Blog in 03 2014.
Many moons ago, we blogged about how much we love the Manhattan Mini Storage tone of voice. We loved the boldness, directness and frankly the unrelated-to-their-businessness of their ginormous posters proclaiming: ‘If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.’
The other day, I spotted one of their most recent posters:
‘Gay marriage = gay registry = gay clutter.’
It’s genius. Make a big stand on a big issue, win a few friends, and then a few years later – when the controversy becomes mundane – remind those friends that you can take care of their excess stuff. No idea if they really planned it that way, but they’re smart if they did.
There’s an internet phenomenon called tl;dr that I absolutely love.
If you’ve haven’t ventured onto Reddit or a forum recently, tl;dr (pronounced ‘teal deer’) is short for ‘too long; didn’t read’. It started off life as an insult to chuck at anyone who posted walls of text, but it’s eventually evolved into something far more useful. Now, if you notice a post you’re writing has rambled a tad, you just write tl;dr at the end and add a really short summary.
Basically, it’s anticipating all the comments from people moaning about the length of your post and writing a mini version for them. The only problem is that it’s at the wrong end of people’s writing – it should be up front, so readers don’t have to trawl to find it.
It’s nothing new
Journalists do this all the time. It’s called a nutgraph. It’s meant to sum up your whole article in one paragraph – but it goes at the top, not the bottom.
It’s a great way to start off a document, because you’re telling people what to expect from the rest, and saving them from wasting their time reading if it doesn’t interest them. (And it means they can skimread the first bits and pretend to have read everything in the news when they’re down the pub.)
So the next time you’re writing something – a long email say, or a report – try it out. Write a summary paragraph for the person who otherwise wouldn’t bother reading the whole thing. And bung it at the top.
When I pick up my hire bike every day to cycle from New York’s East Village to our office in Soho, I’m struck by a great big missed opportunity.
All the blurb talks about the places where you pick up and leave your bike as ‘docking stations’, or maybe just ‘stations’. But the scheme is sponsored by Citi. Surely someone should’ve thought of calling them ‘bike banks’?!
Who knows, they could’ve even got me talking about ‘withdrawing’ and ‘depositing’ my bike, just to keep their services front of mind on a chilly New York morning. Barclays flunked it in London, too. Maybe if they’d inveigled their way into our psyches just a little more, they wouldn’t now be pulling out of their sponsorship.
(I’m still waiting for the banks to rename contactless payment, too.)
Before I decide to make myself comfy on the shelf, I thought I might give online dating a shot. Exhaust all possibilities before admitting defeat, if you will.
Apparently people in New York City have huge successes with online dating.
Apparently I’m not people.
Do you know what I found most astonishing? Not the pictures, or lack of tall men, or even the 40-year-olds seeking 20-year-olds.
It was the writing. It was not good.
What do you :) mean happy hour @ Be @ 1 won’t get you in the mood!!!??!?!?!!? :) All girls love it!!! :\ !? I want to have youre babies!!!!!??
(This was taken from a message that I actually got.)
Where is the wit and a wholesome full stop when you need one? I long for the deadpan of a Wes Anderson film.
So gents, here’s a wee tip. Exclamation marks are used to draw attention to warnings and danger. Just think what sort of message you’re sending out when you include more than one.