Folks on my team were sharing and discussing this recent article on Harvard Business Review this morning, which I thought was an excellent exploration of a topic near to my heart. My only real quibble is with the title, which instead of Run Meetings That Are Fair To Introverts, Women, and Remote Workers, should really be something more like "Run Meetings That Are Fair To Your Whole Team." Because when any voice is silenced, we all suffer.
Voice Mail Archives
Past editions of Voice Mail, Beth Dunn's newsletter on writing and voice.
Posts by Elizabeth Dunn:
Speaking at INBOUND is pretty much the highlight of my year. It's probably pretty exciting for my neighbors as well, since in the weeks leading up to the conference I'll spend hours walking up and down our short little street by the river on Cape Cod, waving my arms and rehearsing my lines over and over and over again.
So if you're one of my neighbors and you'd like to see what all the fuss was about, or if you missed INBOUND this year, or just want to relive the glory of me standing in front of a room of 1000 people talking about writing like a human, not sounding like a jerk, and making the voice of your brand sound the way you want it to sound — then handing out chocolate chip cookies at the end — have I got the video for you.
It was an honor and a delight to appear on the Problogger podcast with Darren Rowse this week. Give it a listen for the top ten things you can start doing today to make your writing sound more human, honest, and kind.
Everyone these days wants their microcopy to bring the funny. To infuse some lighthearted joy into an otherwise tedious chore, spark a smile in the midst of the workaday world. It's what I love most about my job, as a matter of fact, bringing the funny to the software. But how to be funny without coming off flat? What if you strike the wrong tone? Fail to carry the joke off?
You guys, it's actually really pretty simple. What it all boils down to is You've got to be kind.
This was my first week back at work after a month-long paid sabbatical that my company has just started offering folks who have been with them for over five years. I started at HubSpot back in January 2010, so I was one of the first people to become eligible for such a glorious thing.
And glorious it certainly was.
Lately it occurs to me that I've been doing a heck of a lot of griping to myself that I didn't have enough running blogs to read -- not enough people are writing about running, dammit! -- and yet have been doing exactly zero writing about running myself.
Shortly after I graduated college, I had a meltdown. Nothing serious, just your usual sort of freakout. I responded to this event the way New Englanders have for generations: I sold what I owned and bought a one-way plane ticket to San Francisco.
When you use some delightful piece of software, is it yours, or does it belong to the company that built it? Okay. Obviously, in a strictly legal sense, software is intellectual property that "belongs" to its makers. But don't we talk about "my Google doc" and "my Excel spreadsheet" and "my Facebook wall?"
Sure we do. So it's a bit jarring when the interface reflects a totally different point of view.
One of the first things I find myself doing when I'm asked to edit someone else's work -- whether it's microcopy or blog posts or just about anything else -- is to add in a bunch of contractions.
You know what I mean. If the author wrote "you have," I'll change it to "you've." "Will not" becomes "won't."