Blog

Check out my regular posts (180 and counting) about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc. 

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....

Hail to the Thief

Hail to the Thief

After elections, a concession speech is customary but not mandatory. With clear results, the winner takes office and the defeated candidate departs the stage. Whether the loser accepts reality is irrelevant for the purposes of a formal transfer. While they have no...

Can You Write Your Song?

Can You Write Your Song?

“Think different.” That was an old Apple advertising slogan, seen as a counterpoint to IBM’s “think” slogan. Apple has done well by that ethos. But zigging when others zag is easier said than done. How do you get the creative juices flowing? That’s a challenge whether...

Why Do People Believe Conspiracy Theories?

Why Do People Believe Conspiracy Theories?

The stories that some people tell themselves can rival any tale spun by the greatest novelist. This summer, as COVID-19 spread, a survey of almost 2,300 Canadian adults by Vox Pop Labs found that: Almost 1 in 10 believe (a great deal or somewhat) that Bill Gates is...

Mining for a New Name

Mining for a New Name

In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t a great idea to name your town after a fibre that’s highly toxic, illegal in more than 60 countries, and a cancer-causing agent. Such is the fate of Asbestos, Quebec, which is now going through an identity crisis. The municipality,...