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Happy 2012 (and be nice to your readers)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Happy new year from Good As Gold! My Facebook newsfeed this morning is filled with complaints about sleeping badly, the miserable weather or returning to work (or all three). I hope you’re feeling more positive than the majority of my friends … although I suspect their updates may represent the mood of the nation at large.

One of my 2012 business resolutions is to blog more, so I thought I’d kick off with something that I tucked away this time last year.

Imagine my delight when, on 5 January, I received an unsolicited email newsletter from a leadership management company, with this opening:

Ahhhh the start of another year and all those New Year resolutions have probably already been broken. Back in the same old groove after just 5 days are we? Fancy a change? Fancy something new? Want to try something different? It will take more than a promise to yourself at midnight on New Years Eve after a couple of glasses of shampoo!!

Not only is this badly written, but - worse - it’s patronising, makes assumptions about the reader, and … well, it’s a teeny bit rude. I’d been to the gym that day! I’d eaten my five portions of fruit and veg! I even resisted that enormous slab of Christmas cake at lunchtime.

OK, I’m lying about the cake - but I hope you get my point. Be friendly. Be self-deprecating. Even be personal. Never insult your reader.

Here’s to an Olympic year ahead.

New Year 2012

Friday fun post #003

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Nice viral platform game from the people behind Shakespeare Country: ‘Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou?’

Guide Romeo safely around some of the area’s famous attractions, helping him to rescue Juliet from her balcony.

Romeo Wherefore Art Thou?

Friday fun post #002

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Have you seen this?

Wolfram Alpha is a new search engine which aims to “make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone”. On a simple level, it’s fun to type in your date of birth and find out how many days old you are, or what time the sun set in your hometown on your very first day on this earth.

But dig a little deeper and it will give calculations and formulae for just about anything - facts and statistics from the worlds of health and medicine, culture and media, money and finance. I’m hooked!

Metaphors (allegedly) from GCSE English papers

Friday, May 1st, 2009

It’s exam season for many people soon. To celebrate (commiserate?), here’s a list of funny metaphors allegedly taken from GCSE English papers. Like a comedian who does stand-up shows in a holiday camp and therefore never has a holiday, this list has been playing the forwarded-email circuit for years …

Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a tumble dryer.
She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
McMurphy fell 12 storeys, hitting the pavement like a paper bag filled with vegetable soup.
Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the centre.
Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left York at 6:36 pm travelling at 55 mph, the other from Peterborough at 4:19pm at a speed of 35 mph.
The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the full stop after the Dr on a Dr Pepper can.
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
The thunder was ominous sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
The red brick wall was the colour of a brick-red crayon.
Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.
The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of Family Fortunes.
Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
The plan was simple, like my brother Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
’Oh, Jason, take me,’ she panted, her breasts heaving like a student on 31p-a-pint night.
He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.
The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Glenda Jackson MP in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Robin Cook MP, Leader of the House of Commons, in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the suspension of Keith Vaz MP.
The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a lamppost.
The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free cashpoint.
The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.
It was a working class tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with their power tools.
He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a dustcart reversing.
She was as easy as the Daily Star crossword.
She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature British beef.
She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a first-generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened.
It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

Friday fun post #001

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Ever find yourself running out of steam at this time on a Friday afternoon? It oftens happen to me!

Here’s something fun for you to play with: The Directors’ Bureau Special Projects Ideas Generator - perfect for anyone stuck for a business model.

I’m off to pitch my mobile holographic orchestra to the Dragons’ Den …

Happy weekend!

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