communication

When Ideas Have Sex

Matt Ridley shows that the reason why humans have advanced as a culture was because we were able to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

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Abbreviated Meaning

When did brevity become a synonym for clarity or truth?

For most of human history, it was the exact opposite. What was brief was least important, as usually the format of a statement dictated the attention it deserved. Shortness was equated with incompleteness, which meant that things communicated quickly were more suspect and were considered less trustworthy (a rapid-fire sales pitch or the unknown threat of someone "of few words" being two examples). The common bias was that brevity could be the same as stupidity. It wasn't consistently the case, of course, but it was believed that someone saying little often meant that they had little worth saying.

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Incomprehensible

I was surprised to receive this subscription renewal notice from The New Yorker last week, as I dimly remembered having re-upped a few months ago. It took me a minute to locate the proof on the invoice (I'm good for another year and a half). Why am I getting a notice now? Do they think I'm stupid?

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Designing Identities Part 2 - The Communication Pyramid

If creativity and design is the process of exploring and articulating the product, then what is the product?

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Think Video Keynote

So, yesterday I gave a keynote at a Google video event which featured an interesting line up of speakers followed by a good panel moderated by Matt Brittin, the UK MD. It was a lot of fun doing it. Google have kindly allowed me to put my presentation up here. It touches on many of the themes about which I've been obsessing lately plus some points that I've made before, but which I still think many media organisations are missing. My thanks to the people at Google for inviting me to be a part of it.

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The Book!

I am very happy to announce that my new book, Personal Connections in the Digital Age, can now be previewed on Google Books. It will be out in the next few weeks. You can pre-order it here.

Here is what some of the internet researchers I admire most have to say about it:

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What Twitter Has Taught Us About Ourselves

Recent blog posts I have read today have stated that the Twitter era is now over, everything is moving hyper-local. I don’t believe this for one second. Perhaps users are getting bored of Twitter, but Twitter has taught us a lot of things about the way we organise, communicate and participate. I don’t see it dying, Twitter for me, is simply a symbol of the desire for real-time communications.

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An Apology for Better Conduct

Well, both Tiger Woods and Akio Toyoda have apologized for their transgressions, thereby following -- however belatedly and incompletely -- the scripted advice from communications experts: Woods looked into the camera and admitted his sins, while Toyoda did the Japanese understatement thing and then had his staff take out full-page "open letters" to customers.

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Elements of Twitter Style: Attempts at Clear Communication and Attribution for People and Machines

one must first know the rules to break them

This is a rather hyperbolic statement but Twitter is probably one of the most fascinating emergent communication and collaboration platforms i’ve come across since writing. communication and collaboration on twitter is very much an emergent, dynamic, and uniquely colored by the individual’s experience.

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Language Creates Reality, Even in Business

One of the most fun aspects of blogging has been re-immersing myself in language. At work, language is just something you use; you don’t scrutinize it. Yet, the (mis)use of language has a lot to do with effectiveness at work or in any collaborative context.

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