There’s a danger of the day getting off to a rough start when you get a press release opening like this:
HP and VMware, Inc. today announced plans to collaborate to deliver the industry’s first federated network solution. This solution is designed to provide customers unified automation of, and visibility into, their physical and virtual data centre networks, enabling business agility and improving business continuity.
Just what could this possibly mean?
The company formerly known as HP has done something with VMware. It’s something to do with data centre networks and going by the last six words it could be good or it could just be the HP public relations team reached deep into the “important-sounding, but meaningless” clichés box.
It goes on a bit like the example above. Wading through the stodge, I get the impression there’s a software defined network in there somewhere. I could insult my readers intelligence and regurgitate this nonsense.
My heart goes out to the poor downstream PR people who have to deal with this kind of rubbish coming from corporate HQ. I suspect the poor souls would have a heart attack if I rang to ask for clarification on the meaning of, say, “a unified network operations model that will radically simplify IT in the software-defined data centre.”
And HP wonders why no-body wants to buy its kit any more…
Adarsh Pandi is a developer who knows how to write great emails. He explains his technique in the curiously headlined Using Writing Smells to Refactor Your Email.
Pandi treats crafting emails like writing a piece of code. He starts by looking at the goals of an email which he says are:
- Get the reader to read the most important thing
- Get them to respond quickly or do something quickly
Then works to make them simple, easier to respond to and more likely to trigger an action.
He then works through a few details, such as keeping sentences short and simple What’s amazing is how he effectively develops a simple version of what us old hands teach every young journalist when they first start writing.
Are email greetings and salutations redundant?
30 years ago I co-wrote The Usborne guide to understanding the micro. The title has been out of print for a generation. So I was surprised to find it listed at Google Books.
Amazingly my book also still on sale at Amazon.com. Mind you, the sellers don’t want much for it.
The Usborne guide was my first book and, in sales terms the most successful although not the most lucrative. I can’t find any evidence, but remember it featured on some best-seller lists and total sales ran to hundreds of thousands. If you know, please get in touch.
Usborne translated the book into a number of other languages including German. The cover of that version is below and, sigh, doesn’t feature my name. I remember there were other language versions, I spotted one in a shop somewhere in Spain. There were at least three reprints of the English edition.
Oddly the picture shown at Google Books isn’t the cover but the title page from inside the book.
Mikrocomputer Wie Sie Funktionieren-Was Sie Konnen
My other books haven’t fared so well on Google Books. And as for this one from 1984. I wrote it under the pseudonym Gordon Davis after I saw a player with the same name score a goal for Chelsea one weekend. For some reason Google added the word ‘Bitter’ in the name. I’m not sure what that’s about.