Archive for the people Category

What’s This Blogging Huff About?

Posted in Blog, education, people, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus), writing with tags , , , , , , , on December 5, 2009 by dustus

Is blogging the future?  Well, it certainly seems like blogs are all over the Internet these days for numerous business and personal reasons.  In fact, over 120 million blogs exist in the expanding blogosphere. A majority of those blogs never grab the attention of more than a few readers. This unfortunate result supports the reality of a Field of Dreams-Internet notion where if you build it, they still might not come.

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging is a comprehensive overview of an Internet phenomenon promoting authentic online community building, presenting writing strategies for clear posts, revealing blog networking options, and encouraging citizen journalism to keep the professionals on their toes.  Setting an online example, Huffington and many notable Huffington Post bloggers (a collective of journalists, esteemed authors, socially conscious entertainers, and global citizens) contribute writings I found witty, compelling, and thought provoking.  Plus, there are many tips to increase blog traffic.

This book is not about designing stylish webpages (though it does offer limited structural options beyond choosing a platform). Rather, The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging explains how our new technological media significantly influences the current political climate in America.  Huffington’s championing of the Internet promotes democracy, community dialogue, and leadership accountability— while maintaining a sense of humor, especially during caustic rants.

Overall, I believe this Huff Post “complete guide” covers many topics from politcs to tweaking posts.  What I found most useful in the guide was the book’s practical side: pointing bloggers in the right direction when it comes to sharing posts (through helpful sites like Yahoo! buzz, Digg, and Delicious).  The guide also considers ways to monetize blogs through Google Adsense, Amazon Affiliates and Yahoo! Publisher Network.

The final sections include a glossary of recommended sites for one’s blogroll, blogging-related terms, and some of the best posts from

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging = Highly Recommended for Bloggers and/or Political Junkies
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of 12 books. She is also co-host of “Left, Right & Center,” public radio’s popular political roundtable program.

Here’s a clip of Arianna speaking about blogging…

Dustus Blog— Top Post (First Year)

Posted in Blog, education, people, writing with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2009 by dustus

Old scaleThe Scales of Dustus: Author reviews the experience of reading his novel in Paperback  vs.  on the Amazon Kindle
—by Adam Dustus

Over the past year I have been fortunate to realize a lifelong goal.  Ever since I discovered the sheer pleasure of connecting with books, I dreamed of becoming a thought-provoking novelist.  Having always wondered what it would be like to read my own novel for the first time in paperback, I finally earned the privilege of enjoying the physical proof of High School Asylum.  I was inspired and moved to work even harder by the pivotal experience.  Stirred by many emotions of satisfaction and gratitude, I wrote about that day I received my proof copies on The Dustus Blog  (Twice the Proofs on January 7th). After tearing open the UPS envelope, I marveled at the cover; then read all 366 pages.  Smiling for days, I kept thinking, “Wow, my first novel in paperback!  Can anything top this?” … Read Entire Article
What I like most about this article, besides having created the visual element, is that this effort was my first official guest blog—posted on in August. Being a proud computer nerd and into social media, I visit that website all the time.  So it was truly an honor to be asked to contribute to such a cool site.  Thank you, Michael Duvall!

Most Viewed Dustus Posts (Rookie Year/Part II)

Posted in Blog, education, people, Poetry, writing with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by dustus

Here are some more “top posts” for the first year of The Dustus Blog. (What a crazy year it has been!)

A Waterfall Crashes

Rainy Day Jersey

The End of Normalcy

Could Mean Your Life

Finding My Place

The Golden Ruler

OMG Did I miss Dr. Seuss’ Birthday? (Illustration)

Failed Honesty

A Written Therapy: Overcoming Depression

The Moment Seized



Posted in Blog, education, people, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus), writing with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2009 by dustus

bloggers on busI must confess to being addicted to blogging. Back in November of 2008, I wrote my first entry and hit the “post” button reluctantly. In fact, I knew next to nothing about the blogosphere, key personalities, or such informative online leadership. After blogging for ten months, Bloggers On The Bus by Eric Boehlert caught my eye in the bookstore. Without question, it is one of the best nonfiction books I have read in many years.

