Aggregate Statistics Can Steer You Wrong

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It’s been almost 20 years since I started in the media business. I’m thankful for opportunities that put me at the forefront of database marketing technologies back then. I’m also thankful that we quickly discovered database mining. Most of the tools at the time provided us with aggregate statistics across the entire database. But these aggregate statistics can really steer you wrong. With aggregate views of our customers, we would find out that our clients’ profile was of a certain gender, age, income and lived in a specific area. To … Continue reading

Speaking in Your Audience’s Language

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It’s only fitting that I write a post about communication sitting in a conference room in France. Last night we had dinner scheduled for 8PM with a company at Le Procope, the oldest restaurant in Paris (est 1686). We were excited – this restaurant had patrons like Danton, Voltaire, John Paul Jones, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. We’ve been having a difficult time getting cabs here in Paris (not uncommon). The cabs come and go at their convenience. We waited for half an hour or so at the hotel and … Continue reading

50 Writing Errors that Continue to Haunt Bloggers

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There were times in my career and when I was going to college that I questioned my writing ability. Thankfully, blogging came around and (most) readers lowered their reading standards. Readers are thankfully scanning beyond errors with dangling participles, split infinitives, homonyms, transitive verbs, prepositions, relative pronouns, and just plain dumb spelling errors. It wasn’t true in the past, but we’re all professional writers now. Not a day goes by that marketers have to write blog posts, press releases, whitepapers, case studies and email! You’re paid to write… are you … Continue reading

Eye have a spelling chequer

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This week I just finished reading Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling by David Wolman. You may not know what orthography and etymology are and that’s okay. I know I’m a butcher of grammar and spelling, but this book made me feel quite a bit better about my skills. There are millions of words in the English language, but the average high school graduate knows about 60,000. The fact is that most of us don’t have a clue what the majority … Continue reading