Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged wikipedia

Please read: A personal appeal from Smooth Harold

Screen shot 2010-11-29 at 10.15.41 AMRecent Wikipedia users only: I got a lot of funny looks ten years ago when I started talking to people about Smooth Harold.

Let’s just say some people were skeptical.

A decade after its founding, nearly 400 million people visit Smooth Harold and its sister sites every month — almost a third of the Internet.

It is the 5th most popular website in the world. But Smooth Harold isn’t anything like a commercial website. It is a community creation, written by a work-from-home dad making one entry at a time.

You are part of our community. And I’m writing today to ask you to protect and sustain Smooth Harold. I hope you’ll choose to act right now.

All the best,

Smooth Harold

The Truth According To Wikipedia raises important questions on accuracy, expertise, and group think


I just finished watching IJsbrand van Veelen’s excellent 50-minute documentary on the glamorization of amateur content producers and the potential negative effects that it may or may not have on society, especially as experts (informed individuals who work for, reason with, and experience wisdom) are waning in popularity. Here are some thoughts: Continue reading…

Wikipedia is hilarious… sorta

In doing some Wikipedia research last week on Bill O’Reilly, I found this little snippet of vandalism right under the “Politics” sub-section after four, well-constructed paragraphs: “Bill O’Reilly is also a douche who should never express his right winged opinion ever again.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the little activist fellow who snuck that one in. The change in cadence was hilarious. And while I love Wikipedia, I do admit it that it takes an intelligent reader to spot entry vandalism on controversial subjects. Hence, you have to be a pretty savvy individual to spot the good from the bad. Furthermore, reports indicate that the reading level for the site is on a 10th grader level, much higher than the 6-8th grader level of most national publications. But more often than not, however, Wikipedia works like a balanced and well-written charm. It’s the closest “no spin zone” I’ve found on the internet.

See also:

Web page tabs I always have open

I loves me some FireFox tabed browsing. I frequently use tabs as ad-hoc bookmarks while holding control + clicking to open a new page for later review. To that end, here are the tabs I have open religiously, usually in this order:

  1. Gmail. The epicenter of my web efforts. Work. Play. Personal. Planning. Notes. Scheduling. You name it, I’m doing it here. It’s funny ’cause I encourage everyone to email me first because it has a higher priority for me than other communication methods such as phone or voicemail, and it documents everything to boot! It’s funny, ’cause while other people use “just email me” as a brush off, I’m genuinely sincere from a productivity and response perspective. Asynchronous communication for the win! (Side note: I don’t and haven’t used Microsoft Office for over a year now minus a handful of rare, quick occasions. I use Gmail for all that now.)
  2. Bloglines. Information overload and feed reading goes here. I live in this thing too, probably too much and periodically close the tab for productivity’s sake.
  3. Thesaurus. This goes hand-in-hand with its dictionary counterpart and is a must have for aspiring writers like “mua” and lovers of the English language. It’s like a writers inventory: the only thing he sells is words.
  4. Blogger, Blogsmith (non-public). The two most widely used blog publishing platforms that I use daily. Griffio customizes WordPress installations, however, as a nifty publishing/CMS software for our clients as well. So I’m in those a lot too. Mmm… Blogging and self-publishing for the win!
  5. Wikipedia. This bad boy has stolen about 50% of my research traffic that formally went to Google. It’s quicker, faster, leverages the masses for balanced/non-bias information without all the ads. Even better relevancy than Google now. I could live on this site all day long if I had to.
  6. Google SERPS. Yup, I still use the mother of all search despite my critiques of it. I use the engine for info discovery and Google images to accompany my blogging.

You will then see the rest of the tabs filled with upwards of 10-15 web pages I intend to check out later in the short-term. If I don’t get around to them, they get bookmarked and tagged in my Delicious account. Other notable tabs I consistently have open include websites I’m working on, Site Meter for traffic tracking, Delicious, Digg, and Flickr to name a few. I’m an internet junkie and would royally be out of a job if I were at this stage in my career 15 years ago when the web was non-existent. What tabs do you rock on a consistent basis?