There's a difference between crowdsourcing and crowdcheaping.
Crowdsourcing is when you use the power of crowds (like on Twitter) to gather lots of information from a vast pool of people, usually in a short period of time. Crowdsourcing is a valuable and legitimate means of research, but it's not reporting.
But increasingly, I'm seeing what amounts to nothing more than crowdcheaping. It's the news equivalent of television "reality shows". Why pay for scripted shows and real actors, when you can cheap out and let human nature take its (semi-scripted) course, and show people for the real asses they are, paying them in notoriety and bright lights?
What are the news organizations doing? Asking silly (or stupid) questions on Twitter, and sending out the hook, "Send us your stories and photos!"
Really? Why should I?
I'm going to do your work for you, for free?
Why don't you plan out your stories, hire a reporter to go find and write them, pay a photographer to capture it, a sound tech to record it, an editor to edit the story, a producer to produce it.
Oh wait, the would mean actually paying 5 professionals to produce a story, when you can get the same thing for free! Let's slap up all those fond reminiscences and bad Instagram photos instead, and call it a news story!
Defeat the crowdcheaping movement. Ask those news orgs what they're going to pay you for your story & photos, and how many professionals they've laid off in the last 3 years. Don't fall for that hook - it's the mark of a news org that no longer bothers to staff itself adequately, and they don't deserve your content.
Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, and you can't tell me any different!
"Remember the Benghazi!"
The dance between men & women is often a series of lies, big & small. See the whole series here.
Here's the photo that inspired this one, from APOD.
And they aren't even a little bit cute. The only thing they have in common with smileys, is that they're round.
They're ghoulies, and they're mine, all mine! Unless of course, you steal one from me, and then I have but two choices....
Let you have 'em, or send ghoulish legions of hell riding zombie pirate ships after you. And really - what are the chances of that happening?
Actually, you're welcome to use them any time you feel the need for an "anti-smiley". A little credit back to this lens wouldn't hurt though. Use them in emails, in forum posts, on your blog. Be obnoxious with them, just like the slimey smiley hoards that have infected the internet tubes!
Alpha is the first and the foremost ghoulie. He's the anti-smiley, and would just as soon eat that happy-yellow ball-head as look at him. Or push him under a train. Yeah, that works too.
...always being considered second best. Does it look like he's laughing? Not a chance! He's just showing you the gaping chasm of darkness that is his soul.
Being second means never being quite good enough, being racked with jealousy, being just one step behind. Feel that resentment growing and growing?
He thought he was supposed to be named Zed (as in Alpha, Beta, Zed,) but it turned out that he's the ghoulie of confusion, and that his pumpkin-head mama didn't know the difference between a "b" and a "d".
... when people sing, "Some people call me Maurice..." from Steve Miller's "The Joker." In fact, he's likely to chew your lips off, go up through your nose and eat your brain if you keep singing it in your head.
"Some people call me the space cowboy.
Yeah! Some call me the gangster of love.
Some people call me Maurice,
Cause I speak of the Pompatus of love."
Ha! I dare you to stop singing this in your head now...
... on vanity, and so grows in power. Check out that ghoulish pompador if you doubt me. He'll detect any stray vain thoughts, and as he grows in power, so too does your own vanity grow. Think you're safe from Beetlejuice? Just wait until the next time you look in the mirror.
See the zoned-out eyes? That blank stare with the hypnotic swirls? The fake smile with the gaping hole of a nose? That's Stepford, and one look deep into his eyes and you'll fall right in. There's no escape!
Mono hates that he's only one third of a word. If he had his druthers, he'd change his name to Mano. He thinks it's a more macho than being named after 1/3 of the chemical name for a food additive.
On the other hand, MSG can made people react adversely, and our next ghoulie will tell you all the dire things that can happen to you...
... up your blood pressure, but at the same time, is necessary for life. Conundrum, right? That's only part of the story. Our ghoulie Sodium is a part of the MSG complex, and he'd just as soon eat Chinese as Americans. Or French, or Turkish, or Japanese. He hates 'em all!
