Mental Floss From IX to V

My regular readers who have been with me for awhile already know that I really Hate memes.    Many times, I simply ignore them or give the sender a brief mention and link at the end of an unrelated post.   Once, when Mitch tagged me with a meme I just didn’t want to do (this is a book review site, not a free form blog and I hate to post off-topic) I played a mean meme trick by tagging him right back with the Einstein’s Brain God Does Not Exist meme.   Mitch never did attempt to tackle that very challenging meme on his blog, but he seemed to get the point that sometimes getting tagged is a real pain in the ass.   (And my friend Jamie whom I also tagged with that meme, royally rose to the challenge and did a great post.)     So when my new Entrecard buddy Saphrym tagged me with an Entrecard meme,  I decided to once again turn the tables.

After weeks of encouragement from many of my Blog Catalog friends like Vienne and Dawn, I finally signed up for Entrecard and was almost instantly hooked.   Some folks mistake Entrecard for an Advertising service, but it really isn’t.   Much like my meme posts that look like book reviews by really aren’t Entrecard is a site that appears to be all about buying and selling blog advertising but really isn’t.   Confused yet?

Like Blog Catalog, Entrecard is really a social networking site for bloggers.   Bloggers earn points by dropping off their cards at other participating blogs.   They also earn points whenever someone drops off a card on their site.   The credits can then be used to place their 125 x 125 pixel card image on other blogs.   The number of credits required is determined by the average number of daily card drops the blog has received in the previous 5 days.   Hence the sites that get the most visitors (among Entrecard participants) cost the most to advertise on.   Still confused?

The system is very different from other directory sites and does take a bit of getting used to and some time to understand.   But most sophisticated bloggers soon realize that it is all about networking with other bloggers to build an audience and playing nice and playing fair Do Count.  And don’t go breaking the rules just to see if you can.  The owners of this site have put a great deal of thought and programming into this system and they Will catch you and you will lose your points or get banned.   (Besides which our resident cop on the blog beat may have to Arrest you.)  They are also very customer service oriented and respond quickly and professionally to all concerns reported through their trouble ticket system.

I have met a whole bunch of incredible bloggers over on Entrecard and what amazes me the most is that many of these folks are also participants on Blog Catalog, yet I had never run into them over there.   My absolute favorite new book blog is Book Calendar,  a fantastic blog by Wehireu, a BC member and librarian who posts book reviews and excellent insights into the publishing and book selling industries that would be invaluable to any of my writer friends who are serious about getting published.

So when Saphrym tagged me with Sam Freedom‘s new Entrecard meme,  I just knew I had to participate.  (Sam Freedom, btw is a guru of what he calls controversial marketing.   Along with Dane Morgan and Rich Becker he is among the very, very few marketing people online who aren’t  full of shit and talking through their hats.)  And I am supposing now as as good a time as any for my new Entrecard friends to learn that I don’t follow instructions very well, particularly when it comes to memes. (Be thankful I haven’t done another Einstein’s brain on you 😉

So here is my response to the Entrecard meme.    I am not going to copy and paste in the instructions, which you can read here.   By this post I tag Entrecard bloggers AntiBarbie, EavesdropWriter, Book Calendar, Suburbian Queen and Money News with the Entrecard meme.   Please do visit their sites.   And if you’re an Entrecard member don’t forget to drop off your card.

Finally,  just so no one will feel they missed their daily visit from “that guy at the library who knows about so many different books”,  here’s the skinny on today’s titles:

mental_floss presents Instant Knowledge is an odd little paperback approximately the size of a deck of cards or a pack of ciagarettes.   It is a compendium of all sorts of odd little facts, such as that scientists have succeeded in creating a chemical substitute for ambergris which should get PETA and the Save The Whales folks off the backs of perfume lovers or that Genghis Khan was buried with more than 2,000 followers.  Each little blurb is just the right size for a quick bathroom break.   Recommended.

Subtitled Orgy Planners, Funeral Clowns and Other Prized Professions of the Ancient World, Vicki Leon’s new Working IX To V is an enlighting and entertaining look at some of the more unusual occupations in ancient Greece and Rome.   Recommended.