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Things Read While Supposedly On Vacation

Philadelphia Will Do breathes heavily over the Sexiest Newslady poll at FHM, the laddie mag. Three local finalists are Alycia Lane (CBS3), Erin O'Hearn (6ABC) and Kerri-Lee Halkett (Fox29). D-Mac's pulling for Rita Cosby on a write-in ballot.

Things Read While Supposedly On Vacation

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Alycialane Philadelphia Will Do breathes heavily over the Sexiest Newslady poll at FHM, the laddie mag. Three local finalists are Alycia Lane (CBS3), Erin O'Hearn (6ABC) and Kerri-Lee Halkett (Fox29). D-Mac's pulling for Rita Cosby on a write-in ballot.

But The Illadelph wasn't impressed. Deciding to do his own poll, he has added Jessica Borg, Maria LaRosa, Jade McCarthy and various thoughtful comments about wardrobes and physiques. 6ABC's Cecily Tynan doesn't make the cut, so she'll have to be content to count the $600,000-plus yearly salary that she reportedly pulls in for doing the weather, according to Philadelphia Magazine, whose editors didn't post this month's cover article, as usual, because they hate our freedoms.

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Could our man love for George Clooney grow any deeper? I'm usually not too jazzed when a publicist lies, but it's hard to get too steamed about Clooney's idea how to foil the Gawker Stalker, which is Gawker's new celebrity sighting maps: have their pr guys and gals text message false reports. Clooney apparently wrote an email to several A-list mouthpieces:

There is a simple way to render these guys useless. Flood their Web site with bogus sightings. Get your clients to get 10 friends to text in fake sightings of any number of stars. A couple hundred conflicting sightings and this Web site is worthless. No need to try to create new laws to restrict free speech. Just make them useless. That's the fun of it. And then sit back and enjoy the ride. Thanks, George.

But are we sure Clooney actually wrote it?

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For those of you who love free Mp3s, but wonder just who is behind the give-away, you have a friend in One Louder, who is crusading for fuller disclosure of what's being promoted and who's promoting it. The blogger named Jason writes:

It's no secret that if you run a music blog of any note, promotion companies will offer to supply you with the latest news, free CDs, tickets to shows, MP3 streams, contests and other wares. Who doesn't like free stuff? If you happen to already like the band, even better.  You just want to help your favorite bands get heard. Everyone wins. So what's the problem?

Blogs operate under the premise of having an uncorrupted opinion, free of manipulation or avarice. Take away this independence and blogs risk becoming nothing more than press release mouths for corporations who have long recognized the value of uninfluenced, "nine out of every ten doctor recommends"-type advocacy. Promoters want real fans to talk up bands. Bloggers achieve what a PR release could never do, speak with the voice of a loyal supporter who promotes the music because it's good.

There's a term for this type of influence peddling: payola. But for bloggers, there's no cash exchanging hands directly. For some, the immediate payoff is ego building. If you're breaking the news (supplied by PR releases), going to all the hot shows (with free tickets), offering exclusive contests (with prizes supplied by promoters), then you are seen as an insider, a source. Do it well, build an audience and watch your site traffic numbers explode. If you get enough page views, why not make room for a little discrete advertising to help pay the server bills?

This is a grump after my own heart. Henceforth, he will disclose what's being pitched and by whom. He'll also fess up to any freebies he accepted. The comments suggest he hit a nerve.

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An amusing list: 87 bad predictions from 2spare.com - or, as they put it, "Top 87 Bad Predictions about the Future." As opposed to predictions about the past. Anyway, such winners as Charles H. Duell, of the U.S. Patent Office, who said in 1899, "Everything that can be invented can be invented." This is up there with the Yale economist who predicted the stock market had hit its peak - in 1929. Or Variety, which predicted rock and roll's passing - in 1955.

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Another list of winners: Best April Fools Day pranks. Must credit any list of 100 hoaxes that begins with the great Swiss spaghetti harvest. If you have RealAudio, you can watch this British classic from 1957.

