About the Meganauts
The First 100 Meganauts [December 2010]
Let’s enjoy these statistics while we can—Facebook has changed its mind about how much stats to provide, if any, in the past.
100 Meganauts as of December 23, 2010
Meganauts by Country
Czech Republic (7)
Meganauts by Age
Meganauts by Gender
New York (29)
Meganauts by Language
English – U.S. (83)
English – U.K. (3)
English – Pirate (1)
Even though we write about U.S. dance radio, we thought we’d have more international Meganauts because the dance genre is relatively universal. As Facebook becomes more popular outside America, our international fan base should change. Outside of the U.S., we’re big in the former Czechoslovakia (seven from the Czech Republic and two from Slovakia). Anyone know if our age distribution reflects the general Facebook population?
We do wish Facebook could give us state-by-state data. We suspect we’re not getting much love in our home state of California, which is perhaps the way it should be. After all, the Internet has no borders. We don’t know why Facebook would only list one city. Thanks to Nick, we have the most fans in New York.
Note that these numbers don’t add up to 100. That’s because a few people chose not to specify a location. Anyone worried about privacy should not be on Facebook. By the way, what you see above is exactly the information we get from Facebook—it’s only aggregate data. So please specify your country, age, and gender.
What will our demographics look like when the number of Meganauts hits 200? Stay tuned.
Show Your Love [December 2010]
We don’t know why we didn’t think of this sooner. If you’re a Meganaut, show your love by copying our “I ♥ Dance Radio Post/I ♥ Dance Radio Megamix” image to your Facebook page or blog (click on Photos and then Profile Pictures). Then make sure to link that image to danceradio.blogspot.com or simdancemix.blogspot.com.
For radio stations that are part of our panel, copy the “We Support Dance Radio Megamix” image to your playlist page or homepage and link it to simdancemix.blogspot.com.
If you have trouble copying an image file from our Photos section, let us know.
The Power of One [April 2010]
Never underestimate what one person can do. Thanks to Nick, the number of our fans on Facebook surged three weeks ago (refer to our Greatest Gainer Note on April 11). Now if you all would do what he did, we’d have 860 Meganauts instead of 86. :-)
Facebook’s decision a year ago to require a fan page to have at least 1,000 fans before qualifying for a custom address still stinks. This misguided and elitist rule doesn’t prevent two parties from wanting the same address. It still comes down to first-come, first-serve, which is how it should be for all members. Facebook may be worried about cybersquatting, but the solution is worse than the problem.
The Mighty Meganauts [April 2010]
Singer Jimmy Buffett’s fans are known as Parrotheads. Comedian/actor/TV host Craig Ferguson calls his Twitter followers the Robot Skeleton Army. Since our Facebook fans are royalty—and in honor of our Megamix page—you are the Meganauts (megamix + juggernauts). When the number of Meganauts reaches 100, we’ll share with you some of the statistics we get from Facebook.
Greatest Gainer [April 2010]
The number of our fans on Facebook tripled overnight a few days ago. If this had happened on April 1, we’d say we were being punked. This can’t be a coincidence, so will the person responsible for the surge step forward and take a bow? What exactly did you do?
We’d like to thank Kraig (our first Facebook fan) and Nick for the kind words. Unless we’re mistaken, we just got our first artist fan. Not only does she have great taste, she also has a great voice. :-)
You all came on board at the right time because we will be introducing another playlist soon.
[Nick Divakar: It's me, I invited all my friends who like dance music :-)]
Bugs R Facebook [Updated] [August 2012]
Here we go again. Your eyes are not deceiving you; you can only see our last few postings and nothing else. We've noticed other Facebook pages with the same problem. For a cash-rich company like Facebook, there's no excuse for such crappy software.
Editor's Note: Facebook's display is working again...for now. In general, we're not crazy about those dynamically expanded pages as you scroll down the screen (Twitter does this as well). Either generate the entire page or split into multiple pages at the start.
Crime Stopper 2.0 [March 2012]
Unless you were living under the proverbial rock two weeks ago, you no doubt heard about the Internet campaign to capture a certain African warlord. While one may question the 30-minute video’s accuracy and timeliness, the charity’s financial records, or even the co-founder’s arrest a week later, this episode has clearly demonstrated the potential of the Web to help catch criminals. So Adam Walsh (“America’s Most Wanted”), the FBI, Interpol, and other agencies should take notes. There’s a lesson here for celebrities as well. A big Hollywood star got himself arrested while protesting in front of an African embassy last week, and how many people were aware of this incident—or his cause?
