This Week on

This weekend marks the end of my second week at, and what a week! Here’s what I posted this week:

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I’ve just submitted my first Search Engine Result Page (SERP) at Mahalo, Jason Calacanis’ new “hand-written” search engine. The topic is “David Weinberger”, whose work I’ve been following for years. (You have to have one reviewed before you can take on a wider range of topics at the same time.) [Continue reading]

A New Gig

Starting next week, I will be blogging at on topics related to productivity, organization, learning, and generally living the Good Life. I’ll still maintain this site for more general musings and updates. I’m very excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to dealing with some of the topics I’ve dealt with here in a more general way. Check it out! [Continue reading]


Over the next few weeks, if I’m approved, I’ll be experimenting with a new-ish service (new to me, anyway) called Blogsvertise. Here’s how it works: Blogsvertise gets paid to promote some product or service. Blogsvertise selects appropriate blogs to write about the product or service. I write a post in which I mention the product or service a certain number of times, with the link provided. I am under no obligation to endorse the product or service, simply to mention them and provide a link. I get paid a little something, which is good. [Continue reading]

Best Practices for Students #4: Outline

My, my, we do hate the idea of outlining, don’t we? Most people think of an outline as a rigid straightjacket hampering the flow of true creativity. But guess what – the writers you admire most for their creativity almost without fail are outliners (and those that aren’t are lying – they most likely keep an outline in their heads and trust their memories to keep it straight). The reason is simple – an outline takes most of the work of organizing and structuring their writing off their shoulders, which means they are free to actually be creative. [Continue reading]

Best Practices for Students #3: Spell-check Is Not Your Friend!

A conspiracy is afoot, my friends. Microsoft is in on it, for sure, but they’re only the public face of what may be the vastest, most insidious plot to undermine America’s credibility ever carried out. I’m pretty sure the North Koreans are in on it, and the Teachers’ Union. And MTV, definitely. Their plan: through the cunning manipulation of word processing software, particularly the spell-checking function, they hope to make Americans look stupid and awkward in front of the rest of the world. And it’s working! [Continue reading]

A Peril of Working at Home I Hadn’t Considered

When you are sitting in the garage with your laptop on your lap, writing, and the garage door is open and you’re enjoying the beautiful weather and you have a look of ease and contentment on your face, it’s really hard to convince missionaries that yes, you are in fact working. [Continue reading]

Only the Strong (Verbs) Survive

Here’s a bonus tip I left out of my recent post on proofreading. One of the most common words used in the English language is “is” and its variants. Unfortunately, “is” signifies only existence, a quality of being, and not anything interesting about the nature of the existence being described. So it’s important to use verbs that convey more meaning, that carry forward the action or ideas that make up our work. [Continue reading]

The Art of Proofreading

One of the greatest frustrations that professors face is the lack of solid writing skills among some of our brightest students. To see a student who we other wise know to be smart and even articulate bury their written ideas under poor grammar, bad spelling, awkward colloquialisms, and misconstrued logic is painful, even heart-breaking. I’ve come to believe, though, that a big part of the problem is not so much that students are inherently lazy writers or that they simply don’t care enough to do well, but that they do not proofread their work, at least in part because they haven’t learned how to do it well.

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