Sunday Roundup – April 27, 2014

Advancing the plot of life requires action. Success is not inevitable. Neither is failure. Every action has a result, and fearing that result is paralyzing.

“How do I get rid of the fear?”

Fear is a powerful fundamental force. It has served humankind well, though it must be in balance with advancing one’s life.

Much like asking a lady (or a gent, if you are a lady) to dance, facing scary situations is far better than allowing paralysis to take over. After all, the worst that can happen is a learning experience (assuming “the worst” has nothing to do with death or dismemberment).

NYPD Twitter campaign hijacked with photos of police brutality

New York’s police department could have been paralyzed and never started the “#myNYPD” campaign to begin with. It could have axed the whole thing after negative photos streamed in. It could have run away and never asked for a dance with fear.

The campaign started and continued anyway. I have no doubt someone in the campaign creation process realized that negative photos are within the realm of possibility, yet that did not stop the department from taking a leap of faith. It took its best shot at advancing its plot, and might even learn from the experience.

Over to you…

Have you faced down paralyzing fear and emerged victorious? I’d love to read a story about it: Leave it in a comment.

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Sunday Roundup – April 20, 2014

It can be hard to tell whether actions and words are correlated, even if they seem that way from the outside.

On the other hand, it can be easy to tie two and two together. I bought an Android smart phone (thanks Megan!) last week. Naturally, I was biased towards news about Google for the rest of the week.

They’re your words, choose them

Actions have meaning. They take on a different meaning from person to person thanks to personal biases. Like words on signs, the action implies something about its originator.

Google buys Titan Aerospace and enters drone wars

Google is investing in drones, saying that they will be a means to altruistic ends. “Wars” is a silly word. Note that Google didn’t choose it: an editor did.

Tim Drinan, Google spokesperson say that drones “…could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation”.

I like those words. I’ll be watching for action, as I am skeptical that drones in general will be used for only altruistic purposes. Google does have its own interests, of course, and drones are powerful objects of observation.

Google Glass available to anyone in the U.S. – for one day only

One-day-only is a fashion brand marketing action designed to imply exclusivity. It is not a disruptive sales model, rather unusual in the technology sector.

Glass already has a hyped reputation, so a one-time-sale is a neat little hype generator. “Buy me now because you won’t be able to tomorrow” is a compelling argument to the tech-obsessed. Glass becomes a limited-production car, clothing line, or other object that means “+1 to status”.

Over to You…

What does Google (as a company, not a verb) mean to you? Does its acquisition of Titan Aerospace or limited-time-offer of Glass have any meaning to you?

Sunday Roundup – April 6, 2014

We are proud of communication. Whether we are sharing a mundane shopping list or a multi-hundred-page report, using words and language to convey meaning is something to celebrate—when it is done correctly.

Sometimes being correct is a matter of logic. Just because something has been done one way for a long time, for example, does not mean that it is the best way of doing it:

Have you been to this meeting?

Sometimes being correct is a matter of terminology and knowledge. Click the title and watch the video embedded in Mr. Godin’s blog post. Big words sound impressive; using them in context requires knowing what the word means. Say what you know, and let experts guide you when you do not.

Stuck for Words: 5 things to not say when a person is grieving

Sometimes being correct is a matter of emotion. Feelings are complicated, especially those as strong as grief, and it is not always clear how one can help. We look inward and speak about our own emotions often, so walking with someone through their own is not easy.

Over to You…

What do you think about how people communicate? What is correct? What is polite?