Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Around the Word

We've got ghostwriters, mythbusters, and an antidote to WiFi withdrawal today:
  • Celebrity ghostwriters get their time in the limelight: CNN Entertainment interviewed Wendy Leigh (who ghostwrote for Zsa Zsa Gabor and Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone) and Jon Warech (who wrote with Kendra Wilkinson and Jodie Sweetin) about the tight-rope act that is ghosting. On the one hand, you're coaxing candid tales from your subject; on the other, you're avoiding potential mine fields. Leigh sums up the relationship as "part psychoanalyst, part best friend, part lion tamer, part interviewer and part nanny." Have Gotham's celebrity ghosts gathered any tales from the trenches?
  • Public speaking blogger Olivia Mitchell has some contrarian counsel for presenters bombarded by tips, hints, and pointers. In Ragan, she argues that golden ratios like "your message is 7% what you say, 38% the tone of your voice, and 55% body language" are just trumped-up ways of delivering the axiomatic advice: "Content and delivery matter." Mitchell also debunks popular advice about adapting your presentation to the "learning styles" of your audience and challenges the commandment to seize people's attention from the start. After all, she points out, seizing is easy—it's keeping their focus that's tough. After so many BloGG posts about speaking strategies, we turn to you—what's your take? Do you swear by these rules, or are Mitchell's counterclaims refreshing?
  • Those long WiFiless commutes call for inexhaustible reading material—a call answered by the joys of Instapaper, an app for storing and perusing articles on an offline reader. Now, can help you stock your subway-tunnel library. An offshoot from the @longreads Twitter feed, the site archives thousands of articles that have been tagged as "longreads" by the Twitter feed's over 7,000 followers. Some periodicals—including The Atlantic, Esquire, and Vanity Fair—are starting to get wise and tag their own articles as "longreads" as well. Longreads founder Mark Arms says the site is teaching media organs how to organize articles for more transparent online access.

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