ClipGrab – Free Utility – Downloads YouTube Video/Audio – No Bullshit

ClipGrab downloads assets (audio and video) from youtube (and other services, but I haven’t tried others yet). If you use it, please donate to the dude that made it.

I’m working on a project that invloves sampling corporate industrial videos from YouTube. I used to use KeepVid for downloading YouTube files, but it doesn’t really work anymore, or at least, it sucks now and requires jumping through hoops to get working. Sorry, KeepVid :(

I was about to give up and use my machine’s headphone jack to send audio to another device to record, but I really didn’t want to do that because of the potential loss in quality caused by two additional stages of digital/analog conversion, not to mention the fact that doing it that way is a real-time process.

After hours of searching and trying tons of sucky browser extensions, hoping to find a KeepVid alternative, I finally found something that works. Thank you, ClipGrab! I was getting so frustrated.

ClipGrab is an app, not a browser extension. I’m using a Mac with El Capitan atm, but there are also versions for Windows & Linux, as well as Mac OS Lion, Mountain Lion, and ‘older versions of Mac OS,’ which I assume means you can use ClipGrab to download Youtube files even with an older Mac running Snow Leopard! (I’ll try it on my old mac soon).

 

How to use ClipGrab:

After installation, you just paste in a URL where the video you’re after is. Then select which assets you want to download and the version (quality).

Some notes borrowed from the ClipGrab FAQ about supported video sites:

YouTube – Videos can be downloaded in HD (1080p und 720p) as well as in standard definition (480p, 360p and 240p).Additionally, ClipGrab provides an integrated and easy-to-use search function for YouTube videos.

Vimeo – Vimeo is another popular video platform, specializing in high-quality and artistic videos.
Vimeo is always featuring amazing videos and also offers a big selection of Creative Commons videos. From Vimeo, videos can be downloaded in HD or standard definition.

Dailymotion – Dailymotion is another video website with top-tier support by ClipGrab. Videos from Dailymotion can be downloaded in HD, high and low quality standard definition.

Facebook – The widely popular social network is becoming and ever more important platform for sharing videos. You can easily download Facebook videos including private ones with ClipGrab.

Other sites – If a site isn’t “officially” supported by ClipGrab, you might still be able to download videos from it. Through an advanced video-recognition system, ClipGrab allows the download from thousands of websites even if they are not listed

You should definitely donate to ClipGrab if you canNot only is this the most hassle free way I have found to download audio and video from YouTube and other sites, but the ClipGrab website is also super clean and friendly with no popups, ads, or other bullshit. Just download the app and you’re on you’re way. You can donate any amount via PayPal or Bitcoin.

ClipGrab is so rad, I’ve given it “Keep in Dock” status, which is one of the highest honors an application gets around here –The equivelant of Knighthood for an app. I dub thee Sir ClipGrab :)

When Will Big Data Spill Over?

These mining firms, if you will, will eventually cave to selling to everyone.

What will we do with the data?

What will future for-profit mining operations be focused on?

 

 

My Letter to Jerry Kelly at Madwire

[Jerry Kelly at Madwire wrote me, apparently hoping to get on the phone with me to discuss my post about Madwire.  This is what I wrote in response.]

[To Jerry and everyone else at Madwire, I will not go away so easily.  I believe that you sometimes do things that are, in my opinion, very uncool to unsuspecting small business owners, and it’s time to either change those policies, or deal with the push-back you are owed as a result.]

All of this is hypothetical.  And all of this is my opinion.  All of this is intended to be seen as the point of view of one individual whom is speculating.  I do not intend to defame any company.  I am merely posting an email I sent, to the best of my knowledge, and altered only as necessary to protect myself and other people,  so that others can read what I wrote, as a matter of historical fact concerning what I wrote, and as a matter of historical fact concerning my feelings and opinions at the time.

[For the record, someone I know signed a contract with Madwire, and when they became unhappy with the results of the relationship, as far as I recollect, they copied the new website Madwire had enabled for them to their own hosting account, which as far as I recollect, was a breach of the contract they signed with Madwire.  As far as I recollect, Madwire (or Madwire’s legal representation did) then give the person I know  a certain number of days to either pay a certain number of dollars, which I recall being around $6,000 (but someone involved closely recalls it as more), or if the amount was not paid, to the best of my recollection, Madwire would sue the person that I know.   To the best of my knowledge, and to the best of my recollection, this really happened.  If Madwire continues to harass me about talking about this, I will be forced to post actual documents such as credit card billing records and emails from Madwire’s legal representation]

 

Hello Jerry.

I’d prefer to talk via email for now.
I have not worked with Madwire myself, but I do know someone who has. That person felt very abused by the experience.  And I know for a fact that they didn’t recieve the results they were promised by Madwire’s sales people.  And in the end, when they tried to end the relationship, they were not only told they couldn’t take any of the dev work with them (fine if that’s what they agreed to), but that they needed to pay a big chunk of money (for damages?) or they would be sued.
Intellectual Property is a valid thing, and I can’t blame anyone for wanting to protect their rights.  But making a few minor customizations to an off-the-shelf WordPress theme and then claiming that it’s your own intellectual property is pretty bogus, especially since WordPress is itself GPL software and so was the theme in question.  I know because I looked at the GPL License statement in the theme’s stylesheet.
And then, attempting to extort (or something like extort… this is just opinion) money over the matter is really uncool, beyond being unothadox for the kind of claim in question.  A simple cease and disist or DMCA takedown to the hosting company would have sufficed and is the proper procedure, as I’m sure you know.
Meanwhile, I don’t think Madwire is “evil” or anything silly like that.  I think Madwire has some practices that may need to be tweaked in order for some customers to not end up feeling lied to or preyed upon.
If Madwire is going to do business with people, then Madwire is accountable for its customer relations.  Throwing money at trying to surpress customers’ bad experiences is not a sustainable approach to marketing.  Eventually, every company will have some disgruntled former customers out there.  Madwire should expect to be no different.
So since Madwire has done such a good job covering up any bad reviews, and even creating dubious positive reviews, my little blog post has become a focal point, since almost nothing else out there seems like legitimate customer feedback.  I have been contacted by dozens of people wiith stories similar to the person I know that worked with Madwire.  If they represent a small minority of Madwire’s customers, then that small minority is going to be reflected online somewhere, whether it’s commenters on my post, or somewhere else.
And to be clear, I don’t have particularly strong feelings about Madwire, as much as I have strong feelings about accountability, honesty, the freedom and democratization of speech etc.
What would Madwire expect to happen if it (even only occasionally) [redacted] people with baseless lawsuit threats or routinely over-promises results?  I would think that Madwire would expect to get a little bit of pushback from those things. Perhaps that pushback is part of the cost of doing business.  Or maybe it’s an indication of some policy changes that need to happen.  Or maybe a little of both.
I hope this clears up for you where I am coming from.
And Also, I suggest that you try to be involved in the conversation about your company directly.  For instance, you could comment on blog posts like mine when you come across them, and try to be a reasonable and tranparent voice for your company, rather than [possibly] sneaking around, [possibly] trying to take people’s websites down, [possibly] having fake commenters and reviewers troll and spam the web, [possibly] filing things in courts to get unfavorable websites un-indexed and all that stuff, which at the end of the day, just makes your company look a bit shady, don’t you think?
Thanks,
Andrew

 

The Embarrassment of Past Posts: SEARCH SUCKS

I just can’t stand how stupid I sound, even one year ago, what I wrote, what it was about, the words I used, the style, the punctuation.  I can’t really even go more than six months back in these posts before what is there makes me really uneasy.  I get really, really uneasy.  I feel embarrassed and stupid.

Meanwhile, the reason I originally believed in blogging, which I have believed since around 2005, is still a good reason for me to also believe that the Web, and especially personal archiving, can be better than some sort of vanity exercise.

Someone that argues with me a lot recently said that they had stopped blogging when they realized they were just contributing “noise.” I took this as a jab, as if I am making noise as well.  After thinking about it a bit, I have concluded that I am not making noise, not compared to the vast majority of sites that get click-thrus. On the few searches that I appear prominently on, I am the opposite of noise.  I give out helpful information.

Meanwhile, I do also talk about all sorts of non-helpful things.  I even make joke posts.  Is this bad for the Web?  Is it noise?

No.  Because we have plenty of room.  We don’t have a space problem, we have an SEO problem.  The fact that satisfaction with search results is plummeting is not a result of excess content.  You’ll notice it’s often the same sites that let us down.  The problem is that search is not improving.  Search is asleep at the wheel while the link-bate space has exploded.  Here we are.  Answers.666, about.666.com, just-666.com, these sites offer often very inaccurate information, mostly voted into place by people with no accountability!

