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Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Posted in Blog, Poetry, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2010 by dustus

Is April really the cruelest month? Well, now that tax day is over, it seems like a great month to me.  In honor of National Poetry Month 2010, I offer the following poems.

available on

Pain Must Have Forgot

Stumbling, fumbling
Out of breath mumbling
Rock, paper, scissors
Chainsaw-scared juggling

Upside the head
Reality slaps
What can be done?
Which shuffled tasks?

Only one person
Happy to be
Unproving ideas
Altering scenes

All that you’ve got
Only one shot
Insecurity gone
Pain must have forgot

All in Time

Get control
Off, Heartbeat
Regain composure
Take a seat

You came back once
In a lifetime scene
Carried on
Illuminated dream

Tantrum and torture
Still moments love brings
Honest felt somber
Bitter bells ring

You want to give back
While getting back seems
More than what’s asked for
What’s wished for?
Perfect sleep, contented rest
Goals setting dreams work best
So we think
Then we find
Initially what
Escaped our mind
Love around us
All in time
In and out of line

Acknowledgement’s Pass

Quartered time lines on a grandfather clock
Structure, arranged as a compass well placed
A midnight boom to unnoticed tick-tocks
Swept hands overlap and circle the face
Not leaving a trail revolving its way
Forming orbits through good times and regret
Exact angles in instances are razed
A precise spot in time is sediment
In the crumbling of hours long dreaming
One never grasps a sense of history
Not knowing fully in moments seeming
Things repeat through beauty and misery
Life cannot escape from an hourglass
Only re-feeling acknowledgement’s pass


“The author’s sense of place and humor comes across particularly well when writing poems on writing poems. The statements—and imagery—about creating the form often reelects a sense of form as well.  In fact, the poems written in form—sonnets, villanelles—are the strongest , in general of all the poems here.  The reference and inclusion of blog poems at the end is a nice touch.  I also like the cover photo: the author peeking into the frame, as if a non-participatory observer.”

—Writer’s Digest Judge, about In & Out of Line

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Twitterville (Book Review)

Posted in Blog, education, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus), writing with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2010 by dustus

Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods

Twitter may be the most effective social media tool for promoting grassroots causes. Irrespective of whether one’s initiative qualifies as political, business, or artistic; this micro blogging platform integrates extremely well with blogging and other social media sites. In fact, Twitter continues to prove effective to the point where major corporations like Dell, Comcast, Jet Blue, Southwest Airlines, Proctor & Gamble, Virgin America, U-Haul, Geek Squad, Best Buy, Pepsi, Ford, Zappos, H&R Block, Rubbermaid, Molson, Tyson Foods, etc… all utilize Twitter in various ways. Shel Israel explains how these companies connect, promote, and run damage control in a 32 million member global community known as “Twitterville.”

To my surprise, after presenting the ways many businesses use Twitter to connect directly with customers (especially in handling customer service) Twitterville opened my eyes to “a large cult of generosity.” The book also considers our drastic societal change from the invention of the telephone to the phenomenon known as micro blogging.

I found reading Twitterville to be a refreshing experience because Shel Israel devotes the end of the book to how Twitter can be used to help people in need, as well as to promote world peace. The concluding messages in Twitterville place hope in an international community building ties through social media and technologically enhanced citizen communication.

Seldom do books inspire me to want to contribute to this world in whatever way I can. That being said, I never expected Shel Israel’s Twitterville to motivate me to search some of the sources he mentions. In particular, I was interested in blog widgets that allow bloggers to accept donations on behalf of a charity in a transparent manner. So if you’re a blogger and would like to collect for a worthy charity, check out the ChipIn site. You can customize blog widgets there (available for Facebook as well).

My recommendation = Twitterville is an insightful book—definitely worth reading
Shel Israel is also the author of How Businesses can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods [Portfolio, Sept. 2009]; co-author, of Naked Conversations–how blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers [Wiley, 2006], and The Conversational Corporation, a Dow Jones eBook [May 2009]. He’s contributed editorially to BusinessWeek and FastCompanyTV.

Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read (Social Media Book Review)

Posted in Blog, education, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus) with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by dustus

I discovered over the last year that there is just so much one can do with a free WordPress blog. In fact, I used to marvel at how some of my favorite blogs utilize cool plugins and capabilities that my free blog is not able to support. The Dustus Blog could not handle retweets, maps, ads (though I choose not to run them) and all those other coded goodies available to self-hosted blogs. Overall, my design options and ability to customize were indeed very limited with a free blog format.

If you are like me and you’re looking to make the leap to a self-hosted WP blog, then buy Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read. This book is worth every penny. Scott McNulty walks you through the process of setting up your new self-hosted blog, and he does not skip any of the technical essentials. By the time you finish reading this book, you will be ready to upload all the necessary WordPress files to your host server. Then the real fun begins: you may modify/customize existing templates to fit all of your blogging needs.

I admit that before beginning the process of upgrading to, I was afraid of tinkering with PHP code. However, Scott McNulty is so clear with his explanations and visual guides that the process becomes easy.

Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read = Fantastic (visit, a direct result of applying my design skills to the information presented in Scott’s book)
Scott McNulty (@blankbaby on Twitter) is the Chief Blogger at Comcast (check out Comcast Voices), co-hosts Fork You, is a senior contributor to MacUser,as well as a frequent contributor to Macworld.