The Shortest Stories

what a wonderful idea as it shows great potential

Nicholas C. Rossis

Grenoble shorts | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Photograph: Short Édition

I found in the Guardian a fascinating article: Readers in Grenoble can now nibble fiction instead of vending machine snacks, after publisher Short Édition introduced eight short-story dispensers around the French city.

The free stories are available at the touch of a button, printing out on rolls of paper like a till receipt. Readers are able to choose one minute, three minutes or five minutes of fiction. Two weeks since launch, co-founder Quentin Pleplé says that more than 10,000 stories have already been printed.

“The feedback we got has been overwhelmingly positive [and] we are thrilled to see it working so well,” said Pleplé. “There are only eight dispensers in the city of Grenoble for now but we are planning to introduce way more. We are getting requests from all over the world – Australia, the US, Canada, Russia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Chile, Taiwan – that we are…

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How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes

timerI don’t really want to spend more than 20 minutes a day on writing articles. And I spent no more than 20 minutes to write this article.

I realize this is writing blasphemy. Internet marketing is powered by content, and content is king. But when I have a daily schedule to post on and a business to run, I don’t have time to spend hours polishing every single blog post or writing 2,000-word articles.

Writing quickly doesn’t mean compromising on writing well, though. I’ve got seven tips to get you in and out of that composition box in twenty minutes – without sacrificing quality.

1. Keep an idea list.

When inspiration for a post strikes, scribble it down in a notebook or a word file. For many bloggers and content creators, finding the topic to write about takes up half the time. Keeping an idea list lets you leap in to a new post quickly when you’re ready to write.

2. Let your ideas incubate.

If you try to force yourself to come up with supporting information for your brilliant idea right away, it’s going to take ages. Let that topic sit for a few days, though, and you can add new ideas as they occurs to you – and when you’re ready to write, you’ll already have all the supporting info you need.

3. Edit before you start

You’ve probably got twice as many ideas as you need at this point, so it’s time to be brutal. Cut out any supporting idea that doesn’t fit with the main topic of the article. Remember, we’re talking about how to write an article in 20 minutes, not an epic. You can always use the ideas you don’t need for later posts.

4. Use bullet points

Bullet points, or numbered points like “10 Ways to Get More Subscribers”, can make writing an article a lot simpler in terms of organization because you no longer have to figure out transitions from one idea to the next. The great side benefit is that readers like lists; they’re easier for the eye to follow.

5. Keep it short

If you want to finish that article in 20 minutes, try to keep it under 500 words. Don’t feel like you’re skimping on quality content, either: this article is only about 500 words but it’s chockfull of information. Make every word count and you’ll save time without letting quality slip.

6. Come back later

If you find that you’re stuck, don’t try to force the words to come. Save the article and work on something else for awhile. If inspiration strikes, open up that document again. You can even switch from one blog post to another, spending a few minutes on each as ideas comes to you. It’s a huge time-saver.

7. Never save a good idea

It’s tempting, when you look through your list of ideas, to save the best ones for later because you think they’ll be easier to write. You don’t want to save time later, you want to save time now. Do the articles you know will come easily and make the most of that time.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to brilliant articles in a fraction of the time. Share some of your favorite article writing tips in the comments!

How many Writers it Takes to Change a Lightbulb?

how many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
If you use this at your next party, and don’t lie, you know you will, you may thank this dude, Mike Pope, a technical editor at Microsoft in Seattle.

Q. How many writers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. Ten. One to change it; nine to think they could have done it better.

Q: How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: But why do we have to change it?

Q. How many editors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Only one; but first they have to rewire the entire building.

Q: How many editors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: I can’t tell whether you mean “change a lightbulb” or “have sex in a lightbulb.” Can we reword it to remove ambiguity?

Q: If you want to change a lightbulb, how many editors do you need?
A: The way this is worded does not conform to our style guide.

Q: How many senior editors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: You were supposed to have changed that lightbulb last week!

Q. How many copy editors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. The last time this question was asked, it involved senior editors. Is the difference intentional? Should one or the other instance be changed? It seems inconsistent.

