New year, new thinking: What to do when you’re stuck in a rut

New Year’s is a good time to think about change. As I think back on all the biggest opportunities and shifts I have made in my career, they all have these things in common: I was feeling stuck and bored. Something was tickling the back of my imagination. I moved toward it. And eventually, I … Continued

How to dream like a professional

You probably have this week off, or at least it’s a light work week for you. It’s the perfect time to dream about your career. Time without work deadlines is a precious resource. You are probably decompressing somewhere warm, playing board games with family, or riding character-themed rides at an amusement park. Go ahead, have … Continued

Newsjacking and other fruitful sources of content marketing ideas

“What am I going to write about?” That’s the content marketer’s constant challenge. In fact, the number of sources is endless. You just have to have the right mindset. Let’s remember what content marketing is. While there are any number of definitions out there, I think of it very simply: Content marketing is sharing something … Continued

Collaborating on a book is a terrible idea. But if you must, be asymmetrical.

Writing a book is hard enough. Adding another person makes it twice as hard. Collaboration only makes sense if it’s asymmetrical — if you have complementary skills and different jobs. I’ve written three books with coauthors, edited a few more, and am currently ghostwriting parts of books with other authors. Coauthoring sounds like it’s going … Continued

Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb treats the Russia investigation as a comic book

President Trump thinks the Russia investigation is pointless. If you have any doubt, look at the statements of his lawyer, Ty Cobb. No, not the content — the font. After Lt. General Michael Flynn pled guilty and became a cooperating witness, Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb released this statement: Today, Michael Flynn, a former National Security … Continued

How to write a good book quickly: 12 simple rules

Can you write a good book in two or three months? Maybe. But it takes planning and discipline. I’ve done it, and so have other authors I know. Many of us feel that we created our best work quickly. I wrote most of Groundswell in 11 weeks and Writing Without Bullshit in three months, and both are buttoned-down, … Continued

Protecting your backend from jargon-laced error messages

Code that goes wrong generates errors. It’s typical for developers to spend their time on the code, not on the error messages. This is a plea to put a little more effort into those messages, even if you think no one will see them. Unknown attackers ambushed the Boston Globe site with a DDOS (distributed denial … Continued