31 March 2007

Don't be selfish! Share your memories.

I'm certainly not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the latest-and-greatest in technology, gadgets, and even social media. I do, though, probably hear about things a little more frequently than the average person, given the nature of my job and the company I work for. I stumbled across a really cool new--at least I believe it's relatively new--site for photo sharing, called Bubbleshare. I haven't thoroughly experimented with the tool, but it offers some fun features:

1. Awesome exposure, if you want it! If you opt to make your photos public, anyone can see them. There's also a feature called "Most Recent" and the newest posted photos are highlighted on the site's homepage.

2. Creating photo albums. After uploading your photos you can compile them into an album.

3. Add video to your photos. OK, this feature is super-cool. I haven't really done much playing around with this, but it seems you can actually integrate video into your photos. Now, you can't actually upload existing video...unless I just haven't figured it out yet. What you can do though is create a new video through Bubbleshare. It appears the time is limited as well.

4. Add audio to your photos. This, of course, operates similarly to the video features. I'll have to do a little bit more digging to really figure out how this works.

5. Blog the photo album. This is fairly self-explanatory. If you have a blog you can pull the code directly from Bubbleshare then plug it in to your blog. You can also add it to your MySpace profile, like I did.

6. Photo sequencing. As with other photo sharing sites you can organize your album in any order you'd like. A great feature of Bubbleshare though, is you can sequence your photos in order by date taken. This is perfect for creating an album of photos taken on a trip or vacation, that you want to share in chronological order.

7. Adding fun icons. This is another feature I haven't really messed around with too much, if only because I've been busy lately and haven't really had the time, but it's certainly fun to have available. Some of the icons currently offered are thought bubbles, sexy lips, bunny ears, and hearts.

8. E-mail sharing capabilities. You can e-mail any specific album to anyone you'd like, customize the message you're e-mailing, and even keep an "address book" of your contacts (for future use).

9. Prints & Gifts feature. This is another one I haven't spent much time researching, but it looks as if there are some great options like prints, calendars, mugs, and more!

Here are some examples of what the albums can look like:

"Gizmo Player"

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog

"Horizontal Slider"

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog

"Vertical Slider"

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog

As you can tell I'm really diggin' Bubbleshare. I hope you check-it-out and start using it too!


29 March 2007

To Twitter or Not To Twitter

In a post earlier this week I'd talked a little bit about my recent trip to NYC (more to come on that later). Well, in addition to having much fun exploring the concrete jungle, as they say, I was actually in town for a business conference. The first BlogHer Business Summit, in fact. If you're not familiar with BlogHer--and it's likely you're not if you're not a blogger--they are a great organization which is essentially a network of female bloggers. I was, of course, there representing PayPerPost.

Well, the core content of the two-day event was Social Media, and how it's really blown-up over the past two years, if not less than that. One thing I was really intrigued by--and was the topic of conversation in several different sessions--is Twitter. I am certainly aware of Twitter, and I think I have a fair idea of its purpose, but I really need to do much more research to see how it might fit into both my personal and professional lives. Their self-proclaimed mission is "A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing? Answer on your phone, IM, or right here on the web!" They have a pretty cool blog too, that you should check out if you get a chance.

If anyone reads this post and uses Twitter, or has any thoughts about it please feel free to leave me a comment.

'Til next time,

A Potential Future Twitter-er (does that work?)


28 March 2007

American Idol = American JOKE

Let me preface this post with:

I'm typically an extremely positive person. I try not to be negative or gossipy, and believe being nice and good reaps benefits. I have to abandon these practices for a few moments.

What turned out to be a good idea (one which we stole from England, by the way), American Idol has--this season--turned into a big, fat JOKE. Really! Can you watch the show and honestly tell me it's not absurd.

Here's why:

1. First of all, how in the HELL is Sanjaya still around? I completely understand some contestants stick around merely for the sake of ratings. That much I get. But to think that this kid is STILL around, in what's supposed to be a singing competition simply blows my mind. He can't sing, his look is absurd. Why do folks keep voting for him? He will NEVER, never ever ever sell records. Ya know?

