Note to FedEx: schoolyard taunts are a poor PR strategy

Continued">

On Sunday, the New York Times published a critique of the way that the shipper FedEx cut its federal tax bill to zero. Rather than defending itself, FedEx lashed out at the finances of the Times. While such tactics may be working for politicians, they’re no way for a public company to behave. Here’s the … Continued

Dear big company. The gig economy doesn’t work the way you think it does.

Continued">

I live in the gig economy. I work with large companies. Their systems are designed to make working with me “efficient.” In fact, they just ensure that they’re getting the highest possible price. If you’re a freelancer, you know how this works. Joe Exec, who knows you somehow (from seeing your blog, a reference from … Continued

Should you trademark a hashtag?

Continued">

Hashtags are great, but you don’t control them — anyone can post on them. So why not apply trademark protection? Because control and enthusiasm are inverses — the more you seek one, the less of the other you get. At one of its recent events, the Massachusetts Biotech Council was tweeting with its trademarked hashtag … Continued

Don’t let version confusion destroy your writing process

Continued">

The most fundamental principle in writing is actually . . . version control? It’s an unwritten rule. Like changing your underwear every day. And if you violate it, you are a barbarian. This is the least sexy writing advice ever. But if you and your collaborators don’t share a common understanding of version control, you’re … Continued

Despair, Inc. issues a funny apology

Continued">

Despair, Inc. makes posters and tchotchkes that satirize motivational sayings (you know, like “Tradition: Just Because You’ve Always Done It That Way Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Incredibly Stupid.”). And like any other business, they screw up. Unlike other businesses, their apology is self-deprecating and funny. Here’s the email a friend of mine got from Despair … Continued

Facebook, false advertising, and the cost of doing business

Continued">

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook won’t block political ads with lies in them. Facebook has changed its policy on — lets call it what is — false advertising. Zuckerberg characterizes this as a “free speech” issue. This is misdirection, a smokescreen. It’s utter bullshit. I refer you to what I wrote earlier this year, after another trust … Continued

To Meetup: if you’re going to change your prices, be clear about it

Continued">

Meetup started charging members of some of its groups $2 to RSVP to events — along with reducing charges for meeting organizers. This made people furious. The messaging was a mess, and they’re trying to clean it up now. As Dani Heahl wrote in The Verge yesterday: Meetup, an online platform that lets you find … Continued