Pinterest: Remember How People Made Fun Of Apple?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Franklin Center is putting together a new website and I wrote a post for them about Pinterest. Here’s a snippet:

BONUS: Tips for Integrating Pinterest into your journalism:

1. Always have a picture in your post/article. Pictures are the way people search topics on Pinterest. There needs to be an “anchor”.

2. Make the picture in your post relevant and logical. Pinterest, like the internet, is literal. Clever and ironic pictures won’t make sense on Pinterest where no text is visible.

3. Put a Pinterest plugin on your Website. Make sure people can see what you follow.

4. Create a board on Pinterest of your work. People will follow and share your articles this way.

There’s much more at the link, including how Pinterest is the next Apple.

Andrew Breitbart: R.I.P. Happy Warrior

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Andrew Breitbart is dead. I still cannot believe it. [Details here.] [Updated: Father In Law says it was probably a heart attack.]

Andrew Breitbart lit up a room. Out at Western CPAC in Southern California a couple years ago, his star was rising, and he gave an interview. I asked him what he was doing; as in, how do you see your role?

He told us that he saw himself as a “merry mischief maker”. He wanted to turn the media upside down. He wanted to destroy them.

Andrew succeeded. He created the most surreal media moment ever: He ended up speaking at Anthony Weiner’s late and ill-fated press conference. He was at once the press and the news. It was a seminal moment. It was the moment I felt that Andrew had achieved his ends.

Everything had changed. The New Media was rising.

The grief-making part of it? He’d just really started. So much work to do. So much vitality.

In the spring of last year, Andrew called me and asked if I’d help him promote his book Righteous Indignation. He overnighted a review copy. In a day, I read it cover to cover.

If you haven’t read Andrew’s book, you really must. Not only is he a great story teller and beautiful writer, and he is, he also gives great hope through his own story. His biography shows a man, who like most Americans, didn’t pay attention and how he “woke up”.

And boy, did he wake up. He was the righteous, pointed finger in the chest of the empty and sanctimonious left. He had their number and they knew it.

As I sit here crying, I fear looking at Twitter for seeing all the nastiness and venom that will spill forth about Andrew from the left. He was hated because he was effective. They hated his persona. They hated his gumption. They hated him. [Updated: Do they ever.]

Knowing Andrew–knowing his sweet nature, knowing his kindness, knowing his generosity–I would just marvel at the contrast between what the left caricatured him as being with who he really was.

You know that carousing guy? That guy who skates on the edge or goes over it? The guy who cheats on his wife while out of town or likes to give the impression of being a player?

That wasn’t Andrew. Ever.

Andrew was devoted. He was a true family man. He chortled about people implying that he was gay as his domestic life with his wife and four kids was so tranquil and happy. He liked that someone viewed him as edgy.

At one small gathering, I found Andrew walking aimlessly around the hotel lobby with his iPad. I asked him what he was doing. Well, he couldn’t find anyone and was waiting for people to show up–for three hours. When it was suggested that he could have called one of us, he responded, “I’m not very good without my wife or Larry.”

Scattered, brimming with ideas, mulish, and hell-bent, Andrew could be a handful. His best friend Larry Solov is as sweet, calm, and circumspect as Andrew is bombastic, frenetic and bold. Larry helped Andrew succeed in so many ways. When it came to the business of Andrew Breitbart, Andrew and Larry were two parts of a whole.

Andrew was so full of life, it is almost impossible to fathom the emptiness that will be felt by those close to him. I feel it and I didn’t interact with Andrew every day.

I worried for Andrew. Before CPAC this year, there had been threats made on his life. Andrew was symbolic for the left and his death would be a triumph. And yet Andrew didn’t seem concerned at all. He just plowed on and engaged.

He gave his phone number to anyone. He would talk to anyone. He was not a respecter of persons.

I wish he was still here. There’s too much work to do. Who will do it? Who will do it like Andrew?

Someone will have to do the work, but no one will do it like Andrew.

Andrew Breitbart. Happy Warrior. Devoted husband and father. Generous friend and co-worker. Merry mischief maker.

I miss him already.


Andrew’s best friend Larry Solov.

Matt LaBash: By way of greeting, I used to ask Breitbart what kind of evil he was up to. “Most kinds,” he’d say, gamely.

Jim Hoft

Ben Domenech

Andrew’s speech at CPAC:

Andrew’s last tweet:

Michelle Malkin.

