The Jolt! 04.03.2014

Hope you managed to escape 4/1 without any serious pranking. I am on a nasty deadline so this one will be a bit shorter than usual but hopefully every bit as interesting.

Here’s The Jolt!


Love a good cliché but wonder what’s PC?

I’ve always ascribed to the idea that clichés only become clichés because they work. Here’s a list of 10 Business Clichés That Are Actually Valuable.

#3 is a good example of what you’ll find:

3. Highly leveraged: In his Encyclopedia of Business Cliches at Squidoo, Seth Godin cites “highly leveraged” as an example of a business cliché that’s actually helpful. “Telling someone that a particular hedge fund is ‘highly leveraged,’ ” says Godin, “is a lot easier than saying, ‘They’ve borrowed a lot of money in order to speculate and multiply their positive returns using other people’s money.’ ”

 “The really good clichés are the ones that are packed with color and wonderful images, even though we hear them so often, so frequently that we don’t pause to consider them. Things like the elephant in the room and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”


So, how long is the perfect tweet?

Our metrics crazy world has now identified The Ideal Length for All Online Content.

Being able to count any and everything adds a measure of certainty for those who require an uncommon degree of precision in their lives. That said, this is dedicated to those who believe that less is more and that simple is something to aspire to.

So in this article you can find out how long:

  • The ideal tweet is
  • How long the ideal Facebook post is (totally amazing – it is less than half an ideal tweet)
  • How long the ideal Google+ headline is

There’s even a infographic with all the numbers to pin up as a reminder. And a surprising conclusion:

What it does mean is that it’s worth writing however much you really need. Don’t feel constrained by presumed short attention spans. If you put in the effort, so will your audience.

LATE BREAKING – here’s an even better post along the same lines, The Complete Guide to Social Media Formatting. It would have been the lead, but I just found it after I hit Publish.

The Big AHA!

Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? Hint – fortunately it has nothing to do with the disease.

In this video interview, author Steven Pressfield (The Legend of Bagger Vance), shares his “Foolscap Method” for story development. Best to let him describe it, it’s quite ingenious.

Parkinson’s Law states that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, Resistance will make us fiddle around forever—unless we draw the line and stop it.

That’s what the foolscap trick does. It cuts out the crap. It concentrates the mind. By limiting the physical space we permit ourselves to define our project, the foolscap/cocktail napkin/back of envelope method forces us to boil down our idea to its absolute basics.

Nail down those basics and we’re ready to rock and roll.

Metrics & ROI

Do you know why writers need metrics?

This one grabbed my attention as I am engaged in writing a hopelessly complex email campaign. The success of my work will not be measured by a memorable headline, but by how many opens the subject line inspires, and how many clicks my calls to action generate.

…Book authors have lived with highly visible metrics for decades, in the form of bestseller lists and royalty statements.

The author offers up the following 3 ideas for a digital age writer.

The first is the ability to identify, quickly and painlessly, what isn’t working. i.e. use the data to tell you what’s getting read and what’s not.

Second, well-built metrics reinforce good habits… There is a segment of the industry that pays bonuses for writers who build a following. Appealing to the masses is rewarded.

Sophisticated metrics help me pinpoint fruitful areas for further writing. Anyone paying attention is  likely to focus on which posts attract a high percentage of likes and shares.

Bottom line: If politicians can live with the polls, and CEOs can accept the importance of their company’s stock price, then writers shouldn’t hesitate to press ahead in a world where readership metrics do make a difference.

Marketing 501

In your opinion which events broke the paradigm or changed the model?

Put another, what’s changed things?

Eight Events That Changed Events Forever is an amazingly eclectic list of 8 from the ever observant Jez Paxman.

  • 4/ Stevenotes – just defined by Jonathan Rotenberg for the Macintosh 30th.
  • 5) TED – which is as vibrant as ever and is coming up on 25. On my personal bucket list.
  • 6) PechaKucha – great fun if you haven’t taken one in yet.

PechaKucha nights have since swept the world. Along the way they’ve reminded us of the impact of beautifully designed slides, the strength of brevity and inspired many other fun presentation formats.

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