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July 8, 2013

Journalism in Romania: A Diogenean Essay (Part 4)

“No matter what you think, your publication is not your product.” (An introduction to journalism that even the owners can understand – I hope.) The previous […]
July 5, 2013

Journalism in Romania: A Diogenean Essay (Part 3)

“If their ideas are so good, let advertising write the stories.” When I was a journalist (and I hope it’s still this way in the US) […]
July 3, 2013

Journalism in Romania: A Diogenean Essay (Part 2)

“So what’s the problem? We didn’t tell them what to write.” Why did I pick this one example, the automated insertion of an advertising link into […]
July 2, 2013

Journalism in Romania: A Diogenean Essay (Part 1)

“Why I Stopped Writing for Dilema Veche” I didn’t think journalistic standards could get much lower in Romania. I was wrong. Thanks to a combination of […]
May 7, 2013

The Future is Customer Service – Even in Romania

(Originally published April 29, 2013, in Capital, here.) Because predictions are best left to economists and fools, once in a while I think it’s my turn. […]
April 11, 2013

Scary Movie 6? – The Banking Sequel

[Update:  April 19.   New NYTimes story, here.] This almost reads as a parody of what we saw in 2007.  A parody because, certainly, we wouldn’t […]
April 5, 2013

Corporate Social Irresponsibility

Because since this happened, I can’t shake the ugly feeling that this disgusting and ignorant campaign has created in me. Yes, it got my attention. That’s for sure. And now I find there is something about the brand Sensiblu that resonates in me with unease. Now when I see their signs and commercials, lying and trickery are the first words in my head. Yep, that got my attention. It certainly did. And you did change my attitude. And now you know what it is? I don't want to shop there. To put it simply: Sensiblu, you owe us all an apology.
April 1, 2013

Now Showing: A PowerPoint Presentation

You know how this happens – see if this reminds you of your meetings: The presenter (a senior manager who wants to seem smart), makes it clear that he knows the topic much better than anyone in the room. Are you convinced? (That’s called the “cognitive estrangement” that sets up the rest.) And so you quickly believe you’re watching something you don’t fully understand. And why should you? It’s not your job to know this stuff. Then the presenter moves on and leverages this weakness (the one we think we must have), and we settle into listening, passively watching with what Coleridge long ago termed the “willing suspension of disbelief.” And then you sit back and go along for the ride. Well, next time you present (or the next time you watch), add a big Zero and place it up front. Call it the 0/10/20/30 Rule. Yes, a Big Zero – for NO selling, NO buying, NO uncritical thinking. Just a good tough discussion to make sure that you’re right.