How much is 'smarter' worth?

Seth Godin

Smarter about the process, about the effects, about planning. Smarter about leadership, about management, about measurement.

How much is smarter worth?

In my experience, smarter is almost always a bargain, something you can buy for a lot less than it's worth.

 

Indexers are the unsung heroes of the publishing world

Sam Leigh in The Guardian:

It would be a cliche to say that indexers are the unsung heroes of the publishing world. But unsung they generally are: no indexer usually expects or receives credit by name in books where everyone from the font designer to the snapper of the author photograph tends to get a solemn shout-out. And heroes they are, too: the index is, in any nonfiction book, more useful than almost anything else in the apparatus. It is a map of the text; a cunningly devised series of magical shortcuts that can in the good case save a scholar many hours of work, and in the bad one save a bookshop-browsing cabinet minister from having to buy a former colleague’s memoirs.

 

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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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A Few Words About That Ten-Million-Dollar Serial Comma

The New Yorker's Culture Desk:

Nothing, but nothing—profanity, transgender pronouns, apostrophe abuse—excites the passion of grammar geeks more than the serial, or Oxford, comma. People love it or hate it, and they are equally ferocious on both sides of the debate. Individual publications have guidelines that sink deep into the psyches of editors and writers. The Times, like most newspapers, does without the serial comma. At The New Yorker, it is a copy editor’s duty to deploy the serial comma, along with lots of other lip-smacking bits of punctuation, as a bulwark against barbarianism.

While advocates of the serial comma are happy for the truck drivers’ victory, it was actually the lack of said comma that won the day. Here are the facts of the case, for those who may have been pinned under a semicolon. According to Maine state law, workers are not entitled to overtime pay for the following activities: “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.”

The issue is that, without a comma after “shipment,” the “packing for shipment or distribution” is a single activity. Truck drivers do not pack food, either for shipment or for distribution; they drive trucks and deliver it. Therefore, these exemptions do not apply to drivers, and Oakhurst Dairy owes them some ten million dollars.

 

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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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What's in a Brand Name?

James Surowiecki for The New Yorker

In October of 1955, a marketing researcher at Ford named Robert Young wrote the poet Marianne Moore a curious letter. Ford had designed a new car, which it hoped would revolutionize the industry, and it was struggling to find a good name. Young said that the options his division had come up with were “characterized by an embarrassing pedestrianism.” Perhaps a poet could devise something to convey, “through association or other conjuration, some visceral feeling of elegance, fleetness, advanced features and design.” In the following months, Moore sent Ford a long list of suggestions that were anything but pedestrian: Intelligent Bullet, Ford Fabergé, Mongoose Civique, Bullet Cloisoné, Utopian Turtletop. Ford, unsurprisingly, didn’t go for any of them. Instead, after considering more than six thousand names, it settled on one that has since become a byword for failure: Edsel.
Still, in going to such lengths to find a great name, Ford was ahead of the curve. Corporate branding is now big business, and companies routinely spend tens of millions of dollars rebranding themselves or coming up with names for new products. And good monikers are still defined by Young’s precept that a name should somehow evoke the fundamental qualities that you hope to advertise. If only Tribune Publishing—the media company that owns the Los Angeles Timesand the Chicago Tribune—had followed this simple rule. Earlier this year, Tribune announced that it was reinventing itself as a “content curation and monetization company focused on creating and distributing premium, verified content” (whatever that means) and giving itself a new name: Tronc. The name, which stands for Tribune Online Content, was ridiculed at the time and hasn’t done the company any favors since. Tronc has spent most of the year in talks about being bought by Gannett for more than half a billion dollars. Last week, the deal fell through, because of a lack of financing. After all, just imagine asking bankers for half a billion to buy something called Tronc.
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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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