Blog

Check out my regular posts (176 and counting) about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc. 

Don’t Get Fooled by Greenwashing

Don’t Get Fooled by Greenwashing

The other day, for a brief time, Volkswagen of America posted a partial news release that announced it was switching the “k” in its name to a “t” and becoming Voltswagen. The supposed re-branding would signify a strong focus on electric vehicles. The release promptly...

Do Typos Spell Trouble?

Do Typos Spell Trouble?

A typo may be an accident, but it’s no crime. Unless you’re a Long Island thief who’s trying to avoid prison. Last year, CNN reported on a scheme by Robert Berger, who had been charged with attempted grand larceny and possession of stolen property. When Berger was due...

Signed, Sealed and Undelivered

Signed, Sealed and Undelivered

If you want to keep your information safe, passwords, firewalls and encryption can all do the trick. But do you think that will protect your messages for 324 years? Here’s what did, for a letter dated July 31, 1697. That missive used a technique called letterlocking,...

In the Age of COVID, Watch Out for COVIO

In the Age of COVID, Watch Out for COVIO

Is COVID changing the way we think and act? I’m not talking about the medical impacts, but about the connections between COVID, information and technology. Four articles got me reflecting on this. A new study in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities...

Book Lovers Shouldn’t be Shelf-Aware

Book Lovers Shouldn’t be Shelf-Aware

Are books suitable props? The question has come up a lot this past year, as people are on screen from their home and office settings. Bookshelves are prominent behind many talking heads on TV, and make for popular Zoom backgrounds. It’s not always a matter of people...

Don’t Poison with Jargon Monoxide

Don’t Poison with Jargon Monoxide

Some jargon might be unavoidable in our discourse, but let’s take a buzzsaw to buzzwords. Catching up on the some year-end lists, I noticed that AdAge compiled what they called the terrors of 2020 – the many ways we torture the language “to turn perfectly respectable...

Did Ikea Kill the Catalogue?

Did Ikea Kill the Catalogue?

It’s one of the most widely-distributed publications in the world. At its peak, it printed 200 million copies in 32 languages, and hit 50 markets. You’ve likely flipped through its pages, and may well have one in your home right now. What is it? The Guinness World...

Why Swearing is Good for You

Why Swearing is Good for You

Back in August, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney, England received five African grey parrots. They joined another 200. Within weeks, the new quintet had to be separated. Why? They started to swear routinely, which encouraged the other parrots to mimic them....