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Sara Perez wrote up a great piece explaining the “secret sauce” that makes Bitcasa pretty irresistible.

30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died …A Letter From Michael Moore

Friends,

From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, “When did this all begin, America’s downward slide?” They say they’ve heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent’s income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how “lowly” your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated.

Young people have heard of this mythical time — but it was no myth, it was real. And when they ask, “When did this all end?”, I say, “It ended on this day: August 5th, 1981.”

Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to “go for it” — to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves.

And they’ve succeeded.

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.

It was a bold and brash move. No one had ever tried it. What made it even bolder was that PATCO was one of only three unions that had endorsed Reagan for president! It sent a shock wave through workers across the country. If he would do this to the people who were with him, what would he do to us?

Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started — a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. The rich hated paying better wages and providing benefits. They hated paying taxes even more. And they despised unions. The right-wing Christians hated anything that sounded like socialism or holding out a helping hand to minorities or women.

Reagan promised to end all that. So when the air traffic controllers went on strike, he seized the moment. In getting rid of every single last one of them and outlawing their union, he sent a clear and strong message: The days of everyone having a comfortable middle class life were over. America, from now on, would be run this way:

* The super-rich will make more, much much more, and the rest of you will scramble for the crumbs that are left.

* Everyone must work! Mom, Dad, the teenagers in the house! Dad, you work a second job! Kids, here’s your latch-key! Your parents might be home in time to put you to bed.

* 50 million of you must go without health insurance! And health insurance companies: you go ahead and decide who you want to help — or not.

* Unions are evil! You will not belong to a union! You do not need an advocate! Shut up and get back to work! No, you can’t leave now, we’re not done. Your kids can make their own dinner.

* You want to go to college? No problem — just sign here and be in hock to a bank for the next 20 years!

* What’s “a raise”? Get back to work and shut up!

And so it went. But Reagan could not have pulled this off by himself in 1981. He had some big help:

The AFL-CIO.

The biggest organization of unions in America told its members to cross the picket lines of the air traffic controllers and go to work. And that’s just what these union members did. Union pilots, flight attendants, delivery truck drivers, baggage handlers — they all crossed the line and helped to break the strike. And union members of all stripes crossed the picket lines and continued to fly.

Reagan and Wall Street could not believe their eyes! Hundreds of thousands of working people and union members endorsing the firing of fellow union members. It was Christmas in August for Corporate America.

And that was the beginning of the end. Reagan and the Republicans knew they could get away with anything — and they did. They slashed taxes on the rich. They made it harder for you to start a union at your workplace. They eliminated safety regulations on the job. They ignored the monopoly laws and allowed thousands of companies to merge or be bought out and closed down. Corporations froze wages and threatened to move overseas if the workers didn’t accept lower pay and less benefits. And when the workers agreed to work for less, they moved the jobs overseas anyway.

And at every step along the way, the majority of Americans went along with this. There was little opposition or fight-back. The “masses” did not rise up and protect their jobs, their homes, their schools (which used to be the best in the world). They just accepted their fate and took the beating.

I have often wondered what would have happened had we all just stopped flying, period, back in 1981. What if all the unions had said to Reagan, “Give those controllers their jobs back or we’re shutting the country down!”? You know what would have happened. The corporate elite and their boy Reagan would have buckled.

But we didn’t do it. And so, bit by bit, piece by piece, in the ensuing 30 years, those in power have destroyed the middle class of our country and, in turn, have wrecked the future for our young people. Wages have remained stagnant for 30 years. Take a look at the statistics and you can see that every decline we’re now suffering with had its beginning in 1981 (here’s a little scene to illustrate that from my last movie).

It all began on this day, 30 years ago. One of the darkest days in American history. And we let it happen to us. Yes, they had the money, and the media and the cops. But we had 200 million of us. Ever wonder what it would look like if 200 million got truly upset and wanted their country, their life, their job, their weekend, their time with their kids back?

Have we all just given up? What are we waiting for? Forget about the 20% who support the Tea Party — we are the other 80%! This decline will only end when we demand it. And not through an online petition or a tweet. We are going to have to turn the TV and the computer and the video games off and get out in the streets (like they’ve done in Wisconsin). Some of you need to run for local office next year. We need to demand that the Democrats either get a spine and stop taking corporate money — or step aside.

