Bio not provided
Great story and very well told. We all have 'Teds" in our lives, if only we can recognize them. The other message I got was to always say 'Thanks" to our Teds. They usually don't expect it or want it. But knowing that others appreciate what you do for them is always valued, even by the most humble Ted.
1 year, 9 months ago on Mentor Monday: Don’t Wait a Lifetime
I was rereading "The New Positioning" by Jack trout and Steve Rivkin when i chanced upon this little gem. It's relevant to the Yahoo situation.
"Chances are that when a new CEO arrives, you're looking at a would be hero. Obviously, any piece of thinking that was around before he or she arrived is suspect."
"The New Positioning" was first published in 1996! Hmm.......
1 year, 9 months ago on Can Technology Replace In-Person Meetings?
I imagine that about 100 years ago, managers were asking each other , "Will telephone conversations replace face to face talking?" I subscribe to that old fashioned idea that to get the "right" answer you must ask the "right" question.
Maybe we should be asking something like "How can we best use technology to ensure that we still retain the benefits of in person meetings without the associated disruptions and inconveniece?"........or something similar.
It's occurred to me that children don't really need to go to school for five days a week any more. With modern technology and modern instructional design techniques, sitting in a classroom with a pile of other kids is no longer the best way to learn stuff. Not only that, but every child could have the best possible quality of instruction designed and delivered by the best teachers without classrooms.
We'd still need to address socialization issues. And we'd have to find viable uses for all those buildings we call schools. Let's face it. There's no good reason why school should last 12 years and post secondary education a minimum of three. That;s merely an administrative convenience.
OK! OK! I'll return to my burrow to plot more challenges to the cornerstones of Western civilization. But one thing's for sure. Businesses no longer need gangs of supervisors and technical experts whose main purpose in life is to ensure that lesser mortals "do what they're paid for."
Make sure you have fun
Far be it from me to tell the Yahoo CEO how to run her business. But I think she needs a good dose of Ricardo Semler of Semco. Apart from that, I've been preaching for some time that the future of management lies in making employees totally responsible for running the business on a day to day basis. It's the only way managers will ever get enough time to run their businesses.
Only last week Ezine Articles published a lengthy missive of mine on this very subject. I'll send you a copy separately.
It really doesn't matter where employees are or what they do. I know that's outrageous heresy to some. In the final analysis, what counts is the measurable contribution employees make to the sustainability of the business. As Semler says, "I just want them to go home and be proud of their work." Perhaps if they're already at home........
1 year, 9 months ago on Yahoo! Letter: Was Their Communications Team Consulted?
@AmyVernon @Leon Amy,
Thanks for your good manners and sound response. I'm happy as long as you don't shake your "freakin" fist.
And tell that Danny Brown to wash out his foul mouth with sump oil soap. Norman Mailer had similar problems when finding a publisher for "THe Naked and The Dead.' Perhaps we should print some "Erika loves Norman" bumper stickers.
But how would I know? I'm just an Aussie curmudgeon!
1 year, 11 months ago on Bacon Jumps, Kills and Eats the Shark
@Danny Brown @Leon I'm soooooo excited. I've written the Ultimate Blog Commrnt: not even Danny Brown can understand it! Wow!
I myself couldn't understand it. But that's OK. I wrote it. I see lots of blog comments that the writers can't possibly understand.
And in the true spirit of blog community Danny, I value you honesty greatly.
Let's see, who can I tell about this fuggin good fortune..........
Whackp the chook!
2 years, 1 month ago on Move the Fuck On
In more graceful--and literate-- times Norman Mailer spelt it "fug".
If you don't know who Norman Mailer is........Fug!
And in the spirit of great American literature, shouldn't 'punk" be spelled "pfunk?" Have you noticed that a lot of bloggers spell "fug" as "freak?"
This timid little Aussie curmudgeon--check spelling in your Pfunk and Wagnalls__is like the people of Hoboken: feeling all at sea. What a disrespectful way to treat the Great Sinatra's home town. Jersey Boys indeed!