A Facebook Change We Like [November 2011]
With so many software bugs and privacy issues, it’s rare when we run across a Facebook modification that we Like. In the past, as far as we can tell, only individuals with personal Facebook accounts can click on the Like button. But now people who operate non-personal Facebook accounts—companies/organizations, brands/products, Web sites/blogs, topics, and many others—can also Like away.
So if you are responsible for a non-personal Facebook account, click on Like This and then People and select Pages from the drop-down menu and you’ll know if you have any non-personal fans. Note that your total number of Likes does not include the ones from these non-personal accounts.
This and That [March 2011]
- As you all know, Facebook and Twitter have been in international news lately due to unfolding events in the Middle East and North Africa. An Egyptian man reportedly wanted to name his baby Facebook—well, that’s better than Yahoo. With all the talk about democracy, we looked up The Economist magazine’s Democracy Index from 2010 (http://graphics.eiu.com/pdf/democracy_index_2010_web.pdf), a biannual survey based on five criteria: electoral process, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. A slight majority of the 167 countries in the sample are considered hybrid regimes or authoritarian regimes. The rest are either full democracies or flawed democracies. The Czech Republic and the U.S. are almost tied (no wonder we have so many Meganauts in that part of the world). Bet you didn’t know Malta, Uruguay, and Costa Rica are full democracies. And if you think the U.K.-based Economist simply rubberstamps Western European governments as full democracies, you’d be wrong. Italy and France are rated flawed democracies. And the U.K. is ranked below Austria and Germany.
- Speaking of software companies with deep pockets that don’t seem to know much about quality control…Google recently released a new search engine in the U.S. that supposedly downgrades those sites known as content farms (euphemism for spam blogs). Well, Google is at least five years late, and from what we’ve seen so far, the new software is nothing to write home about.
Facebook Privacy for Pesonal Accounts [May 2010]
Reacting to negative press and the threat of protest on May 31, Facebook has announced privacy changes in the next few weeks. Here's a recap by CIO (cio.com):
As always, you should read the fine print. Instant Personalization will still be turned on by default.
Face the Music (How to Limit Instant Personalization + SaveFace) [May 2010]
Are you aware of all those Facebook privacy changes? Read the May 14 article in San Francisco Chronicle (sfgate.com). Or try this link:
If you have a personal account, here’s how to preserve some privacy:
Click on Account, then Privacy Settings, then Applications and Websites. Next to Instant Personalization Pilot Program, click on Edit Setting and then uncheck the box for allowing partners to use your public information. But “your friends may still share public Facebook information about you…unless you block the application.” Hmm….
Untangle (untangle.com) claims its SaveFace application will reset your privacy settings to more restrictive levels. Keep in mind this free program may not work if Facebook changes its privacy design in the future.
It’s About Time [February 2010]
It’s a brand new year, and we finally got our first 20-plus Facebook fans. It’s too bad Facebook no longer displays a fan’s location (no country or state/province). We’ll never know if we have fans in Estonia, a very wired country. :-)
Life's Rich Pageant [August 2009]
The last time we talked about something surreal and absurd, it was an e-mail provider blackmailing its customers. We brought it up not to embarrass said provider but to remind every e-mail user to evaluate the profiles of different companies. Are they financially sound? Will they be around in five years? Will they hold your mailbox for ransom?
And now we're here to report another PR nightmare. We recently received a form e-mail from an artist regarding our Megamix page. We don't begrudge anyone who's worried about music piracy. One does wonder if following Metallica's example is a wise career move. There's a difference between vigilance and paranoia/obsession.
So what does this have to do with all of us? Well, the Internet makes it easy--and very tempting--to send an e-mail blast (that's why spammers love it). Businesses and individuals must decide whether it's a good idea to do a mass mailing. Perhaps you regretted the last time you clicked the "Reply to All" button. Share your horror story--if you can laugh about it now.