He's married to Veruka Salt, and you know what a nasty little creature she was.
Glutamate the glutton...
Once you add Glutamate in with Mono and Sodium, you have:
Burning sensation in the back of the neck, forearms and chest, numbness in the back of the neck radiating to the arms and back, tingling warmth and weakness in the face, temples, upper back, neck and arms, facial pressure or tightness, chest pain, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, bronchospasm (difficulty breathing,) drowsiness, weakness.
Oh happy days for this trio of ghoulies! They really are the salt of the earth.
The spot curls, the rosy cheeks, she's a real looker, that one. She's looking at you, in fact, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Look closer at those curls. Are they just starting to unwind a bit? Did you see one moving?
... trying to talk your ear off. She'll talk about anything. She won't stop. In fact, she's talking to you now, and if you don't turn around and pay attention, the devil just might take you!
... have a care in the world. She's footloose, fancy-free, and oops! There goes her foot now, falling off her leg again. Wait - it's ok, she's put it back on again.. Could it be? Is this the very first zombie ghoulie?
Razzle my dazzle, and give that lady a hand!
... about everything. Where he's from, who he was with last night, how that gold watch got into his pocket. The consummate gentleman ghoulie - which means he's always up to no good! He looks all debonaire and dashing, doesn't he? He's nothing but a big liar though. Maybe the biggest. Isn't Lucifer the lord of lies? Could it be...?
Lester has two brothers - at least that's what he says.
... on anything with a soul. Looks all blonde and innocent, doesn't he? That's precisely what makes him so dangerous. Chester will fool you with those boyish good looks, open that big mouth of his and.... slurp! Suck your soul right out of your body.
... 'em off. His brothers Lester and Chester lure in the innocents, and Fester feasts on the remains. That's right, I said it, he'll eat your flesh in about 30 seconds flat, and he doesn't need Mono Sodium or Glutamate to make a tasty meal.
Remember the old Frank Zappa album, "Weasels Ripped My Flesh"? Well, Fester wrote the liner notes.
Jack be nimble...
... Jack be quick.
Jack knocked over the candlestick.
You thought it was "jump over", didn't you? Well, you're wrong. Jack's not so innocent as to be playing English country fair games. Jack plays to win, and winning means wreaking havoc. Can you think of any more havoc-wreaking than flaming candlewax creeping towards your new draperies?
... down everything in his path. His axe is sharp, even if his mind isn't, and his chainsaw's a-humming. LumberJack will chop even the highest of the high down to size, and wood or flesh makes no difference to him.
The red splotches on his chin? Why, those are whiskers, of course. Yeah, that's it. Whiskers. That's not blood...
SlapNTickleJack is sinister
... in a very disgusting way. That's right, he's the proverbial Lothario, always more hands than manners. Slap this bad boy back, ladies, then walk away. He'll enjoy the view as you're doing so, of course, but an ogle is better than an ogre any day.
This guy gives "monster mash" a whole new meaning.
Ka-ching? Money maker? Well, he is kinda greenish, and if green is the root of all evil, then Ching is working overtime. See the narrowed eyes, the exaggerated grin, the... what are those, anyway, horns or eyebrows? No matter, Ching (ka-ching!) has apparently been rolling in the dough to look this happy.
... on graves, and laughs about it! Talk about ghoulish behavior. On October 31, he's truly in his element, greeting all the nasties that are released into this world. No, no, he doesn't work for the LA County jail system... or does he?
There are some MADD people out there, and Chang's making them madder.
... on everything. Flesh, bones, legs, pianos, shoes, brownies, chewing tobacco, snuffboxes (notice the huge hole where his nose used to be?) Jimmy Hoffa, thoughts, dreams, tires, timing belts, chastity belts, Chastity Bono, Bono, guitars, drums, drumsticks... yummy!