When is enough, enough? The middle class dream will not just magically reappear. Wall Street’s plan is clear: America is to be a nation of Haves and Have Nothings. Is that OK for you?

Why not use today to pause and think about the little steps you can take to turn this around in your neighborhood, at your workplace, in your school? Is there any better day to start than today?

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. Here are a few places you can connect with to get the ball rolling:

Showdown in America
Democracy Convention
Occupy Wall Street
October 2011
How to Join a Union, from the AFL-CIO (They’ve learned their lesson and have a good president now) or UE
Change to Win
MoveOn
High School Newspaper (Just because you’re under 18 doesn’t mean you can’t do anything!)

Join Mike’s Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike’s Facebook Group | Become Mike’s MySpace Friend

11 Best Free Event Listing Websites – 2011 Update

11 event websites that can get you listed in Google and extend your reach to the conference-going community

Thanks to the excellent folks at Mequoda for this resource list.

While press releases are still recommended for your events, we’re finding that dedicated event websites are showing up more prominently in Google. When we spend the time to add the Mequoda Summit to event listing websites, we generally see more than half of the listings pointing to event sites and the others to PR sites like PRLog.com. When we search for the event using targeted keywords (for example, “internet marketing conference for publishers”), the results are the same.

This isn’t to say that press releases are not effective for events—they are. Some event websites want to be the resource for all events and will list your event on their own, once they’ve found your press release online. For example, due to our Summit press release, our event was listed on MyEventGuru.com, which is actually a paid events site. Our event showed up in dozens of locations on the site and even landed on their front page. And thanks to our press release, we didn’t pay a dime.

Here is a list of other popular (and free) event listing websites, in order of what have found to be the most effective (along with stats from Compete.com and Quantcast.com).

According to our new 2011 research, the primary audience of these sites has risen in age, where more 35-49 year olds hold the dominating demographic with ages 50+ not far behind. A drop in traffic for several of these event websites also indicates that our new additions have added a legitimate amount of fierce competition.

Zvents.com
Event Listing Websites - Zvents

On some event sites, you can submit your event information and it will be listed on the site as well as anywhere else that syndicates content from the site. The best example of this type of website is Zvents. When you list your site on Zvents, popular sites that use Zvents as their event listing engine pick it up. When we submitted the Mequoda Summit to Zvents, sites like Boston.com amongst tons of local newspaper sites picked it up.

About Zvents.com  (updated 6/2011):

  • 1.8 million visitors per month
  • Slightly more female audience (58%)
  • People ages 35-49 use this site most (34%)
  • Most users make more than 60k per year (73%)
  • More users have attended college or graduate school than those who have not (59%)
Do you want more website traffic and a larger email marketing list? Download our free Increasing Website Traffic & Building Email Marketing Lists eBook now and learn the strategies successful publishers and Internet marketers are using.

AllConferences.com
Event Listing Websites - AllConferences

This site got us listed #2 in Google when you search for the term “internet marketing conference for publishers”. The site is very bare-bones in terms of design, but the site is strongly optimized for search. Since we last researched these event sites, AllConferences has dropped in traffic, possibly indicating the use of other event listing sites like Facebook, but may also indicate an adverse effect from Google’s Panda Update.

About AllConferences.com  (updated 6/2011):

  • 11.2k visitors per month
  • Slightly more female audience (51%)
  • Large audience in the 35-49 age range (40%)
  • Mostly in households with no kids (67%)
  • Largest group of users make 30-60k per year (30%)
  • Well educated users, having attended college or graduate school (68%)

ConFabb.com
Event Listing Websites - Confabb

This conference community encourages social networking and even implements Google, Yahoo and Mapquest maps into the event description. It will let you list sessions (with full descriptions, times, etc.), speakers, and will event let attendees (and prospectives) discuss the event in a dedicated forum and write reviews. In addition, Confabb will track where your conference has been listed in Technorati, Google, Yahoo, Feedster, Flickr, YouTube, del.icio.us, and slideshare. In addition, as event attendees you can use the site to rate other conferences and otherwise contribute to the conference community. This site is lower on the totem pole in terms of website traffic, but very high in terms of  features.