The cluttering of the Web used to be something we could blame on people that make useless websites or spam identities.  But not anymore.  Search is failing to help us find better content.  And it’s really tempting to assume this is not an accident on the part of Search.

 

 

The Best Ecommerce Solution for Artists

Crowdfunding is an obvious need for undiscovered artists and creative type people.  It’s hard to put musicians, photographers and software developers in the same box, but when it comes to E-commerce, there are some obvious common threads.

There are projects that us small time creators just can’t do without a garuntee of cost offset.  If we know we have a certain amount of support from our community, we can do bigger and better things!

Crowdfunding is growing in popularity, and since I am a long-time supporter of the democratization of virtually everything, I have always been interested in trends related to crowdfunding and other non-gatekeeper models.

I recently experimented with selling an album (mp3 320) via a common WordPress ecommerce plugin, and was trying to make the transaction pay-what-you-want, but I had a hard time editing the checkout process.  It was just really hard for me to find where in the plugin I was using to patch/hack the checkout form to do what I wanted:

  • Pay What You Want (even nothing)
  • Collect emails
  • Gracefully redirect back to my site (from PayPal or other payment gateway) after opting to pay (One of the biggest problems I had is dealing with payments of $0, because the forms for ecommerce usually assume a value, and redirection happens after purchase… but then, what about the email collection and redirection to a thanks page?!)

The real value to me here is the email address, not the payment, which I can only expect to be a few bucks here and there at this point, since I’m not super famous (yet).  But building a fan-base, if I can do that, is very valuable.

What I’d like to be able to do is easily set up, both things for sale, like mp3’s, and also, take pre-orders for things I’m working on. It’d be great if people like myself had an easy way to paywall content or allow paid subscriptions to certain pages or downloads on my site. And it’d be very cool if I had crowdfunding abilities.  As far as I know, this is not an open-source or turnkey possibility. But stay optimistic!  Things are moving fast in these spaces.

I hope all this stuff gets easier for Creatives soon.  Let’s overthrow that gatekeeper legacy we hate so much!

I will do my best to update this if I get new info!  Comments welcome as usual.

 

 

To My Ello Friends: A Few Days Into the Experiment.

Some thoughts on @ello

If I recall correctly, the way MySpace got rolling was that they recruited a bunch of lower-tier models and bands in order to make the population seem cool. And that slimy quality never really went away.

Of course, this is probably a premature complaint (is it?), but I fear that something similar might be going on here on ello. In the few days I’ve been here, I feel like there’s tons of stuff flying around that’s really just magazine spreads and and logos… MySpace was once described to me as “an online version of the inside of a teenager’s high school locker.” Now the kiddies use tumblr for that purpose and everyone else uses pinterest: topical passive image consumption and re-posting things that manifest how you want to be seen, by consuming a feed of re-posted crap from a bunch of strangers whom are filtered by topics or genres. Right?

And for now I really don’t want to see runway models and futuristic, laser-accurate post-modern woodcarvings from wall to wall. It actually makes me feel like I’m part of some sort of ‘early adopter’ demographic and I’m being profiled and marketed at. Pretty funny. I put myself here and I’m complaining. But bear with me for a sec.

Once #hashtags are working, and I can actually filter the noise in useful ways, OK fine. But until then, there’s really no value here, beyond the manifesto, unless everyone just shuts the fuck up and talks about what they had for lunch and then uploads a picture of their cat or their baby, while recruiting their ‘real’ friends and family to come here and do the same. Seriously.

The appeal of FaceBook, at least for me (and I suspect the vast majority of people who are not early adopters), is that it doesn’t have to be noisey/quiet if you don’t want it to be. It can be less-quiet/quiet. I know a lot of early adopters are also hustling to promote themselves as the next super-important entrepreneur/influencer/visionary. And I love all those/us people too. But it is a bit ironic to me that everyone flocking to the non-data-mining, non-commercial social software platform (which even has a goddamn ‘manifesto’ for cryin out loud) gets here and and immediately whips out their SEO/follower-collection habbits.

This isn’t going to stick if we can’t get grandma and Joe Blow on here. So I guess what I’m saying is, perhaps we should, as a community of people who are early to this place, think about the potential here, that is, if we decide to steer the status quo of behavior in a constructive direction, acting as an example to the next round of people. Construction problems, missing features, and an unfamiliar interface aside, I know the old ladies I know would bounce right the fuck back out the door if they came to this place and saw what I’m seeing.

I may be sounding like a luddite to you (and to me a bit too), but there’s no way to filter all this content yet. So maybe we should dial back our douchebaggery and think about the ello manifesto and what appeals to us most about it, and what will make that actually happen: Grandma and Joe Blow coming here, along with a few hundred million other people (most of whom live in stupid towns and just have jobs and cats and babies) who are tired of being spied on, bought and sold by Facebook, data-mining companies, marketers Etc. Right?

We’re expecting company! Right?

Audio Version of Om Malik’s “With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility”

Om’s post is here:

http://om.co/2014/07/08/with-big-data-comes-big-responsibility/

I decided to have this read by OSX’s Alex voice, which I thought was fitting, given the subject.

 

QR’s are for original post and recording software used.

With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility

2014-07-08

By Om Malik

http://om.co/2014/07/08/with-big-data-comes-big-responsibility/

Read by Mac OS X.6’s Alex at the whim of Andrew A. Peterson

https://andrewapeterson.com

Recorded with SoundFlower

http://cycling74.com/products/soundflower/

The FaceBucket Challenge

RULES:

If you accept The FaceBucket Challenge, you must:

A) Promise that from now on, you will not share any alleged facts on social media without first reading the Wikipedia entry likely to contain confirmation of the alleged fact;

Or

B) Share a video of yourself putting a bucket over your head.

WHY?

The FaceBucket challenge is intended to spread awareness about media literacy, especially social media’s potential for spreading misleading information.

As participants in social media, we have a responsibility to the others in our networks to not disseminate an inaccurate portrayal of the world we live in.  This is especially true when it comes to political or ‘loaded’ topics where widespread misinformation can lead to negative consequences for large numbers of people.

Also, it’s kind of funny.

Reviews Sites: Some are Super Shady

Some info about the Better Business Bureau lifted from the wikipedia

In 2010 ABC’s 20/20 reported in a segment titled “The Best Ratings Money Can Buy” about the irregularities in BBB ratings.[24] They reported that a man created two dummy companies which received A+ ratings as soon as he had paid the membership fee. They also reported that business owners were told that the only way to improve their rating was by paying the fee. In one case a C was turned to an A immediately after a payment and in another case a C?minus became an A+. Chef Wolfgang Puck said that some of his businesses receive F’s because he refuses to pay a fee. Ritz Carlton, which does not belong either, also receives Fs for not responding to its complaints.[23]

In response, the president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has stated the BBB ratings system will cease awarding points to businesses for being BBB members.[25] The national BBB’s executive committee voted to address the public’s perception of the ratings system. It voted that the BBB ratings system would no longer give additional points to businesses because they are accredited. It voted to implement a system to handle complaints about BBB sales practices. [26] Despite the vote, the BBB website still states that points are taken away if accreditation is lost.[27][28]

In Canada, the CBC News reported in 2010 that Canadian BBBs were downgrading the ratings scores of businesses who stopped paying their dues. For example, a moving business who had an A rating and had been a BBB member for 20 years, dropped to a D?minus rating when they allegedly no longer wanted to pay dues.[29]

BBBs have been accused of unduly protecting companies. If a branch does not act reasonably on behalf of a consumer, a complaint may be filed with the Federal Trade Commission. However, recent reports have suggested that the Austin chapter of the Better Business Bureau refused to resolve complaints against companies if customers do not pay a $70 mediation fee.[30]

Sustagrain Confusion: Is it a GMO? Maybe. I’m trying to find out!

[UPDATE 4] I finally heard back from the public affairs department at ConAgra.  They haven’t answered any of my questions yet, but I’m optimistic that they will, now that I’ve written back and explained why I think they should.  Hopefully, this post will become a source of actual factual information on the products in question, once I have the facts.

This is in response to:  http://dadgoinggreen.blogspot.com/2011/04/wtf-is-sustagrain-and-why-is-it-in-my.html which has a character limit.  So I guess I have to put it here on my own site.

