In which I declare war on link building

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I get dozens of emails every week from people who want to post shit on my site — despite the fact that I have never posted an unsolicited article. They don’t benefit my readers and they annoy me, so I’ve declared war on them. Here are some samples: Hi there, I know you’re swamped, so … Continued

Using PowerPoint and 3 monitors to deliver a video workshop

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For a workshop delivered by video with PowerPoint, using three monitors creates a powerful advantage. I’ll share what I’ve learned from delivering video-based writing workshops to people connecting from their homes. (Note: if you’ve arrived here to solve a technical problem regarding PowerPoint Presenter View, skip to “Resolving a technical issue with PowerPoint Presenter View … Continued

Because of this terrible chart in Georgia, people could die

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Data is crucial in making decisions about reopening states. So is the visualization of that data. And the state of Georgia may have just published the most misleading and dangerous chart about virus infections ever. Here’s the chart. Take a close look. (You can see it bigger here.) The vertical axis is infections. The horizontal … Continued

The lowlights from Ben Sasse’s dreadful commencement speech

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Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, apparently jealous of Barack Obama, decided to deliver a seven-minute “commencement speech” that was supposed to be funny. It wasn’t funny. It was sad. If you’re a high school senior, class of 2020, I’m betting it struck you as particularly awful. Sasse, who couldn’t be bothered to shave, put on a … Continued

Columbia students need answers. Lee Bollinger delivers mumbles.

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It’s a terrible time in higher education. Nobody really knows if students will be coming back on campus in the fall. They need clarity. Columbia University president Lee Bollinger’s communications aren’t providing it. I have a college student at home right now — like every other student, mine wants to know what next fall will … Continued

Not an expert

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I know a lot about a lot of topics — I’ve spent hundreds of hours on these topics. And yet, I wouldn’t call myself an expert. And the reason for that is the reason you should be skeptical of experts you see online or on TV. Take artificial intelligence. I ghost wrote a book on … Continued

Writing backward and forward

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There are two challenges with writing anything — flow and impact. The flow problem is this: does each sentence lead into the next, and each paragraph lead into the next, in a way that draws the reader along? The impact problem is this: does the piece take you with ironclad logic to a place where … Continued