Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There

Courtesy of my friend Mike Calore:

Null Island is the name of an imaginary place located at zero degrees latitude and zero degrees longitude (0°N 0°E), i.e., where the prime meridian and the equator intersect. The fictitious island, usually defined as 1 meter square, is often used in mapping software as a placeholder to help find and correct database entries that have erroneously been assigned the coordinates 0,0. Although Null Island started as a joke within the geospatial community, it has become a useful means of addressing a recurring issue in geographic information science.[1]


Now that’s what I call a contest!

Calling all Elevate® members: Get in the running for Galactic Status by flying Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia to earn status points throughout the year. The Elevate member who scores the most status points by August 7, 2013 wins a suborbital space flight on Virgin Galactic. Jo…

On Chinese Beaches, The Face-Kini Is In Fashion : NPR

On Chinese Beaches, The Face-Kini Is In Fashion : The Two-Way : NPR

In China, it’s the height of beach season for Qingdao’s huge Huiquan Beach. But while many visitors want to enjoy the sand and water, they’re not so wild about sunbathing. So they often rely on a local tradition: the face-kini.

The Problem with Guest Posts on your Blog

The Problem with Guest Posts on your Blog

When working on an editorial strategy for their blogs, clients often ask me about “guest posts.” Why write our own content, the argument goes, when there are numerous industry luminaries willing to write content for our blog for free?

‘Miserable Monday’ myth dispelled

We may say we hate Mondays, but research suggests Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are equally loathed.

We may say we hate Mondays, but research suggests Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are equally loathed.

Sorry, Big Guy

You hear this happening from time to time but this is the first time I’ve seen it become policy. I’m a little surprised it’s taken this long to happen.

United obese: United Airlines to make large, heavy fliers pay for two seats —

How to Get Rid of Any Frame (Including the DiggBar)

God bless Danny Sullivan.

Buried in the text of this awesome post is the simple code for breaking your site out of any page that tries to frame your content. (Hello DiggBar!)

Danny said he couldn’t get the entire code to show up in his post, so I’m pasting it here (in part so I’ll have a permanent reference for it — but you can use it too). I’m using it on ALL my sites and it works like a dream.

Note that this script simply pops the page out of the frame and displays it normally. It doesn’t, as some sites have done, display a rude message, thus robbing you of traffic and the visitor of the chance to check out your stuff. This method makes a lot more sense to me… Here’s what it looks like if you try to visit the page with the DiggBar.

And here’s that code… just cut and paste to the <head> section of your site (though the top of the <body> section works too).

<script type=”text/javascript”>
if (top.location!= self.location) {
top.location = self.location.href

All hail Mr. Sullivan!

URL Shorteners: Which Shortening Service Should You Use?

Things That Suck

Of all the junk mail that exists, the absolute worst is the stuff that is a printed, single-sheet of paper, folded in half, and glued together on all sides. To open it you have to painstakingly tear off the perforated strips all around, all the while reading about the WARNING: $2,000 FINE, 5 YEARS IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH FOR ANY PERSON INTERFERING OR OBSTRUCTING DELIVERY OF THIS LETTER… only to find that I have qualified to refinance a mortgage I haven’t had for months. (“We have searched county records to make you this offer.” Great!)


Why I Sold My Business

I’ve been amazed by the outpouring of excitement, congratulations, and general attaboys that have come along with my recent announcement (if you can call it that) that I’ve sold my business,

Some have asked why I did it, and I’d like to answer that in brief here.

One friend suggested I was “selling off my baby,” but my response was that, at 14 1/2 years old, Filmcritic was no longer a baby but rather a rebellious and unruly teenager. I’d taken the site about as far as I could, from a traffic and business perspective, and either it was destined to keep rumbling along exactly as it was for the foreseeable future… or someone else would need to take it to the next step.

The site has a vast archive of reviews and continues to generate plenty of traffic, but there are features I’d love to add — users’ ability to rate movies, “if you liked this you’ll also enjoy…” features, social networking site integration, etc. Unfortunately I’m not the guy to build those kind of features. Hire someone to do it? Sure, a possibility, but an expensive one. Filmcritic has been profitable for years, but not to the point where I was ready to shell out tens of thousands on developers, additional hardware, more bandwidth, and so on. I knew that to take the next step, as they say, I was going to need backers of some sort.

AMC approached me last fall — totally out of the blue — and we got to talking. I thought nothing would come of it (we’ve received absurdly low buyout offers in the past), but things kept moving, much to my surprise. I met with the team at AMC (and parent company Rainbow Media) in New York and got along well with everyone, appreciating their attitude toward the media business and impressed that they wanted to get more into online and in a big way.

And of course, they want to keep doing what it does best: Offering informative and entertaining movie reviews of both new releases and classic titles. (I will continue to work with the company — my new title is “Director.”)

It’s a very exciting — and crushingly busy — time for me and for the site, as we get things switched over to AMC’s services. We even have a new logo, at least a temporary one, before we add AMC to the name officially.

So that’s the gist. I’m really excited to be part of the AMC team, but rest assured: The biting, insightful, almost impossibly well-written movie reviews will continue just as you’ve known them for all these years. Wins for everyone, I think!

Feel free to drop me a line (contact info at right) with any questions or comments!