[UPDATE] I believe this is the patent, #6083547http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/6083547 [update 3] No, I don’t think it is :(  But I wrote ConAgra to ask

[UPDATE 2] I think sustagrain is actually a process for making flour from barley that’s healthier in certain ways, or is alleged to be.  Maybe I’m way off, but that’s what I’m getting from what I’m reading at the patent office. I might have to just write ConAgra and ask them. The only reason I haven’t done so already is that I’ve seen the same or nearly identical boilerplate response from them to other people who have written them (forums I found Etc) [update 3] Nope.  After more reading, I’ve found that Sustagrain is a re-naming of a barley strain called Prowashonupana… I think.  I wrote ConAgra and asked.  At any rate, it appears that Prowashonupana is a conventional hybrid, not a GM strain.  Again, I asked ConAgra.

Hello [to the guy that wrote the post this is a comment on].

I came across this while researching Sustagrain this morning after reading about the nutritional properties of various barley products (groats, pearled, rolled, pressed, Etc). I discovered such a thing as “sustagrain” exists and so I started trying to understand what it is and if it is or isn’t a GM crop.

A few points.
1. While I’m no apologist for companies like ConAgra, ADM, Monsanto Etc, who clearly have done some morally questionable things in the name of profit, I think that to keep things rational, it should be noted that not everything ConAgra does is necessarily evil. For instance, they do produce certified organic products, in addition to their scarier, unscrupulous profit-first activities. When companies get big enough to, it behooves them to take advantage of the power they can wield over legislation. I’m not justifying this as much as trying to point out that this is probably built into the culture of our economy and the kind of society we live in. When it’s food that we’re talking about, it’s easy to feel like it’s personal because it hits so close to home, but it’s just regular old free market capitalism doing its job: profit above all else.

  1. According to all the research I’ve done this morning, Sustagrain is not a GMO. At least it’s not a biotech/genetic-engineering crop. It is a hybrid created via traditional methods. Please correct me if you know that I am wrong about this and point us all to some facts… (the web is cluttered with speculation and fear about this but very few facts). It is patented, so there’s something going on that I don’t quite understand yet. (I will try to find the patent, which of course is public info, at the patent office later today).

If anyone has found any evidence that this kind of barley is a GMO, please respond with some real info. As far as I can tell it isn’t.

  1. (this is the thing that some people will be turned off by but please try to hear past the catchphrases and trigger-words that might make you want to disagree with me implusively)

The popular debate on GMOs is centered almost entirely on the practices of Monsanto, particularly their Roundup-ready plant strains (mainly corn and soy). As far as I can tell there are in fact very few varieties of GM crops in production (even though of course there’s a ton of the few that are in production being grown)… For instance I don’t believe there is currently a GM barley being produced at all. It’s mostly corn and soy that everyone is talking about.

And there are two main things that most people are taking issue with: First there’s patent law concerning these GM crops and the injustice this has led to with regard to farmers’ rights and the lawsuits resulting. Next, there’s the general issue people take with the use of chemical pesticides, which of course we can assume that roundup-ready crops get treated with.

Whenever the subject of GMOs comes up, I feel like it is important to point out that not all GM crops are roundup-ready ones.
There are at least several examples of GM crops that have been developed for the purpose of improving nutrition, particularly in regions that have limited access to a diversity of food and suffer from malnutrition and/or certain deficiencies/diseases that can be helped by so-called “frenkenfoods.” So in those cases, it’s really a nuts-and-bolts type of question of whether or not we are simply morally opposed to and afraid of any and all genetic engineering. If you are, you might find it worthwhile to learn a bit about how all this stuff works. It sounds scary when you hear of “putting fish genes into a tomato, where they don’t belong” but I promise, this is an oversimplification of what is going on. And repeating this kind of rhetoric just prolongs a widespread ignorance of the facts. There’s a sort of ‘fundamentalism’ around the subject that feels a bit scary to me and reminds me of an older time when people may have said “electricity is the work of the devil” or other things like that in reaction to something that was new and seemed scary to them. Personally, I prefer to eat Organic, but my motivation is to avoid pesticides and other unsustainable practices and vote with my wallet for better farms that produce using a more natural process.

And about patent law, like with just about every other aspect of intellectual property law, it badly needs to be adjusted.

There’s another reasonable concern I hear occasionally about contaminating the greater food supply through cross pollination Etc. I can relate to this concern and it bothers me a bit too.

But let’s try to be smart about things. Pesticides, Patent Law and the general concept of ‘gene tampering’ are all separate issues.

I’ll try to find the patent for sustagrain and post it here.

Cheers.

 

Revisiting Microformats/Semantic Web for Future Prediction Info

What if the content/facts of all wikipedia articles were semantically linked by a prediction modeling application?

Of course all of this linking would need to be done by the community. But I have a great deal of faith in the wikipedia community.

All that really needs to happen is for links in sentences that contain dates like “2054” or “June 11” or “05, 21, 1976″ to be declared as being a prediction, fact, speculation (or other specs) Etc (for now, via a rel=”prediction” or time=”Etc” type of thing) (I think it would have to work along with/within human language syntax for now, because I doubt people want to qualify every word they write with semantic markup, but to require lines that contain a date to have some rules isn’t too crazy)

Another piece is needed to tie in the actual information, but it could just be a link to the actual article in which it appears, which isn’t necessary because that’s where it’s coming from.  It’s a start.

In other words, “Show me predictions for 2054 based on wikipedia info” could give you articles that contain predictions for 2054. And you can easily get to those articles from the results.  Not as granular as “linked data” should be, but right now, the web is basically all about making it easier to look at selfies and bad journalism.

I think this could have a lot of research power.

WARNING: MADWire Media, Marketing 360: Behind the veil of SEO and Astroturf

To Bluehost staff and legal dept: Please look closely at the specifics of any court orders before assuming that this content is actually not compliant with any documents sent by parties wishing to have this content removed from the web. I have carefully complied, line-by-line, with all rulings. Thanks.

Jump to original Madwire 360 / Marketing360 reviews post below

Visit the unlisted/hidden Madwire / Marketing 360 Yelp! page here

Jump to the comments section of this post

I’m back! And I’m in total compliance. :)
UPDATE 2015-02-08: So apparently, Madwire was able to get my entire hosting account taken down with a court order resulting from a defamation claim. But this post will return, albeit slightly altered to protect my hosting account from being shut down again.
In the meantime, the court ruling contains all the content in question, including all the Madwire Reviews and Madwire Complaints and there’s a copy of it here: http://cvweb.clerk.leon.fl.us/cvimage/official_records/download_document.asp?book=4729&page=01970&type=OR&jwuser=&subnet= (it takes a few minutes to load because it’s around 6MB and 60 pages)
Also, notice: the Affidavit of Diligent Search, mentioned on page 2, is conspicuously missing from the evidence. I wonder if that was an accident. I think not.
To Madwire: just let it slide! Everytime I update the content here, I move up in search results! It’s called the Streisand Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
And frankly, I’m sick of this post and having to keep changing it after account suspensions (I think this the 4th time!). But I wont go dark. It’s a matter of principle.
To anyone wishing to read my post as it appeared in December of 2014, including the comments, it’s stored at the WayBack Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20141208100043/https://andrewapeterson.com/2013/12/warning-madwire-media-madwire-360-behind-the-veil-of-seo-and-astroturf
NOPE! this has been taken down :)
Meanwhile, I must disable comments on this post for the moment, while I remove some content ruled by a Florida court to be defamatory.
[2015-02-25: COMMENTS ARE BACK!]
But feel free to send me a message via my contact form: https://andrewapeterson.com/contact
When you see XXXXX stuff, it’s words I needed to delete from the below content in order to be compliant with the court order.
[update 2015-01-11] I heard through the internet that Madwire is no longer using a non-disparagement bit in their standard contract.  This is good news if it’s true, but I have no way of knowing for sure if it is true.  So if you have any info on this, please comment!  This post is here to help other people.  So if you can help me keep the info up to date, since I have great SEO power concerning Madwire, you will help other people.  Please do comment. Is this real? It’s a link about madwire’s change of policy. Thanks, everyone, for contributing. We may be making a difference here!
[update 2014-09-26] Madwire has appeared to have filed, in a Florida court, a “Complaint for Declaratory Judgement,” against an anonymous person whom, according to the document, HERE (a PDF) is one of my my commenters below. This appears to be a way that Madwire can get Google and other search engines to un-index this blog post, Madwire’s Yelp! page and a few other search results where this anonymous person has posted.  So apparently, one of my commenters is the defendant known as “John Doe 1” in the filing (Madwire is referred to as the “Plaintiff”).  And I just noticed that Madwire’s Yelp! page suddenly has a meta noindex tag (<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>) on it and no longer comes up in Google search results for ‘Madwire Reviews.’ So I guess Yelp! is cooperating with Madwire for whatever reason.  I’ve always had pretty positive feelings about Yelp! despite all the recent negative hype about them, but if they’re willing to hide negative reviews, it certainly decreases their value as a consumer awareness product.  Also, I was assuming that at some point Madwire would contact me or at least post a comment on this post, but so far it appears that they’d rather try to control their reputation through back channels.  Interesting.  To Madwire: I know you guys are looking at this.  Don’t you have anything to say?
[update 2014-06-14:] My site has been taken down again over this post. This time it was ripoffreport.com that sent my hosting company a DMCA Takedown.  Their claim is that my ‘fair use’ quotation of negative Madwire reviews from their site (which contained attribution) was a copyright infringement!  So I had to remove several negative reviews/stories concerning madwire.  To the next reviews site considering sending a takedown or threat: you are only making this post more visible! Every time it’s edited/updated, it gains value in google serps.
[edit 2014-05-07:]Pissed Consumer sent my hosting company a DMCA takedown notice for this post, due to me quoting negative reviews for Madwire. I’m pretty sure this post is fair use, but my hosting company wont stick up for me  so I had to delete the pissedconsumer reviews in order to get my site back online.  I’ve linked to the originals.  Keep in mind, original bad reviews on pissedconsumer.com are often hidden on the page  and you have to click ‘read the complaint’ to see what you’re looking for.

