August 24, 2016

Beware the billionaire

Tom Scocca wraps up his death of Gawker post with the most harrowing thing about this whole mess:

Gawker always said it was in the business of publishing true stories. Here is one last true story: You live in a country where a billionaire can put a publication out of business. A billionaire can pick off an individual writer and leave that person penniless and without legal protection.

If you want to write stories that might anger a billionaire, you need to work for another billionaire yourself, or for a billion-dollar corporation. The law will not protect you. There is no freedom in this world but power and money.

August 15, 2016

Typewriter keys
On word counts

I’m one of those obnoxious people who like to tweet my daily word counts when I’m writing. Not all the time, I forget, but when I’m really into it, I do. It’s a way to connect with other writers out there, often under the #amwriting hashtag. It’s not about letting other people know how great I am or anything like that.

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August 10, 2016

#firstsevenjobs

There’s a thing right now where you post your first seven jobs. I find that interesting, because it shows that you can start out in one place, just to end up in another. This is probably more true than ever, now.

So here it is, without further ado, my first seven jobs.

  1. Apple picker (no, not computers, actual apples).

  2. Odd jobs at a gas station, cleaning windshields and the like.

  3. Started my first company, where I obviously did everything, but mostly I was the editor in chief for various publications and imprints.

  4. Sales clerk at a toy store chain, the most soul-crushing gig I’ve ever had.

  5. Freelance writer, later editor, for various publications blogs in the US, owned by a startup. I kept some of these on the side for a time.

  6. Merged my company with another one, with my focus moving to web design and development.

  7. CEO of digital agency. Not as bad as it sounds.

All this lead to other things, which then led to writing books part-time, doing more freelance writing, and the like. My story isn’t as interesting as, say, Warren Ellis’s, because I just couldn’t stand working for someone else. Not that they were bad people or anything, it’s just that I can’t get up in the morning. Which, incidentally, was why I started my first company at 18.

  • Ashen Sky - A Novella

    Life is hard for Dirk, who’s stumbling through the wasteland. Out here, far from his family, Dirk makes acquaintances that lead him upon a path he didn’t know he yearned for.

    Read more →

June 26, 2016

Bingo wheel to productivity

Viviane Schwarz is using a bingo wheel to get stuff done. Throw in the projects, spin, and pick a winner. Set a timer and work on it for that amount of time. Rinse and repeat. I like it, it’s chaotic and just a little bit insane. She explains further in her The Setup piece:

It sounds quite ridiculous but it beats every other system I’ve ever tried for productivity; you just have to make sure the right balls are in the cage, throw in more if a deadline is approaching or take some out if something gets less urgent. Statistically, as long as it all gets done on time, who cares what order it happened in?

May 22, 2016

April 19, 2016

Mobile
Mobile internet is changing the web

1 in 5 American households now rely on purely mobile internet connections, study says. That’s twice as much as in 2013, which of course is one hell of an incline.

I think two things drive this:

  1. Mobile devices are so much better these days, thanks in part to the faster mobile networks. Why even bother having a connection that isn’t always available on your primary device(s)? That is, on your smartphone and tablet, which have no ties to your home other than if you happen to be there. Non-traditional primary devices aren’t tied to traditional internet access solutions.
  2. Users are already paying premium for internet access on their primary devices, and if they need secondary devices (aka computers) to have internet access for some reason or other, they can just share the connection. Why pay for internet access again? Better to just rely, and crank up, the primary subscription, right?

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Fake fingers

Fascinating story about a Yukako Fukushima, who make prosthetic fingers to help former Yakuza to get back into society:

But for those who have transgressed – by mishandling money, failing to repay a debt, or simply offending their boss – there is a striking physical obstacle to re-entering mainstream society: the painful, and glaringly obvious, self-amputation of their little finger.

That is where Fukushima comes in. For the past two decades, the 44-year-old has hand crafted hundreds of pinkie fingers for former gangsters – a minor cosmetic accoutrement that has helped them find jobs and marriage partners, and a semblance of normal life.

April 9, 2016

The agency dictionary

Information Architects have released their dictionary. From the launch post:

The result is a growing dictionary of our internal talk enriched with a few raw diamonds that explain playfully how we see things. It is useful as a documentation of our normal madness. It’s helpful for new staff to understand us older uncles. It is interesting for old, new and prospective clients, and we certainly hope it gets interesting enough for colleagues at other agencies that they feel incited to create something similar, so we can learn how they speak.

The dictionary can be found here.

I love this, it’s a brilliant idea, useful and potentially powerful. My agency, Odd Alice, have added five people the past year, and we would’ve benefitted from having a dictionary of our own in the process. In the longer run, I think clients might appreciate it even further, because it’s never fun to ask what something means. I believe clients might feel more secure knowing there’s a way to look something up, instead of relying on a fuzzy explanation from someone who might not actually grasp the full extent of the term, technology, or whatever it is. I for one will definitely consider doing something similar for OA.

March 19, 2016

March 16, 2016

TNW features BlankPage

TNW News first pick in their (short) list of apps that help you write:

Swedish company BlankPage is on a mission for you to start writing and keep writing. Its writing platform is enhanced by a goal setting and tracking function. So if you want to write at least three pages a day, let the app know and it will work on motivating you through it. Manuscript in a month? Let’s see…

Check out BlankPage, rather than the Index.co page they link above. I’m obviously involved in BlankPage, as you well know.