Saturday, July 17, 2010

Privacy on the Internet?

Is there such a thing as privacy on the Internet? No. This past week there was a discussion on My Manilow Network about how a picture some lady took was posted on another site without her permission. She ranted about getting a lawyer and the whole thread turned into a name calling bash of alt. fan Barry Manilow. (While this person never came right out and said what group, it was pretty easy to figure out; everyone knew what group she was talking about.) This fan needs to do some research. Picture can’t be posted to alt. fan. It’s a binary group. Images can’t be posted there. All someone can do is post a link to a picture. She put her picture out there. That means she opened the door for anyone with the knowledge of right clicking a mouse access to her picture. How many times do people have to hear this before they believe it – once anything is posted on the Internet control is lost? Now this person is only going to post a link to her blog on MMN. She also isn’t going to allow comments. Next time you have a picture you don’t want retrieved by anyone, don’t post it. That’s the only way to avoid the problem.

Another privacy issue concerns MMN. It is now a “closed” website. MMN can only be seen by individuals whose passwords allows them to log in. Don’t confuse “closed” with “private.” “Closed” means the site is passworded. That doesn’t mean members can’t take posts off the site and post them on other sites. That is happening all the time. Is it fair, or ethical? Who can say? It’s not good net etiquette but when has that stopped anything? MMN is no longer available for viewing by anyone surfing the web like alt. fan is but it is also not private. Why? Because, and I’ll say it yet again, there’s no such thing as privacy on the Internet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Manilow Convention Thoughts

I did not go the BMIFC convention held last weekend in Vegas. BMIFC conventions are not my thing. Back when the conventions started, I really, really, really wanted to go. The first one sounded so great but I stayed home for an even better reason; I was giving birth to my second son. Over the years the desire to go to a BMIFC convention cooled. I was offered a gift of attending a few conventions by my sons when they got old enough to have jobs but I turned them down. It seemed too expensive for an event that had activities I had no interest in participating in. I have been to convention shows which were enjoyable.

All last weekend I read about the BMIFC convention online. Most, if not all, of what was written was by people who did not go to the convention. That was interesting; people critiquing an event they did not attend. Not only did these people not attend the convention most swore they wouldn’t be caught dead at a BMIFC convention. (To hear them tell about how TPTB feel about some of these people, dead is the only they’d be allowed at a BMIFC event.)

My take on the BMIFC convention goes likes this:

If you went and had a great time, I’m happy for you. That is what is important. When money is paid to do something the person who spent the money should be satisfied with what they got for their money.

If you went and were disappointed, don’t go next time. The disappointment will be avoided that way. Chalk it up to a learning experience.

If you didn’t go- shut-up about it. It doesn’t concern you. You chose not to go. (Well, to be fair, some people couldn’t afford to go. This isn’t the group doing all the complaining.) It’s a novel concept to some people in the Manilow world but try being happy for the people who enjoyed the convention. It’s way classier than tearing everything down. Try it sometime. And people wonder why stories, pictures and Platinum experiences aren’t shared among fans. Who wants their happy moments to be drug through the mud by other fans?

I hope everyone who went to the BMIFC convention brought home good memories of a wonderful time. That’s what’s it all about.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Hijacking of a Manilow Blog

This past week I experienced just a tiny bit of what it must be like for Barry and other artists when their work is used without permission. My blog, the very one you are reading, was hijacked and a post from here put up on My Manilow Network. All this was done without my permission I might add. To give some background on what transpired:

The first of last week I got a friend request from someone over on MMN. Not only did this person want to be my friend, but she asked permission to post my Queen Bee blog on the network. She said, and I quote, “It’s time.” Besides having no idea who this person was, I had no clue what she meant when she said it was time to re-post that blog. Right then and there I made up my mind to deny both of her requests but I didn’t have time to reply at that time. I put off answering her until the next day.

Waiting was a mistake or maybe not. Anyway before I replied to her requests, I checked MMN. Can you guess how this plays out? Of course you can, the blog post was already posted. My suspicions are the blog was already posted when I was asked for permission to put it on MMN. The permission asking may have been an after thought triggered by a couple of people commenting on the fact that I wrote the piece.

See, I don’t post on that many places. Not because I don’t have anything to say, quite the contrary, I have tons to say. I’m just not into all the drama that comes with posting on the majority of Manilow sites. Every place, including the scarce newsgroup, has its own dramas. That’s not my cup of tea. The Internet is a very hard place to access what people are trying to express.

The printed word leaves out all the clues such as body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, etc. that are used in conversation to help people understand what is being said. Reading what someone writes on the Internet might not come across in the way the writer meant. So how is it determined which individuals like to cause the drama on Manilow or any other sites? (FYI, Manilow sites are not the only places where fans disagree. It happens all over.) History. That’s how drama queens are identified. The pattern of behavior is repeated over and over, no matter where they go, making it easy to know who is going to stir things up.

