How authors can work with a cartoonist

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I’m currently editing a book that will include cartoons. Cartoons will make the book much more enjoyable, even as they drive home the points in the chapters. And I’ve never had this much fun working. Today: what it’s like to work with a cartoonist. This isn’t my first book with cartoons. For Marketing to the … Continued

Can you have fun with a GDPR announcement? JibJab did

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Your mailbox is full of GDPR announcements. They’re obligatory, and you’re almost certainly ignoring them. Writing in this context is a challenge — but humor and video site jibjab.com decided to have a little fun with it. On the policy side, though, it’s still legalese all the way down. Here’s the email my friend got … Continued

KFC answers the question: when are you allowed to be funny in a crisis?

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KFC ran out of chicken in the UK. They had to close their restaurants, and then explain themselves. They decided to poke fun at themselves . . . which is great, so long as nobody gets hurt. KFC suffered a distribution problem, which meant, basically, no chicken. Their first decision — to close the restaurants … Continued

How the Gmail “Smart Reply” feature should really work

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In May, mobile Gmail added “Smart Reply,” which reads your email and suggests replies. But hitting a button that says “OK” isn’t much easier than typing “OK” and hitting send. Given the progress of Google’s A.I. technology, it’s going to get smarter. Here’s a peek into the near future: Meeting request From: Project leader To: … Continued

Chris Rock’s Oscars monologue: to create change, use humor

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There is no better way to tell the hard truth than with a joke. First, the audience laughs. Then they think “why is this funny?” Then they get your point. Then they change. That’s why Chris Rock’s Oscars monologue was so telling, while Motion Picture Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ apology was so pathetic. Humor … Continued

Upcoming Donald Trump policy proposals

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I recently got access to the secret playbook Donald Trump uses to generate a new, ever more outrageous policy every eight or nine days. I’ve used it to predict the next six weeks of Trump news stories: International loser database. “As soon as I get in office, the State Department will begin tracking losers in every governments on earth,” … Continued

The Facebook Reactions that Zuck forgot

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Mark Zuckerberg yesterday announced “Reactions,” a set of six emoji that will join “Like” as ways to indicate what you thought of a post. For instance, you can now tap “Yay” or “Wow.” Zuck’s not thinking big enough. When I read a post, the set of emotions I feel isn’t covered by this meager list of … Continued