More on Marketing
4 months ago
5 Tips for Concise Writing
Here's how to be clear.
“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” — French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, and writer Blaise Pascal
People want this. We tend to repeat ourselves and use unnecessary words.
Being vague frustrates readers. It focuses their limited attention span on figuring out what you're saying rather than your message.
“Examine every word you put on paper. You’ll find a surprising number that don’t serve any purpose.” — American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher William Zinsser
How do you write succinctly?
Here are three ways to polish your writing.
Your readers will appreciate it if you delete unnecessary words. If a word or phrase is essential, keep it. Don't force it.
Many readers dislike bloated sentences. Ask yourself if cutting a word or phrase will change the meaning or dilute your message.
For example, you could say, “It’s absolutely essential that I attend this meeting today, so I know the final outcome.” It’s better to say, “It’s critical I attend the meeting today, so I know the results.”
Delete actually, completely, just, full, kind of, really, and totally. Keep the necessary words, cut the rest.
2. Just Do It
Don't tell readers your plans. Your readers don't need to know your plans. Who are you?
Don't say, "I want to highlight our marketing's problems." Our marketing issues are A, B, and C. This cuts 5–7 words per sentence.
Keep your reader's attention on the essentials, not the fluff. What are you doing? You won't lose readers because you get to the point quickly and don't build up.
Delete words that don't add to your message. Do something, don't tell readers you will.
3. Cut Overlap
You probably repeat yourself unintentionally. You may add redundant sentences when brainstorming. Read aloud to detect overlap.
Remove repetition from your writing. It's important to edit our writing and thinking to avoid repetition.
If you're repeating yourself, combine sentences to avoid overlap.
Write as you would to family or friends. Communicate clearly. Don't use jargon. These words confuse readers.
Readers want specifics, not jargon. Write simply. Done.
Most adults read at 8th-grade level. Jargon and buzzwords make speech fluffy. This confuses readers who want simple language.
Ensure all audiences can understand you. USA Today's 5th-grade reading level is intentional. They want everyone to understand.
5. Active voice
Subjects perform actions in active voice. When you write in passive voice, the subject receives the action.
For example, “the board of directors decided to vote on the topic” is an active voice, while “a decision to vote on the topic was made by the board of directors” is a passive voice.
Active voice clarifies sentences. Active voice is simple and concise.
Bringing It All Together
Five tips help you write clearly. Delete, just do it, cut overlap, use simple language, and write in an active voice.
Clear writing is effective. It's okay to occasionally use unnecessary words or phrases. Realizing it is key. Check your writing.
Adding words costs.
Write more concisely. People will appreciate it and read your future articles, emails, and messages. Spending extra time will increase trust and influence.
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” — Naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau
27 days ago
Apple: Showing Ads on Your iPhone
This report from Mark Gurman has stuck with me:
In the News and Stocks apps, the display ads are no different than what you might get on an ad-supported website. In the App Store, the ads are for actual apps, which are probably more useful for Apple users than mortgage rates. Some people may resent Apple putting ads in the News and Stocks apps. After all, the iPhone is supposed to be a premium device. Let’s say you shelled out $1,000 or more to buy one, do you want to feel like Apple is squeezing more money out of you just to use its standard features? Now, a portion of ad revenue from the News app’s Today tab goes to publishers, but it’s not clear how much. Apple also lets publishers advertise within their stories and keep the vast majority of that money. Surprisingly, Today ads also appear if you subscribe to News+ for $10 per month (though it’s a smaller number).
I use Apple News often. It's a good general news catch-up tool, like Twitter without the BS. Customized notifications are helpful. Fast and lovely. Except for advertisements. I have Apple One, which includes News+, and while I understand why the magazines still have brand ads, it's ridiculous to me that Apple enables web publishers to introduce awful ads into this experience. Apple's junky commercials are ridiculous.
We know publishers want and probably requested this. Let's keep Apple News ad-free for the much smaller percentage of paid users, and here's your portion. (Same with Stocks, which is more sillier.)
Paid app placement in the App Store is a wonderful approach for developers to find new users (though far too many of those ads are trying to trick users, in my opinion).
