PR case study -- when your client is a website

Article is dead-right. Test and re-test your product in an interative soft-launch mode ...

Web2.0 for enterprise

McKinsey gets into the game. Key finding: Companies use Web 2.0 technologies more frequently for internal than for external purposes

However, I may have missed the whole point of the article, given I read it in Spreeder (see below)?!

Spreeder -- reading on a computer

This isn't really a web technology ... it could have been invented 25 years ago.

When you read a physical newspaper or magazine, the whole theory is that you move your eyes left to right and they encounter new words in a particular order to create meaning.

Spreeder flashes 1 or a few words at a time, and then takes it/them away and shows you the next word in the sentence. I guess the idea is that people who mentally sound out words learn not to. I do it for sure; am now.

I like having 2 words on the screen at once, and I like pauses after comma's, etc. These can all be set in the advanced settings. 650 wpm is a little fast, but doable at these settings.

Using as an edited news reader

When newspapers go online, they tend to use a content management system (CMS); no one "hard-codes" the home page. An RSS news feed can also be viewed as a CMS, albeit one you have only sky-level control over. However, when all news exists in a CMS, and RSS abounds, it begs the question, what exactly is the meaning or relevance of a media title.

I want news by topic, relevance, popularity or author. I'm not sure the name on the journalist's paycheque is relevant to me.

That said, I've stumpled upon an interesting use for -- the "social bookmarking" website famous for inventing (or popularizing) the use of tags. I wrote an earlier post here about my mis-use of tagging, when I first joined -- spasmodically, I tagged every bookmark with a cathartic splurge of verbage. Any and all words that I associated with that website, or the unerlying concept, found their way into the tag line. In theory, a year or a decade down the road, your brain would not have changed so much than a slightly more restrained splurge of verbage, in a search, would not return the saught-for bookmark.

This was all stupid. Tags are not psycho-analysis. They are categories. They are an improvement on the Mac/Windows "folder" concept in that, though they still are folders,
there can be multiple folders for one bookmark.

I don't have much use for the "social" aspect of I don't care what's "hot" there. Digg does that better. And I have even less use for it as an alternative to my browser's favourites feature. I do use as a very functional storage vehicle for news and other "thought leadership." My job requires me to know a lot about what's going on ... not just what news stories "have legs," but what smart people are saying about the economy and business, etc. Since I spend a lot of time each day reading original news (and thought leadership) sources, I take the opportunity to save interesting articles in By tagging, I can look back over categories, which could equate with industries or clients, etc. Furthermore, since' URL conventions are logical (ie. a list of all posts you've tagged "IFRS" can be found at, it is extremely easy to share segregated news feeds with others.

The nebulous 90th percentile

As a writer, most of career has been made up of discrete projects with fixed deadlines. Even when managing a lot of projects at once, I have to set deadlines and allot a set amount of time to each one ... or else i. will. go. mad!

But as another deadline flies by, I noticed something about project-work (at least writing project-work). When I have written a "pretty much done" piece, and I'd be just about happy showing it around internally, I've usually invested about half the hours I ultimately do. In other words, when I'm 90 per cent finished, I've done 50 per cent of the work.

There are a lot of good explanations for this. Writing, like programming, has bugs. If you call concepts by different names through your document, you have to streamline that before submitting the work. Streamlining can ruin your flow, because maybe a sentence required that three-syllable word, or a certain rhyme or rhythm to sound great, and now that sentence has to be re-written. Sometimes paragraphs repeat themselves, or worse, almost repeat themselves. Again, these must be re-written. And when they are re-written, you've likely fudged your segues.

Every first draft has at least two motifs, one of which must be killed. Which one? How will it flow when the dropped ones are replaced?

I can't say I've ever thought all this through before, but I know shit writing from good writing, and trying to never submit the former, I think I follow a process much like this; a process that means a 90 per cent finished work is half way there.

Network effect

I used to call this the "fax machine effect" ... then I googled it. (you could also call it the inverted hockey stick __________] ... there's a long tail before explosive growth.)

It explains a lot in business and economics. The effect drives the growth of the Internet, many consumer electronics, stock markets, English ...

Bumper Twitters

Bumper stickers are personal expressions made to those in your vicinity -- really just retro versions of twittering.

So, will people affix little screens to their bumpers to convey to commuters all that is inessential to them? It could go too far very very quickly.