-rated “Oprah’s Big-Give” on ABC.
I’ve just decided that my idea of “godliness” is a little less “capitalistic,” I mean, complicated. Here are a few other Tiger-Lilish contradictions I see with Oprah:
  • She endorses Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.” (A campaign by Ogilvy & Mather that I absolutely love) But every time you turn around, there is Oprah looking amazing. You wouldn’t ever catch Oprah in her underware, on purpose.

  • She endorses Barack Obama. Now listen up! This is not political. I’m just pointing out the fact, that for a woman who won’t marry a man, bashes men and is the voice of the middle-class woman, isn’t it a little ironic that she would endorse a male over a female candidate? For crying out loud, her July issue of O has an article, “Men! What are They Thinking?!”
  • She endorses everything from butt paste to books. And then has shows about how to de-clutter.
But, alas, everybody loves her. And despite these contradictions, I love her too. Although I really love watching Ellen dance and at least she can joke about her endorsements. Watch out Oprah, here she comes. Enjoy your little Tiger Lily.

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