Is this what Marcus means by "establishing you voice?" Danny B and Erika N: the only bloggers who spell fug correctly. You win free tickets to "Midnight In Paris." Ernest and F. Scott and the rest are waiting. They may have been unable to spell "fug" but they could certainly demonstrate it!
Now you can write a blog about how one tiny misspelling can create a a torrent of illiterate rambling.
Fun aren't they/
Did you see the post on my blog yesterday? It was called "Customer Service: Why Flower Girls and Mindsets beat Training." I wont repeat all that I say there. But there is one crucial matter.
Customer service is every employee's responsibility. The moment that organizations set up Customer Service departments with specialist customer service staff, their customer service goes to hell.
The department and the specialists effectively absolve every other employee of responsibility for satisfying customers.
Customer service starts with the state of mind of the CEO or at least one member of the top management team who's willing to "ride herd" on the whole issue.
In case anyone else is interested among your readers, you'll find the article at http://staffperformancesecrets.com/2012/10/customer-service-off-topic/
Keep having fun.
2 years, 2 months ago on The Art of Great Service and When We Stopped Listening
Until employees run the day to day business of the company, managers wont be able to manage. It really is that simple. Of course that means we have to discard a whole bag of much loved bureaucratic constructs such as performance appraisal, classroom centred management training, individual based employee development andinterpersonal relationship training to mention a few.
And we'llhave to rethink many favourite hobby horses such as motivation, HR and PR.
I'v always liked Ricardo Semler's take on this. "My job is to motivate employees so that they go home every day proud of their work."
Have you heard of the worlkbeing done by Salman Khan and his Khan Academy in Silicon Valley? Our whole idea of learning and performance must change too.
Still goota have fun though
2 years, 2 months ago on Social Business and Cult Think
@HowieG @ginidietrich @belllindsay
I'm just so flattered to have attracted you attention; not only flattered----really honoured. Really! But I'd prefer my candle to have eucalyptus regnans aroma. I'm sure that you can arrange that. You could even write a post about ungrateful Aussie curmudgeons who peer intensely into the mouths of gifthorses.
I've often wondered what an "AHA" moment was really like. Now I know.
I'm quite overcome. I also have a 12th Commandment "Thou shalt arrange Howie to respond to your blog comments"
2 years, 3 months ago on The 10 Commandments of Online Etiquette
And..... "thou shalt shake in your shoes and bubble in your boots if Gini D catches you breaking one of these commandments. Love the list
Have more fun.
When I was about 15 years old, I became very interested in politics. One of our two major parties, the ALP--read Democrats in USA- was going through huge ructions that ultimately kept it out of office for about 20 years.
I complained to my father about the spin and even blatant lies that the politicians involved were telling. He replied, "Don't worry son. They're only politicians."
That happened over 50 years ago. The older I get ,the more I understand how smart my father was.
To quote one of your better known dramatists: "it comes with the territory."
Have fun, Best Wishes
2 years, 3 months ago on Spin Sucks…Even in Political Ads
Yeah man.I reckon that one of the biggest favours I can do for managers is to show them how to stop saying "leave it with me." Instead I suggest that they say, "What do you think we should do?"
The best way to replace "talking" with "doing" is to constantly ask about doing. At least it's a start. And never permit anyone to suggest something without ensuring that they make a commitment to do something about it.
And paraphrasing is a very effective and useful technique for ensuring that employee ideas and suggestions receive adequate attention.
"Simple" can work very well.
2 years, 3 months ago on The Difference Between Talking And Doing
You warm the cockles of an Aussie curmudgeon's heart. For years I've been telling clients: don't ask for written applications and resumes and always include a statement such as "do not apply for this job unless" or" only alpply for this job if" in their job ads.
And you've given me an excuse to use one of my favourite Mark Twain quotes; "It aint what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for certain that just aint so."
2 years, 4 months ago on The Negative Side of Social CRM
Of course it's not dead! I've run a business for over 30 years. I coined---I think_--- the phrase "marketing isn't everything but everything is marketing." a while back. Lots of people seem to like it includins Al Ries and John Jantsch.