The person(s) responsible for Internet patrol for this artist clearly didn't bother to check out our Web page before sending that e-mail. (If they had and still thought there was file sharing going on, then they must be newbies or something.) It's important to scrub a target list to remove false positives.
So before you do your next mass mailing, beware that you run the risk of tarnishing your reputation and alienating your customers/fans/coworkers/friends. And if you're going to send a threatening e-mail, do your homework first.
Life's Rich Pageant [June 2009]
In the computer world, hardware breaks and software has bugs. And you have to deal with hacking, spam, and phishing on the Web. But we never thought the provider of our free e-mail service would suddenly hold our mailbox hostage and demand money for an upgrade. Oh well, stuff happens...it's all part of life's rich pageant.
So if you sent e-mail to our old Lycos address after May 28, resend it to our new address. Silver lining: With our e-mail reset, let's hope we'll get less spam.
Background: We signed up for Eudoramail years ago, and when that company's e-mail assets were transferred to the owner of Lycos in 2004, that should've been our cue to switch to a financially stable provider. Yes, the information superhighway is littered with many expired e-mail systems. Go to emailaddresses.com/email_rip.htm and see for yourself.
Update: An official apology just won't do. Since the Lycos "blackmail" was not a security breach or some sort of employee prank--the company is vague about exactly what transpired--you'd have to wonder if this wasn't a trial balloon to see how many people would pay the "ransom." Good riddance.
A Taxing Problem in California [July 2011]
As a political candidate, Meg Whitman was horrible. But if the former CEO of eBay was elected governor of California, she probably would've vetoed the on-line sales tax legislation (don't recall if this issue came up during the campaign). Before last week, California residents only had to pay sales tax if they made an on-line purchase from a California company or one with a physical store in the state. We have mixed feelings about this new state law. As you can imagine, the biggest opponent is a large Web company like Amazon.com. Indeed, Amazon.com has refused to collect sales tax from California customers and will try to put the issue before California's voters. If you're running a Web-based company in the U.S., one tax law that applies to all states would certainly make things easier.
Memo to the FTC [October 2009]
What do we think of the FTC's recent announcement to regulate bloggers (never mind you don't know who's American)? While Wall Street lobbyists have made sure there will be no reform despite last year's financial meltdown, the U.S. government turns its attention to reviewers on such popular sites as Amazon.com and Yelp. We're all for full disclosure, but we question Washington's priorities. Yes, we read the 81-page notice on the FTC Web site (ftc.gov).
In case the FTC hasn't noticed, quid pro quo has been going on long before the Internet. How do you think supermarkets decide which brands to place at eye level? How come they don't have to disclose these partnerships? For years Hollywood studios have been sending some movie critics--we use the term loosely here--to resorts for special screenings. For some reasons these "journalists" aren't required to come clean about these junkets.
Technology reporters may not keep the products they review, but an exclusive preview and the promise of an interview with a Silicon Valley executive is enough to make some of them swoon. A little schmoozing goes a long way. What is the FTC doing to make sure these reporters and columnists are totally objective? The Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg created and hosts a $3,000-a-day annual conference where industry executives are invited to appear as guests. Can you say conflict of interest? The New York Times' David Pogue was criticized a few years ago when he forgot to mention on the radio a free service provided by a company.
After the stock-reporting scandal a few years ago, some business journalists voluntarily disclose whether they own stocks in the companies they cover. You'd think the government would require CNBC's Jim Cramer and his ilk to reveal their stock portfolios and any personal relationships with business executives. In spite of long-established guidelines by the FTC, we all know payola still goes on at radio stations.
Speaking of radio...we beg to differ with the FTC's view of traditional media. A radio/TV station's playlist is tantamount to an endorsement, especially when you consider the dozens of new releases ignored by a program director every week. And while print music journalists are expected to keep the records sent by labels and promoters--no one seriously believes a free CD would influence their reviews--what happens when they receive a $100 box set?
Well, it's nice to know the government is worried about someone raving about Cheetos on the Web. If you feel traditional media shouldn't receive preferential treatment from the government, contact the FTC.