Apple is also planning to increase ads in its Maps app. This sounds like Google Maps, and I don't like it. I never find these relevant, and they clutter up the user experience. Apple Maps now has a UI advantage (though not a data/search one, which matters more).
Apple is nickel-and-diming its customers. We spend thousands for their products and premium services like Apple One. We all know why: income must rise, and new firms are needed to scale. This will eventually backfire.
2 days ago
How to get 100k profile visits on Twitter each month without spending a dime
As a marketer, I joined Twitter on August 31, 2022 to use it.
Growth has been volatile, causing up-and-down engagements. 500 followers in 11 days.
I met amazing content creators, marketers, and people.
Those who use Twitter may know that one-liners win the algorithm, especially if they're funny or humorous, but as a marketer I can't risk posting content that my audience won't like.
I researched, learned some strategies, and A/B tested; some worked, some didn't.
In this article, I share what worked for me so you can do the same.
Thanks for reading!
Let's check my Twitter stats.
Tweets: how many tweets I sent in the first 28 days.
A user may be presented with a Tweet in their timeline or in search results.
In-person visits how many times my Twitter profile was viewed in the first 28 days.
Mentions: the number of times a tweet has mentioned my name.
Number of followers: People who were following me
Getting 500 Twitter followers isn't difficult.
Not easy, but doable.
Follow these steps to begin:
Determine your content pillars in step 1.
My formula is Growth = Content + Marketing + Community.
I discuss growth strategies.
My concept for growth is : 1. Content = creating / writing + sharing content in my niche. 2. Marketing = Marketing everything in business + I share my everyday learnings in business, marketing & entrepreneurship. 3. Community = Building community of like minded individuals (Also,I share how to’s) + supporting marketers to build & grow through community building.
Identify content pillars to create content for your audience.
2. Make your profile better
Create a profile picture. Your recognition factor is this.
Professional headshots are worthwhile.
This tool can help you create a free, eye-catching profile pic.
Use a niche-appropriate avatar if you don't want to show your face.
2. Create a bio that converts well mainly because first impressions count.
what you're sharing + why + +social proof what are you making
Be brief and precise. (155 characters)
3. Configure your banner
Banners complement profile pictures.
Use this space to explain what you do and how Twitter followers can benefit.
Canva's Twitter header maker is free.
Birdy can test multiple photo, bio, and banner combinations to optimize your profile.
Versions A and B of your profile should be completed.
Find the version that converts the best.
Use the profile that converts the best.
4. Special handle
If your username/handle is related to your niche, it will help you build authority and presence among your audience. Mine on Twitter is @marketershruti.
5. Participate expertly
Proficiently engage while you'll have no audience at first. Borrow your dream audience for free.
Find a creator who has the audience you want.
Activate their post notifications and follow them.
Add a valuable comment first.
6. Create fantastic content
Medium (Read articles about your topic.)
Podcasts (Listen to experts on your topics)
YouTube (Follow channels in your niche)
Listicle ( Hacks, Books, Tools, Podcasts)
Lessons (Teach your audience how to do 1 thing)
Inspirational (Inspire people to take action)
You MUST plan ahead and schedule your Tweets.
Use a scheduling tool that is effective for you; hypefury is mine.
Lastly, consistency is everything that attracts growth. After optimizing your profile, stay active to gain followers, engagements, and clients.
If you found this helpful, please like and comment below.
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15 days ago
Is Web3 nonsense?
Crypto and blockchain have rebranded as web3. They probably thought it sounded better and didn't want the baggage of scam ICOs, STOs, and skirted securities laws.
It was like Facebook becoming Meta. Crypto's biggest players wanted to change public (and regulator) perception away from pump-and-dump schemes.
After the 2018 ICO gold rush, it's understandable. Every project that raised millions (or billions) never shipped a meaningful product.
Like many crazes, charlatans took the money and ran.
Despite its grifter past, web3 is THE hot topic today as more founders, venture firms, and larger institutions look to build the future decentralized internet.
How often have you heard: This will change the world, fix the internet, and give people power?
Why are most of web3's biggest proponents (and beneficiaries) the same rich, powerful players who built and invested in the modern internet? It's like they want to remake and own the internet.
Something seems off about that.