Original post starts here.

The other day I posted about a friend’s personal experience with MADWIRE, which was horrible to say the least.

I’ve become kind of fascinated by how well this company appears to have created a facade of positive reviews and press, making them seem like a great company to hire.

It’s actually quite difficult to find anyone out there saying anything bad about them, which is a bit suspicious (even the companies I love the best are getting flamed occasionally).  So I’ve been doing some deep googling and I’ve found a lot of stuff that not only sounds more credible and like real people wrote it, but that’s also totally consistent with my experience.

So let the SEO battle begin!  I have great Google mojo with my blog.  And my goal here is to make the world-wide neighborhood a better, safer place.  So here is a compilation of what I’ve found about Madwire that may not be so easy for most people to find, since the search results for things like “madwire reviews” and even “madwire negative reviews” are so cluttered with astroturf.

From the Madwire / Marketing360 Better Business Bureau pages:

Complaint #1: 10/10/2013

Complaint: We paid for two months of Search Engine Optimization & AdWords for our company website through Madwire Media. We never reached the top of the search engines, we received 1 potential customer who filled out our “Contact Us” form, that was it. We paid $750 a month for a total of $1450.00 plus Madwire has tried to pull more money out of our account without authorization. They have added all these additional fees and now are threatening to take us to collections. They promised us a “free” website, they put it up for us but once we cancelled our marketing through them, they posted our website as “ACCOUNT SUSPENDED” which reflected horribly and lost us potential customers from consumers that were directed to our site through our own advertising means. We called them and asked them to put the website back up but they said they wouldn’t unless we paid for the hosting through them but it was a ridiculous amount. The website was supposed to belong to us but they wouldn’t give it to us without paying for their hosting (we already have hosting through someone else). We were offered so much and received nothing but headaches.

Desired Settlement: My desired settlement would be a refund of all money paid, $1450. They didn’t deliver on ANY of their promises. They said we would be on the top of the internet searches, which didn’t happen.Also, we didn’t get to keep the website. We were much better off than before we ever started with Madwire. From what I have read on the internet, we are not the only company that Madwire has scammed. Since internet marketing is so vague, they are able to take advantage of many consumers.

Business Response: Attached is the contract for reference and a receipt of refund. I talked with the client about the contract and services that we provided. We have already made a refund in the amount of $720.00 and we are not moving forward with collections on the remaining part of the contract.

Business Response: An email was sent to ‘*********************’ on 8/21 outlining the details of the contract as well as additional. Also an email was forwarded to ****************** on 8/23.

Consumer Response: Complaint: *******

I am rejecting this response because: they did NOT give me a refund, they just didn’t charge me after I cancelled my account. It’s not that I MISUNDERSTOOD anything (like Jerry’s letter refers), it is that they are rude, did nothing with all the money we gave them and used our “credits” on what? We don’t know! They are a scam and I am demanding full refund. I will keep  on warning other potential customers  about their misdeeds b/c no one deserves to lose $1500 on absolutely nothing, especially when you are a small business, like us.

Regards,

******** ******

Business Response:
That should do it. One is the contract which speaks to what the consumer was complaining about. All of the information is in there. And the other is an invoice for a refund. This client signed 6 month contract to which we were going to send to collections for early cancellation 2 months in on the contract. Upon receiving the email they filed a complaint with the BBB. In addition we invested $3K dollars of time on a website as part of the agreement. Outlined within the contract it talks about early cancellation with the option of hosting. They disregarded all emails. We took the site down that we own for nonpayment. Not only did we not pursue collections for breach of contract after speaking with ******** we also gave them a refund. It is unfortunate how this process works.

15 Day Collection Letter sent 7/31/13
30 Day Collection Letter sent 8/15/2013

If you have any other questions please feel free to reach out to me.

Thanks.

BBB’s Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

Complaint #2: 9/16/2013

Complaint: In June of 2013, Madwire Media Reviews contacted me and performed high pressure sales tactics to get me to sign a contract with them. They asked me to give them a large sum of money to start the campaign, which included web design, marketing, seo, and pay per click ads. They made all kinds of promises to which they were not able to hold up to. They promised a good web design and I get a mediocre, at best, design. Their site is beautiful and they said mine would be similar. They lied. They also told me that I would have 100% control of my website and be able to host it on my own server. Another lie. They have control of my website and I can’t make changes because I can’t access the backend. Madwire Media promised me 15-20 calls per day, based on my budget and the keywords targeting for my niche. Another lie. My campaign has been running for over two months and I have received two calls in that time period. Once call I actually booked the job, a $60 job, 45 miles out of my territory. I did the job anyway because my business, my name, and my reputation are at stake. They filled me full of their lies and promises in order to get me sign a contract and give them my payment info. I have done one job in the two months since my campaign started with Madwire Media and when I asked for a refund, they refused. They are not familiar with my industry and are targeting the wrong keywords that aren’t remotely targeted to my industry and they are charging me a premium rate and expect me to keep paying them $2500 per month for services NOT rendered. This fraudulent company needs to be exposed for who they are.

Desired Settlement: I want 100% of my money back. In my business, if a customer is not happy with the work, I redo it for free. If they are still not happy, I refund their money because my reputation is at stake. They promised me I could get my money back yet they refused to refund it when I asked.

BBB’s Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

Complaint #3: 9/5/2013

Complaint: I was told that there was NO contracts by several people, several different times before starting my marketing and web design with Madwire Media. **** ******** and ******* ***** both had stated that there is no contracts, until we no longer wanted to use there services after three months of very poor results and NO service. They told us one thing and had us sign documents that were supposedly forms that gave them permission to edit and change our current webpage, little did we know in the small print they lock you into a 6 month contract. This is the most dishonest and rude company that I have ever come across. We would like this matter resolved before we have to hand things over to our lawyers. Please Advise

Desired Settlement: I would like this to be resolved quickly and professionally, I would like for the remaining time and money in our contract to be wiped clear and the harassing phone calls and emails to STOP. I cant believe that there are companies out there like this that LIE and DECIEVE people to make a living.

Business Response: I spoke with ****** and addressed the concerns over the contract and client was satisfied.

BBB’s Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

Now on to Yelp! where MADWire currently has ONLY negative reviews [2014-10-07: this has changed. Now Madwire has one star on yelp but yelp appears to have cooperated with Madwire in burrying their page. Yelp put a noindex tag on Madwire’s one-star page so it wont show up in search results]:

Patty S.
Fort Collins, CO

7/15/2013
Just the fact that another reviewer is saying “I’ don’t know what this guy is talking about” and then you can’t find that review gives you an indication of how many people are not happy with XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX. Once they have your XXXXXX XXXX – XXX XXX XXXXXXXX XX X XXXXXXX XXXXX. XXX XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXX. it is nice looking with great images and graphics but no one can find it. XXXX XXXX X XXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXX…..and i suspect many bad reviews have been deleted here because they are misssing from here…….what does that tell you? Yelp took money to get those taken off…….hmmm let’s see how long this review lasts….

Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 8/28/2013 I can’t find your account as doing business with us. Please contact me so that I can take care of… Read more

Joe S.
Huntington Beach, CAJoe S.
4/30/2014
Damn I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with Marketing 360 the salesman had all the answers and only wanted $ 2500.00 per month to start? But promised first page placement so I just goggled SEO companies in Denver and guess what there not even on the first page! So I inform the salesman of my search result and he informs me that there parent company in Madwire Media and sure enough they show-up on the 2nd page with all these wonderful Yelp reviews.

