George Clooney vs. a Bad Robot

The glitz and glam of the theater often outshines the hard work and the technical achievement we see at the movies. Everybody can name a few favorite actors or recognize a George Clooney caliber star. But ask about directors, then the average score drops, move on to producers and forget about it. So how does a production company stay in the collective zeitgeist? Consistency.

Be a Better Writer in 1 Step: Forget Everything You Learned in College

Spencer Critchley

How did "academic" become synonymous with "irrelevant?" Wouldn't it be a good idea if our smartest, best-informed people played a more active role in society? And yet, as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in a recent piece, "Ph.D. programs have fostered a culture that glorifies arcane unintelligibility while disdaining impact and audience."

When I'm consulting with clients on anything to do with writing, I spend a lot of time undoing the results of a college education. Call me a philistine, but I believe communication should communicate.

What's not to LIKE about it?

'Generation Like' on PBS

Over the weekend, I happened upon the Frontline documentary "Generation Like," originally airing the week of February 17th. (View it on the PBS website here.) This detailed explanation of social media and its effect on teenagers and young adults was sometimes chilling in its demonstration of the lengths people will go to gain attention, to garner 'likes' on Facebook.

This Future-Oriented High School Is Devoted to Digital Media

Instructor Jesse Valdez and prospective student Bella Prospero

A high school curriculum based on "Creativity, Self-awareness, Empathy, and Critical Thinking" -- and it's focused on digital media arts.

This sounds like someone set out to train the next generation of Boots Roadies! And who knows, I wouldn't be surprised if we end up hiring graduates of the Millennium Charter High School, which opened just a few months ago in Salinas, California, just up Highway 68 from Boots Road Group in Monterey. That seems all the more likely after a tour I was given recently by Hamish Tyler, MCHS' media center director.

Kerning? Is that an Olympic Sport?

Boots Road Group - kerned letters

If you were unaware, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between two letterforms (oops! not an olympic sport!), whether they are in print, on the web, or any other place. (Tracking, on the other hand, adjusts the space uniformly over a range of letters.) Graphic designers kern text to position it gracefully into the allotted space, making a better design - but just as importantly, kerning can increase readability.

Make the Time to Have the Time

Though it may not seem so to our long abandoned social circles, we young urban professionals do still have hobbies, interests, and hopefully a life outside of the office. And even though there might be seemingly insurmountable obstacles of deadlines, naysayers, and our flaky friends, we have to make time to have time to do things we care about. Spending the effort to make an idea a reality can fill us with the motivation and joy that can sustain us as we fall back into the daily grind at the strike of 8:00 on Monday morning.

Hashtags Are Here to Stay

Hashtags (the # sign attached to the front of a word) have come a long way since they were officially recognized by Twitter in 2009 (they actually originated in 2007.)
Once known only as the “pound” button, the hashtag is now one of the most powerful tools of social media. Hashtags help marketers find what people are talking about within seconds of them posting it.
People create custom hashtags for everything, from movies to weddings. If you don’t know how to use them, learn, because hashtags are here to stay!


Subscribe to Dastardly Cleverness in the Service of Good RSS