Why are insiders getting preferential presale terms before the public, allowing early investors and proponents to flip dirt cheap tokens and advisors shares almost immediately after the public sale?
It's a good gig with guaranteed markups, no risk or progress.
If it sounds like insider trading, it is, at least practically. This is clear when people talk about blockchain/web3 launches and tokens.
Fast money, quick flips, and guaranteed markups/returns are common.
Incentives-wise, it's hard to blame them. Who can blame someone for following the rules to win? Is it their fault or regulators' for not leveling the playing field?
It's similar to oil companies polluting for profit, Instagram depressing you into buying a new dress, or pharma pushing an unnecessary pill.
All of that is fair game, at least until we change the playbook, because people (and corporations) change for pain or love. Who doesn't love money?
belief based on money gain
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
Bitcoin, blockchain, and web3 analogies?
Most blockchain and web3 proponents are true believers, not cynical capitalists. They believe blockchain's inherent transparency and permissionless trust allow humanity to evolve beyond our reptilian ways and build a better decentralized and democratic world.
They highlight issues with the modern internet and monopoly players like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Decentralization fixes everything
If we could give power back to the people and get governments/corporations/individuals out of the way, we'd fix everything.
Blockchain solves supply chain and child labor issues in China.
To meet Paris climate goals, reduce emissions. Create a carbon token.
Fixing online hatred and polarization Web3 Twitter and Facebook replacement.
Web3 must just be the answer for everything… your “perfect” silver bullet.
Nothing fits everyone. Blockchain has pros and cons like everything else.
Blockchain's viral, ponzi-like nature has an MLM (mid level marketing) feel. If you bought Taylor Swift's NFT, your investment is tied to her popularity.
Probably makes you promote Swift more. Play music loudly.
Here's another example:
Imagine if Jehovah’s Witnesses (or evangelical preachers…) got paid for every single person they converted to their cause.
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as their faith and wealth grow.
Which breeds extremism? Ultra-Orthodox Jews are an example. maximalists
Bitcoin and blockchain are causes, religions. It's a money-making movement and ideal.
We're good at convincing ourselves of things we want to believe, hence filter bubbles.
I ignore anything that doesn't fit my worldview and seek out like-minded people, which algorithms amplify.
Is web3 merely a new scam?
Blockchain has many crucial uses.
Sending money home/abroad without bank fees;
Like fleeing a war-torn country and converting savings to Bitcoin;
Like preventing Twitter from silencing dissidents.
Permissionless, trustless databases could benefit society and humanity. There are, however, many limitations.
What if you're cheated?
What if Trump/Putin/your favorite dictator incites a coup d'état?
What-ifs abound. Decentralization's openness brings good and bad.
No gatekeepers or firefighters to rescue you.
ISIS's fundraising is also frictionless.
Community-owned apps with bad interfaces and service.
So what compromises does web3 make?
What are your trade-offs? Decentralization has many strengths and flaws. Like Bitcoin's wasteful proof-of-work or Ethereum's political/wealth-based proof-of-stake.
To ensure the survival and veracity of the network/blockchain and to safeguard its nodes, extreme measures have been designed/put in place to prevent hostile takeovers aimed at altering the blockchain, i.e., adding money to your own wallet (account), etc.
These protective measures require significant resources and pose challenges. Reduced speed and throughput, high gas fees (cost to submit/write a transaction to the blockchain), and delayed development times, not to mention forked blockchain chains oops, web3 projects.
Protecting dissidents or rogue regimes makes sense. You need safety, privacy, and calm.
What if you assumed EVERYONE you saw was out to rob/attack you? You'd never travel, trust anyone, accomplish much, or live fully. The economy would collapse.
It's like an ant colony where half the ants do nothing but wait to be attacked.
Waste of time and money.
11% of the US budget goes to the military. Imagine what we could do with the $766B+ we spend on what-ifs annually.
Is so much hypothetical security needed?
Blockchain and web3 are similar.
Does your app need permissionless decentralization? Does your scooter-sharing company really need a proof-of-stake system and 1000s of nodes to avoid Russian hackers? Why?
Worst-case scenario? It's not life or death, unless you overstate the what-ifs. Web3 proponents find improbable scenarios to justify decentralization and tokenization.