About ConFabb.com (updated 6/2011):

  • 2.4k visitors per month
  • Equal male/female audience (50%)
  • Large user base evenly spread over age 18 to 100 (93%)
  • Largest group of users make 60-100k per year (30%) but 24% make 0-30k and 27% make 30-60k
  • Large percentage of users have no kids (78%)
  • Highly educated with user having attended college or graduate school (69%)
Do you want more website traffic and a larger email marketing list? Download our free Increasing Website Traffic & Building Email Marketing Lists eBook now and learn the strategies successful publishers and Internet marketers are using.

Yelp.com
Event Listing Websites - Yelp

This venue and restaurant review community has an event section that lists local events that get listed in the community calendar. Members can also say whether or not they’re attending the event and review the event when it’s ended. As a (free) member of Yelp, you can list events in the closest big city to the event. This option may work better for B2C publishers, as their audience is more consumer than business.

About Yelp.com (updated 6/2011):

  • 15.7 million visitors per month
  • Slightly more female audience (55%)
  • Large age range with biggest group aged 18-34 (42%)
  • Wealthy users with largest group making over 100k per year (36%) and only 14% making less than 30k.
  • Average education levels with most having no college or some college completed  (80%)

Upcoming.Yahoo.com
Event Listing Websites - Upcoming

Yahoo! members can list events on this popular local event website. Like Yelp, this may work better for a B2C audience. Going.com is another site like this with similar traffic.

About Upcoming.Yahoo.com (updated 6/2011):

  • 263.8k visitors per month
  • Slightly more female audience (56%)
  • Most users are aged 18-49 (67%)
  • Income is higher, with many making 60k+ per year (64%)
  • Larger African American and Hispanic audience than other sites (23%)
  • Less users have attended college than other sites (46%)

Eventful.com
Event Listing Websites - Eventful

Very popular for music, community and educational events. This site has an email newsletter that reminds users of upcoming events in their area. This is definitely a consumer-based website and would be recommended for charity, free promotional events or even a booth promotion at large events.

About Eventful.com (added 6/2011):

  • 1.7 million visitors per month
  • Slightly more female audience (55%)
  • Ages 18-34 and 35-49 are equal at 32% each
  • Fairly even percentages across users who make 30k+ per year up to 100k+ (84%)
  • Larger Hispanic and African american userbase than other sites (20%)
  • 43% have not attended college, but 42% have

Eventbrite

About Eventful.com (added 6/2011):

  • 1.4 million visitors per month
  • Slightly more female audience (57%)
  • Most users are aged 18-49 (66%) with very few under 18 (9%)
  • Somewhat wealthy userbase with many users making 60k+ (63%)
  • Larger African American user base than other sites (17%)
  • Almost half of users have completed college (46%)

Eventbrite is more of a ticketing website than a listing website, but one does follow the other. They allow you to register users and collect money for your tickets using their system. If the event is free, they don’t charge you a dime. Additionally, they have an app that allows you to check people in at the door. Once your event is in the system you’re automatically listed in their directory.

Facebook Events


Facebook might not be a dedicated event website, but it allows you to tap into your own network, rather than asking people to find it on their own. When you post an event, it goes to everyone who “likes” your page and allows you to track RSVPs and send messages to anyone who is attending. For those with a large Facebook following, this is a great addition to all of the other event websites out there.

LinkedIn Events


If you are in the B2B space don’t forget to include your events in the LinkedIn events directory. These events show up in the sidebar of your network contacts and can also be found when someone is looking for related events. LinkedIn also has a paid feature that allows you to promote your event if you need the extra boost.

One other bit of advice is to look for local enthusiasts in your niche. In Boston, we have BostonTweetup, hosted by Joselin Mane, who curates an ongoing listing of Tweetups in the Boston and New England area. He keeps an ongoing calendar listing of upcoming events and sends event shout-outs and updates to his list of over 8k followers. Try to find people like this in your area.

Other sites you might find helpful:

DevTownStation – A tech conference and webinar listing site. Low traffic but lots of opportunity.
Gary’s Guide – A tech events calendar that gets about 1.8k visitors per month and has a homepage for 15 major cities.

You may also find opportunities to list events in your local newspaper websites. Many business and community newspapers like Crain’s Detroit Business or Ohio’s Journal News accept event listings online.