I suspect that lots of managers have lots of different ideas about what constitutes "marketing." So I'm a tad suspicious about surveys tellling us what CEOs think of marketing.
It's also true that surveys may not provide the totally objective data they claim
A survey done here in Australia a couple of years ago suggested that about 70% of surveys came up with a result consistent with the position of the organization commissioning the survey. They didn't say this was deliberate. But Self Fulfillling Prophecy is a reality. Incidentally, neither Steve Jobs nor Henry Ford believed in surveying customers about their requirements for new products. When asked about why he didn't conduct a survey to see if people were demanding a motor car, Henry's said to have replied, "If I'd asked them they'd have wanted a faster horse."
A long-standing client of mine recently conducted lots of workshops in country towns for small- medium business owners and managers. He himself has built a very successful business. Over coffee recently he told me that far and away the biggest single problem these managers had was lack of focus.
Marketing may or may not be dead. But even if it is, really successful businesses still need a crystal clear focus and a narrow specific target market. Just ask Borders.
Make sure you have fun.
2 years, 4 months ago on Marketing is Dead?
, Way back in the 1980s the great Tom Gilbert told us that the biggest single reason that employees don't perform is that they don't know what's expected of them. The Noone Corollorary states "But their managers think they do."
So......tell people exactly what you expect of them in measureable, performance terms. Then tell them how their performance will be measured.
And always remember.....the prime responsibility that a manager has toward his or her employees is to put systems in place that make it impossible for them to fail.
2 years, 6 months ago on Maybe Your Employees Are Too Stupid For Social CRM
Your post is so important. For my sins, I've been a published author for over 50 years. Article writing, including blogs, contains three elements. Content, clarity and presentation. We sweat blood over the first two. Do we have something worthwhile to say? Is our writing cogent and lucid.? That's great. But in the final analysis, whether we are read largely depends on how easy it looks to read. Not, may I point out, how easy it is to read but how easy it looks.
If I might add a couple of things...... always justify on the left. Readers abhor caps. Use red only as a colour to attract. Readers don't like to read red. As a general rule, each time you change a font or a size, you'll lose readers.
Thanks for the tip about Jim Connolly. I'll follow up. And i'll send some more material to you direct.
2 years, 6 months ago on Remember Reader Experience
Amen again! I spend almost alll my professional life trying to convince CEOs, particularly in small-medium business, that until they can get their employees to run the business on a day to day basis, they wont be able to manage effectively.
I like to say, "never, ever again have to say, 'leave it with me.''"
But i think that it's more than "leading by example." CEOs need to grasp fully that what they do is far more important than what they say. And as long as they continue to do the work of their staff, the more he staff will, rightly, let them do it.
Did you happen to see my blog post of May 22, "Staff Motivation: Creating A Successful "Do For" Culture?" In it, I suggest that motivation is a consequence of what managers 'do for' employees not what they do "to" or "with" them. More heresy I know. But as Grahame Greene says, "heresy is just another word for independent thought."
And given my Celtic antecedents, I'm partial to anything green!
2 years, 6 months ago on Why Excellence Starts From the CEO Down – Or Should
Very interesting stuff. I'vw always added a "P.S," to the email accompanying each blog post I send. Some are serious, some humorous and some just weird. But I've tried to differentiate that way. And I also believe that most current HR prsctices are hopelessly outdated and say so constantly. That makes me a little different.
I recently read a Ries Pieces blog from Laura Ries. She came out strongly for what she calls "visual hammers" These are logos that pack a real punch and that support the business name. The Adidas swoosh and Apple's apple come to mind.
But broadly, I think that the organ grinder's monkey is something worth considering. Thanks for the idea.
2 years, 7 months ago on Whip It Out: Show Us Your Monkey
I like Danny Brown's blog because he always gets the jokes that I make in my comments.
And he's a Celt!
2 years, 7 months ago on Nice Is Not a Word: What I Learned about Blog Commenting at Recess
I'm having a frantic 'Catch up wth emails day." The upside is that I'm being accompanied by Frank Sinatra.
Y'know, the older I get the more I'm becoming interested in the whole issue of value per se. I've written a couple of pieces about value and employees in the last year. I have a couple more in the course of preparation.
