RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech
Episode 46 – download now subscribe now

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We’re focusing on immigration today, and the immigration bill being debated in the Senate right now for two reasons… we’ve neglected the news last week, and two, Art isn’t here to provide is violent protest of immigration to America.

This comes from the Patriot Post:

“This administration has a case of the slows on border enforcement. If we have border enforcement, we will be able at that point to start to regulate the internal problem that we’ve got. Because as long as you’ve got a revolving door and you have no border—and this 2,000-mile porous border, incidentally, is our biggest homeland security problem; it’s not just an immigration problem, it’s a homeland security problem—we need to build the border fence. We need to have a Border Patrol which is big enough to get the job done, and we need to be able to ask people when they want to come into America, knock on the front door, because the back door is going to be closed.” —Rep. Duncan Hunter

I spoke at length on my ruminations on border security, immigration, and Ron Paul. I read this quote from the most recent edition of the Patriot Post, a reader’s question and the Post’s reply:

“It appears The Patriot is following the Leftmedia’s lead and ignoring Ron Paul. He did not even get a mention in Alexander’s essay, ‘The GOP—a party in distress’, last Friday. Why?” —Chesapeake, Virginia

Editor’s Reply: First, you know we always follow the “Leftmedia lead”! Second, we publish Ron Paul’s excellent arguments about domestic policy issues, but we do NOT support Paul as a presidential candidate because his isolationist foreign policy and national security positions are disastrously, appallingly and potentially, catastrophically wrong. Two of the president’s most important constitutional responsibilities pertain to foreign policy and national security, and Paul’s Libertarian views earn him an F- in those departments.

The bottom line is this: Why does Ron Paul get a bum wrap when he’s the only candidate with a sure-fire plan to toughen border security and solve our woes in foreign entanglements? No other candidate on either side of the aisle has proposed a legitimate response to that question.

Furthermore, why does Ron Paul rank at the bottom of polls done by newspapers and certain Old Media organisations, when even now in New Media and even certain Old Media polls (like FOX and MSNBC), he’s leading the pack? Is it conspiracy, bias, or his rabid base? You’re responses are welcome here – guesswho@rizzn.com. They’ll be read on the show this week.

Turning to other political news, we revisit the Florida Primary Voting story:

Florida shakes up early presidential voting
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill Monday moving Florida’s 2008 presidential primary to Jan. 29 and shaking up the race by bypassing a dozen other states set for Feb. 5.

The move puts Florida’s primary, which had been scheduled for March, behind only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary and on the same day as South Carolina’s Democratic primary.

Florida has by far the largest population of any of the early voting states set for January and is the most expensive in which to campaign, giving well-funded candidates an even greater advantage and possibly drawing attention away from the smaller states.

“This is going to require the serious candidates to spend very, very large amounts of money and time in Florida,” said Merle Black, a politics professor at Emory University in Atlanta. “If you can’t compete in Florida, that’s going to be a sign that you’re not a serious contender.”

Crist, a Republican, and other state GOP leaders have argued Florida’s diversity and size merit more influence in deciding the nation’s leadership. The delegate-rich state decided the disputed 2000 presidential election.

Florida’s early election could also have implications in the Feb. 5 primaries scheduled in a dozen other states, including New York and California.

A win in Florida is a big prize because the state is seen as a microcosm of the nation with its diverse population, so it shows how a candidate might do in other states, Black said.

Remember… that’s the same state who’s Democrats
aren’t going to regard the votes of the party members, but simply decide on their own who should be the state’s Democratic candidate. Does anyone but me see the irony of who the Democratic Presidential candidate is going to be largely decided by non-democratic methods?

In other political news, just a bit more about immigration:

Bush’s backing of bipartisan immigration deal splits GOP

The Washington Post and McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — President Bush’s embrace of this week’s Senate bipartisan immigration deal has split the Republican Party.

Capitol Hill operators were besieged with calls from interest groups Friday, and immigration clearly was Topic A on conservative talk-radio shows. Other key figures, including analysts at the Heritage Foundation and National Review columnists, derided the agreement as a sellout of conservative principles, while most GOP presidential candidates criticized the plan as a form of amnesty — a characterization rejected by the White House.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who last year said similar efforts for a comprehensive immigration bill were “reasonable,” called the deal reached this week the “wrong approach” to the problem. “Any legislation that allows illegal immigrants to stay in the country indefinitely, as the new ‘Z-Visa’ does, is a form of amnesty,” he said.

Turning to Tech News, let’s be talkin’ bout Bebo!:

Is Bebo Worth $1 billion?

