Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Around the Word

Rate your rhetoric: Have you written a spectacular speech this year? Find out how it stacks up against its industry competition by submitting to the 2012 Cicero Speechwriting Awards. The Cicero Awards recognize the best work in the speechwriting word, and Cicero winners receive publicity at major speechwriting events, including readings by GG friend and Vital Speeches of the Day editor David Murray. As the Cicero website puts it, "Not Twitter feeds, podcasts or blogs -- for politicians and CEOs, for military brass and church leaders, for activists and fundraisers, nothing substitutes for the power of a good speech to move audiences to action." Show off your skills by entering today.

Window shoppers: Brick-and-mortar bookstores have had a tough time in this recession, and now they have further proof that they're being undersold by their arch-enemy, Amazon. A new survey reported on the New York Times Media Decoder confirms that many book buyers see a book in a bookstore first, then go online to purchase it. Are these Amazonians shameless, or just saving money in a tough economy?

Platform building: Aspiring authors always hear about the importance of having an audience before their book is published, but how do you start to build that platform? Author Meghan Ward has a list of suggestions on her blog this week, from the helpful (Tumblr, podcasts, teaching, website) to the cheeky (become famous!). Is there anything you would add to her list?

Zombie-telling: In an brilliant confluence of pop-culture obsessions -- smartphones + digital storytelling + zombies -- a new app puts you in the middle of the zombie apocalypse while you're jogging. Zombies, Run! from Six to Start includes audio that sends you on missions, warns you of incoming zombies, and rewards you for your hard work staying alive. Set to release early next year, this app is one step toward the new frontier of interactive mobile storytelling. Will you be running from zombies?

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