I suspect we have too narrow a view of value. Ricardo Semler talks about ensuring that employees are 'proud of their work." That's an aspect of value we rarely consider. I'm also looking at what used to be called corporate culture. For instance, as a manager what values do you want your businesss to represent?
The really interesting thing about value is that it's always in the eye of the beholder. It's probably got little to do with money. Everyone talks about "value for money." It is important. But I suspect that the people we hang out with, marry, do business with maty well be people whose values we're comfortable with.......or at least who are comfortable with what they perceive to be ours
We've been a Mac house for years. But the reason we changed to mac about 25 years ago was that the mac treated us as adults. The other PCs at the time demanded lots of technical knowhow from the user. Mac said "press here and we'll fit in with you"
Having nearly 35 years consulting experience, I believe that "the people who need you least , use you most." Maybe that reflects the whole value issue too. I'm not sure. I'm just an Aussie curmudgeon.
2 years, 7 months ago on Your Value
@DannyBrown @HowieSPM Youse blokes aren't gunna believe this; my wife once repaired Rolf Harris' trousers! And there was a time many years ago when I was constantly mistaken for Rolf at airports and various functions. Of course, I'm younger.......! And Poorer.
2 years, 7 months ago on Be Where YOU Need to Be, Not Where "They" Say You Should
I just wish you'd stop posting all this stuff that I agree with, Then I wouldn't have to leave another of those "Amen to that you Celtic Wizard!" type comments.
I always thought that It was John Wooden who said "Nothing is so important as the proper execution of the fundamentals." Turns out he didn't but no one knows who did. Anyway, the fundamentals of marketing are simple: have a crystal clear business focus and a specific narrow target market. And never spend a cent on marketing to anyone else.
But your story is further grist for my mill that www is absolutely chockers with wheel reinventors and lousy advice from people who don't know what they don't know. And I can guarantee that it was Mark Twain who said, "It aint what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for certain that just aint so."
As my banjo plucking mate Bix Berry always says: "Marketing Isn't everything, but everything is marketing."
@HowieSPM @DannyBrown @ginidietrich Howie, How could you? Punk Rock!! What a heinous insult. That's no way to treat your South Pacific ally. I'm Armstrong, Morton, Ellington, Hines, Hawkins, Sinatra and Jo Stafford.
Punk Rock!! Oh...... how could you! Leadbelly's more my scene: even Broonzy. Punk rock! I'm off to the desert to pray for you. I'm in a sentimental mood
2 years, 7 months ago on State of Independence
I guess I've always been a bit of an Indie, even when I was Personnel Manager for one of Australia'a largest retail chains. But the bigger question interest me.
In this country, we seem to have the notion that retail needs a shopfront of one kind or another. I'm inclined to believe that this is a very limiting viewpoint.
I'll probably upset some people when I say that most businesses, with or without a shopfront, have a retail aspect. For many years, my major client has been a domestic maintenance plumbing company. We've had wonderful success by taking a retail perspective.
It's just a thought from the Curmudgeon's Cupboard.
True enough; but Louis Armstrong lives!
2 years, 7 months ago on Everything Is Dead
So true mate. If I've learnt anything in 30+ years running a business it's this: every business must have a crystal clear business focus and a narrow, specific target market. Everything, and I mean everything, starts with that. That includes "alignment." And as far as my speciality is concerned, it includes staff performance too.
Marketing isn't everything but everything is marketing.
2 years, 7 months ago on Are You In Alignment?
I believe that we pay far to little attention to what I call EPC: expectation, perception and consequences. This applies to both staff and customers. Expectation is a far more powerful driver of behavior than most managers realize.
Having said all that, I'm always a bit sceptical about "Surveys." A study done here by one of our local universities a few years ago suggested that about 70% of all surveys unwittingly provided responses consistent with the views of the organization commissioning the survey.
Expectation, in the form of Self Fulfilling Prophecy is alive and well in survey design. And I have to say that almost all of the surveys I'm asked to complete on the web are very poorly designed.