Andrew in pictures

Sarah Palin

Rush Limbaugh

Jonah Goldberg and Jonah says this here:

I’ve never known someone, perhaps with the exception of Drudge himself, who had more of a savant’s sense of media, old and new — but especially new. In the early days of the Drudge Report there was a lot of talk about how Drudge made the news, and that was often true. But he could only do that by understanding the news and how it worked at a visceral instinctive level. Matt saw this same gift in Andrew, which is why he hired him. The two of them changed the course of the massive river of news for literally billions of people. That’s no exaggeration, even venerable enterprises and institutions that despised the Drudge Report and pretended it didn’t exist had to change course because of it.I’ve never known someone, perhaps with the exception of Drudge himself, who had more of a savant’s sense of media, old and new — but especially new. In the early days of the Drudge Report there was a lot of talk about how Drudge made the news, and that was often true. But he could only do that by understanding the news and how it worked at a visceral instinctive level. Matt saw this same gift in Andrew, which is why he hired him. The two of them changed the course of the massive river of news for literally billions of people. That’s no exaggeration, even venerable enterprises and institutions that despised the Drudge Report and pretended it didn’t exist had to change course because of it.

Matt Drudge says this:

“DEAR READER: In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening. I don’t think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20’s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today… MDRUDGE”

Greg Gutfeld

Roger Simon: “When a whirlwind dies, there is a sudden quiet.”

William Jacobson: “Andrew is irreplaceable, but we would serve his memory well to aspire to more freedom of thought and more freedom of action.”

Tucker Carlson

Jonathan Last

Uncut podcast at Liberty Pundits with Clyde Middleton and Andrew Breitbart.

Steven Crowder

Josh Trevino

Ed Driscoll

Michael Walsh

Scott Johnson

Andrew gives birth with his mouth

Ace who drubs David Frum aka The Rat.


Man against the mob

Matt LaBash

Mark Levin

Guy Benson

James O’Keefe

Dan Riehl

Erick Erickson

Megan Barth

Dana Loesch

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

The Anchoress

Ed Morrissey

Pamela Gellar

Felicia Craven: Andrew Breitbart was our William Wallace.

Andrew Malcolm: So?

Micky Kaus

Betsy Rothstein

Armano: You Are The Media. Do You Trust You? Me: Trust Is Topical

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

David Armano a Twitter friend (we’ve never met, but I value his perspective and suspect I’d like him in person) has a must-read piece about trust in the media. And since we are all media now, who do we trust? His whole piece is worth reading, so please go look at the research, and then come back here for my thoughts.

It’s simple, really. We trust those who we respect, but we respect different people depending on the circumstances.

So, when I ask an opinion about guns on Twitter, I listen to the recommendations given by former military, current CHL instructors who are police chiefs. I could listen to my brother, and I do, he has some valuable insight, but I more heavily weight the expert.

The same is true for nearly every topic. I have a friend who I call when I have a economics questions. I have a friend who knows everything about Texas tax policy. Then there’s the local blogger who knows every dirty nook and cranny of Houston politics.

My brain doesn’t have enough room for all this information. It doesn’t need to have it. I have trusted advisers everywhere who can help me.

When it comes to social media growth, development and research, I trust David Armano. His advice and information over the time I’ve been on Twitter has been solid. Had he flaked out at some point, I’d discard his advice. So far, he’s still reliable.

There are an infinite number of “experts” who are regular people just like me but who have expertise in a slice of information. They become my friends. I value their perspective even more.

Or not. There are some people I don’t particularly like, but they have extraordinary insight in an area and I respect that.

With social media, who qualifies as an expert is fluid. People can observe another’s intellectual implosion online and a once-valued expert becomes a former expert in short order.

Where my opinion conflicts with David’s perspective is this: I may have a couple thousand friends on Facebook and Twitter (which I do) but I won’t trust them just because they give me an opinion. Human interaction is far more nuanced than that.

Just one example: I asked my followers on Twitter to recommend a cake company in Washington, D.C. Five people recommended the same place. But one of my friends recommended that place plus a place that was even better that was near her home. In addition, she said she’d help me pick up the cake. So I Googled both cake shops, called both cake shops, got stellar service from the out-of-the-way place and called in assistance from my friend.

Did I trust all the recommendations? Yes. Absolutely. But I also made my purchase decision based on intangibles and finally, the old business stand-by–customer service.

Social media is a tricky thing to study. It’s not like Google, where every metric can be broken down. It’s more human, more fickle, but the data a user gathers can be infinitely more helpful and accurate. I choose Twitter and Facebook over Google every day. Or rather, I get their recommendations and then Google the filtered information.

I trust my friends. I also verify. And an “expert” is all in the eye of the beholder.