Looks like Yelp really saved me time and money, Thanks

A’ngela S.
Gilbert, AZ
hare review
A’ngela S.
12/2/2013
BUYER BEWARE!!! I am not kidding you, if you choose to use MadWire360 or Mad wire media or whatever they go by (hint it will have 360 in it somewhere) You are XXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX XXX XXXX!! They know how to market their site and unfortunately the talent ends there.. After they smooth talk you into their wonderful service and pass you off to some “Specialist” SEO person, you become just another credit card paying their overpriced fees.. I was with them 3 months and not one lead!!! i spent over 7k and got zip from it!! All i can say is stay away and remember, Pay per click is cheaper than these guys and SEO just means blog on your own site!! Save your cash…

Good Luck
AZ. UnHappy Sucker..

Randy W.
Houston, TX
hare review
Randy W.
5/1/2014
STOP!! DON’T USE THIS COMPANY!!! I don’t want anybody to have to go through what I went through. Bottom line. This company will take your money & never do the service. XXXXXXXXX. XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Can’t created a logo or design. They always want money up front. Don’t ever pay anybody up front. This company is all about sales . The Company is XXXXXXXXXt, full of fast talking salesmen, very expensive and doesn’t deliver the product. BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!!

John G.
Fort Collins, COJohn G.
8/6/2013
When it comes to SEO it doesn’t get much worse than MadWire Media! XXXX XXX XX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX. Not only that, I had previously left a review on their Google listing along with close to 10 other dissatisfied customers and their listing has seemed to magically disappear along with all of the negative reviews. They obviously try their hardest to hide how bad they suck. I couldn’t seem to find any other SEO companies that had to do such things. These guys are bottom of the barrel! They provide unnecessary services and XXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX or they just don’t care about their clients. Whichever it is, it would be wise to steer clear of this company.

[REDACTED]

Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 2/26/2014 FAKE REVIEW! John Gotti is deceased. This is not a customer nor have we ever done business with John… Read more

Charles D.
Junction City, ORCharles D.
9/21/2013
Just when I thought all my issues with Madwire were well behind, I got rid of them over a year ago, they recently started billing my card for someone else’s website! It’s pretty scary that they have kept my credit card information on file well over a year after firing them. Not only that, the billing information is now completely different from when we used them, so obviously they don’t even bother with AVS. I guess why would you bother when I’m pretty sure keeping actively old clients’ card info on file if probably illegal and definitely unethical. The fact that they are so XXXXXXXXXXX that they start to bill me instead of a competitor’s account is absolutely ridiculous.

Originally we had Madwire design a logo, website, and manage some seo work. Problems started from the start. They could never get the logo right and I ended up having to hire someone else to provide custom artwork to be used in the logo. For the amount I was paying them for logo design I expected custom and original work. What I received was below par with no effort or creativity behind it. It was as if I hired one of the $4 an hour guys off oDesk but at 20 times the cost.

Now when it came to the website I was already pretty leary of them from the logo design part of the package. The beginning part of the web design was a complete nightmare. The project manager wouldn’t even respond to my requests or questions. I had to contact the supervisor and complain. I was assigned a new project manager to take over the design, or lack thereof. As a side note, the previous project manager is still employed there. The new project manager handled everything much better, however they really pumped the site out quickly due to the job being way behind and there were little errors I had to pester them about to get fixed.

The next disaster came their SEO package. When we signed up for all of this work to be done it was actually an SEO package. When the site was up and running they said they no longer do that and it is now a Madnoodle package where you are listed and gift cards go up for penny auction. Now, SEO-wise this did nothing for our website. This really didn’t even help sales either. We would pay them, they would buy these gift cards from us to post on their Madnoodle site, and then customers would use the gift cards to buy products on our site. It was usually the same people who would buy these gift cards so no new customers were being attracted. Plus these same customers haven’t returned after using these gift cards that we basically bought for them. I should also note the penny auctions were a giant fail and they no longer do this.

My advice is to steer clear of this company. If you don’t you will definitely regret it! Just when I thought all our problems with them were over with… Hope you enjoy the chargeback fees!

Edit 2/14/14: These jerks still have not completely removed my information! I still get invoice emails monthly for their crappy plugins I don’t use. Granted, the invoices are for $0.00, but just stop! I’ve already asked for our information to be completely removed but of course they can’t comply.

To touch on the management responses on some of these reviews (Boo hoo hoo Yelp is being mean to us, these reviews are fake, blah, blah blah). How about you actually listen and fix your company instead of complaining? These negative reviews are sticking because more negatives come from real Yelp accounts, compared to the many positives that are from accounts who have only reviewed Madwire and then never logged in again. Which ones do you think look fake to Yelp? Oh, and just because someone has a fake name doesn’t mean their review is fake either.

Holli W.
Charlotte, NCHolli W.
1/24/2014
Worst business decision I’ve ever made. DO NOT USE THEM! They will sell you and do a great job selling you. XX XX XXX XXXX. They are hard to work with, never responding, never making changes. It took WEEKS for them to make ONE small edit. They say they will create banners for your website, they are ugly and horrible. I even sent them pictures of what I liked. I finally had to pay someone to do it right. So much money wasted.

Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 2/26/2014 I can’t find your account as doing business with us. Please contact me so that I can take care of… Read more

Ekaterina B.
San Jose, CAEkaterina B.
10/17/2013
I agree with the review that said “$5,000, and not a single client.” This is how I felt when I was using this company. It is true that they XXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXX. When I finally questioned them why I only got ONE client in 3 months, they said “well, lets try another thing.” I am not paying for trial and error. I pay them to know what they are doing. Horrible and XXXXXXXXX.

Michael G.
Brentwood, CA
hare review
Michael G.
5/10/2013
First to Review
Working with Madwire has been one of our companies biggest mistakes! It has been over a year and a half and we still do not have a finished product. We have gone through 3 programmers and it seems like they just keep wasting our marketing departments time. We spent a significant amount of money and expected a certain amount of service. They have not delivered. I would not recommend them to my worst enemy. The frustration has built up to the point where we want to jump ship and get our money back.Comment from Jerry K. of Madwire Media
Business Owner 2/26/2014 Please contact me so that I can take care of the situation. I can’t find your account as doing… Read more

From truckmountforums.com (apparently madwire’s sales team targets people’s carpet cleaning business?)

9/12/2013

Attention fellow carpet cleaners. I am posting this to warn everyone of a XXXX being pulled by Madwire Media. I posted a while back, asking if anyone had any experience with them. I didn’t receive very much info so I assumed they were legit. I should have done more research and I didn’t, and now I’m paying for it. So, I am here to expose these XXXXXX and make sure none of you get XXXXXX XXX. Please watch my videos, subscribe, and share so that we can expose these XXXXXX and hopefully prevent anyone else from making the same mistake I did and losing their entire business to XXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX companies like Madwire Media. I will not stand idly by as they XXX people off and are not held accountable for it. In my business, if a customer is not happy with the work performed, I will redo it at no charge. If they are still not happy, I will refund their money. Why? Because my name, my business, and my reputation are at stake and I don’t want any of it tarnished over a few dollars. Madwire Media does not feel the same. They think it’s ok to XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXX XXXXX XXX XX XX XXX, as long as you get the sale. Please, I ask all of you to help with my plight. I may go out of business before I get soon but if I do, I will take the ones responsible with me and I will make sure they can’t XXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX. Please go to http://oxydry.co/carpet-cleaning-marketing/ and watch my video directed at you, my peers. Also, you can go here http://oxydry.co/madwire-media-reviews/ and if you don’t mind, please leave a comment on the pages. Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated and I hope I am able to dig myself out of this hole.

Thanks to all.

Read more: http://www.truckmountforums.com/threads/madwire-media-reviews-warning-madwire-media-scam.47238/#ixzz2nH8DiZq9
Follow us: @truckmountforum on Twitter | truckmountforum on Facebook

From scamgroup.com

9/12/2013

Took my entire advertising budget and single handedly almost bankrupt me.