Asking customers what they need in terms of new products is of little value. As Henry Ford is alleged to have said; "They'd have wanted a faster horse."
None of that means that I am having second thoughts about the importance of EPC. We just have to be careful about who and how we ask. As George Bernard Shaw said; "The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves. It's how she's treated." We can go right back to the Hawthorne experiments to see an example of that in a workplace.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Great Divide
It's so easy to become swept up by the trendy word or phrase. "Branding," Benchmarking," "Best Practice," "Vision" or whatever old idea that reappears in fancy dress. And it's even easier to find someone else to blame when you screw up.
Doesn't alter the reality.
"nothing is more important than the proper execution of the fundamentals" and "defence wins the big ones." Just ask the Mavs.
As I've ben known to quietly remind a few hardy souls; "marketing isn't everything , but everything is marketing."
I'm always fascinated when a big player gets into real trouble--see Kodak, Borders and others in recent times--that the analysts and gurus always find a whole lot of what I call MBA reasons for the failure. No one ever says, "They got their marketing wrong."........which they invariably have.
That's when I turn to Mark Twain for guidance. "It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for certain that just aint so." I suspect that Mr C was a closet Celt!.
Adds to the fun
. Best Wishes
2 years, 7 months ago on Vision Is a Two Way Thing
Absobloodlylutely correct! I keep saying It: the basic human unit in the workplace is the team not the individual. I first espoused this point of view in my 1984 book, "The Social Manager; Let's Stop Playing at Management Training."
A lot of gurus and academics find this hard to accept. They're tied to all their self development, "anyone can achjeve anything" approach. It just ain't so as Mark Twain would've said. As I shamelessly suggested in that book, management development is a vast industry. Can't have smartass Aussies-I was too young to be a curmudgeon then- preaching heresy and threatening our comfortable livelihoods.
As you're probably aware, I'm a great admirer of the work of Ricardo Semler of Semco. But he challenges just about every conventional management wisdom. And his company enjoys great commercial success. He's taken team development and employee participation to a new plane. And he has little time for MBAs.
The other thing I notice - and I mean no disrespect when I say this- is that arguing about concepts of "leadership" versus "management" seems to be almost a national sport in the halls of academe, consulting and HR in North America.
Of course, if I'm even half right, lots of very prominent gurus would be very red-faced....and a tad poorer too.
As I've said before Danny, we Celts must take the lead and stick together. Maybe a bit uncomfortable.But It'll keep those bloody Sassenachs on their toes.
2 years, 8 months ago on It's Always About the Team - Always
You're right about the importance of feedback. But getting feedback you can use is the hard bit.
For instance, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and many others have pointed out that surveys are of little or no value in determining new products and services that your customers may need. And lots of the surveys I'm asked to complete are very poorly designed.
Regardless of what else you do, there are three essentials to pay attention to when seeking feedback.
Seek specific information: Ask" how did X improve your business results, staff motivation or whatever,?" "How many new clients did X enable you to attract?" "How much did you save in overheads when you used the XYZ System?" Answers to specific questions tell you what's best about your product/service. They also give you powerful factual information to use in your marketing.
Make sure that your feedback technique allows clients to offer feedback in their own words and make comments that aren't covered by specific questions. Many feedback methods are designed to get answers to questions that the client wants. But in doing so they don't allow clients to offer opinions. These opinilns may contain the most valuable feedback.
Finally. never ask about 'rights and wrongs" and "goods and bads." Ask "what made using the waterless dishwasher a real timesaver for you in the kitchen?" "What improvements do you think would make the waterless dishwasher easier and more convenient to use in your kitchen?"
I'm afraid that so many survey and feedback systems are designed primarily for the benefit of the business doing the survey not the client completing it. That's a conflict to be avoided.
Hope this helps
2 years, 8 months ago on What Do Your Customers REALLY Think?
3D is back. Now it's Flying Car time again too. Did you know that the Flying Car was first mooted in "Popular Mechanics" in the late 1920s? That's over 80 years ago. 3D dates back to the 1920s too. Seems that every time 3D splutters into life again, the Flying Car is never far behind.