Podcast: Andrew Breitbart Talks New Media, Activism & How To Break A Big Story

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Andrew Breitbart, the man who owns New Media on the Right, gives a 17 minute interview. Andrew is Big Time. Find him at I also give a behind the scenes perspective on different bloggers, including Jim Hoft aka, Ed Morissey of, Ed Driscoll of, Rachel Alexander of, Caleb Heimlich of, Stephen Kruiser, John Schulenburg of, and John Sexton and Morgen Richmond of

Other posts on Western CPAC & interviews:

Rifts Within The Movement

New Leaders Steve Poizner and Chuck DeVore

Interview With Dana Rohrabacher

Conservatives Must Stop Impeach Obama Talk

Ralph Reed On Getting Conservatives Elected


Download MP3

To subscribe on iTunes, just click here!

When Melissa isn’t on the radio, you can find her at and on Twitter. Her username is MelissaTweets.

The Five “I’s” To Twitter Success

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Some of you people still don’t think Twitter is useful. You’re wrong. I’ll write a post regarding the purpose of Twitter later. This post is for those using Twitter and wondering how to organically grow their influence. Here’s five ways to do it:

Interest: Boring is bad. I know that Twitter asks “What are you doing right now?”, but really, besides your mother, no one else cares. That is, no one cares unless you say what you’re doing in an interesting way. James Lileks [@Lileks] is a pro at this. Pithy and incisive, he shares familial travails and makes it interesting. Entertaining and funny is good. Here’s the thing, many people need their day brightened. They don’t need a Debbie Downer–they probably have someone in that role, thanks. People need more fun. Give it to them.

Inform: Share stuff that will help people have a better life. Share it within your interest and outside your interests. Sometimes I pass along things that are boring to me, but I know will be helpful to other people. Tell people clearly in your bio on Twitter what interests you. Make a point of giving information in those areas. I try to deliver on the promise of what I represent. That way, people can’t get mad either that I’m falsely advertising…’cuz I’m not. Mike Lane [@mlane] is one of my happy Twitter accidents. He happens to have a Twitter ID close to another friend of mine Moe Lane [@moelane]. Both men are fantastic Twitterers. Mike, though, brings it when it comes to informative. He is a Unix programmer. Do I care about Unix? No, I do not. But I care about the information Mike shares. He is ALWAYS first when it comes to sharing best design web practices, new fonts, everything web. He informs, informs, informs. Turns out he’s a great guy, too. Be informative.

Instruct: One of the biggest guys on Twitter, Robert Scoble [@scoble] is big for a big reason: He teaches web well. When I was a wee tadpole in the Twitter pond, and had questions, Robert answered them. When I complained more, he sent me links teaching me how to use a tool. There are many teachers like Robert out there. They go one step beyond sharing information, they help you integrate the information in your life. There are people like this who instruct on cooking, mechanics, technology, plumbing… You name it, there is someone on Twitter willing to teach you how to do something better. Be a teacher and you’ll get a following.

Inspire: Entertaining is one thing. Inspiring people to achieve more is another. The first is passive, the second is getting people to achieve simply because your words motivate them to do so. Yeah, yeah. There’s a bunch of coaches and life teachers and gurus and experts on Twitter and in new media generally and most of us ignore them. Still the best Twitterers integrate inspiration into the information, links, or ideas they share. It doesn’t have to be purposeful, even, they just do it. For example, Skye [@Skye820] shares her photography. She’s takes beautiful, often inspirational pictures. Other people share quotes that are meaningful to them. Some share music from Blip or some cool YouTube. People like to be inspired.

Interrelate: Relate, dude. Some people view Twitter as a one-way conversation. That is, they send out links, make bold declarations and then won’t talk to you. It’s rude. If you want to simply share information, it’s called an RSS feed. If you want to have a one-sided opinion fest, blog. Twitter is about give and take. Be generous with others’ ideas too. If someone says something thoughtful, provocative, interesting, informative and inspiring, share it, and give the person credit. Caleb Howe [@CalebHowe] is good at this. He passes along information, converses, interacts and all-in-all puts the social into the medium Twitter.

Bottom line, follow the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

Second unto that one: Be yourself. Pretending to be a bright, happy, shiny person when you’re not, won’t work. Pretending to be an expert, won’t work. Pretending at anything won’t work.

I find myself drawn to authenticity. That means some people swear like sailors, and some people are knobby-headed nerds. Whatever. I like the people who are real.

In my next Twitter installment, I’ll write about those who are resisting Twitter’s charms. Resistance is futile, friends. Resistance is futile.