2. Why, in a country obsessed with proclaiming "freedom of speech" are folks so sensitive to what Simon Cowell has to say? Yup, it definitely sucks that he typically has negative comments, but the fact of the matter is that he's usually right. And you know what? Simon's in the music business and in it to make money. Not to make people happy and spare their feelings. More often than not I'm in agreement with his feelings.

3. Gwen Stefani's on the show. I love, love, love, love, LOVE Gwen Stefani. I think she's one of the few artists today who's truly "artistic" and unique, but I can't believe she appeared on the show. I'm just thoroughly disappointed.

4. There are no other contestants that can equal Kelly Clarkson. She is the bomb, and is truly a star! Do you disagree? Her "Breakway album" was possibly one of the best albums of 2005, and I don't typically endorse overly-produced pop albums.

Done with my soapbox.

~ Peace ~


26 March 2007


A couple of weekends ago I watched the recently released DVD "Shut Up and Sing", the documentary chronicling the controversy surrounding the Dixie Chicks and their remarks made a few years ago about the current world war in Iraq. I'm already a fan of the Dixie Chicks so I couldn't' wait to watch the movie, but after watching it I have to admit I love them even more and thoroughly recommend it to any American who believes in free speech. Now, I have some friends who believe "entertainers" shouldn't use their celebrity platforms to convey their personal beliefs, specifically when it comes to politics. You know, after viewing this film—and knowing the story behind the controversy—I disagree wholeheartedly.

The Dixie Chicks, although the statement made by lead singer Natalie Maines was not precontrived, are not only one of the most talented and incredible bands of our time, but also the most important. I was so completely moved by watching "Shut Up & Sing" that I couldn't contain myself. Sure, many folks would…and have…disagreed with the stance of the Dixie Chicks, but I find them totally brave and resilient. Can you believe, based on what Natalie Maines said in a concert in London, that someone threatened to kill her? I mean they told her the date, time, and location. Scary. All this just because she said she is ashamed George Bush is from her home state? Hell, I'm ashamed he is from the United States. And I am NOT fearful of saying that. Why did they have to be made the examples for a country who can't stand the person leading us, in the world's eyes? I just don't get it.

The documentary is not only a statement about politics and freedom of speech but also how ridiculous the music business is in our country, and how absurd people can be (in one of the scenes in the movie a woman proudly rebukes the Dixie Chicks and even encourages her baby—who can probably not even speak—to do the same; how can you impose your ideals on a person who can barely even think for himself?). It really is mesmerizing.

If you end-up watching "Shut Up and Sing" I'd love to know what you think.


25 March 2007

Home again, home again...jiggity jig.

Well, Veronique and I made it safely home, back to Orlando. More like Bor-lando! Ha ha! You know, I suppose Orlando isn't such a bad place, but after being in New York City for five days I suppose any place seems boring. Ahhh...good 'ole NYC! I miss it already.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The weather was cold, for the first day. Then things warmed up somewhat, the following few days. But it was great nonetheless. Thanks to my boss Ted for making it all possible!

Oh, I also got to see my good friend Daniel--an actor--who lives in Queens, and it was great! We hadn't seen each other in about seven years! Are you serious?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The time spent was too short. Not to mention I stayed at his place one night and on the way back to the City the following morning I got lost for two hours. I know it should be simple but what's up with the NYC trains? :)

This is a somewhat boring post, I realize, but I'm tired and am in the middle of watching "Brothers & Sisters" (you go, Sally Field!). Gotta jet!

<> Ashley <>


Maiden Post/Leaving NYC!

I've been blogging--quite infrequently--for several months now, over on MySpace. Check it out! Most of the posts have been about entertainment, pop culture, and the like, or simply just ramblings (which I'm known for). I only have a few readers but that's OK. I'm currently in New York City for a blog conference called BlogHer, and have been inspired by the creativity I've seen. Therefore, I've created a new blog on Blogger, and have been motivated to post on a more regular basis. In addition to the folks at BlogHer I've also been inspired by my colleague and friend, Veronique, who's got an awesome travel blog!

I'm sure as time goes on the blog will develop and mature into a defined voice, but for now I'm simply going to continue expressing myself and voice my opinions via this forum, and I hope to grow my readership base and engage with my readers often.

I'm about to hop on a plane back to Orlando, so 'til next time....

~ Peace ~