Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Am Kathleen Seidel

If you are an aspie, an autie, a blogger or just an informed citizen with a desire to inform the public about an issue you are familiar with against the wishes of some powerful interests, then the SLAPP supoena against Kathleen Seidel and her site, Neurodiversity, might as well have been aimed at you.

Yes, I'm on about this again. And about Zazzle. So it's doubly annoying - but what part of "aspie" was unclear to you?

Therefore, I'm suggesting that all interested parties express their interest. The idea came from discussion at Aspies for Freedom, who suggested we take a hint from the classic movie "Sparticus," declaring "I Am Kathleen Seidel" for reasons parallel to the reasons captured slaves stood up to declare "I Am Sparticus."

How about an I am Spartacus type thing with loads of people buying up domain names,,,,,, etc etc etc etc etc etc?
That's a great idea, well worth doing and I wish I could afford to. If you do it, you don't need to create a whole new blog - just alias the url to your own blog. I use, and it takes just a few minutes to do, and a couple more to go live, typically. Pretty painless.

The precedent of permitting this action against Seidel by a firm that stands to profit greatly should she and other contrary voices be silenced should be every bit as worrying to "pro cure" activists. Consider what happens if this action works.

There are a LOT of deep pockets on all sides here. And while it seems wildly improbable that Merck or Bayer is funding Seidel, it's certain that if it becomes needful to keep people who support their view of the evidence online, they will be forced to do so. And then the bullshit will really pile up, and I suggest that to refer to that as "counterproductive" would be rather an understatement.

This is not about supporting what Kathleen has to say. This is about her right and YOUR right to share an informed, supportable opinion in public without fear of frivolous and abusive litigation aimed at shutting you up. Now, one part of the SLAPP subpoena was to try and get Kathleen to cough up all correspondence to everyone on her blogroll, and any related documentation about her relationship to them. It was literally aimed at everyone who'd ever linked to her and could even be read as aimed at anyone who's IP address showed up in her logs.

So, yes, YOU are Kathleen Seidel. I am Kathleen Seidel. We are all Kathleen Seidel. So put the graphic on your blog, or make your own. Make a t-shirt if you walk about in public (kind of pointless for me to do that, but obviously it's going onto my blog.)

Seriously though, I'm not asking you to buy this. If you do - since for some reason I cannot set a zero profit - I'm going to send the proceeds to Kathleen anyhow, but I ask you to send her five bucks via the donation button in her right sidebar.

Now, we are going to do a little tutorial on how to link to this and use it purely as a blog graphic (with proper credit) even if you are morally opposed to my sort of semi-successful capitalist piggery.

First - observe the deliberate choice of model and shirt color. You see, when people click thru, they have their choice with this particular design - they can link to the "product image" - as shown in this case - or they can link to the design. And with a white t-shirt, it ends up looking like this:

Now, mouse over that. There's no affiliate link there, at all. Why?

Well, it's because Zazzle provides a naked image code for you to use, in case your platform doesn't like embedding the full html link, or what-have you. Go to the product page, and look for "link to this" - it will summon a popup, so you have to permit that, and that popup contains all the link codes.

You can of course download the graphic from that link if you like.

There's a catch, of course. You must have registered with Zazzle to be an affiliate in order to get these codes. (Absent me handing them out, to be sure.) Ideally, you will set up your own store. But there are serious advantages to this - not the least of which being that it allows you to create a blog graphic as good as this with licensed type fonts in less then twenty minutes, on the fly. If it's a compelling design, you might just sell a few. My "No whining" graphic does quite well, but that is beside the point here. What you are setting up is a graphic that is keyworded and categorized to link to an issue. It will start appearing in Google Image searches, and if you use it in a post - that graphic will refer to your post, not to the Google-discounted sales page. I'm not sure if that's true if you use MY product image, so I would actually suggest that you take the time to set up a Zazzle store of your own. I find it incredibly handy as a way of combining graphics and text quickly, without having to be on any particular computer.

And if I don't happen to have time to do that, I just have to do a quick search to have my choice of images. For instance - keyword "Diversity" results in a ton of images, all neatly set up for me to use. I always use the full html, and then try to remember to kick the text link down to the bottom of the post as a credit line. It's only fair, remember you are getting the use of some dazzlingly expert images (see diversity.) And if you are looking for horrible counterexamples - well, you can show the "other side" without linking to 'em, because of the "image only" code capability.

It would be great if Kathleen Siedel was an equally broad category. And don't forget SLAPP and "Clifford Shoemaker"

Credit: Illustrations above: I am Kathleen Seidel - Onsie by webcarve

And here's another:

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