The Ten Hottest New Media Guys On The Right–UPDATED With Speedos & Now With More

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

I didn’t want to do it, but in the spirit of lists and since everyone loves them, here’s the hottest guys on the right. There is no particular order. Really it’s all about what’s your type. Women are not as driven by looks as men. We all know this. They look at the whole person. These guys are not only hot, they’re smart. That makes them more desirable.

Here they are, listed in no particular order. They’re all good!

William Teach

William Teach

William has the whole surfer-dude thing going. Tan, blond, blue-eyed, and not just a pretty face–he writes. Better yet, he is banned in China so you know he’s a good American. It just works. He is my co-blogger at Right Wing News so this is a bit awkward, but I call ’em like I see ’em. Find him at the Pirate’s Cove.

Stephen Green

Stephen Green

Stephen is as 007 in real life as he looks in his pictures. Tailored suit. Resonant voice. Witty reparté. Dashing good looks. He’s hot from a different era. He’s with Pajamas Media and known, aptly, as the Vodkapundit.

David All

David All

Spend two minutes with David and you’re buying what he’s selling…because you want to. Dangerous, this one. David runs a consulting company in DC.

Ace of Spades HQ


If you hear Ace tell it, he’s a hideous troll. I’ve met him. He most certainly is not. He’s got that old time newspaper man thing going. He’s smart and he’s as funny in person as he is in his writing. Hot. Ace is a bloggers blogger. Find him here.

Jonathan Garthwaite

Jonathan Garthwaite

I haven’t met Jonathan, but I have seen him. Word is he’s a nice as he is good looking. (More than one DC insider mentioned him. He gets very good references.) Jonathan runs the show at Townhall and also writes there.

Brooks Bayne

Brooks Bayne

Every girl goes through her bad boy phase, and Brooks who is former rocker, still musician, serial entrepreneur and ardent libertarian fills the bill. He’s big is huge on Twitter. He’s a tech and new media guru. Website here. Twitter here.

Jeff Goldstein

Jeff Goldstein

Jeff is one of the few men in the world who looks good with a moustache and a beard. He eviscerates leftist logic with humor and now, he could kill them too, because he’s some sort of martial arts master. Glad he’s on our side. Find him at

Guy Benson

Guy Benson

Guy has an angelic face, but don’t be deceived. He is a radio host for WIND in Chicago and guest hosts for Hugh Hewett. He’s smart and I think there’s badness underneath that take-him-home-to-mama face.

Erik Telford

Erik Telford

Erik Telford made Keith Olbermann’s Worst Person In The World List as a runner-up. Erik is #1 in my book. He has a dry wit and mans the Americans For Prosperity communications helm.

Andy Levy

Andy Levy

If you’re a conservative woman night owl, you know this man intimately. He’s a commentator on Red Eye the Fox news show that airs at 3 AM Eastern. If you’re not a night owl, set your DVR, he’s worth it. Or get to know him on Twitter like I did.


Patrick Gleason and Kelly Cobb

I call them the ATR Twins. These guys work for Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform think tank. As an organization, ATR has the nicest, smartest, yes chivalrous, men around. Patrick and Kelly are sartorially perfect bookends and almost (almost) too much fun.

Sid Burgess

Sid knows more about new media than anyone you’ll meet. He’s an Iraq vet, a former city councilman, and great designer. Find him at

Stephen Kruiser

Comedians are like rock stars, they get the chicks. There’s a reason for that. If a guy can make a girl laugh….. Find Stephen nightly on from 11 – 12 Eastern and wherever he’s doing stand up. Most recently, New York.

Jon Henke

He looks so Irish. Reminds me of my first crush in sixth grade. A cute saxophone player with red hair. Ah, John Dalton, where are you now? But I digress. Jon Henke also sports red hair and is another fresh faced DC guy. You can find him at TheNextRight.

Michael Koolidge

What is it about Chicago and radio? They’re just good. Chicago radio guy, self-syndicated and just a wonderful person. A veteran, he’s breaking new ground in the new media radio world. Listen to him here.


I missed Chris Moody, manager of New Media at Cato. How could I? I don’t know. Find him on Twitter here.


Robert Stacy McCain

There really aren’t words. So I won’t try… You can find Robert and his naked realism here.

Joy McCann aka Little Miss Attila thinks I missed the best on the blogging web. She adds in Glenn Reynolds and James Joyner and my co-blogger John and many more.

The fact is, there are lots of hot conservative-libertarian-moderate (hey James!) men. I simply ran out of room.

