Obama’s highly effective online campaign

Good interview talking about Obama’s web presence and how well its been done:

So part of their ability is to figure out from the blogosphere or via crowdsourcing, whatever you want to call it, what works and begin using it. A lot of the Obama campaign messages are not their own but they point to and highlight stuff created by others. It’s created by the crowds.

I will agree that out of all the political candidate websites Obama has done the best job, but I think they could polish it up a bit to make it more intuitive and faster. However I do appreciate the openness that it creates and hope that this continues well into his presidency. ;-)

Obama’s Web marketing triumph – Mar. 3, 2008

Spicy Roasted Nuts

So I have been on a pretty good health kick as of late and one of the major focuses has been on my nutrition. It started with the Strong Lifts program where he wants you to eat every 3 hours. Now I am just evolving it to various things I want to eat and whatever is seasonal.

My brother in law left a copy of Men’s Health at my house a month or so ago and one recipe that I haven’t been able to stop making is for Spicy Roasted Nuts:

2 cups unsalted almonds
2 cups unsalted pecan halves
1 cup unsalted walnut halves
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Bake at 300F for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Make sure you add the dry ingredients first to mix it up. Then slowly drizzle each Tbsp of oil and mix. Put on a sheet and enjoy the aroma. Gives you about 20 servings.

1/4 cup serving gives 240 calories, 6g protein, 6g carbs, 24 g fat, 4g fiber, 59mg sodium

Myspace Marketing – Getting smart about online advertising

A good friend from my UK college days, Ben Godfrey, recently posted about using Myspace for marketing a friends company:

A friend of mine runs a children’s theatre company and wanted to build a site to promote herself. I recommended she use MySpace instead and gave her a rough strategy for marketing through MySpace.

He goes on to explain the process for doing this very well and its great how easy it sounds and actually is. Many of my clients over think this whole online marketing stuff when its right there in front of their faces.

As a business owner I would be collecting emails and then going throug all of the social network sites and start inviting everyone to join your profile. This gives you instant access to whatever your customers are talking about and allows you to post messages to all of them immediately, at ZERO cost!!

If you have questions on doing this please contact me.

Land of the Incarcerated – Over 1% of the US population is in Jail!!

This is really disturbing stuff:

The report said the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars. It said the U.S. also is the leader in inmates per capita (750 per 100,000 people), ahead of Russia (628 per 100,000) and other former Soviet bloc nations which round out the Top 10.

Maybe we need to take a break from saving the world and figure out what’s going on here?

Yahoo : Record-high ratio of Americans in prison

The original solar powered home appliance

With all this push for green technology there is a tendency to overcomplicate the solutions. Sure you could go buy a hybrid car but using public transport is much more effective. You can also spend a small fortune getting your home setup for solar water heating and battery charging, or you can start drying your clothes on a clothes line.

I live in Arizona so its pretty much a sin that I don’t do this already. Well here is my new weekend project.


We’ve covered this topic before, but to be honest I hadn’t realised just how big the issue was. Probably because backyard clotheslines are a cultural icon in Australia. The adjustable rotary clothesline, known as the Hills Hoist, is such a part of our psyche it is exhibited in national and state museums, and was even incorporated into the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. By 1994 some 5 million Hills Hoists had been sold, which is pretty impressive considering its country of origin only had 5.2 million detached houses at the time.

So it comes as a shock that America is resisting something that we take for grante…

: TreeHugger

Clotheslines Hung Out to Dry

Rates are going up as Investors are Scared

In my short stint as a Loan Officer I learned a lot about the financial world. From how loans are underwritten to how incredibly messed up this whole country is right now. This is because there are so many people with loans that they cannot afford, at all.

One thing that I enjoyed talking with people about what the interest rate. Everyone thinks that when the Fed cuts their rates then mortgage rates come down too. Well it ain’t that simple. You see the Fed rate is what the banks use to trade money with each other. The interest rates that you and I enjoy are the result of the banks and their investors deciding how much they want to charge for the loan. Just because they can trade money with each other at a cheaper rate does not mean they want to give Joe Blow the same deal. Right now there is so much uncertainty in the markets that I don’t see rates going lower for a while.

With the economy slowing and the Federal Reserve Board cutting interest rates, mortgage rates were expected to come down a bit. That’s not what’s happened, though. Mortgage rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans have actually gone up over the last week.

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: NPR Programs: Morning Edition

Mortgage Rates Rise, Defying Expectations

Tough times in the Desert

Take a look around while driving through any part of Phoenix and the amount of lifted trucks and high end cars will make you think that everyone here is making six figure incomes. The reality is that these people are in deep debt attributed to the housing boom seen over the last few years which has allowed people to take out second and third mortgages to make big purchases.

Now that the economy is slowing and the housing values are dropping we are seeing a slowdown in this spending. Since Arizona gets most of its taxes through sales and income there is a huge shortfall occuring in all city budgets across the state. Its going to start getting very tight around the Desert.

State and local governments tighten belts as tax revenues fall, a ripple effect of the housing slump.

If there’s any reason for cheer, it’s that the state has been in this position before, and it not only came out of it, but also came out of it with unprecedented growth to lead the country as the fastest-growing state last year.

“There have been seven nationwide recessions since 1960, and each time we’ve bounced back,” Vest says. “The two most recent recessions, in the early 1990s and 2001, were both short and mild. So far there’s no reason to believe this is any different than the last two.”

: Christian Science Monitor | Top Stories

Arizona coffers shrink amid housing bust