On May 28th, Karen Brennan with Madwire Media sent me an email but claimed to be from CarpetCleaningMarketing360.com. Now this is one of many of their niche scam sites that they have. Over the course of a month she called and called and called. Finally I decided to listen to her and what she told me sounded amazing. She made all kinds of promises about me getting 15-20 calls per day with their marketing and seo. Well I was just starting a business and decided to go with Madwire Media because I simply didn’t have time to go out and actually do the work I needed to do on top of trying to market and advertise. Karen told me that based on the amount of monthly Google searches for my keywords, I would get 15-20 calls per day and I figured I should at least book 2-3 of them. So I sent them a large some of money, my entire advertising budget based on the promises made.
Fast forward to the date of this report. My campaign has been running for over 2 months now. I got one call in 2 months and it was a $60 job, 45 miles from me. They are targeting niche long tail keywords that are barely related to my industry and get very few searches. My seo campaign is horrible. They have control of my website and can lock me out at any time. XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXXX.
Now in the meantime, I have had my phones turned off and I literally cannot pay my bills. I gave them my entire advertising budget because they promised me a big jumpstart in business and promised I would be busy. XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXXX that do NOT know what they are doing,One thing they should have thought about before XXXXXXXXX XX XXXXX and destroying my business…… I was an seo guy for 7 years, I am a single father with 3 children and this is my lively hood. I put my entire savings into my idea and they single handedly destroyed it. So, I have made it my mission to make sure they don’t XXX anyone else off. I am broke, getting ready to have equipment repossessed if I can’t sell something to make the payment, I have resorted to applying for emergency food stamps to feed my children until I can recoop something or until my seo efforts pay off.
I have asked them for a refund several times and they have refused, therefore, I am going to make sure they never steal from another company or person that needs seo work or internet marketing services.
Madwire Media has gone around to all these review sites including ripoff report and have posted fake positive reviews because of all the negative reviews they are receiving. They are paying these companies like yelp and ripoff report to remove negative reviews so they can keep their Madwire Media Review XXXXX up.They XXXXXXXXX my business, I have nothing left to lose. I will make it my plight in life to shut these XXXXXXXXX down. I hope that Scam Group will help shut these guys down before before someone else loses their life savings to these XXXX artists. XXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXX. I will not sit by idly and let them XXXXX from others.

From a comment on one of MADWire’s own YouTube videos 

Be very careful about using Madwire Media. We spent over $3k with them and didnt get 1 single client. Our website had images missing and took 7 weeks to complete rather then the 14 days we were told. If you do want to use them make sure you record every telephone conversation you have with them and get everything the sales person tells you in writing!! Do your research before using Madwire Media! There appears to be a consistantly to the negitive feedback which tells its own story!!

There were similar testimonials on some other youtube videos I found last night, but they’ve been deleted.

Now on to RIPOFFREPORT.com

It seems that when you get a negative review on ripoffreport.com, you can pay to have it covered up!  For instance, with Madwire, if you search for “madwire reviews” you certainly find ripoffreport, but the titles are negative and review copy is a boilerplate positive thing put there by ripoffreport!  Dubious.  I finally found a few of the original bad reviews at ripoffreport

9/25/2012

[redacted! ripoffreport sent my hosting a copyright infringement takedown notice because I quoted their site]

11/2/2012

[redacted! ripoffreport sent my hosting a copyright infringement takedown notice because I quoted their site]

from pissedconsumer.com, also highly astroturfed but there’s stuff there if you dig

August, 20xx

HERE is the original Negative Review of Madwire.  You must click on “Read the Complaint” [content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay]

march 6 20xx

HERE is the original Testimonial about Madwire / Marketing 360.  You must click on “Read the Complaint” [content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay] 

Jan 29, 20xx

[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay] 

March 15, 2012

HERE is the original Customer Complaint about Madwire / Marketing360.  You must click on “Read the Complaint”
[content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay]

March 1, 2013

HERE is the original Customer Complaint about Madwire / Marketing 360.  You must click on “Read the Complaint” [content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay]

January 29, 2013

HERE is the original Customer Complaint about Madwire / Marketing360.  You must click on “Read the Complaint” [content removed due to copyright infringement claim by pissed consumer sent to my hosting compnay]

It’s me again.  I have stuff to do today so I’m going to stop for now.  You get the idea.  Maybe I’ll add more later.

 

[update 2014-10-01]the following is a list of other domains that appear to associated with Madwire. If it’s the same people, I don’t see any reason why there’s not plenty of love to go around. It is ‘Loveland, Colorado; after all
  • bigcommercemarketing360.com
    html title: #1 Bigcommerce Marketing Platform | Bigcommerce Templates & Design
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 1 643
    Keywords:Big Commerce, bigcommerce, marketing 360, bigcommerce seo, marketing360
  • ecommercemarketing360.com
    html title: eCommerce Marketing Services – eCommerce Software & Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 1 186
    Keywords:ecommerce 360, ecommercemarketing360 review, ecommerce360, ecommercemarketing360 scam, free ecommerce store mockup
  • mymarketing360.com
    html title: Login – Marketing 360®
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 686
  • contractormarketing360.com
    html title: Contractor Marketing, Leads for Contractors – Websites & Contracting Advertising Services
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:construction website templates, contractor marketing, ads website template, free building contractor website templates, free contractor website templates
  • businesswebsites360.com
    html title: Business Websites 360™ – Best Business Website Templates & Designs
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:business website templates, business marketing websites, top business websites, marketing website templates, mad360
  • mad360.net
    html title: Mad360 – The Leader in small business inbound marketing
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:360 marketing, marketing 360, marketing360, mad 360, mad360
  • wordpressthemedesigner.net
    html title: WordPress Theme Designer | Custom WordPress Theme Designers
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:custom wordpress theme design, wordpress theme designer, theme designer, custom wordpress theme designer, wordpress transportation theme
  • chiropracticmarketing360.com
    html title: Chiropractic Marketing 360 | Chiropractic Websites | Chiropractic Advertising | Chiropractic Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 534
    Keywords:Chiropractic marketing, chiropractor marketing, 360 marketing, marketing 360, marketing360
  • dentistmarketing360.com
    html title: Dentist Marketing 360 – Dentist Websites | Dentist Advertising | Dentist Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 89
    Keywords:dentist marketing, dental website templates, dentist website template, dentist website templates, template dentist free
  • medicalmarketing360.com
    html title: Medical Marketing 360 – Medical Websites | Medical Advertising | Medical Website Templates
    Daily visitors (according to informer.com): 89
    Keywords:medical website design, medical website design templates, healthcare marketing 360, doctormarketing360, youmedical template
The Registrant of all these domains appears to be John Kellogg who is also the CFO of a company called Traders Network or tradersnetwork.com which shares the same address as Madwire. I’m not sure but John Kellogg may be the same person as Joe Kellogg and/or JB Kellogg.
A few extra search terms for Marketing360
  • Natural Listing Ads
  • Top Placement Ads
  • Retargeting Ads
  • UXi Websites

Before Hiring MADWIRE, Be Warned

OK, so I have no doubt that there are plenty of honest and capable people at MadWire, or MadWireMedia, or MadWire 360 or whatever.

But there are some things you should be aware of before signing a contract with them.  I’m writing this because in searching for anything negative about Madwire, I’ve found that they have completely bombed google.  And meanwhile, they are buying Pay Per Click Ads like nobody’s business, so it’s really hard to see through their promotional efforts, which I must admit, are pretty thorough.  But such a substantial publicity push serves as what is essentially a reality distortion field for you and me–The kind that would make us think that Godaddy is actually the best choice for shared Linux hosting, which I think most developers would agree, it isn’t.

So here’s the thing I want to warn you about.  It is quite possible, in my opinion, according to what I’ve seen, that if you do not carefully negotiate your contract with Madwire, you will find yourself locked into a perpetual hosting agreement in the ballpark of $50/month.

AND

The Design work you hired them to do, they (or their legal representation) will claim is their intellectual property.  So you can walk away from a hosting agreement that’s about 8-10 times more expensive than it should be, and have nothing, or continue to throw an unnecessary $30=$40 or more dollars into the wind every month, essentially FOREVER.

In other words, what someone I know was lead to sign off on, according to someone at Madwire or claiming to legally represent them, was not Work-for-hire.

Good Web Developers (I include myself in this category, thank you) working for individuals and small organizations understand that the client is best suited if they always have as many options as possible.  Those options necessarily include the ability to hire someone else at any time and/or do other things with the hosting they are paying for.

This means:

  • whenever possible, use non-proprietary code such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Concrete5 Etc (making easier to hire from a pool of other developers out there)
  • The Client should own their own Domain Registration
  • The Client should own their own Hosting Account.
  • All design work should be work-for-hire.  Ownership of the design needs to be the client’s
  • All build work should be work-for-hire.

My understanding is, according at least to one contract I know of with Madwire, their model is that you “rent” their design and development work, contingent on whether or not you continue to pay them way too much every month for hosting that you do not actually have the freedom to use.

And if you want out?  Well, as far as I know, they will then want to be paid off for the release of rights to what should have been work for hire in the first place.

So please, take these things into consideration before hiring Madwire or anyone else including ongoing hosting charges as part of the proposal.

