Philadelphia Zoo, circa 2005
Philadelphia Zoo, circa 2005
Thinking about starting a blog or sharpening up your social media posts? Due to information overload, we have developed simpler methods of communication. We read, write, even speak in abbreviated ways. Shorter, more concise language is now the rule. How effective you are in getting your message across is dependent on brevity. Text messaging is a prime example.
Here’s an example of the minimalist writing process I use, on the iPad, before I publish to this blog. Even if you don’t blog, you can be short, concise, and to the point in composing emails and social media posts.
(1) Most blog post ideas come at any time, day or night so I keep a supply of index cards in the car, house, office, and bag to get those ideas out of my brain and on paper. Any paper will do. Not to brag, but I’ve written magazine articles on restaurant napkins! 🙂
(2) Type paper notes into an event in my calendar or Evernote: a note-taking, organizing, and archiving app. The software syncs across most devices so it’s always accessible. The goal is to keep the post 300 words or less using plain English and less punctuation. Sometimes I paste the text into iA Writer for its’ clean, distraction-free interface. When I’ve developed something coherent, I’ll still continue to edit, edit, edit. Sometimes, I have to start all over again if it’s too complex.
(3) Copy the text to Hemingway Editor: I bought the stand-alone software for my laptop. They don’t have an app for the iPad but they do have a free website you can use in your browser. Hemingway Editor‘s entire purpose is to make you write more concise.
(4) Paste the text into Voice Dream: Once I’m sure about the post, I’ll review how it sounds. I can even edit within the app.
(5) Paste the text into my WordPress blogging website and format photographs, graphics, and schedule a posting.
The goal is to even shorten this process and I’m finding that the audio and text editing in Voice Dream may eliminate some of these apps in the very near future.
Remember, if you have another tablet brand or device, you can use the same or similar apps for their operating system.
In the next post on simplifying life on one device, I’ll review social media. Might be the shortest post ever!
I lived through the American Civil rights era , with a life still negatively affected by racial bias in ways too numerous to count. So, I’m often mentally and spiritually exhausted following one racial incident after the other. However, it was refreshing to see that after the “racial bias” arrests at the Philadelphia Starbucks, the company’s CEO immediately addressed the incident. And it’s always encouraging to see younger people taking protest actions to contribute to a movement. But I hope that it’s understood that Starbucks is not an isolated case but the tip of the iceberg.
Oakland, California, maybe 2013
The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal should make it clear to everyone to heed the warning, “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” Public relations wise, connecting everyone in the world is an admirable vision, but in business, it is secondary to potentially reaping economic or political gain from a huge user database.
Of course I deleted my Facebook account that I specifically created to participate in my family reunion group. And I understand anyone who says that deleting doesn’t matter because there is no privacy in today’s world. My decision is personal. My veteran and employment records have been hacked at least four times in the last 15 years. So serious were the breaches that I have had free credit monitoring for years. Last year, someone attempted to take over my bank account… I’m not in the mood for more break-ins.
Back in 1999, I wrote a commentary on the New York City Police Department’s execution of Amadou Diallo. Officers fired 41 bullets at Diallo outside his apartment when he reached for his wallet. Of course, the officers were all acquitted of all charges. Outraged by the circumstances of the case, I titled the article “41 Shots.” Bruce Springsteen composed a song with the same title. Little did we know that the future would bring hundreds of more casualties, citizens of all colors, killed by a “professional” police force. Stephon Clark, recently executed by the Sacramento police, was fired at 20 times and he only had a cell phone.
Black people, whether they have criminal intent or not, seem to immediately die while proven fiends like Dylann Roof, the white supremacist, mass-murdering thug convicted in the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina church massacre, gets the police to take him to Burger King. He got a Whopper with fries while Black people better not even eat in the presence of the police. Farfetched? Go look at the circumstances of many of the more publicized shootings and you will see a pattern. You better not:
wear certain clothes
have a certain haircut
in the presence of the police. The penalty is immediate death. No due process for life and that is why America continues to be a failure as an advanced civilization. We can do better, we just don’t want to.
I may be going to Sacramento this weekend. Pray that wearing a camera doesn’t get me shot.
This cartoon says it all…
A Brief History of the USA – Bowling for Columbine – Michael Moore