Q: How many copy editors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Copy editors aren’t supposed to change lightbulbs. They should just query them.

Q: How many programmers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: File a bug on that and we’ll triage it.

Q: How many localization program managers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Sorry, we already handed the lightbulb off, so we can’t change it.

Q: How many copy editors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Just one, but it takes at least three passes.

Q: How many copy editors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Depends on just how married the author is to the old lightbulb.

How to harness the Power Of The Big 6 Social Media Platforms

As the marketing power of social media grows, it no longer makes sense to treat it by observing from the sidelines. In less than a decade, social media, in many ways, seems to have “taken over the world.” This statement is not exaggerated. As one of the largest social networking sites in the social media universe, Facebook boasted more than 750 million people actively using its service. After all, if Facebook users constituted a country, it would be the world’s third largest and will soon grow twice as large as the population of the United States. We know that both B2C and B2B businesses use social media as part of their marketing strategy. Companies certainly know what social media is and its ability to amplify word-of-mouth effects.
engagement

Yet the vast majority of executives have no idea how to harness social media’s power. Companies diligently establish Twitter feeds and branded Facebook pages, but few have a deep understanding of exactly how social media interacts with consumers to expand product and brand recognition, drive sales and profitability, and engender loyalty.

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Myspace. Google Plus. LinkedIn. YouTube. Vine. Foursquare. Tumblr. and much more. There are more than 400 unique social networking sites currently active across the globe, hosting trillions of conversations and billions of gigabytes of data. Over the past few years, small businesses have begun to harness the power of these networks to talk about their brand, engage customers, drive leads and even ramp up sales. But there are a few hard-and-fast rules that business owners should adhere to if they want to avoid going from social hero to hapless zero.

engagement
Social media is here to stay when it comes to marketing. Most businesses use it for brand exposure and increasing website traffic. Often overlooked is the power of social media for lead generation. Some businesses get it and others don’t.

What you need to know to make it work for you.

The key word describing the difference between Social Media and conventional communications is
engagement. The premise of Social Media is a dynamic, interactive conversation between you, and your customers. This interactivity is at the core of both the benefits and the risks of Social Media. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to implementing a successful Social Media strategy. As such, this article focuses on providing executives with ideas, challenges, and guidelines on how to use Social Media to advance the mission of their organization. No matter what industry your business is in, social media can enhance your sales, marketing and public relations efforts.

    The 5 Levels of Social Media Engagement

  • OBSERVING
  • Level 1: Observing – watching the conversation from a far & simply “lurking” to decide if it’s interesting/valuable enough to join.

  • FOLLOWING
  • Level 2: Following – following the brand in some way, i.e. following on Twitter or Liking on Facebook.

  • ENDORCING
  • Level 4: Endorsing – actively sharing your content with others, i.e. retweeting, sharing via Facebook, etc.

  • ENGAGING
  • Level 3: Engaging – interacting in a limited fashion, such as clicking through to read your content, viewing a video, or Liking a wall post.

  • CONTRIBUTING
  • Level 5: Contributing – actively participating in the conversation and interacting with your brand, i.e. tweeting to your brand, posting on your Facebook wall, or commenting on a blog post.

engagementWhat social media engagement represents is a two-way dialogue between brands and customers. The primary rule of engagement is: If you want to increase engagement, be engaged. Like most people, social media users don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Start by giving before you expect to receive.
The rapid evolution of digital, mobile and social technologies has propelled the financial industry into an era of transformative agility and adaptability.
Consumers expect highly personalized products and services, delivered in real time. Instant gratification means no more waiting in long lines, no more trudging through shopping malls, no more cash purchases. Even tangible goods are fading into services delivered thru social platforms.
Peter Drucker was right when he said, “The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer”. This is the goal of every business: to create and keep customers. This principle survives Digital. Digital helps you keep this focus by giving you more ways to know your customer better.
Digital is second nature to Millennials and plays a significant part in their lives. They believe new technology makes life easier and brings people closer together. Millennials are mobile. They are hyper-connected and always on. Based on their love of all things Digital, Millennials are introducing a whole new value system to the marketplace.