How to take edits (and any other kind of advice)

You asked for feedback. You got their edits. Now what? Should you do what they say? When it comes to edits (and, for that matter, advice on anything), the key principles is this: [tweetthis]Editors exist to reveal what you cannot see, not to tell you what to do.[/tweetthis]   This is a crucial distinction. If … Continued

Is the “Harrison Bergeron” problem handicapping your work day?

Having trouble thinking straight? Try thinking for more than 45 seconds at a time. That’s a lesson from of one of my favorite stories of all time, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Harrison Bergeron.” Vonnegut describes a dystopic future in which “everybody was finally equal.” If you happened to have some unusual quality, such as beauty or a … Continued

Ask the first question

When you’re listening to a good speech, your mind is engaged. The speech ends and the audience claps. Now raise your hand and ask the first question. I first learned this on December 7, 1995. The buzz around Web browsers had become deafening. My Forrester colleagues felt the browser was a threat to Windows and the desktop (and … Continued

HubSpot: the humble disruptor at #INBOUND15

Around 14,000 people came to Boston for HubSpot’s #INBOUND15 conference this week. Fourteen thousand. For a company that helps you run your Web site more effectively. What’s going on here? This is what disruption without the swagger looks like. And it ought to be a model for every startup from now on. “Inbound” is a … Continued

To be precise, Social Media Marketing is just mostly dead

My comments on the death of social media marketing generated a lot of reaction, both on my blog and on Augie Ray’s. I was wrong to suggest that it’s completely dead. It’s only mostly dead. Here’s some context. My work on social media began in 2008 with large corporate clients who hoped to use social media like blogs … Continued

10 writing tips on how to not be boring

Business writers are boring. It’s tedious to read their email, Web sites, and white papers. Standing out from this grey background just takes a little color, and it will boost, not harm, your professional reputation. Boring text is not only dull to read, it’s dreary to write. Your readers are seeking information, but you’ve still got a responsibility … Continued

Boston Globe front page HubSpot article lacks actual news

Here’s what I expect from a major newspaper: news. That is, reporting on things that are new. When it comes to sensational headlines about HubSpot, the Globe appears to have forgotten about the “new” part. Like many of you, I’ve been following the titillating saga of the executives that left HubSpot because, allegedly, they used … Continued

Weight loss without bullshit: changing habits

I’m sick of the bullshit around heath, diets, and nutrition. There’s more crap in this one field than anywhere else I know. It’s an entire industry that preys on people’s fears and insecurities. So starting today, I am going to help you cut the crap when it comes to nutrition. And to be clear, I … Continued