Social Media Broke America. Here’s How to Fix It.

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This is the draft of the op-ed I first sent to the Boston Sunday Globe for publication in its Ideas section. It was never published in this form. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” But that was before social media. Now, thanks to … Continued

Contributed op-ed case study (3): Planning and writing

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Writing can be easy, provided you prepare properly. I’ll show how that applied to the op-ed I placed in the Boston Globe last Sunday. Let’s start by talking about two types of writers, planners and pantsers, a concept I borrow from fiction writers. Planners are the people who map everything out ahead of time, in … Continued

Contributed op-ed case study (2): Research

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If you’re contributing a piece to a major publication, they will want something new. If it’s new, it probably requires research. Today I’ll share how I do research — and specifically, what I did for the piece I published last week in the Ideas section of the Boston Sunday Globe. As I described yesterday, I … Continued

Contributed op-ed case study (1): The pitch

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Five weeks ago, I hatched the idea to place a prominent contributed opinion piece, or “op-ed,” in the Ideas section of the Boston Sunday Globe, a major daily newspaper. Yesterday, the piece appeared, and I started to hear from people in positions of power. If you are a writer or thought leader, this is the … Continued

Deplatforming Trump

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In about a month, Trump will no longer be president. He’ll no longer have the “political leader” exception on social media — he’ll have to play by the same rules as everyone else. I’ll game out what’s likely to happen as social networks and others consider “deplatforming” the ex-president. How deplatforming works All technology companies … Continued

The emotional side of editing (and being edited)

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It’s your prose, lovingly crafted. An editor has now started tearing it apart. What’s your reaction? Are you angry? Sad? Hurt? Here’s how to deal with it. The context for this post is personal. For the last two weeks, I’ve been working on an op-ed about Facebook and similar sites for the Sunday opinion page … Continued

What it really means when the Journal asks Jill Biden to drop the “Dr.”

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On the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, Joseph Epstein published an op-ed advising first lady Jill Biden — who has a doctorate in education — to drop the “Dr.” in her name. It’s dumb, sexist, and an insult to anyone who’s ever earned a university doctorate. Dissecting Epstein’s screed Here’s what’s in the op-ed — … Continued

How not to be a jerk when you post blog comments

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If the comment you made didn’t appear on my blog (or for that matter, on any blog), chances are you were being a jerk. Honestly, the rules are pretty much the same as they were 12 years ago when Charlene Li and I wrote about this stuff. And they’re pretty good rules for any conversation … Continued