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One more -- the 10 weirdest keyboards. Love that Dick Tracy number.

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A friend was saying how her connection was canceled coming back from the Final Four in Minneapolis last week. They just left her to spend the night on a couch at O'Hare. With a fever. Others are stewing about service. Sounds like it's time to listen to the CEO of RyanAir, Europe's most profitable airline, and make flying free!

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Too late for your wi-fi prize, Philadelphia. Already wired for countrywide Internet access is ... Macedonia. The tiny Balkan country claims to have 95 percent of its rugged terrain covered for broadband access, thanks to contributions from foreign governments and corporate sponsors. This is a place that five years ago was going through a nasty civil war. I did 10 reporting trips there. The best hotel in Skopje served marmot for dinner. Tough little buggers.

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The All-Spin Zones wonders on Americablog why some on left stay silent about the Feingold censure move and e-voting, and gets deleted. Thin-skinned.

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Want to save the media? A vote for opinion journalism from Michael Kinsley in Slate.

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QUOTED: Friedman at America's Hometown is pained by the Inquirer's Sunday report on Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Phila., who spends more of the public's money on books than do two high schools and two middle schools in his district:

Wow…you’ve got to give the man credit for having chutzpa. Why the heck the state even has a reimbursement program for these kinds of purchases is another issue. I feel sorry for the people of Logan and Olney who have to suffer through this kind of representation; a legislator so aloof and arrogant that he thinks this kind of profligate spending on reading materials is acceptable.

Daniel Rubin
Posted 04/03/2006 05:35:36 PM
While not a scientific poll, Blinq readers are voting with their mice - as of 5:30 p.m. here is the number of people clicking on each news announcer's bio/picture:
Erin O'Hearn 242
Kerri-Lee Halkett 179
Alycia Lane 129
Maria LaRosa 123
Jessica Borg 103
Jade McCarthy 102
 
Peter
Posted 04/03/2006 07:46:55 PM
Yo, the best is Ch. 6's Sarah Bloomquist! 
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=bios&id=3316418

She wuz robbed!
Citizen Mom
Posted 04/03/2006 10:47:35 PM
Alycia Lane, totally.

RE: Blogger payola, I'm not sure that's the right word if what the bloggers are getting in return isn't cash but scenester cred/access. I'm sure someone will come up with some wifty new word for it.

Also, dude, five posts and how many links today? Easy there, killer. Oh wait, that's right, you're just back from vacation and are getting paid for this. 
Carry on then.

Citizen Mom
Posted 04/03/2006 10:55:04 PM
Also, what about Dorothy Krysiuk? Nobody's reppin for the curly-haired girls. Where is the love, people?
gr
Posted 04/03/2006 11:14:22 PM
i went to check out halkett and found krysiuk. that girl is beautiful, they need to get her off the traffic beat.
Will Teullive
Posted 04/04/2006 12:34:13 AM
How can cute and perky Karen Rogers be left off the list? She's our local Katie Couric circa 1992. 

I agree that little hottie Dorothy Krysiuk should also be added. That retro perm takes me back to '88

Maybe there should be separate categories under 40 and over 40 so the older gals can get involved.

JD
Posted 04/04/2006 10:18:16 PM
Friedman rocks!
Jared
Posted 11/07/2006 04:18:19 PM
Dorothy Krysiuk is hot i would like to tap that. She has a tremendous ass and would look awesome in a thong.
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About this blog
Daniel Rubin is a columnist and The Inquirer's director of social media. Since joining newspaper as a staff writer in 1988, Daniel Rubin has reported from Mayfair to Macedonia, 27 countries in all. He has been the European Correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and for two years he sat at home and wrote Blinq, the paper's first daily blog. Dan began newspaper work in Norfolk and Louisville, Ky., after getting his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University. He has lived in all four commonwealths, most recently in Pennsylvania. He teaches urban journalism at the University of Pennsylvania

Email Blinq here. My day job - Inquirer metro columnist - is here.

Reach Daniel at drubin@phillynews.com.

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