It's an idea whose time has come...and come..and come.....but has never quite arrived.
If this is innovation, what's creativity?
I think that they're just having fun. Didn't April 1 pass recently?
Tell ya what. It'll cause a huge boom in the garage extension industry.
Best Wishes from the New Rainbow Connection
2 years, 8 months ago on Flying Car Creates PR Controversy
@joey_strawn So pleased to be saved--even if temporarily! Have you read Laurence Bergreen's "An Extraordinary Life". It's a biography of Louis and is a wonderful read. It puts the lie to all the romantic myths about the great man. While a scholarly work, It's still entertaining and very informative.
I forget who said it, but I think that it's true that "it's impossible to overestimate the influence that Armstrong has had on American popular music."
2 years, 8 months ago on Going All Scarface All Over Everybody's Social CRM
I've seen neither "Reservoir Dogs" nor "Scarface." I feel so inadequate and a traitor to Social CRM. However, I can whistle the complete Louis Armstrong arpeggio to "West End Blues" and hum the Earl Hines piano solo from the original Hot 7 recording. Goes that redeem me? Or am I cast into the outer darkness until Judgement Day?"
I reckon that most conventional HR practices are at least 25 years out of date. I'm also an old bloke who reckons he's been around long enough to at least know what doesn't work.
Which leads me to
The HR Heretic
The Staff Performance Sorcerer
The Motivation Maverick
And, and, and and.....
Thanks for the fun
2 years, 8 months ago on Your Blogging Superpower
@HowieSPM @ginidietrich Now listen here Howie. I'm the curmudgeon on this site.. If you keep on with this smartass stuff I'll send the ghost of David Ogilvy to haunt you. And you'll develop a new perspective on pants bursting. If neccessary, I'll arrange for Marcus to tell everyone what a nice idiot you are. That'll be the end of you.
2 years, 8 months ago on Social Media Breeds PR Laziness
@ginidietrich I am a delicately bred, sensitive Australian Christian gentleman. So, as to bursting pants; you show me yours and I'll show you mine!
Now I know why Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein11 included "Why Do I Love You" in "Showboat."
Flatter and flirt: you know the way to a gentleman's ego.
Aint it grand what you can get away with at a distance of 10,000 ks?
As you know, I'm not in PR. But as a HR bloke, I learnt something very valuable years and years ago.
If you can't measure it, don't teach it.
Nuff sed. Good Fun.
Congratulations! Happy Birthday! Happy first birthday to no. 1 son! And good luck for the future to all three of you.
2 years, 8 months ago on BTG Turns Four Years Old
"till your pants burst" Love that. And I'll gladly plagiarise it too. At my age, I'm off to distribute lots of chocolates and candy to see if I can make it A Self Fulfilling Prophecy.
As a Catholic, I've always believed that Easter was a time of hope. "Have another Chocolate egg Gini. Pass them to Lisa too .Join the Great Easter Pants Split Experiment"
Sounds like great fun. Be a real hit on Mothers' Day too. Is this what Marcus means when he says "listen to your gut."?
2 years, 8 months ago on #FollowFriday: Easter Bunny
I notice that someone's written"effing" in their comment.
I just wish that bloggers and commenters would commit to using real swear words instead of these f.....g euphebloodymisms!
I guess that I first got an inkling about commitment when we had our first child. I realised that she was totally dependent on us for her survival. Then I realised that my parents must've had the same experience with me. I'm telling ya Danny, there would've been times in later years when they'd have been tempted to suspect that they'd overcommitted.
Eventually I became a grandparent. It's the reward you get for committing to your children. All bets are off and you can be as mischievous as you're game to be.
By the way: why do grandchildren and grandparents get on so well? They share a common enemy. Our 18 year old granddaughter thinks that's one of the funniest things she's ever heard. Her parents aren't even mildly amused.
Is that commitment? Maybe, maybe not; but it's fun
2 years, 8 months ago on The Commitment of Success
I'm forever preaching about the importance of PEC: perception;expectation ; consequences. A very famous performance engineer called Geary Rummler once wrote "Consequences are often the key."
