Good enough to share: Communication edition ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Good enough to share: Communication edition

Here's my weekly summary of interesting and entertaining posts and articles. This week's theme: communication and communicators. More posts at the bottom of the page in "Martin's Shared Items":

1) The future of reading: Ezra Klein
Ezra presents some interesting ideas about what future generations of Kindle might mean for reading when they get around to "creating a product that goes where the book cannot."

2) PowerPoint Does Rocket Science--and Better Techniques for Technical Reports: Edward Tufte
After reading Ezra's piece I started thinking about PowerPoint and wondering why it was, in such a time of technological change and 2.0 everything, that PowerPoint has hardly changed at all. That got me searching for Tufte's opinion since he is a well-known critic.

Key quote (from comments): Will Microsoft improve PP?
The record for incremental reform in the cognitive style of PowerPoint is not promising. In the many release versions of PP, the intellectual level has not been raised. New releases have drifted toward ingrown self-parody, featuring ever more elaborated PP Phluff and presenter therapy. These changes have made the new version different from the previous version, but not smarter. There are no incentives for meaningful change in a monopoly product with an 86% gross profit margin, only incentives to make it different, somehow, from the previous release. PP competes only with itself.
-- Edward Tufte, September 20, 2005

3) Bill O'Reilly Flips Out — DANCE REMIX: levmyshkin
(via everywhere!) Warning: "SALTY" language

This week's viral sensation--the dance remix of Bill O'Reilly losing his cool over 20 years ago:

This video has now spawned many variations on a theme, including this from The Colbert Report (which also shows the source material for the remix)

4) The Author's Dilemma--Why Most Business Books Suck:
"Uncle Saul", who wants to remain anonymous (perhaps because he doesn't want to get dropped from business book publisher mailing lists) rants about business books: "In many cases, the relevant content of business books could be summarized in fewer than five pages. In fact, the introduction often covers all of the book’s main points and the remainder of the book is simply an arduous embellishment of the core concepts, replete with a mind-numbing litany of real-world examples and associated gratuitous commentary." He then goes on (at length!) about this point. (via (surprisingly) 800-CEO-READ)

5) Customer Service Hoops: Chris Brogan
"Dear companies providing customer service:
Yes, I know it’s cheaper that I use your website, and I’m really smart, so normally your website might even be a viable option, even though it’s laid out like crap, and it’s not exactly intuitive, and it doesn’t answer questions the way I wish they would be asked...." and plenty more in an excellent rant provoked by T-Mobile (but it could have been almost anyone) (via The Marketing Fresh Peel)

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