One Final Election Story [November 2012]
Now that we know how Americans voted on Election Day--including Florida--let's see how the two presidential candidates fared in other countries. About 22,000 people were polled in 21 countries, and the relatively unknown challenger actually won in one of these countries. Here's the press release:
Global Top 100 [August 2010]
Are we talking about music? Film? Check out Newsweek's (newsweek.com) list of the world's best countries in its August 23/30 issue. The criteria are education, health, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and political environment. How does one measure quality of life? Here are the rankings that should be of interest to our worldwide Meganauts.
4 Australia 5 Luxembourg 7 Canada 8 Netherlands 11 U.S. 12 Germany 14 U.K. 17 Ireland 19 Belgium 21 Spain 22 Israel 23 Italy 25 Czech Republic 26 Greece 27 Portugal 31 Slovakia 45 Mexico 46 Argentina 48 Brazil 51 Russia 52 Turkey 59 China 63 Philippines 64 Saudi Arabia 73 Indonesia 78 India 88 Bangladesh 89 Pakistan
Newsweek admits this type of survey favors small countries. Indeed, only one populous nation made the top 10.
Mo' Gulf Coast Blues [June 2010]
When we put together our Katrina playlist five years ago, we knew it would come in handy again, given the number of hurricanes in that area. We hadn't anticipated the next disaster would be an oil spill that makes the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill look mild. So let the music play one more time.
Aren't we tired of seeing that weasel-looking head of BP on TV? He really put his foot in his mouth when he said, "I'd like my life back." Tell that to the families of the employees who died on that oil rig and the residents along the Gulf Coast whose livelihoods are affected. This comment will rank right up there with "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
If you are in college and don't have anything better to do this summer, go down to the Gulf Coast and do some volunteer work. Check out beyondoil.org.
Public Service Announcements
License Spotting [November 2011]
Until a local TV station mentioned it, we had no idea states are losing millions of dollars in revenue because some new residents don’t bother to register their cars. So forget trainspotting. The next time you see an out-of-state license plate, you might want to jot down the license number, make, and model. We spot at least one deadbeat driver everyday. If you live in California, go to the CHP Web site (chp.ca.gov) and click on Report Registration Violations. Now what can we do about those red-light runners?
Wall Scrubbing [June 2010]
We've decided to keep our Wall as clutter-free as possible. Some of the older Notes are now on our Dance Radio Post site. The rest we leave on our Wall as permanent fixtures. We'll try to keep only about 20 Notes on our Wall at any one time. So if you're a new Meganaut, you can get all caught up at a glance.
Not only does our archive page allow us to better organize our Facebook musings, we also did it for "legal" reasons. If we remove anything we published on the Web, plagiarists and spam blogs will then be home free. As long as search engines work as they should, a plagiarist's employer/publisher/school/readers will know the truth.
Not Easy Going Green [June 2010]
So many Web pages on the Internet are not designed to be printer-friendly. Sometimes you can get around these shortcomings by using the mouse to select exactly what you want to print.
Our Web pages don't have any major printing issues. But in order to conserve printer toner/ink, we thought we'd remove some of the table borders. Unfortunately, doing so would make some of the long tables look like a huge clutter.
What motivated us to try this experiment is the curious implementation of HTML, the Web page layout tool. When humans and word processors draw a table, there's a single line between two cells. HTML, for some reason, draws a box around each table cell, adding many more lines as a result.
So we can't help you save on printer ink. But if you want to use fewer papers, try these steps:
- Change your printer's default page setup, starting with the left and right margins (you can always reset them later).
- Instead of the default "Shrink To Fit," change the page scaling to, say, 70 percent.
And always do a print preview first.
'For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People' [October 2009]
For our worldwide Facebook fans who have toured major U.S. cities, don't forget to visit our national parks, starting with Yellowstone and Yosemite (nps.gov). And if you live in America, you must visit at least one national park every 10 years. For a little bit of inspiration, watch Ken Burns' documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" (pbs.org/kenburns). Also check out “Great Lodges of the National Parks” (pbs.org/opb/greatlodges).
Hear Your Song [April 2009]
Are you the new New Order? Do you have the pipes that would make Martha Wash proud? Or are you the next Deadmau5? Well, here's your chance to promote your dance/electronic music. Click on Video above and post a link to your Web page. Use a simple "title card" like the image for our Facebook page or do something more elaborate (a video address to your fans perhaps). Don't upload an actual song lest we run into copyright issues. And make sure your clip doesn’t start until someone presses play.
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