The glorious freedom of starting over

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Sometimes losing everything is an opportunity. Forty years ago, in late December, I broke up with my wife. After years of unhappiness, it had become clear that the we didn’t belong together. She requested that I leave the apartment the next morning. I had a small suitcase full of clothes and nothing else. I called … Continued

Why fiction writing advice is worthless to nonfiction writers

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There are a million suckers hoping to publish their fictional stories. As a result, there’s lots of advice from people hoping to help — or prey on — these suckers. If you write nonfiction, this sort of advice is just noise. Why you should ignore advice for “writers” If you tell someone you are a … Continued

Ask for feedback or reviews . . . but not both in the same survey

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You can use customer contact information to request feedback, or collect text for posting in an online review. But doing both in the same question, like so many “efficient” strategies, is bound to backfire. A disclaimer that undermines trust I recently worked with a title company to manage the purchase of a new home. Home … Continued

Amazon Token crypto scam: capturing traffic with timely SEO

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Last week I posted about the Amazon Token crypto scam advertised on Facebook. That post received 4,000 views in six days, which is about eight times my usual traffic for a new post, and shows no sign of stopping. Here’s what made it take off. A deliberate move to capture traffic through SEO As soon … Continued

Judge minces no words when sanctioning Trump lawyers Sidney Powell et al.

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Federal judge Linda V. Parker had the task of determining if Trump election lawyers including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood should receive sanctions for misuse of the judiciary system in Michigan. Her opinion isn’t just clear, it’s outspoken, bold, and unequivocal — a rarity in legal works. Judge Parker’s 110-page opinion states, in meticulous detail, … Continued

Why are brand identity statements so generic?

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In his latest cartoon, Tom Fishburne of Marketoonist expertly skewered those “brand promise” statements you often read (and retch at). He’s completely right that corporate values and “reasons to believe” are filled with cliches and buzzwords. But why? Why is so hard for brands to differentiate? Having helped several companies write these sorts of statements, … Continued

Why the “Amazon Token” advertised on Facebook sure looks like a scam

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This ad for “Amazon Token” on Facebook intrigued me. Is that Jeff Bezos pitching me a cryptocurrency? So I clicked through. What I found is a slick, well produced, seductive website . . . that I’m pretty sure has nothing to do with Amazon. They’ll be happy to take your crypto money — in the … Continued