What is Bernie Sanders really saying?

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Hillary Clinton has enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination, but Bernie Sanders won’t go away. Does he think he can win? Nah. But the spotlight — and the negotiating leverage that comes with it — are too much fun to give up. As Hillary Clinton and Democratic leaders see it, it’s time for Sanders to go away … Continued

“Writing Without Bullshit” live and online

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I’ve got two appearances coming up that you might enjoy if you’re interested in writing without bullshit. This Friday, June 10, at 3PM ET, I’m on Michael Krigsman’s CXOTalk. Michael does live interviews with video intended for a senior executive audience. Should be a blast. And on Thursday, June 23 at 2PM ET, I’ll be … Continued

Sophisticated writing with simple words (Ask Dr. Wobs)

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One key to writing success is to use words that connect with your audience. The secret is not to rein in your vocabulary, but to keep the bullshit density under control. Dear Dr. Wobs: Is there a formula for figuring out exactly how much the vocabulary level in business writing needs to be “dumbed-down” depending … Continued

The long ride

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I like cycling long distances. Right now I’m planning an 84-mile ride from Arlington, the suburb of Boston where I live, to Falmouth, Cape Cod on July 3. This ride, my bicycle, my body, my mind, and my health are all intimately connected. And when you get to the end of this post, you’ll see how they connect with you, … Continued

How to hit on a stranger: two contrasting pick-up lines

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You’re going to need help from people you don’t know. Getting them to respond is like hitting on a stranger. Your pick-up line makes all the difference. Two pick-up lines, two reactions Two strangers contacted me last week. Each wanted a conversation. (Since they were personal messages, I’ve concealed the identities of the senders.) “Lenny” starting hitting on … Continued

Venerable Tribune Publishing, now “tronc,” spews techno-drivel

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Yesterday, Tribune Publishing, purveyor of news since 1847, changed its name to “tronc” (short for “Tribune Online Content.”) It’s now a “content curation and monetization company” — a company that makes money from content, what we used to call a media company. Today, I deconstruct the rest of its attempt to use techno-drivel to misdirect our attention from its … Continued

The worst slides in Mary Meeker’s trends report

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Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report for Kleiner Perkins is a comprehensive and provocative collection of data about technology change. It’s also the most cluttered, visually jumbled 213-slide pileup in the history of PowerPoint. Reading this deck is like walking through a construction site in which the Hell’s Angels are putting on three simultaneous Cirque de Soleil … Continued

Why SEO should be an afterthought

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When I teach writing, people always ask me “What about SEO?” (That’s “search engine optimization”). If you’re thinking about SEO, please stop, because you should be out to maximize readers, not traffic. Don’t even think about SEO until your writing is nearly done. What is SEO? According to the experts at Search Engine Land: SEO … Continued