Great writing about food: Combat-Ready Kitchen

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Now I know who’s responsible for all the packaged, processed food in the supermarket. It’s the Army. I’ve just read Anastacia Marx de Salcedo’s Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat, a new book published this week. I’ve known Anastacia a long time, but I had no idea she could write … Continued

Facebook video fight: strong accusations vs. weasel words

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YouTube video producer Hank Green says Facebook cheats, lies, and steals. Facebook product manager Matt Pakes responds that everything is fine. He’s not willing to admit that Facebook is the Borg. The question here is simple: If you have a popular video, are you better off uploading and embedding it in Facebook or just linking to it YouTube? … Continued

How to lie and deceive at work

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Don’t lie. Don’t deceive. Be honest. But if you must lie or deceive, do it the right way, for the right reasons. Let’s be frank. You cannot occupy a position of any responsibility in a business and be perfectly honest and transparent. Don’t believe me? Here are some examples: A client requests that your work with … Continued

Making Twitter relevant

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Twitter is boring. It’s a random stream of content, mostly promotional. It’s great for celebrities broadcasting to their fans, but for the rest of us, it needs help. And with the CEO gone and the company disappointing investors, it’s time for a change. I’m not talking about financial engineering, CEO candidates, or “sell it to Google.” … Continued

To find the right words, you need 15 degrees of separation

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Here’s what I’ve learned: for great writing, you need minds that don’t think alike. They have to think similarly, but there must be a bit of space between them. People come to me to find the right words. I especially like working with leaders of small organizations. They know who they are (or think they do). They’re … Continued

The perils of television

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Television nearly killed me. Here’s how it happened. For several years in the 90s in Boston, I ran a group called the Multimedia Roundtable. It was a little developer group that eventually swelled to a lively 300 people. It met monthly at 6:00pm in a big room in Cambridge in the building of Course Technology, where … Continued

Has Roger Goodell made himself clear? It’s “more probable than not.”

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Say what you will about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but he finally figured out how to publish something clear on deflategate. Or putting it in the terms that the Wells Report used, it is “more probable than not” that you can actually figure out what Roger Goodell is saying. Look, Goodell is a mess. It took … Continued

Even the New York Times’ apology is in passive voice

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I wrote yesterday about the Times’ journalistic lapses and passive-voice innuendo in reporting about Hillary Clinton’s email account. Later on Monday, Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times‘ public editor, explained how the paper screwed up in an article called “A Clinton Story Fraught With Inaccuracies.” While her explanation clarifies what happened, it uses passive voice to allow … Continued