 

 

My Fall Creative Writing Bit

in the winter, orange leaves

will fall from old forgotten trees

that do not know what they can help you with.

 

And the wind will blow so cold

like your cruelest friends, so old,

the ones you are so yearning for right now.

 

Red and brown, it comes and takes

the comfort that the Summer makes.

We remember that we are just skin and bones.

 

Grey and blue, the things that Dew

It does to us the things it must:

It keeps us tied together in our holds.

 

Yellow tries and grey will die

and hopefully we’ll all survive.

Somehow all the flowers will still bloom.

 

 

 

 

The Acceleration of Perceived Time: Some thoughts.

I asked my father, on his 76th birthday,

“It seems to me that each year I live goes by faster than the last.  Does time continue to go faster and faster or does it get to a certain speed and stay at that speed?”

To which he replied,

“Faster and faster.”

It became particularly clear to me when I was twenty years old that time seemed to be speeding up.  And I’ve been contemplating this ever since.  I have some ideas about why this is.  A friend of mine once remarked that it’s merely the fact that each year is a smaller piece of total amount of life experienced than the last, which is kind of obvious: When you’re two years old, the past year of your life is about half of the amount of life you’ve lived.  But while you’re living your third year, that year is only a third of your total life lived.  And so on.  But I’ve never been quite convinced that this is the reason.  I’ve wondered about all sorts of pseudoscientific causes for the perceived acceleration of time as well as the idea that it’s rooted in physiology somehow, like perhaps the human brain develops in a way that, on some chemical or mechanical level, it is less sensitive to the micro of time passing Etc… But in all the reading I’ve done, and despite my inner desire to believe that there’s something magical or special involved in the compression of perceptual time, I think the obvious explanation, that each year is a smaller piece of the pie than the last, is the best explanation, at least for now.

I’m currently thirty-seven years old.  This time speeding up thing is off tha hook!  When I think of the cliche of old folks moving to florida to ‘watch the grass grow,’ it occurs to me that the saying isn’t really an exaggeration or merely a euphemism for living a boring life.  Elderly people really can see the grass growing!  Their consciousness of time is macro-ized to the point where the days whiz past at an amazing speed.

Also, I find it interesting that the acceleration of perceived time tends to lead people toward seeing the world in a more holistic way.  It seems that around thirty years of age, people begin to be more concerned with the macro of their lives.  They begin trying to make decisions about topics that hadn’t occurred to them before.  I believe that my observations about what people tend to go through around their late twenties to early thirties are simply a result of people seeing life go by faster and faster, which seems to really become profound at around thirty years of age.

Lately I’ve been wondering how far along my life is perceptually. Is it 95% over?  (I’m not trying to be a bummer here.  I’m just curious about this.)

So assuming the reason for the perceived acceleration of time is merely the fact that each year is a smaller percentage of the overall time experienced, the math is fairly simple.  For every year lived, divide 1 (one) by the number of years lived. Then, add together all those numbers.  This gives us what I am calling a perceptual time economy. 

The following goes up to age sixty-six.  All the math is rounded to the nearest hundredth.

1/41 through 1/66=.02 (@25 years) [sum=0.5] ( total of 4.77 total time perception economy)
1/29 through 1/40=.03 (@11 years) [sum=0.33]
1/23 through 1/28=.04 (@6 years) [sum=0.24]
1/19 through 1/22=.05 (@4 years) [sum=0.2]
1/16 through 1/18=.06 (@3 years) [sum=0.18]
1/14 through 1/15=.07 (@2 years) [sum=0.14]
1/12 through 1/13=.08 (@2 years) [sum=0.16]
11=.09
10=.10
9=.11
8=.13
7=14
6=.17
5=.20
4=.25
3=.33
2=.50
1=1

So when is the life of someone who dies on their sixty-seventh birthday half over perceptually?  It’s when the some of years lived reaches 2.39 (half of 4.77, the sum of the perceptual value of all the years lived)

The thing is, this puts life perceptually half over around age six!

I think the problem here is that we don’t reliably remember the first four years of our lives.  So we can redo the math taking that into consideration.

Ignoring the first four years, the total perceptual time economy is 2.69. Half of that is 1.35.

To be truly accurate, I should subtract 4 from each denominator.  So the thirty-fifth year should be 1/(35-4).  But I’m too lazy to do that at the moment.

the sum of the fractions of overall perceptual time for all the years lived is 1.36 at 17 years lived (eighteen years old)

So by this reasoning, your life is half over at age eighteen.  I think that might be about right.

Enjoy.  And Seize the day!

 

Digital Performer 8 Missing Plugins: FIXED! DP8 Plug-Ins

I was having trouble with Antares Auto-Tune Evo, Auto-Tune EFX and QuikQuak’s Pitchwheel.

The fix is quite simple.

Go to the Digital Performer App in your Applications Folder.  Right-Click (or Control+Click).  Select “Get Info.” Check the box in the Get Info Window to “Open in 32-bit mode”

Now when DP starts, it will load those old plugins.

The reason is that DP8 is 64 bit.  So 32-bit plugins are ignored.  But DP 8 has a 32-bit mode for people like us who need to run old plugins.

Screen shot 2013-06-16 at 4.03.50 PM

Satanic/Gothic/Devil-Worship Dinnerware, Satanic Plates, Satanic Dishes, Satanic Houseware

I’m in the process of starting a business selling Satanic plates and other household items.  Here’s my first product.  It’s a Satanic Dinner Plate/Dish featuring an inverted pentagram, although really, it depends on how it’s turned.  I think red on black is pretty satanic so even if the plate is turned to not be an inverted pentagram, it’s still evil.
I plan on eventually making an entire Satanic Dinner Set available.  I also plan to make other Satanic House-ware, such as Satanic Towels, Satanic Napkins, Satanic Coasters, Devil Worship Wind Chimes Etc.designall

 

I

create & buy custom products at Zazzle

North Bay Bohemian Rebranding Project – Free! Take One.

North Bay Bohemeian Rebrand: Bopeemian

If you live in Sonoma County and you don’t hate gay people, you probably love the North Bay Bohemian, a cultural staple of our beautiful Wine Country landscape.

Why not show your support for everyone’s favorite independent progressive weekly by wearing their logo (in a slightly improved form) on a T-shirt?

That’s right!  Time to impress your friends and set some trends.

Just print out this PDF on an iron-on transfer sheet and make yourself into a local fashion activist just in time for the next Handcar Regatta or Old Navy shopping trip at Coddingtown Mall.

Each PDF has the logo three times so you can make three shirts with one sheet of Iron-On Transfer.  Click on the image to download the PDF.

Music as a Human Need and Professionalism/The Music Industry

The following is a short letter to my friend, Elijah; a part of a discussion we were having about the up-cropping of services like PMP Worldwide [pnpworldwide.com]* that allow producers to sell/license beats online.  The beats go for as little as $25 US!  In my opinion, the popular notion of rockstardom; that a very fortunate [very]* few can ‘make it’ and become wealthy by slapping together some samples and synths and/or by buying said beats and vocalizing along with them; is threatened by this commodification of music production.  And whether I’m correct or not, it is an interesting topic for discussion.

Elijah,

My opinion is that [much of the time,]* music, ultimately, is [and in many cases should be]* a commodity**, and that very successful musicians are [usually]* overpaid***… And people should be able to, more or less, make a living doing what they enjoy, even if it’s making beats that aren’t that remarkable… And when the dream of becoming a superstar is dead, many people who are making art for the “wrong reasons”**** will stop making it. So ultimately it will be a good thing because there will be less crap and a higher proportion of creators who are actually driven to do it by inspiration, rather than doing it solely for fame and fortune.

Wedding/Cover Bands and DJ’s are evidence of how regional and/or less substantial talent is adequate for many of the purposes that music is used for (the popularity of Karaoke is interesting in this respect too). [In most cases,]* these are musicians***** who make a blue-collar salary or less doing what they do, so it’s likely that many of them do it because they enjoy it.

And I’m in the camp that music belongs to everyone, and isn’t something that should be only ‘left to the professionals…’ In the old days (pre-record-industry), music was something people did together in their homes with their families, at social events, and at church Etc… And this has largely gone away… We need it back because making music, especially as a group, fulfills some sort of deep-seeded human need. I suspect that singing, chanting, harmonizing and/or making rhythm with others has always been a spiritual experience for humans.

Actually, some research suggests that music originates as long as 60,000 years ago, along with visual art and religion.

I feel like the disappearance of participatory music from our culture, largely because of the existence of capitalist industry, is probably a very bad thing for us. And I also feel like, in general, creating art, as an individual or as a group, whether it’s journal-keeping***** or wood-carving*****, graphic design*****, or a church choir*****, is a basic human need.  I believe it makes us healthier people in many ways: Execution and mastery, introspection, meditation, as well as social benefits and [probably many more benefits that I’m not able to pull out of my ass at the moment]*.

