Exercises to Develop the Communication Skills of Your Students

Being good at communicating has to be one of the most useful skills out there. Without it, you’re doomed to work on projects, tasks, and jobs alone (or fail at working on them together). With them, you can do nearly anything. For that reason, as a teacher, you want to do whatever is in your power to help your students learn how to be better communicators. For the classroom might well be one of the best places to pick up such skills. Of course, some exercises are going to be better than others. Here we’re going to explore some of Read More

Content creation doesn’t have to be a pain

I made the point a few posts ago (”The new age for all its electronic wizardy is still writing based“) that, despite the importance of the words on your site, many people think they can stick some copy and content in at the last minute. And this is backed up by the experience of Flyte web development company — “Content Creation is Painful” — who describe their experience with customers who decide to write their own copy as follows: Before the job starts: “I’m just going to take the content from the current site.” “This stuff is going to write itself.” “I expect to knock Read More

Blogging tips from masters of the blogoverse

A couple of nice blogging related articles… Seth Godin wrote a succinct summary of what makes a good blog post: How to write a blog post, he says, involves: – An appropriate illustration – A useful topic, easily broadened to be useful to a large number of readers – Simple language with no useless jargon – Not too long – Focusing on something that people have previously taken for granted – That initially creates emotional resistance – Then causes a light bulb to go off – Causes the reader to look at the world differently all day long. All good Read More

Start a website for your “bricks and mortar” business

I’m over in Scotland right now — Edinburgh to be exact (back to Vancouver on the 27th) — and it’s clear that Internet usage in the UK is on the up, mainly down to the spread of broadband over the last year or so. There are various stats that have been released showing huge Internet usage growth in the UK, but even just from driving around the city I can see the signs — literally. Compared to my last visit a year ago there are far more URLs on the storefronts of small retailers. No matter where in the world Read More

Real life versus the Internet

Ok, the Web’s a convenient and limitless resource and, used effectively, a great communications and business tool. And we’re all wired up to the eyeballs these days. But rearrange the letters in “wired” and you get “weird,” which nicely sums up a lot of the rest of the Internet. And there’s no better, or funnier, representation of this than “Real Life Versus the Internet”

Adding thumbnail previews to your links is a Snap

Here’s another tool that’s worth checking out. Snap offers a free service that lets your visitors preview a site before clicking through to it via a link on your page. Hover over the Snap link above or any other on this blog and you’ll see what I mean. It makes for a nice user experience, and saves people clicking through to pages they’ve already visited or might not want to visit. It’s easy to add to your site, especially for a non-techy person like me. You just paste a small snippet of code into your template and you can choose to use it with all links or Read More

Successful viral marketing campaign examples

Still on viral marketing, MarketingSherpa has an excellent list of their top 12 viral marketing campaigns here, covering a variety of businesses. Good for idea-sparking. And I strongly recommend you sign up for MarketingSherpa’s free email newsletter while you’re there. It’s a mine of tips, case studies and other marketing goodness. They also produce some very thorough studies and run some excellent conferences — I attended their Email Marketing one in Chicago this year and found it invaluable.

Global stats for Internet usage

There’s a good article on the BBC site — “How to make the web go worldwide” — showing a breakdown of Internet usage worldwide. According to the stats from Internet World Stats, South Korea is the most connected nation with 70% of homes having a high-speed broadband connection. The figure for Africa, on the other hand, is just 0.1%, leaving experts worried that the continent is being left far behind in terms of global Internet expansion. There are some good links to other articles in the sidebar of this story.

Hello, G’day, Howdy — what English do you speak?

It’s going to be interesting to see how the growth of the Internet worldwide affects what’s considered “standard” English in the long-term. Of course, standard English is different according to whether you’re in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia… and so on. So, as the Web has developed most rapidly in the US, is US-English going to become the standard — at least in online communications? Or will there be a new language called Internet-English that’s a hybrid of the various versions? Inter-English anyone? This came to mind after reading a post on a new blog called Word Wise — Comma Read More

Top 5 must-read books on writing

I went to see Billy Connolly (still as funny as ever) the other night. One of the Big Yin’s best lines was… “If you go into a house and they only have one book, get the *bleep* out of that house!” Really I just wanted an excuse to get that line in, but it did get me thinking — if I had to choose one writing book to keep out of the ones on my shelf, which would it be? I’d have to choose On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Others making up a top 5 would be: – Networds by Nick Usborne – On Read More