Brian Chesky lays off 1,900 Airbnb staff . . . like an actual human being

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It’s a brutal time for travel, and Airbnb is no exception. It’s laying off 1,900 people, 25% of its staff. But the way that CEO Brian Chesky did it is exemplary — with compassion and a clear explanation. There was no way that Airbnb would survive the pandemic unscathed. Revenue had been cut in half. … Continued

To my government: in the viral emergency, muzzling doctors erodes trust

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Two recent announcements muzzling doctors have further eroded my faith in the way our national and state governments “manage” the truth. Congress would like to hear testimony from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the long-tenured director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and one of the clearest and most authoritative truth-tellers during this pandemic. … Continued

Hey, Disney. #MayThe4th be with you, but nobody owns a hashtag

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Disney asserted that it has the rights to do whatever it wants with your content, just because you used the #MayThe4th hashtag. That’s not how hashtags work. Here’s what Disney tweeted: Here’s the thing about hashtags: Nobody owns them. If I want to use #MayThe4th in my tweet about Star Wars linked to porn, I … Continued

Why headlines are so easy to screw up

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I noticed these headlines while perusing the Boston Globe app this morning. Do they seem a bit off to you? I’m an editor. My internal grammar checker is like an oenophile’s nose. And something here stinks. Does Senate candidate Joe Kennedy actually have a head inside of himself? Weird. Did he swallow it or did … Continued

Edit yourself. It’s cheaper and it makes you smarter.

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You wrote something. It’s not the best it can be. You could hire an editor. Or you could fix it yourself. Sure, if you can’t really figure out what you’re saying, you might need outside help. But before you do, try these tricks: Make sentences shorter. Find sentences of more than 20 words. Break them … Continued

20 insights from an analyst writing marketing copy

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I am writing a lot of marketing copy lately. I’ve noticed some things you might find helpful. Here’s what I’m currently writing and editing: Marketing description for a book on management. Marketing description for a book on the future of transportation. Articles about corporate AI strategy for an author. Blog posts announcing an AI-focused startup. … Continued

Virtual Stadium — the Zoom live event product we need now

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Streaming performances are missing something crucial: the crowd. We’re going to need that. So today, I’m releasing a spec for the product we need: Virtual Stadium. If you build it, we will use it. Any good performer — musician, athlete, or public speaker — knows the crowd is an essential part of the performance. Did … Continued