-Andrew

*The brackets [ … ] are just where I made some basic edits to my original letter.  Don’t let it get to you.  It’s not a sign from Yahweh or anything.

**By ‘commodity,’ I mean that in most cases, music serves a utilitarian purpose.  People that want to dance, will dance to just about any dance music that fits into their idea of what is “danceable.” Music is often used to set a mood in a room, and in this way, it could be compared to lighting (the particular lamp doesn’t matter, as long as the desired effect is achieved).  I realize that this a slightly controversial idea, especially to people who make music and consider themselves artists.  But I’d argue that in most cases, artistic merit is not required for music to serve its purpose.  Churches don’t usually kick out the bad singers from their fellowship.  I can think of a lot of music that I’d consider highly creative or artistic that I don’t want to listen to while driving. And I can think of a lot of music I consider very artistic that I don’t want to listen to at all, ever.  Also, there’s a lot of ‘dumb’ music that’s enjoyable or fun.  And besides, what is considered artistically significant to a listener is subjective and probably largely the result of the listener’s cultural influences. For instance, I don’t suppose many white, english-speaking people who’ve grown up in the USA are able to discern the relative artistic merit of various mariachi bands.  So let’s not let ‘artistic merit’ get in the way.  Most of the time, music is a commodity.  

***Overpaid?  Says who?  OK, well let’s just get it out of the way that I’m probably a Socialist.  Whether or not someone can be overpaid is something that we can argue about later.  If you find that idea completely offensive, then I probably don’t want to be your friend, and I think you should give all your money to the poor.

****The ‘Wrong Reasons’ for making music or other art is something we can argue about later.  ‘Wrong’ is probably the wrong word to use.  Most people, I think, will understand what I mean by this and agree that there are ‘wrong reasons’ even if it sounds silly to suggest that people shouldn’t just make music, or paint, or write, or whatever, for whatever reasons they have.  It might be easier to think about this in terms of food.  Is there a wrong reason to make food?  Maybe it’d be better to say ‘for reasons that doom the outcome to failure.’  Imagine cooking, only for the sake of using up a gallon-sized can of Nutmeg. Is that a horrible analogy?  I don’t know.  I’m sorry for saying ‘wrong reasons.’  I was in a hurry and I was having a hard time thinking of a more elegant, less naive-sounding way of wording what it is I’m getting at by using the phrase.  Help?

***** I’m really not in the mood to argue with anyone about whether or not DJs are musicians.  And I’m also not in the mood to argue about the difference between art and craft, or ‘fine art’ vs. folk art.  For the sake of moving on with our lives, let’s just lump it all in together, at least for today.  OK?

 

Letter to Michael Krasny

Hi Mr Krasny, and thanks for all the great work you do with Forum.

I’m writing this to tell you that I really want to read your new book, Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest.  The thing is, I don’t really read books.  I can really only benefit from the book if there’s an audio version.

I find it a little ironic that thre’s no audiobook version available, since you work at a radio station, which has all the production facilities needed, and since you already know the best voice-over talent to choose for reading the book for the purpose of producing an audio version (you).

Anyway, I wanted to offer my help.  If it’s not merely an issue of copyright (maybe you are prohibited from proceeding on producing an audio version yourself), and you could actually find the time to record a chapter here and there, I have professional audio production and editing facilities.  I’d also be willing to mail you a field audio device so you could do this in the comfort of your own home.  I’d do this in exchange for getting to hear the book.  I’d also be willing to do basic editing and sound enhancing for the project.  Then perhaps you could get your publisher to do their thing with it.  It really should be available through Audible, for instance.

I’m sure we could do a totally professional job producing this thing.  What do you say?

Thanks,

Andrew A. Peterson (Sebastopol, California)

Mysterious Hippy Folk Music & 1980’s Fear of Nuclear Holocaust

Crunchy is Granola

I lady I know was given a mix tape by an old boyfriend and I asked her to make a copy of the mix for me because it contained a lot of interesting tracks.

For one, it contained this really obscure, super left-wing, hippy folk song from the Eighties about Nuclear Power.  To me, it sounds like a very familiar if not cliche kind of ‘folk’ music:  Celtic influences, singer-with-guitar, political message, Etc.  The kind of thing you’d expect to hear at a protest rally.

Power to kill!” it exclaims, in a ferocious, dare I say militant-sounding female register.  It’s interesting to me how popular opinion about nuclear power has changed so much.  I don’t mean that I think everyone loves it now, but it seems like we are a little more rational.

[display_podcast]

I can still remember how afraid we were of ‘nuclear’ anything in the Eighties.  I was a little kid.  But the movies at the time had really scary scenarios in them.  War Games (1983) and Dreamscape (1984) come to mind.

Nuclear Assault - Game Over - 1986
Cover of a Metal Album I Owned When I was 13

The Russians were going to blow us up at any moment.  Then we were going to blow them up automatically and the sky would turn red and there would be air raid sirens as the burning flesh is torn off our bodies by an impact blast just before everything is completely vaporized.  All life on Earth would be destroyed except cockroaches.  And if there was anyone anywhere that survived, they would be deformed because of the radiation.  Or maybe some part of the species would retreat underground for hundreds or thousands of years. Anyway, I think we were scared, and possibly a little too scared.

This song seems to be a pretty good manifestation of that hysteria.  And now that I just looked it up, I see that this song came out before the Chernobyl disaster!  Wow.

I wonder what issues we are overly afraid of today.  Privacy online?  Genetic Engineering? I’m not saying I believe we should be less worried about anything per se, but it’s interesting to ponder.  I guess we’ll know in thirty years.

Anyway, back to the song.  The origin of the song was a mystery to me for a long time.  I’ve googled, trying to figure it out a number of times.  Finally, I have success!

The cover of the album. The Smiling Sun was designed in 1975 in Denmark. The logo soon was adopted by the anti-nuclear power movement. In 1977 the Smiling Sun was trademarked by Denmark's OOA (Organisation for Information on Nuclear Power), an anti-nuclear energy group.

I googled some of the lyrics I found a page crediting a Nigel Gray as writing the lyrics (as a poem only) (Lyrics Below).  So I googled the name of the poem and the name of the poet and voila!  I found awebpage for the album.  Super crunchy!

It’s called “Nuclear Power No Thanks!!?

So according to the track listing and credits, this must be the vocalist (see video):

Alison McMorland (what a voice! …the less flowery one)

Finally, here are the lyrics to the once mysterious song, a musical adaptation of a poem by Nigel Gray:

Sleep well my little son and dream
Time flows faster than a mountain stream
I wish you happiness in Spring
Come Autumn it may be too late to sing

While you sleep necessity drives
workers down uranium mines
repair men into the jaws of Hell
radiation through the human cell!

Sleep well my little girl and dream…

Madmen tear the earth apart
like werewolves at the human heart
The powerful crave more power still
Nuclear power; power to kill!

Sleep well my lover and dream…

Acid pond. Poisonous leak
Ships collide. Plutonium slick
Yellowcake waste. Lead-lined tomb
You’re not even safe in Mother’s womb!

Sleep well my unborn babe and dream
Time flows faster than a mountain stream
I wish you happiness in Spring
Come Autumn it may be too late…

erika.net is Rad!

Mostly, when it comes to finding new music, I’ve retreated to music recommended by friends and/or software-based recommendation systems like Last.fm.  I mean, I generally don’t listen to ‘Radio’ with the exception of my local NPR station, KQED, which I mainly listen to for News/Culture type programming.

But Erika.net plays such a high percentage of music that is interesting to me that I end up seeking out music I hear on Erika probably about as frequently as three times per hour!  And the rest of the music I hear on erika.net is almost always totally welcomed.

So in a nutshell, I think these people, whomever they are, have awesome taste in music.  From their homepage:

erika.net has been broadcasting a 24 hour mp3 stream since 1999. We hand-pick music and organize it freeform style: all types of music at all times of the day. Our goal is to bring you music you can’t hear on other radio stations, presented in a unique style. …[can be found] in the ‘Eclectic’ section of iTunes radio.

If you have more conventional taste in music, try erika.net when you’re recovering from surgery or, for whatever reason, under the influence of hallucinogenic substances.

The page that displays what they are currently playing and what has recently played is HERE

(about as eclectic as it could possibly be)

erika.net is a serious improvement to my quality of life.  I am listening to them frequently now.  I wish I could stream them while driving.

erika.net people: If you read this, thanks!  You are awesome.

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