Do I need a token to prove ownership of my painting? Unless I'm a master thief, I probably bought it.
despite losing the receipt.
I do, however, love Web 3.
Enough Web3 bashing for now. Understand? Decentralization isn't perfect, but it has huge potential when applied to the right problems.
I see many of the right problems as disrupting big tech's ruthless monopolies. I wrote several years ago about how tokenized blockchains could be used to break big tech's stranglehold on platforms, marketplaces, and social media.
Tokenomics schemes can be used for good and are powerful. Here’s how.
Before the ICO boom, I made a series of predictions about blockchain/crypto's future. It's still true.
Here's where I was then and where I see web3 going:
My 11 Big & Bold Predictions for Blockchain
In the near future, people may wear crypto cash rings or bracelets.
While some governments repress cryptocurrency, others will start to embrace it.
Blockchain will fundamentally alter voting and governance, resulting in a more open election process.
Money freedom will lead to a more geographically open world where people will be more able to leave when there is unrest.
Blockchain will make record keeping significantly easier, eliminating the need for a significant portion of government workers whose sole responsibility is paperwork.
Overrated are smart contracts.
6. Tokens will replace company stocks.
7. Blockchain increases real estate's liquidity, value, and volatility.
8. Healthcare may be most affected.
9. Crypto could end privacy and lead to Minority Report.
10. New companies with network effects will displace incumbents.
11. Soon, people will wear rings or bracelets with crypto cash.
Some have already happened, while others are still possible.
Time will tell if they happen.
What will web3 be?
Who will be in charge?
Hope you enjoyed this web3 dive. There's much more to say, but that's for another day.
We're writing history as we go.
Tech regulation, mergers, Bitcoin surge How will history remember us?
What about web3 and blockchain?
Is this a revolution or a tulip craze?
Remember, actions speak louder than words (share them in the comments).
6 months ago
Apple AR/VR heaset
Apple is said to have opted for a standalone AR/VR headset over a more powerful tethered model.
It has had a tumultuous history.
Apple's alleged mixed reality headset appears to be the worst-kept secret in tech, and a fresh story from The Information is jam-packed with details regarding the device's rocky development.
Apple's decision to use a separate headgear is one of the most notable aspects of the story. Apple had yet to determine whether to pursue a more powerful VR headset that would be linked with a base station or a standalone headset. According to The Information, Apple officials chose the standalone product over the version with the base station, which had a processor that later arrived as the M1 Ultra. In 2020, Bloomberg published similar information.
That decision appears to have had a long-term impact on the headset's development. "The device's many processors had already been in development for several years by the time the choice was taken, making it impossible to go back to the drawing board and construct, say, a single chip to handle all the headset's responsibilities," The Information stated. "Other difficulties, such as putting 14 cameras on the headset, have given hardware and algorithm engineers stress."
Jony Ive remained to consult on the project's design even after his official departure from Apple, according to the story. Ive "prefers" a wearable battery, such as that offered by Magic Leap. Other prototypes, according to The Information, placed the battery in the headset's headband, and it's unknown which will be used in the final design.
The headset was purportedly shown to Apple's board of directors last week, indicating that a public unveiling is imminent. However, it is possible that it will not be introduced until later this year, and it may not hit shop shelves until 2023, so we may have to wait a bit to try it.
For further down the line, Apple is working on a pair of AR spectacles that appear like Ray-Ban wayfarer sunglasses, but according to The Information, they're "still several years away from release." (I'm interested to see how they compare to Meta and Ray-Bans' true wayfarer-style glasses.)
Isobel Asher Hamilton
4 months ago
$181 million in bitcoin buried in a dump. $11 million to get them back
James Howells lost 8,000 bitcoins. He has $11 million to get them back.
His life altered when he threw out an iPhone-sized hard drive.
Howells, from the city of Newport in southern Wales, had two identical laptop hard drives squirreled away in a drawer in 2013. One was blank; the other had 8,000 bitcoins, currently worth around $181 million.
He wanted to toss out the blank one, but the drive containing the Bitcoin went to the dump.
He's determined to reclaim his 2009 stash.
Howells, 36, wants to arrange a high-tech treasure hunt for bitcoins. He can't enter the landfill.
