Content is barbarism
The term “content” is a barbarism that bit by bit devalues what journalists do.
Jay Rosen, Chair of Journalism at New York University
Taken from Look, you’re right, okay? But you’re also wrong
Orwell on language
Everyone who thinks at all has noticed that our language is practically useless for describing anything that goes on inside the brain.
– George Orwell
One either meets or one works
Bob Sutton dug up this brilliant quote from Peter Drucker.
Like Sutton, I think some meetings are essential, but both Sutton and Drucker are right: they are too often a substitute for real work.
Bob Sutton: Peter Drucker: “One Either Meets or One Works”.
Drucker: knowledge workers an asset
Peter Drucker says employers who see knowledge workers as a cost, not an asset are out of touch.
At the Internet Time Blog Jay Cross pulled together some interesting quotes from management guru Peter Drucker. He writes about what is needed for knowledge worker productivity . The quotes are all worth reading. The last is the most important.
Knowledge worker productivity requires that the knowledge worker is both seen and treated as an “asset” rather than a “cost.” It requires that knowledge workers want to work for the organisation in preference to all other opportunities.
This sums things up nicely. Companies need to learn knowledge workers are assets. At the same time they need to recognise knowledge workers are assets that can leave at a moment’s notice. When they do, they take their skills and expertise elsewhere.
Peter Drucker: The comeback charlatan
CIO magazine writes about Peter Drucker – who first coined the term ‘knowledge worker’. It’s not a soft piece. In The comeback Charlatan David James is critical writing:
He talks about knowledge as the organisation’s vital “resource”. It is not a resource (resources are inanimate; knowledge is an act of animate humans).
Likewise, his use of the economics-derived term “productivity” is doubtful. It is not how much knowledge is “produced” but how well it is applied.
In an interview with BRW, Drucker dismissed these concerns, saying that “eventually, we will have to work out the proper methodology for both defining and measuring knowledge, work and the knowledge worker”.
Predicting the future
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Harold Evans’ ‘inescapable reciprocity’
Harold Evans, former editor of The Times was writing specifically about newspapers, but the basic idea applies equally online:
Content and design go hand in hand:
Newspaper design cannot begin to exist without news and attitudes to it; without something to express to a defined audience.
And newspaper news cannot effectively be communicated visually without newspaper design.
The problem is to communicate, within the same physical context, not one message but a series of disconnected messages, of infinitely varying significance, and to do this with speed, ease and economy in a recognisably consistent style.
– Harold Evans, Newspaper Design
A man’s reach
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?
— Robert Browning
The life of the journalist is poor, nasty, brutish and short. So is his style.
– Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm
Engines of war
“I will ignore all ideas for new works and engines of war, the invention of which has reached its limits and for whose improvement I see no further hope.”
- Julius Frontinus, chief military engineer to the Emperor Vespasian, circa AD 70.
Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.
Ogilvy: How to write
Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
From a memo advertising man David Ogilvy sent to employees at his agency in 1982, titled: “How to Write”.