“Knock knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Knock knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Knock knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“This isn’t a joke. It’s just annoying.”

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Today in North Carolina there was an Amber Alert for a one-year-old girl in a stolen car. The headlines in local media were along the lines of, “Search continues for missing High Point girl.”

I first saw the story on my iPhone, and I’m sure many others viewed it on a mobile device. To get the most potentially-important information, namely the description and license plate of the vehicle, you had to click through to read the story. I did, but I wonder how many others did.

The most helpful headline would have been, “Missing child in stolen white Suburban, NC license BJXXXXX.” (I’m not putting the actual plate number here as the girl has, thankfully, been found.) That would have provided useful information to someone who only read the headline.

In content marketing, we talk all the time about how to make our content easily consumable on mobile devices. Businesses are adapting their content for mobile consumption. It’s time for the media to do the same, even if just in cases of urgent need. A teaser headline may get more click throughs, but it may also make it more likely that vital information is ignored.

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We’re trying to discourage bathroom talk, especially at the dinner table. But it’s hard not to laugh at, “I power the city with my farts.”

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“Daddy, underwater you look like an old potato.”

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“Knock Knock”

2013.07.12

“Who’s there?”
“Interrupting eyeball.”
“Interrupting eyeball wh…”
“LASER!”

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Striking it comfy

2013.05.25

A decade ago, I knew the names of some Internet millionaires, just like we all did. Today, I personally know probably a dozen or more; people who were part of a great idea at the right time and did the hard work and had the
luck necessary to capitalize on it.

I’m listening to my favorite Internet jazz station, Noctamblues. I don’t know anything about them, and I’m too lazy right now to do any research. But when I first started listening to them, they didn’t have any advertising. Now they have occasional ads from major US retailers. I doubt anybody at the station is getting rich from this. But I wonder if they are on their way to making a living from it.

I’m sure some smart person has coined a term for this kind of mid-level entrepreneurship. One where, instead of one big idea that sets you up for life, you have one that gives you a nice bit of supplemental income, or maybe a half dozen that provide a comfortable living. I imagine there are lots of app producers who fall into the latter category.

It’s an interesting paradigm, one that makes me think of artists and artisans and writers and musicians who piece together a living from their skills and their passions.

I think it’s a way of living and working that technology will continue to make easier, to the point where the Internet craftsperson will be infinitely more common than the Internet mogul.

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“Wash your hands and I’ll make you a plate of pancakes.”

“I want blueberry pancakes, not Play-Do pancakes!”

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“Good morning.”
“Hey, how are you?”
“Good. How are you?”
“Oh, you know. From the womb untimely ripped.”
“Sleepy?”
“I feel like I could sleep for weeks.”
“I know the feeling. You heading anywhere interesting?”
“South Carolina.”
“Why?”
“Because it’s there.”
“Well yeah, but they’ve already discovered it.”
“That’s right. And climbed it, too.”
“I live in North Carolina, so we tend to look down on South Carolina.”
“I’ve heard that. That there’s Carolina, and then South Carolina.”
“And they have Myrtle Beach and South of the Border.”
“But when you’re on your family vacation, where do you stop? South of the Border.”
“I’ve already decided that if I get married a third time, it’ll be there, in the shadow of Pedro.”
(big smile)
“Safe travels.”

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“If they have toys at the hardware store, can I buy one with the money Grampy gave me?”
“Sure.”
“Good. I want a riding lawn mower.”

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I’m at the Back to the Blog event at Duke, organized by Anton Zuiker and Cara Rousseau. One attendee just asked how to find time to blog, which is one of the most common questions I’ve been asked over the past five years. I have a number of standard responses:

*Look for content you’re already creating, from white papers to long emails, and repurpose them.

*Look at what you’re doing that isn’t working and stop doing it to free up more time.

*A blog post doesn’t have to be a white paper; a short, interesting post or a link to another post your audience will find useful is enough.

Yet I still do most of my blogging (the little I do these days) late at night. I have a job where I could easily justify blogging during the workday, but I don’t. I write after my wife and son go to bed (or sometimes before they wake up). I’ve always done my best creative work late at night, whether on this blog, my book or presentations for work.

I wonder if that’s one of the reasons people feel they don’t have time to blog, because writing is a creative and personal activity that we want to do well. I have to be in the right mood to blog well and enjoy it. I don’t feel that way about other work-related tasks. It’s not as though I’ve ever thought, “I’m too tired to come up with a clever formula for this spreadsheet.”

One of the big challenges I’ve set for myself is to blog short items more frequently, but I don’t. Instead, I post more to Facebook (which leads to another question for another time).

I have abandoned some of the niceties I used to observe on this blog, notably posting photos and adding links. I used asterisks above instead of the HTML for bullets. (Did you notice? Do you care?) Those things don’t take that much time, but they take enough time (and are hard enough to do by mobile) that giving them up feels freeing.

But still it’s easier to post to Facebook, and I do it more often than I post here by a factor of, what, 100? I wonder how much of that is because blogging feels like Writing, with a capital W, and writing is a skill I respect and don’t want to devalue.

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