Bloggers On The Bus offers the reader a window into the lives of the individuals who prompted an online interactive political movement. Philip de Vellis, Alegre, Susie Madrak, Jane Hamsher, Howie Klein, Glenn Greenwald, Phil Munger, Lee Stranahan (to name a few) demonstrate their passion for political discourse, oftentimes overcoming great obstacles.

Bloggers On The Bus details the work of the liberal blogosphere from the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries to Obama’s win in the general election. What struck me as most fascinating was Eric Boehlert’s insights about the beginnings of this movement. Feeling a backlash of progressive invisibility and growing cynicism with the Bush Administration, many liberal intellectuals began posting media and discussing issues often missing from traditional news reporting. Many bloggers of this ilk challenged promotion of stories claiming to be “fair and balanced.”

Beyond the thorough recounting of the political blogosphere, Eric Boehlert reveals the novel lengths Barack Obama implemented in order to reach voters online. Still, while often ignoring blogs and generous online support, Obama directed some bold new moves through social media channels. This insight alone renders this book a must read. Nonetheless, you might come to the conclusion that I did. If not for the sacrifices of many bloggers, McCain-Palin could be drilling a hole the size of The Great Depression deep into our collective progressive heart —the real majority of The United States who want health care and deserve quality news that is not insulting to one’s intelligence.

With the help of blogs and social media, historic change in American society became reality. Thanks to Eric Boehlert for documenting a true online revolution.

Bottom Line: Bloggers On The Bus = Definitely A Must Read!

What Would Google Do? (book review)

Posted in Blog, education, people, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus), writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2009 by dustus

Picture 140I would like to begin this review by first warning the reader: This is book more than about Google and its massive sphere of influence.  What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis (copyright 2009) is an optimistic cultural statement in both scope and form.

Google is more than about the retrieval of posted information. For many individuals it represents an ideal, alongside being a major economic player on the global stage.  As an author or business entity today, you cannot build your “online platform” without understanding Google and the tangible effects of their continual rapid development. As newspapers, television, and other older media may have lost the trust of the people, revenue, and perhaps the overall faith of their consumers (perhaps deservedly so, or not).  Established rule, unyielding corporations, and inefficient bureaucracies—they all change as Google provides immediate relevant information to the masses.

Google does not own the content to everything out there—it simply organizes that information. They make billions selling targeted ads all over the Internet. To me, Google represents infinite possibilities and instant help in the form of immediately answering questions. (In fact, I probably searched Google at least 100x myself while writing this review).  Up until reading this book, I had no idea the extent to which Google can unearth answers.  Throughout What Would Google Do? Jeff Jarvis not only provides useful tips for search engine optimization (SEO); he also presents a cogent argument for Google’s results to be considered as the foundation of a theoretical democratic-meritocracy (a “demotocracy”—I “googled it” to find the term does not exist), which represents the collective will of the people based on what they most seek.  To put it another way, our clicks provide information for what is relevant based on what we all search.

While it may be common knowledge that Google owns the two popular services Blogger and You Tube, there are numerous Google research and philanthropic endeavors in areas aimed at discovering means of more efficient energy, improving the knowledge base of countless fields of inquiry, and connecting individuals, companies, products, and services all through a strikingly simple home page.  Google, along with other prominent figures in this digital zeitgeist (like Facebook, craigslist, Twitter, Digg, MySpace), represent more than a great platform for discovery.  In WWGD? Jarvis elucidates the general philosophical affinities that the aforementioned behemoths of social media seem to encourage.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of What Would Google Do? for me is that I find myself contemplating a connected world where the only limits are myself, the extent to which I pursue searchable choices, and the potential possibilities of connecting with others through my inquiries.  As an author trying to build my online platform, I state unequivocally that WWGD? helped me to understand what needs to be accomplished in order to truly be “searchable.”

Bottom Line:   What Would Goggle Do? = Must Read
Jeff Jarvis (born July 15, 1954) is an American journalist. He is the former television critic for TV Guide and People magazine, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner.