Tuesday, November 28, 2006

George Orwell's six rules of writing

Taken from Polon where they post some great copywriting articles. Seems the perfect set of rules to live write by:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Ahh George, how right you are...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Is your online business model a secret?

Nick Usborne asks. Nick says:

'If you can’t articulate the basic value proposition to someone in the street in ten seconds or less, you’re not going to be able to build a truly effective home page for your business.'

How right he is; in fact, you're lucky if you get even 10 seconds on the Web...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Workplace jargon isolates employees

Finally a nice high-profile article on the BBC News Web site, regarding jargon. Specifically, the article is about a survey by Investors in People, about workplace jargon and how it excludes people.

The survey points out that "The most effective bosses recognise that one of the keys to engaging, motivating and enthusing people is to communicate in a way which everyone can easily understand."

'Blue sky thinking'...honestly, what next? Anyway, now I have brought that article to your attention I am departing to readjust my nutritional priorities, think outside the box and ingest some creativity-enhancing fuel...I am off to the fridge to see what I have for lunch.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Am I falling behind the times?

Kami Huyse on her blog Communication Overtones, a blog focused on PR, in her first post discusses PR's position in relation to new media and technology.

Kami discusses the fact that 'new PR' isn't new PR at all, new media hasn't rendered PR obsolete, and the 'paperless office' still isn't here! I had a think today about all the new gadgets, tools and phrases flying my way and felt quite behind the times, but am I obsolete? Web 2.0, Ajax, user-generated content, RSS, feeds, burners.....help.

I draw comfort from the fact that whatever the future holds, however this 'content' is delivered, whatever colour or flavour it is, however 'dynamic' it is, it's still about using words, playing with language to deliver a message, at least most of the time anyway, until everyone gets bored and just resigns themselves to watching online videos of kids hurting themselves on skateboards instead....then I'm really done for.