How I develop ideas

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Ideas just happen. Or do they? As I’ve set myself ambitious goals for content, I need a process that generates ideas reliably. It fascinates me how my process requires both structure and randomness to work. I honed these techniques as SVP of idea development for Forrester Research, and now I use them constantly. Perhaps you … Continued

Clear communication in a crisis at Reddit

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The social network Reddit is in trouble. Lots of its popular “subreddit” forums went dark as volunteer moderators protested the firing of Victoria Taylor, a popular Reddit staffer. But rather than stonewall, the company’s management is now attempting to tell the truth, clearly and transparently. It’s working. Communication succeeds when it’s matched to the audience. The audience … Continued

How to disagree with people

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People on Facebook are beastly to each other. It’s gotten worse since Ferguson, Charleston, and the recent Supreme Court decisions. I’m sick of it. I’d like to propose a way to fix it. I fiercely criticize things on this blog and I will not stop. But starting now, I vow to criticize writings and ideas, not … Continued

How to start a blog post: Can you intrigue me in 50 words?

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I’ve run a little experiment on this blog in the last three months. I’ve attempted to start every post with around 50 words that would draw you in. It’s working. In my view the title and first few sentences of a blog post should: Intrigue the reader. Promise what’s coming, accurately. Incorporate a clever or counterintuitive … Continued

Red Sox President Larry Lucchino and the art of saying nothing

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Is there any point in giving an interview and not saying anything? Politicians and executives do this all the time. It means things are going poorly but there is no plan to fix them. Ask Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino. Despite their massive payroll, the Red Sox are in last place for the third … Continued

Fifty shades of ignorant: why you cannot control social media

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If you haven’t yet figured out that you cannot control social media, where have you been sleeping for the last ten years? Hey, Fifty Shades publicists, I’m talking to you. Here’s the simple syllogism: Social media is vibrant because anyone can say anything. Haters feed on each other. Therefore, when you create a social media event, it … Continued

Nominations now open for the 2015 Bullshitty Awards

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There is so much bullshit out there. Which of it is the most awful? What bullshit is doing the most harm? It’s time to find out. Today, I begin accepting nominations for the 2015 Bullshitty awards. I will continue to accept nominations from now through August 15. I will announce winners in September. Since I expect you’re all … Continued

Each must make their own decision on the singular “they”

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In English, there are things you can count on . . . like the fact that “they” is plural. Except it isn’t always. Let me see if I can convince you. As my coauthors and I were writing The Mobile Mind Shift, one of them came up with this central definition: A mobile moment is a point … Continued