Physical abundance v information abundance

Remembering the old work by Negroponte, bits versus atoms. In the digital economy we learn, organize, and tell stories that are ephemeral.

Electrons versus photons is a close thing to atoms versus bits. It seems that the abundance economy is not physical, but light you’re looking at right here. A simple handshake can move mountains, e.g. a digital transaction with physical tether.

Every object contains its corresponding bits, like an atom with its ghost.

Going Beyond Old Stories

Is it possible to create fiction without touching on Jung’s or Campbell’s types?

Trying to break the stereotype should not be the goal. Story is challenging because you are making new spins on old stories.

For the longest time I thought being unique and new would help in writing stories. J.K. Rowling borrows from a lot of classical and British forms. Yet she is one of the most successful writers on the planet. Even science fiction borrows from forms.

Along with this is another question I have: Is it possible to write great fiction without having a storytelling spirit at birth?

I think reading is just as important as writing a lot. You learn by both.

Can’t go back to visiting my professor at his book-hidden desk. Can’t rush it either.

Writing takes time. Writing takes skill that can be built.

“Sanctions are not working”

Lindsay Addario on Firing Line with Margaret Hoover. She covered her times as a war correspondent and the losses of fellow journalists and the decimation of civilians in local communities.

Photographing the Reality of War – The New York Times (

I wanted to be a photojournalist for a bit, until things just happened. It’s not glamorous (just the idea of a Pulitzer maybe). You have to love what you do.

Just getting back to writing again, as I was on a birthday “getaway.”

The Press shows not what could be, but what is in the state of journalism

Objective journalism is all but dying (dead?) here, but it’s been dead for a while in the U.K., the difference overseas now is that “activist journalism” is understood. The editor-in-chief in BBC’s “The Press,” Duncan Allen (played by Ben Chaplin) is the ruthless stereotype of what is, in today’s journalism.

Ironically, while trying to expose corruption, he too is exposed for his sordid private life. So it’s anti-climactic when he reveals his ideas to change society.  Why shouldn’t it be that they create horrible news stories to create change? There is not even a mention here of objectivity. (Hence the disappearing difference between the U.K. and the U.S.)

Journalism was comedic with His Girl Friday and Switching Channels, tragic in Citizen Kane, and disconcerting in The Press. But taking part in the story you’re writing should not be part of your reporting. That means taking part by putting your opinions in as well.

Can change happen without this in real life? I hope so.

Out of Order

So typing with one hand is not impossible, but the flow of words is slower.

Anyway, I’ve still been making notes while I read. That’s what I always do. I go through old articles or books and see notes for which I don’t remember the context. I also have the stack of papers wherein I have a lot of my ideas for articles.

Some of these are not good either, but sounded good at the time. I think it coincides with those “great ideas at night.” Though I have tried, through writing them down, to stop forgetting those, that still happens.

But my activities being a little more sequestered, I am thinking more long-term. I hope to bring some of those projects online soon.

I have my first doctor’s follow-up this afternoon.

How to Write White Papers #6

In regard to writing, closing bit on White Papers for Dummies:

  • See how you can rearrange your writing environment/conditions
  • Try mind mapping or brainstorming
  • Trick yourself to get started
  • Ease off the self-criticism until after you write
  • Try positive affirmations

I’ll add: don’t think the ocean side, forests, deserts are automatically great places to write. If they help you then that’s fine, but some people think they must have a special environment.

It’s been a great read.

How to Write White Papers #5

Secondly, these are optional promotional actions after the required ones:

Mention the paper in your email sig line, your LinkedIn, or Google+
Sponsor a podcast, video chat
Send it to relevant analysts
Submit a guest post to relevant blogs
Post it on channel partner websites
Get it mentioned in industry association newsletters
Post it on industry association websites, portals or forums
Submit it to trade magazines
Syndicate it through a content network
Create a self-running presentation
Post your slidedeck online or use it for a webinar
Give a presentation at an industry conference
Give out hard copies at tradeshows and events
Give out digital copies on flash drives at events
Use it as a conversation starter
Use it as a leave-behind
Set up a Google AdWords pay-per-click campaign
Make an online display ad campaign
Advertise in trade magazines

I also thought about how we used swag at shows to get our name out there.

How to Write White Papers #4

White Papers for Dummies held me a little more when it talked about promoting your white paper after you have created it.

First up, the must-do’s have all the things that I did in my marketing department position:

  1. Create a landing page with an abstract
  2. Feature it prominently on your site
  3. Mention it in company newsletters
  4. Email your salespeople/partners/in-house opt-in list
  5. Tweet about it on Twitter
  6. Blog about it
  7. Announce it in LinkedIn groups
  8. Publish a press release
  9. Send it to relevant journalists and bloggers
  10. Get mentioned in channel partner newsletters (and vice versa for them)
  11. Post it on (,,,
  12. Create a slide deck and send it to sales and channel partners

Daily Practice

So I have to remind myself:

  1. Write every day
  2. Challenge the belief that you can’t learn any more about being a good writer
  3. Read the classics often
    The Elements of Style (illustrated one like I have)
    The AP Stylebook (all the way back to undergrad!)
    Writer’s Market (100th anniv this year)

    I’ll update this now and then today.

2:51 PM –
4. Just remembered Faulkner’s advice for writing: kill all your darlings, i.e. don’t be afraid to cross out that turn of phrase or word that you really think is great. Something better may come out of it.


