The Next Track, Episode #148 – Spoilers

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxWe don’t often talk about TV, but this week we discuss some TV series, how people watch TV, and in particular the disappearing experience of appointment TV. And we link this all with iTunes, at least a bit.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #148 – Spoilers.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Art of Storytelling in Business and Creating Brand Awareness

Humans love stories. They’re how we make sense of the world. Stories present events and actions in a timeline, allowing us to follow cause and effect, and helping us see how different events relate to each other. And as stories progress, we want to know more, we want to know what happens. Who hasn’t stayed up well past their usual bedtime reading a page-turner or watching just one more episode of a TV series on Netflix?

When you launch a business, it’s important to have a compelling story to tell. This wasn’t always the case. Go back a few decades, and all that mattered was having a product or service that was different, but now, the landscape is so saturated that having a good story to tell about your business can help you get noticed, attract investors to take a chance with you, and help build your brand.

Read the rest of the article on The Startup Finance Blog.

It’s Time to Cancel your Apple News+ Trial Subscription

Like many people, I signed up for a 30-day free trial of Apple News+ the day it was announced. While I like the idea, I don’t feel it’s worth $10 a month for what it offers. (Read my first look at Apple News+.) So I’ve cancelled my subscription.

It’s not always easy to find how to manage and cancel subscriptions you’ve signed up for with Apple (but read this article to find out more), but with Apple News+, it’s actually quite simple.

Open the Apple News app. On the Mac, look at the bottom of the sidebar; on iOS, tap Following, and look at the bottom of the list of channels. You’ll see something like this:

Sidebar

Tap Manage Subscriptions, and you’ll see this:

Cancel

Tap Cancel Free Trial, and confirm your cancellation. Note that Apple tells me that I’ll miss out on “more than 200 magazines,” whereas when they presented the service, they said there were around 300.

Confirm

Apple has been a bit aggressive, showing me this on all my devices whenever I open the News app.

Sure

I’ve tapped No Thanks. I don’t know what it would take to get me to pay $10 a month for Apple News+. More magazines, perhaps, but also the ability to view content from the different magazines on their websites, which is not currently possible.

Music in Writing – iA Writer

“We make music when we speak. When we write, the music is in our head, and typing we play the drums. Being fully immersed in writing is like composing and playing music while we drum up our perceptions into letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. How does it all play together?”

Read this article, and listen to what Oliver Reichenstein has done with music inspired by a paragraph of text. But scroll down and watch the video near the bottom of the article first; that shows the results of his experiment. (I think the video should be at the top of the article, so people check that out before the making-of.)

I find this fascinating, because I have always been interested in the musicality of language. I’ve done may share of analyzing language: I have a Master’s Degree in applied linguistics, and taught English as a foreign language for nearly a decade in another life. I recall doing conversation analysis for my studies and understanding how paying attention to the tiny details in language one shows a musicality in the way people speak. You don’t really hear this much in improvisational speech, but if you hear people who are used to being interviewed, or who are experienced in public speaking, where there isn’t too much hesitation or searching for words, as in the Martin Amis clip used in this example, there is a great deal of music.

Interestingly, I’m editing a podcast episode this morning, and I pay attention to the rhythm and music as I edit, and probably spend too much time editing out the words like “um” and “so.”

I would love to see this experiment taken a bit further, in two ways. First, since I know that Oliver is multilingual, it would be interesting if he did the same thing with some short clips from French and German. This would show how music is influenced by language. The rhythms are different, and the percussive effect of these languages is very different. (For example, French, for the most part, does not have syllable stress within words, and has very little word stress, at least the way English does.)

Second, I would like to see this done with a bit of a Shakespeare speech. Improvised language, like the Amis interview clip, is not as structured as something that is written to be spoken out loud. But the music of a great Shakespearean speech in iambic pentameter is beautiful, and this approach would be instructive to those trying to understand the way Shakespeare worked with words.

Source: Music in Writing – iA Writer: The Focused Writing App

Why You Should Outline Before Writing Important Business Documents

While it may not seem like the key to your business, much of what you do revolves around written documents. From your business plan to your website, from press releases to company memos or emails, you write documents to share information and to convince people to buy your products or invest in your company.

Writing these documents is important, and there’s a skill that is essential to crafting efficient documents: outlining. Instead of just starting with a blank page – or window – and writing, it’s extremely useful to take the time to create an outline for your important documents.

Here’s why you should outline before writing business documents.

Read the rest of the article on The Startup Finance Blog.

The Virtue of Using Analog Tools for Business

You’re reading this article on a smartphone, tablet, or computer; and, I wrote it on a computer, and then edited it on my iPad. These digital tools are the mainstays of our modern world, and they streamline many of our tasks, making it possible to create and distribute content quickly and easily.

But there’s another way to work, one that is gaining in popularity: using analog tools for business. More and more people are using pens and pencils, pads and notebooks to create; they’re using sticky notes to jot down ideas; they’re using film cameras, watches with moving hands, and they’re reading print books.

While we’ve gotten used to the digital way of working, analog puts us in a different mindset, one that’s slower, more reflective, and that frees us from the tyranny of screens. Here’s why you should use analog tools (at least occasionally).

Read the rest of the article on The Startup Finance Blog.