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When my client, a Boston cosmetic dentist, asked me to produce podcasts promoting her dental practice, I said sure. I'm always game to learn new things. Although I was vaguely aware of podcasts, I really had no idea how they were put together or why a company would use them.  Continue reading...
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Dog Eared

Books we love

How To Change the World, The Books

Guy Kawasaki is a legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist who, as one of Apple's original employees, helped market the first McIntosh computer. So what does this computer guy have to do with language? Plenty. In his amazing blog, called How to Change the World, he talks about creativity, communication, marketing -- and yes, computers. There are lessons there for all of us communicators. And some great book recommendations. Here are a few:

The Myths of Innovation

Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas Are Born

Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

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I am obsessed, to say the least, with rude behavior. My kids beg me to ignore it, my husband thinks I'll get shot one day. I have, sometimes, gone too far, and have been rude myself in the quest for justice. But, for some reason, I think it is my duty, my calling, to rid the world of rudeness, one annoying person at a time. Like people who talk on their cell phones at the movies, or who clip their nails in public, or who don't say "thanks" when you hold a door open for them, or who cut in line.  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Please Hold On

"Why do the people who write scripts for recorded announcements in elevators and shuttle buses and subway trains have such a tin ear for ordinary-sounding English?" wonders Language Log's noted linguist Geoffrey Pullum, after listening to a grammatically-challenged warning at the San Francisco International Airport. Why indeed? Read Geoffrey's thoughts here.
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Visual Thesaurus subscriber Jayne Lytel, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Act Early Against Autism, graciously sent us this terrific article. Thanks, Jayne!

Writers agonize over everything -- tone, style, word choice, structure, leads, endings, grammar, the long hours they work, don't work. One thing that's absolutely worth obsessing about is writing a tantalizing title for your book.

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Blog Du Jour

DIY Publishing

Self-publishing: Once the Scarlet Letter of the book publishing industry. But the stigma is vanishing, now that more and more writers are opting for "publishing freedom," as one website calls it -- and innovative companies are helping them achieve it. How? Check out these sites to learn more:

Plain White Press

Book Surge

Wheatmark

Lulu.com

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A Visual Thesaurus subscriber's comment to an earlier column of hers inspired Nancy to write this piece. Thanks to both! -- Editor

I've shamelessly borrowed my title from David Ogilvy, who used it as a chapter title in his best-selling 1963 book, Confessions of an Advertising Man. Ogilvy founded one of the world's most successful ad agencies; his clients included Rolls-Royce, Shell Oil, and Sears. Many of his do's and don'ts are timeless: Select the right agency in the first place. Brief your agency very thoroughly indeed. Don't underspend. Tolerate genius.

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