Newport's city council has rebuffed Howells' requests to dig for his hard drive for almost a decade, stating it would be expensive and environmentally destructive.
I got an early look at his $11 million idea to search 110,000 tons of trash. He expects submitting it to the council would convince it to let him recover the hard disk.
110,000 tons of trash, 1 hard drive
Finding a hard disk among heaps of trash may seem Herculean.
Former IT worker Howells claims it's possible with human sorters, robot dogs, and an AI-powered computer taught to find hard drives on a conveyor belt.
His idea has two versions, depending on how much of the landfill he can search.
His most elaborate solution would take three years and cost $11 million to sort 100,000 metric tons of waste. Scaled-down version costs $6 million and takes 18 months.
He's created a team of eight professionals in AI-powered sorting, landfill excavation, garbage management, and data extraction, including one who recovered Columbia's black box data.
The specialists and their companies would be paid a bonus if they successfully recovered the bitcoin stash.
Howells: "We're trying to commercialize this project."
Howells claimed rubbish would be dug up by machines and sorted near the landfill.
Human pickers and a Max-AI machine would sort it. The machine resembles a scanner on a conveyor belt.
Remi Le Grand of Max-AI told us it will train AI to recognize Howells-like hard drives. A robot arm would select candidates.
Howells has added security charges to his scheme because he fears people would steal the hard drive.
He's budgeted for 24-hour CCTV cameras and two robotic "Spot" canines from Boston Dynamics that would patrol at night and look for his hard drive by day.
Howells said his crew met in May at the Celtic Manor Resort outside Newport for a pitch rehearsal.
Richard Hammond's narrative swings from banal to epic.
Richard Hammond filmed the meeting and created a YouTube documentary on Howells.
Hammond said of Howells' squad, "They're committed and believe in him and the idea."
Hammond: "It goes from banal to gigantic." "If I were in his position, I wouldn't have the strength to answer the door."
Howells said trash would be cleaned and repurposed after excavation. Reburying the rest.
"We won't pollute," he declared. "We aim to make everything better."
After the project is finished, he hopes to develop a solar or wind farm on the dump site. The council is unlikely to accept his vision soon.
A council representative told us, "Mr. Howells can't convince us of anything." "His suggestions constitute a significant ecological danger, which we can't tolerate and are forbidden by our permit."
Will the recovered hard drive work?
The "platter" is a glass or metal disc that holds the hard drive's data. Howells estimates 80% to 90% of the data will be recoverable if the platter isn't damaged.
Phil Bridge, a data-recovery expert who consulted Howells, confirmed these numbers.
If the platter is broken, Bridge adds, data recovery is unlikely.
Bridge says he was intrigued by the proposal. "It's an intriguing case," he added. Helping him get it back and proving everyone incorrect would be a great success story.
Swiss and German venture investors Hanspeter Jaberg and Karl Wendeborn told us they would fund the project if Howells received council permission.
Jaberg: "It's a needle in a haystack and a high-risk investment."
Howells said he had no contract with potential backers but had discussed the proposal in Zoom meetings. "Until Newport City Council gives me something in writing, I can't commit," he added.
Suppose he finds the bitcoins.
Howells said he would keep 30% of the data, worth $54 million, if he could retrieve it.
A third would go to the recovery team, 30% to investors, and the remainder to local purposes, including gifting £50 ($61) in bitcoin to each of Newport's 150,000 citizens.
Howells said he opted to spend extra money on "professional firms" to help convince the council.
What if the council doesn't approve?
If Howells can't win the council's support, he'll sue, claiming its actions constitute a "illegal embargo" on the hard drive. "I've avoided that path because I didn't want to cause complications," he stated. I wanted to cooperate with Newport's council.
Howells never met with the council face-to-face. He mentioned he had a 20-minute Zoom meeting in May 2021 but thought his new business strategy would help.
He met with Jessica Morden on June 24. Morden's office confirmed meeting.
After telling the council about his proposal, he can only wait. "I've never been happier," he said. This is our most professional operation, with the best employees.
The "crypto proponent" buys bitcoin every month and sells it for cash.
Howells tries not to think about what he'd do with his part of the money if the hard disk is found functional. "Otherwise, you'll go mad," he added.
This post is a summary. Read the full article here.