The woman who posted my blog on MMN, (did I say it was without my permission), I don’t know if she causes problems. I do know she caused me anguish by taking it upon herself to hijack my blog for her own personal use. I don’t participle enough on the network to know what is going on. I don’t even post by blog on MMN anymore. I post the title and a link to my blog on my page. That way people can make up their own mind if they want to go read it, or not. I did post when I saw my blog on MMN, because I wasn’t sure how people were reacting to the post. I wanted everyone to know I had nothing to do with the blog being posted or any part of any issue that was being addressed.

If this person felt so strongly about issues she felt needed to be addressed, then she should have expressed her feelings – not mine. Like I said at the first of this post, maybe this week I felt just a minuscule bit of what Barry feels when he sees his work, illegal videos of the shows or copyrighted material on the Internet without his consent. It’s a terrible jolt to come across something you created being used in a way you never intended it to be used. I understand that so much better now.

As I said, I rejected that friend request. I couldn’t see myself being friends with someone who would take such advantage of me. The decent thing to do would be to at least apologize to me. I haven’t heard from her as of this writing and I don’t expect I will. To finish off the hijacked blog story; after I posted about my unhappiness on MMN, I went out to dinner. I had great food and a wonderful time with good friends. By the time I returned home, my blog had been removed from MMN. By whom? I don’t know. I was glad it had been taken down.

Please, feel free to read my blog posts. I welcome that. Comments are welcomed too. Just when you are finished reading my blog, leave it right here on the Blogspot site. This is where I put it and until I decide otherwise, this is where I want my blog to stay.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Opportunity Knocks

I keep reading that Barry will be the last guest to appear on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. This appearance is being compared to Bette Midler’s performance as the last guest of Johnny Carson as he took his leave of The Tonight Show by some of the media. If this is true then Barry has been handed a golden opportunity. I hope he makes the most of this rare gift.

This appearance will be the one that will be written about in the books on the history of television, rating right up there Jack Parr walking out on The Tonight Show. Clips of this show will not only be shown in the days after the show airs but for years to come. Barry, being the showman that he is, knows that this appearance has turned into much more than just a gig to promote his new CD. No, this appearance will be an event watched by a much larger audience than normal. It is up to Barry to make the show even more special by what he chooses to perform.

What should Barry perform? I don’t know. I’m not good at that sort of thing. Barry is the one who has expertise to make that choice. A very rich resource Barry could use is his loyal fan base. The Internet makes it possible for Barry to ask for suggestions from his fans as what special song they think would make his Tonight Show appearance memorable. As an added bonus, think what great interview material asking his fans’ input could provide for the talk shows Barry will be doing to promote his new CD. The dramatic story of how Barry wanted to do something extraordinary for the last Conan’s Tonight Show and his fans helped him chose what that will be.

I’m happy that a great performer like Barry who knows how to make something memorable will be the last guest on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. I hope Barry closes this chapter of The Tonight Show history in a spectacular way.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Leaving the Building

It isn’t often that I get to write about my two favorite singers in the same blog post but thanks to a tweet by Garry Kief I get to do that very thing. December saw the end of Barry Manilow’s run at the Las Vegas Hilton, and to commemorate this event, his manager tweeted, “Elvis has left the building.”

Discussions on a few fan boards had some Manilow fans wondering if this tweet compared Barry and Elvis Presley. The Hilton is famous for the shows Elvis did there from 1969 until his death in 1977. At the end of each show Elvis did on the road, it was announced, “Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night.” That was true. Elvis did no encore. He went straight off stage, into a waiting car, and was gone. After his death, the announcement came into popular usage. Was this a tweet that compared Barry to Elvis?

Not to brag but I am probably one of the few Manilow fans who could actually compare the two entertainers. I saw Elvis in concert around twenty-five time in the mid- 1970s. The Barry concerts I have seen are too numerous for me to count. Seeing concerts by both Barry and Elvis would put me in a good position to do a comparison.

I won’t do that. Both Elvis and Barry are great performers. They have different styles but both of them connect with their audience in a very special way. Sadly Elvis has left the building never to return. This is not the case with Barry. He is moving to a new gig at the Paris on the Vegas strip. Manilow fans can still enjoy Barry’s shows. As unbelievable as it is to me, the number of people who actually saw Elvis perform is rapidly shrinking.

Back to the question of if the Kief tweet was comparing Barry to Elvis. Personally, I think the tweet was just the use of a pop culture statement. It fit with Barry leaving the Hilton. My husband once asked my son the meaning of a post on Facebbook. His reply seems to sums up the meaning of the tweet about Elvis leaving the building – it’s only Facebook, or in this case. Twitter. Nothing more; nothing less. No hidden meaning. One good thing did come from this tweet; a few interesting conversations. That’s a good thing.