How do I know that I am here?

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How do I know that I am here? Is my existence so uncertain? Is must be in the echoes on the Web, the comments on the blog, the likes and loves, the hahas that say, “Yes, we hear you, so you must exist.” Is my existence in the follower count? Is it measured in page-views? … Continued

Why it matters that high-profile bigots no longer have a safe harbor on Facebook

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Facebook and Instagram have banned these hateful people as “dangerous” individuals: Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, Laura Loomer, Paul Nehlen, and Paul Joseph Watson. Opponents of bigotry are cheering. But it’s time to look deeper into what this ban means for the platform. I will not shed a tear for any of these people. … Continued

The McGraw-Hill Cengage Learning merger — and the perils of dog food marketing

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Two competing textbook publishers, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning, have proposed to merge. Reducing competition in markets fueled by predatory pricing is a bad idea. But why are textbooks so expensive? When I worked in the textbook publishing industry, the CEO of my startup publisher told me that what we did was “dog food marketing.” When … Continued

There are six PR people for every reporter. So change your strategy.

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Bloomberg reports that, according to the U.S. Census, as of 2018, there are 6.4 PR people for every journalist. Reporters will tell you what that means for their inboxes. Thousands of pitches falling on the floor. Constant pestering. And waste. So much waste. You can lament this trend (and the loss of media is a … Continued

The Rod Rosenstein resignation letter is a muddle — like his tenure

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein finally resigned. His resignation letter is aimless, confusing, and longer than you would expect — much like his his two-plus years in the post. Who is Rod Rosenstein? He’s the guy who wrote the memo that Trump used as a pretense to fire FBI directory James Comey. He’s the official … Continued

Did The New York Times adequately apologize for its anti-Semitic cartoon?

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The international print version of The New York Times published a political cartoon caricaturing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog leading a blind Donald Trump in a yarmulke. That was pretty dumb. Its apologies aren’t helping much, because they don’t address what appears to be a pernicious blind spot on the Times’ Opinion … Continued

What should I write about next for the Boston Globe opinion page?

I just posted another op-ed about Facebook. It’s here (subscription may be required). My next opinion piece can cover anything about technology, business, or marketing and how they are failing us, could be different, aren’t viewed properly, or whatever. If you had this megaphone, what would you shout about?

Why are bad metaphors bad?

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“She had him like a toenail stuck in a shag carpet.” Is this a bad metaphor? what makes a metaphor work — or not work? This question occurred to me as I perused a set of “bad analogies” that were purportedly from high school students — but most of which were actually the results of … Continued