See our earlier post on possible acquisition talks between Yahoo and Bebo for $1 billion or so. The original report for the story comes from the UK’s Telegraph, based on a very weak source – “silicon valley gossip.” Still, we though it was worth a look at the most recent data to see if Bebo really could pull off a $1 billion or more sale.

We’ve pulled worldwide Comscore stats for MySpace, Facebook and Bebo. The most recent data (March) shows MySpace with 107 million unique monthly visitors. Facebook had 32 million and Bebo had 13.7 million. Bebo users tend to spend a lot of time on the site – on average they view just over 20 pages per day each, about equal to Facebook and a bit more than MySpace..

According to Comscore, Bebo today is about as big as Facebook was in May 06. Based on fairly aggresive growth estimates, Yahoo valued Facebook for as much as $1.6 billion at that time or a little later. If Bebo sold for $1 billion today, the buyer would be paying around $73/unique visitor, which is certainly in the range of acceptable.

Both Facebook and MySpace are growing faster than Bebo is today. But neither of those properties are available to Yahoo, so perhaps they are dipping down a little deeper into the social networking well.

In other social networking news, I take this opportunity to narrowcast a bit to those in my audience who I know are closely involved in social networking projects. Bottom line: be the platform.

Facebook Going Platform
It’s no secret that Facebook has big ambitions and has supposedly turned down huge buyout offers. However, at the same time, there’s been a lot of talk about how, despite tons of page views, advertisers weren’t entirely thrilled with the returns they got from advertising in Facebook. Still, the site is unquestionably popular, and in many ways more palatable than MySpace, which has built up a tremendously negative reputation in the eyes of many. Over the past year, Facebook has also been aggressive in rolling out a variety of new features to make it start looking like much more than “yet another social network,” and the latest is that the company is going to start positioning itself much more as a platform for others to build on. It’s already made some effort to allow others to build on its platform via APIs, but this sounds like they’re going even further in that direction. There’s certainly no guarantee that this will actually catch on, but we’ve long believed that the strategy to really “own” the next generation of internet users has to be based on being the platform on which apps are built. This is something Google should have done three years ago, but they continue to fall down on the job and certainly have opened up a huge opportunity for others to do it instead. Seeing Facebook as the latest such entrant isn’t necessarily a huge surprise, but it again shows that Google’s inability to focus on the platform side of things has opened the door for many others.

In obligatory Google news:

Google Cracks Down on Made for AdSense Sites
JenSense reports that a lot of AdSense users who built sites with almost no original content, but full of AdSense ads, had their accounts removed.
Numerous AdSense publishers have been receiving emails from Google the past couple of days stating that their use of their AdSense account is an unsuitable business model and that accounts would be disabled as of June 1st, giving publishers about two weeks notice to prepare for the loss of the AdSense accounts… and since it seems that arbitrage publishers are the ones receiving this account disabled email, to give those publisher enough time to shut down accounts or use an alternative source for their outgoing traffic.

These users usually bought cheap keywords from AdWords and sent the visitors to their sites that also displayed ads, but for more expensive keywords. The sites didn’t contain almost anything valuable, most of the time they scraped content from other sites, but they made a lot of money by tricking users.

Related links to this story: viralinstigator.com (not reccomended as a service).

And in the rumor mill this week Feedburner + Google = Feedboogle? GooBurner? heh…:

Should Google Buy FeedBurner?
When I first heard about FeedBurner I wondered what’s so great about “burning your feed”. Well, you get stats for your feed, you can customize your feed, add dynamic content at the bottom of each feed entry and transform that weird XML file into a nice HTML page that lets people subscribe to the feed.

FeedBurner transformed from a site that offered a way to make your feeds more humane, to the one-stop-shop for bloggers. They now offer stats for you
r blog, email subscriptions for feeds, ads for feed
s and blogs. FeedBurner has dedicated services for companies, so there’s no wonder that AOL, Wall Street Journal, Reuters are among their clients. But even if FeedBurner grew so much over the years, they keep adding new features, the customer support is excellent even for non-paying users.

There’s a rumor that says Google intends to buy FeedBurner and this seems a very good idea. Not just because FeedBurner is the Google of feeds and has a great team. What could FeedBurner do for Google?

* make Blogger’s feeds smarter out of the box

* FeedBurner’s services could become totally free (currently you have to pay for more advanced stats)

* offer a lot of interesting information to mine

* integrate the stats for feeds with Measure Map and create the perfect analytics solution for blogs

* FeedBurner has a very big number of feeds: more than 700,000. Google has a lot of advertisers, but the AdSense for feeds program is still in closed beta.