How to Write White Papers #3

For me, the most important part of White Papers for Dummies is where you need to have a vision where there was none. Your product or company needs to differentiate itself by providing a new solution, or a new approach to a problem.

Traditional solutions do this wrong. Your offering does this instead. Clearly say what your company (or client) is doing and why your company does it best. You can prove through statistics and research. Sum up the problem, show how the competing offering doesn’t work, and then show your new and improved solution.

In a problem-solution paper, don’t mention your solution until the very last minute. This may sound counterintuitive, but the reason is to promote you as a trusted advisor and expert on your area.

How to Write White Papers #2

Just creating my white paper with the following pages:

1. Cover page

2. Content index and copyright notice

3. Executive summary, which I mentioned

4. Introduction to the industry-wide problem

5. Traditional solutions and how they don’t work (or work optimally)

6. Our new solution

7. Product buying guide

8. Case study (optional)

9. Conclusion and call to action

10. About the company (1/2 page)

11. End notes and bibliography

Again, these are adapted from White Papers for Dummies

How to Write White Papers #1

In learning how to write white papers with White Papers for Dummies and other sources, I got the idea for this post.

To make a company stand out, you must present a next gen solution to a problem. In a paper I am writing right now, the client has a product that is not just an iteration, but something that is going to change the game.

I have already written an executive summary. This is geared to physicians and hospitals, and I need to come up with a great title. The book says that it should mirror the issue being discussed. I don’t know the client’s wishes yet or reactions to this initial summary, but I do know that a problem being presented needs a solution that only you can offer. I am trying to figure out a metaphor or just start with a question.

This seems really technical though in the prior white papers of theirs. Marketing has a better set of ideas than what they appeared to have done previously. It’s all about getting them into the top of the sales funnel (or perhaps later).

I don’t know if they will like a problem/solution white paper that is a hard sell–but that’s what I gave them. Hoping for some guidance.

Some Common Grammar Errors #2

Finished reading the grammar book.

A predicate adjective is in the part of the sentence after the verb (predicate):
I feel badly.I feel bad.
DUE must be a predicate adjective.
We were late due to the tire failure.We were late because of the tire failure.
OR Our lateness was due to the tire failure.
PRIOR TO – Prior must also be a predicate adjective.
The letter came prior to the box.The letter came before the box.
OR The arrival of the letter was prior to the box.
Sensory verbs (“look,” “taste,” “smell,” “feel,” “appear”) oftentimes can be either an adjective or an adverb.

She looked differently when she returned.She looked different when she returned.
LINKING VERBS do not refer to something the subject does or experiences, but link the subject to other words, e.g. “to be,” “seem,” “became,” “turned,” “grew,” “proved.”
She became strong and quiet.
Harry proved steady and consistent.
This is the reason why I am reading.This is the reason that I am reading.
What did you paint the house red for?Why did you paint the house red?
Where is the dog at?Where is the dog?
I was angry at my sister.I was angry with my sister.
He is not as tall as his dad.He is not so tall as his dad.
OR He is as tall as his dad.

Some Common Grammar Errors #1

Been reading a book on grammar.

1. Predicate Nominative is a noun or pronoun which is 1) located in the predicate (the sentence from the verb onward), 2) usually follows the verb “to be,” and 3) always renames the subject. Other names for the predicate nominative are subjective complement and predicate noun. When a pronoun is serving as a predicate nominative it must be in the nominative case.

Ex: It is I. That was Jane. This is him. That must have been he.

2. Object of a Preposition must be in the objective case. Pronouns serving as objects of the preposition must be objective case.

Ex: Incorrect – Between you and I this should be an easy game.
Correct – Between you and me this should be an easy game.

3. Subject of an infinitive is always in the objective case. Pronouns used as subjects of an infinitive must be in the objective case.

Ex: Incorrect – It was I who he wanted to come.
Correct – It was I whom he wanted to come.

4. A noun/pronoun used in apposition takes the case of the noun/pronoun with which it is in apposition.

Ex: Incorrect – The winners, Jack and her, treated the losers, they and we.
Correct – The winners, Jack and she, treated the losers, them and us.

5. If a gerund is modified by a noun or pronoun, the noun or pronoun needs to be in the possessive case if it stands for a person.

Ex: Incorrect – Mother objected to Jack talking.
Correct – Mother objected to Jack’s talking.

6. Maintain consistent use of tense.

Ex: Incorrect – Last year when I am up in town, she tells the boss a lie.
Correct – Last year when I was up in town, she told the boss a lie.

7. Don’t confuse the present perfect with the imperfect (past).

Ex: Incorrect – Did Jackie bring the car back yet?
Correct – Has Jackie brought the car back yet?

8. Errors in use of subjunctive mood. Correct usage is 1) with the expression of a wish or 2) to express a condition contrary to fact.

Ex: Incorrect – I wish I was as tall as my brother.
Correct – I wish I were as tall as my brother.

Incorrect – If Jackie was here now, she would show you how to cook.
Correct – If Jackie were here now, she would show you how to cook.

9. False conditional – If the conditional mood is to be used correctly, a condition contrary to fact must be involved. If no such condition is really present, the you have a false conditional.

Ex: Incorrect – Every day when I arrived, she would be in her chair.
Correct – Every day when I arrived, she was in her chair.