Archive: 2008


Apple Dumps Macworld

Apple’s decision to pull out of Macworld is a little like Simon Cowell taking a pass on “American Idol.” Sure, the show will go on, but in what form? Naturally, the news caused a stir in the blogosphere, with one of the better posts coming from Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune. Although unlike Elmer-DeWitt, I don’t view Apple’s rationalization …more

The Engima of Business Journalism, The Economist

Cloaked with a veneer of secrecy that leaves readers to wonder “Who the hell wrote that article?” The Economist takes pride in baffling the garden-variety PR person. Its editorial decisions can at times seem quirky for the sake of being quirky. I mean, do we really need 499 words devoted to ornithology and a bio-acoustic monitor that can distinguish …more

When Competing News Helps Your Story

Everyone recognizes the benefit of steering clear of major media events when making an announcement. It’s safe to say that January 20 is not the time to roll out a new line of laptop computers. But there are scenarios when news relevant to your story hitting in roughly the same timeframe works to your advantage. Take the well-crafted story …more

MIT Takes on Quantum Physics, RFID … and Storytelling

The brainiacs behind electronic paper, the $99 computer and making money at blackjack have decided to take on new terrain: Storytelling. The MIT Media Laboratory recently created what they’re calling the Center for Future Storytelling. Demonstrating the science behind the power of storytelling can only advance the cause, even if it’s from a technical bent: By applying leading-edge technologies to make …more

Six Competencies of the Next Generation News Organization

The Media Management Center at Northwestern University recently came out with a report called “Six Competencies of the Next Generation News Organizations“. The introduction scopes the report’s objective: Advances in technology continue to spur great innovation in media — especially in the news industry. At the same time, these rapid-fire innovations have upended the ways …more

When Business Leaders Show Humanity

The recent BusinessWeek piece titled “BitTorrent’s Bram Coen Isn’t Limited by Asperger’s” got my attention. The inventor of the technology that brought digital movie sharing into the mainstream let the world know he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. The painfully honest profile intersperses good, bad and not-so-pretty elements: “For Cohen, this has been a fraught journey into the sometimes …more

Obama’s Infomercial Offers Lesson in Storytelling

I tend to associate infomercials with Ginsu knives and historical videos on World War II. Obviously, the Barack Obama infomercial that aired last month was not in the order-now-and-get-free-shipping genre.   Putting politics aside, the video comes across as a powerful communications vehicle. How can you go wrong with world-class production quality, panoramic views of “amber waves of …more

Oprah: Heartfelt Storyteller or Paid Shill?

Oprah is a good storyteller who’s even better at facilitating a story. More than any single element, Oprah has turned tapping into the emotional reservoir of her viewing audience into an art form. That’s why when Oprah came forward on Friday and proclaimed Amazon’s Kindle (e-reader) as life-changing people paid attention. In fact, Oprah’s revelation created more noise in the blogosphere …more

Warren Buffett Tells a Good Story

It’s not enough that Warren Buffett has generated a net worth of around $62 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world. He’s also a world-class storyteller. (If it makes you feel any better, at least he’s not handsome.) With Warren Buffett in the spotlight for rescuing Goldman Sachs with a $5 billion infusion, lending …more