Radio For Conservatives–UPDATED

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

For a couple weeks, and about six shows so far, I’ve been doing a radio show on called the Right Doctor. Tonight, Republican National Committee New Media Director, Todd Herman will join me as my guest for the full hour from 10 p.m. EST to 11 p.m. EST.

We talk about the direction he’s taking New Media. We talk about the importance of message and messenger. Todd answers Marathon Pundit’s question: How does the Republican party become hip again?

I’d really encourage you to start listening to the station. The line-up includes rock-n-roll and conservative shows–everything from home improvement to the military to world relations, etc. I share a time slot with Tabitha Hale, aka Pink Elephant Pundit. Her show Raisin’ Hale is excellent. And soon, Emily Zanotti of American Princess fame will have an Indy Friday slot. There are other familiar bloggers there, too. Duane Lester, All American Blogger, interviews bloggers and if you’re starting or have been in the business, his format is fascinating.

So please, join me, tonight and whenever you’re lounging around the computer. The sound quality is amazing. The content solid.

UPDATE: At TechRepublican Cyrus Krohn passes the torch to Todd Herman.

New Pajamas Media Article: “Attention GOP: New Media Is Here To Stay”

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

I wrote this to respond to another writer who cautioned Republicans against the new media. I think that’s very bad advice. Here’s a bit of my response:

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide a means to communicate directly to voters bypassing a self-admittedly biased media. If a politician were told there is a way to reach thousands of people with an unadulterated message in a person’s home without the need to knock on a door or stand before TV cameras, he would eagerly ask how to do it. That’s social media.

Go to the article and read the whole thing!

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Flammable Pajamas Media

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

I can’t imagine a worse business position to be in than having to fire a bunch of bloggers. It must stink. Bloggers have a platform on which to air business grievances and for some, their stock in trade anyway is, well, grievances. Worse, I can’t imagine having to fire some of the best bloggers on the web. I can’t imagine continuing successfully being frozen out by those bloggers down the road.

Last Friday, turns out that most, if not all, Pajamas Media affiliated bloggers got the boot. Roger Simon, CEO, said that there just wasn’t enough money to continue. It’s not surprising that another business is feeling the economic pinch especially since ad dollars are scarcer than Britney Spears undies. Still, the pain it is causing is real.

Unlike others in this profession, I didn’t think PJM had a bad business model. In fact, I thought it was pretty smart. Take the best bloggers on the web, and talk to advertisers who would have their ads seen by thousands of readers across many different venues. Plus, the bloggers themselves would have money to count on so they could relax and focus on blogging.

When friends started getting the invites I watched with a mixture of jealousy and admiration. I was still a newbie though, had a young baby and a special needs child, plus for a year, homeschooling. My life was busy and my blog reflected a hectic schedule. I had no pressure. My blog posts tended to be long winded or short or whatever I felt like. At the start, it wasn’t so much about quality as it was just getting something out there and connecting to an intellectual world while stuck at home.

Other people, like Ann Althouse, were offered a position and took the moral high road. No way. No pay. Ann felt it would inhibit her independence. I didn’t think much of that argument then. I mean, who would police the bloggers? Turns out, that didn’t happen. But I respected Ann’s choice. Plus she, like my co-blogger John Hawkins made money with BlogAds, something I occasionally do myself. As Ann says, things have been slow since the election.

Pajamas leadership decides now, to turn toward TV. Now this, I don’t get. I’ve learned the hard way that video doesn’t work well with blogging. John Hawkins and I got in an argument about it. He said readers don’t watch them, they prefer transcripts. Well, that is just irritating because that means I have to transcribe which takes time and I don’t ever have enough time. So, I polled the readers and sure enough, they reinforced what John said. Due to server and bandwith constraints or just the stress of audio in the work place, people didn’t watch videos. They couldn’t.

I’m not saying videos aren’t a good idea generally. In fact, I feel like one thing that is missing on the conservative side are good, humorous short videos demonstrating leftist stupidity and/or teaching conservative principles in a funny way. Still, I’m not sure people would pay for them. Advertisers, though, might like to advertise on those…especially ones that go viral.

Anyway, times are tough all over. Writers are becoming commodities. There are a lot of great writers out there. There are no guarantees in the business.

The people who do it for fun and don’t make a living out of it might ultimately be in better shape. Ann Althouse is a lawyer. Other bloggers like Outside the Beltway’s James Joyner have talked about it before–that making money has been secondary to just saying how he feels. Plus, he has a “real” job. Now, I see that he, too, uses blogads.

The writers let go by PJM will survive. They are some of the best and brightest. I think that the bottom line is that many are artists not business people. Two different skill-sets. It helps to have both.