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storytelling blog posts

We need a better cliché than “time flies by.”

With 2011 in wind-down mode, I’ve captured what I consider to be my top 10 posts from the year.

Some got the nod from sheer number of views.

Others were personal favorites.

I’ve split the list in half with the initial five today and the rest tomorrow.

Here goes –

Open Letter To Art Howe

Artie didn’t like how he was portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Moneyball, so he hit the talk show circuit to set the record straight. Not good. He comes off as a humorless ex-baseball-manager.

Book Review: Entertainment Value Of “Tell To Win” Sugarcoats Lessons In Storytelling

No question, Peter Guber’s book advanced the cause. Sure, I could have done without the pop psychology lesson – Larry King stayed at CNN because Ted Turner knew King put loyalty above money due to his father’s premature death, which King interpreted as disloyalty – but all in all it’s a worthy read.

Let Me Say What Every PR Person Thinks: “The Message Has No Clothes”

Show me one person in the world who has ever said the words, “Wow! Now, that’s an amazing message,” and I’ll get off my soapbox.

Storytelling Techniques Behind Google Announcement On Larry Page Named CEO

Big names like Google don’t need to scratch and claw for media attention. Still, if one reverse-engineers how they orchestrated the announcement of Larry Page taking the CEO reins, you can see the storytelling techniques that shaped the coverage.

Exploring Language With Slang Lexicographer Jonathon Green

Think about spending 17 years of your life writing a book. That’s what Jonathon Green did in crafting the Dictionary of Slang. Jonathon was good enough to spend some time with me on language, storytelling, and how the chase far outweighs the kill.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of the list.


  • Paul Roberts

    Hi Lou, glad you pulled this together and I’m looking forward to the second half of the list.

    I’m curious to see if some of my favorites made the list. Oh, yes, I can name some of my favorites.

    I’d be very interested to hear if there were particular posts from this past year that surprised you – either because they were more or less popular than you expected. That is the same question I always want to ask novelists or songwriters. It is interested to hear an author / artist discuss which of their works did or didn’t resonate the way they expected.

    Also, not that you asked, but of the posts on part one, the open letter to Art Howe and Larry Page announcement are my favorites.

    Happy New Year.

  • Lou Hoffman

    Thanks Paul.

    Ironically, the Art Howe post was one that generated few views (perhaps too “inside baseball” … literally)

    A frient told me it’s one thing to be a “smart ass” and another to be an “esoteric smart ass.” Perhaps the Howe post suffered from the latter.

    Another post that I thought would be a winner was “The Message Has No Clothes.” Seemed quasi provocative and relevant to most communicators.

    I know you’ve built a strong following with your own blog. Don’t you find that whether a given post spikes is often dependent on the Twitterati?

    BTW, I will always be grateful to you and the 444 gang for elevating my baseline readership.


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