He was talking about staff performance. Clearly it applies in other fields. But it's a little minefield if we're not careful.
Managers often ask the question "What's likely to happen if.....?" But instead of thinking through the answer they delude themselves into believing that their preferred consequence is the most likely.
There's not much fun after that.
2 years, 8 months ago on PR Crisis for Skittles In Wake of Controversial Teen Shooting
@ginidietrich Danny warned me. "She's really a romantic at heart" he said. Isn't confession good for the soul? But be careful. Re-reading Hemingway always occurs between 45 and 49.
Wait until you start re-reading "Brighton Rock." That's telling.
2 years, 8 months ago on Seven Principles to Building an Online Reputation
Oh that i was young enough to be concerned! "Pinpal:" when I first saw the name I thought it was a site for people who sewed.......or still used cloth nappies.
Nevertheless, I will inform my elder grandchildren.... and yearn........just a tiny bit. Here in Australia most of us are automatic life members of convictpal anyway.
Now that's fun.
2 years, 8 months ago on PinPal Wants to Use Your Friends to Create a Sex Meat Market
I'm back! Now don't cringe. I bear good tidings. Just in case you can't grab a copy of Mr King's "On Writing," you could do worse than follow Robert Gunning's '10 Principles of Clear Writing."
Keep sentences short
Prefer the simple to the complex
Use the familiar word
Avoid unnecessary words
Put action into your verbs
Write as you talk
Use picturable terms
Tie in with readers' experience
Make full use if variety
Write to express not to impress
I admit that these principles were first published in 1952. That's pre-history to most bloggers. But it's still good advice. Your Mrs Green obviously hasn't read the last principle.
I 've been writing since a time when you first learnt to write then tried to get published. From a lot of the stuff I read on the web, that time is pre-history too to many bloggers. But you know, when you reach my age, pre-history's an interesting time.
I wonder if Mrs Green takes life as seriously as she seems to............ I'll just stick to "make sure you have fun."
2 years, 8 months ago on We Get It…Unless We Don’t: Content Clarity Counts
I love bacon :eat it almost every day. But what is this word "freakin'?" My big sister used to be in the habit of saying "shivers." One day my big brother said to her, "For God's sake: if you mean S...t, say S...t!"
Please Amy: don't sully the reputation of bacon lovers worldwide with words like 'freakin'." Get ye to the Erika Napoletano School of Well Rounded Swearwords!
Abandon bloody "freakin'."
And have fun
2 years, 8 months ago on Bacon Jumps, Kills and Eats the Shark
Good stuff! But I'm fascinated by what amounts to the obsession online people have about publishing a book.
My first book was published by an English publisher in 1984. In it I said that conventional management training was totally misguided because it didn't reflect workplace reality. It was launched by the then Head of Australia's foremost specialist management school.
In 1991 a major international publishing house published my second book on the topic of staff selection
Both these books were so far "ahead of their time" that I'm still preaching much the same messages today and I'm still seen as "way out" and unconventional. Sadly, the only place they sold well was in New Zealand; not a major market.
In the early 90s, someone pointed out to me that I could cobble chapters of the books together, sell them as "Special Reports." and sell the reports for more than the price of the actual book. Then, someone suggested that I could make audiotapes of the content and sell the tapes for up to ten times the price of the actual book.
Theses strategies formed the cornerstone of my business. They were very successful. The audiotapes became CDs. Then I moved my business online and discovered the eBook! At last count I'd published 19 eBooks and have a couple more in the pipeline. I've already revised a lot of the content and continue to do so.
At this stage, I don't intend to write any more books. Of course. were a major publisher to turn up on my doorstep with a fat advance cheque,...........
Woody Allen once said, "I don't want to be remembered because of my work. I want to be remembered because I didn't die." I sorta know what he means. Incidentally, Have you seen "Midnight in Paris " his latest movie? It's a little gem. And if you've ever visited Paris it's a much bigger gem.
Anyway....why is it that youse guys are so obsessed with writing a bloody book? I've been there twice. Can't say I'm keen to go again.
Strangely enough, it aint much fun.