“[T]ime spent poking around in a library in the past led to great ideas. It’s unclear if the same is true for time spent online,” said Stanford philosophy professor John Perry in an article on The New York Times encouraging today’s social media-attentive generation to reclaim their real lives. In this issue, we offer tips on how you can regain control of your career development and your timeline.
June 30 is World Social Media Day. During last week’s commemoration of the event, people all over the world took to Twitter to share how social media has affected their personal and professional lives and communities using the hashtag “#SMDay.” Aside from this worldwide sharing, various pundits also wrote on how social media is currently used, as well as the boon and bane of it all. Considerable media mileage was also allotted last week to the largest social networking site, Facebook, and a 2012 “experiment” it did on users’ posts. Read on:
Seemingly taking a cue from competitive sports – as the 2014 Football World Cup opened in Brazil early this week — our favorite readings this issue explore the subjects of discipline for improvement and teamwork for innovation, which are key result areas in today’s competitive and hectic workplace. Discipline, said legendary graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, enables self-improvement and allows us to “offer the best of ourselves to everything around us, including every project on which we work.” Teamwork through the combination of team members’ “separate splices of genius” can result in a “single work of collective genius” that marks “truly innovative” groups.
Phenomenal author, poet, activist, and actress Dr. Maya Angelou died at 86 on May 28. Her life and lessons inspired people, from writers and activists to hip-hop artists and scientists, to be their best selves. Social media users paid tribute by sharing Dr. Angelou’s inspiring words, one of them is on lifelong learning: “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.” So here are some pieces from the past two weeks to help us keep learning:
“Change is constant. Change is inevitable.” This applies to language, writing, and journalism too, especially in this age of technology. Perhaps at one point — when we were being sticklers for “proper” usage — we have corrected someone’s misuse of hopefully, literally, or enormity. However, people’s use of these words has changed, and we understand what they mean nonetheless, which is the point of language. Technology has also evolved, and it is changing how we write, edit, check for facts and plagiarism, and think about business. Here, we list recent stories on these changes, along with some creativity tips and fun reads.
Journalists, editors, and writers may not need to know how to make software or assemble and maintain hardware, but the rise of the Internet and related technology has made it necessary for media folk to “get into tech.” There’s much to learn about distribution platforms as well as modes of content-sharing and content ownership brought about by the Web that was not anticipated by the old journalism or mass communication curricula; there may be a bit of catching-up to do. This is not to say, though, that “classic” editorial skills are out the window. Specialized skills remain valued and valuable through time. Like other professionals, those in media just need to understand and manage changes in the world and career environment that are taking place.
As a response to a reader’s request, John McIntyre shares “the secrets” to editing quickly and decisively. Rich Adin suggests reducing time spent on the mechanical pillar to have more time on the thinking pillar. Here, we gathered other tips to improve productivity. Some of them may be counterintuitive or even contradict each other, but given the credibility of the sources we found and how they echo one another, it’s difficult to not try them out.
April 15, 2014
In this issue, we gathered pieces of career advice on determining what it is you like to do, finding opportunities in nonpublishing industries, overcoming bad manners at work, and more. A social media makeover of Game of Thrones’ opening sequence, Facebook’s privacy dinosaur, 150 journalism clichés, and 10 best sentences from literature also made it to our reading picks.
March 15 to March 28
AP Style tip: New to the Stylebook: over, as well as more than, is acceptable to indicate greater numerical value. #ACES2014—
AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) March 20, 2014
The elements in our list above provide the main theme of reading picks in this, our fourth issue. As motley as they are, the style update to a much-referenced newspaper stylebook, the markings on boxes of a certain orange juice brand, and a computer program called Quakebot that “wrote” and sent news of an earthquake to news desks in Los Angeles recently, seem to be heralding changes — in word usage, people’s attitudes to grammar, and the business and practice of journalism. Read on:
March 1 to March 14
As technology continues to change the media, publishing, and communications landscapes, the importance of human editors is being challenged. The automation of the editing process, the pressure to break stories first, and the underselling of freelancers threaten our value to the organizations and the industries we serve.
We know that being an editor is more than just correcting grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But how do we show that to organizations and to consumers of information? In this issue of Ditto, we explore other ways we can use our editorial skills.