1

Bad Writing Costs Businesses Billions

This is thinkpiece rehtoric rather than an objectively measured result. It’s attractive to me because it supplies statistics that might help me sway the opinions of my students; I think they would be better off if they believed this, too, and if they shared this belief, our interactions would be less stressful and (I hope) more productive. But the solution isn’t as simple as hiring better writers, or putting more…

4

Ringling Bros. circus to close after 146 years

The more I learned about elephants, the less I liked the idea of going to the circus. I’m interested in its place in the history of American culture, but times have changed. After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May. The…

Wendy’s Bests Internet Troll, Then Unwittingly Posts Completely Unrelated, Obscure Racist Meme

I fixed the clickbaity title for you. A moderately amusing cautionary tale. Recognizing alt-right internet memes is now a marketing survival skill. “We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers,” Wendy’s wrote in its bio. “Better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.” It lived up to those words this week, absolutely destroying a troll who dared to question its claim that its burgers are…

Facebook’s director of media tries to appease news industry

Facebook’s Patrick Walker assured a room full of journalists that Zuck’s strategy to combat fake news will work. The plan (released previously by FB): stronger detection, easy reporting, third party verification, warnings, related articles quality, disrupting the economy of fake news, and listening. Also speaking at the conference was Espin Egil Hansen, who in September posted an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, slamming Facebook for censoring a photo of the…

Things I will tell my kids if they become entrepreneurs

Lots of good live advice in these slides. My favorite applies to taking risks of all sorts. When my students ask me “what should I pick for my topic” or “what do you want me to write about?” they are not thinking of how much they will learn by coming up with their own topic on their own — even if that means making several midcourse corrections. The whole slide…

What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?

This sounds a lot like wishful thinking, but there’s plenty to learn from well-articulated alternate opinions. What if, in the mad dash two decades ago to repurpose and extend editorial content onto the Web, editors and publishers made a colossal business blunder that wasted hundreds of millions of dollars? What if the industry should have stuck with its strengths—the print editions where the vast majority of their readers still reside…