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Look who's talking

Five reasons to like Google Docs

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Collaborate

Have you ever been embroiled in one of those content projects where docs are flying back and forth and everyone has their tuppence worth scrawled in the margin? Yeah, that would be all of us, right? Well at least with Google Docs everyone is working on the same document together, more or less simultaneously. While they're not eliminated, crossover edits are greatly reduced - and with version history, at least you know who to blame!

Optical Character Recognition

Once upon a time, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) was so clunky, you'd spend more time correcting the mistakes than it would have taken to type the whole thing out with one finger. Google Docs has a surprisingly accurate and useful OCR function that does all the work online. For example, just upload an image with text, open in Docs and 'Hey Presto'. Text.  It's a thing of beauty.

Back-Up and Share

Google Docs (and now the whole Drive system) creates a safe, searchable archive of all your doc…

Buzzsaw's 2020 Hall of Shame: The top 15 eye-rolling cliches and buzzwords.

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Don't you just love it when someone says what everyone is thinking? Thank you Buzzsaw.



This top 15 list reflects this year’s most frequent submissions to www.thebuzzsaw.co.uk, now in its 10th year.

The Buzzsaw, an online tool that strips the buzzwords out of press releases, speeches and blog posts, today announces its awards for the worst jargon of 2020.

The list is based on frequency of submissions from editors and correspondents worldwide.

The 2020 Buzzsaw Hall of Shame (Comments below are supplied by judges).

‘Curated’.
Judge’s comment: “A word that has been brutalised by Hipster culture. Google practically anything – potatoes, burgers, you name it – and there’ll be a curated list somewhere in the world. To make it worse, lists are often ‘carefully curated’, which is tautologous.”

‘Content’.
Judge’s comment: “Second only to the vacuum of space as the emptiest thing in the universe. It’s like calling literature or journalism ‘words’. It’s the high watermark in the commoditisati…

Same old Instagram cliches.

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Now, call me an old fuddy-duddy, but as an early adopter of the Internet (first pages published mid-90s) I've seen most of the good, bad and ugly of the web and social media even before it was called that.

I've seen trends and fads come and go. MySpace, CompuServe, OzEmail, Lycos etc

As a former university photojournalism lecturer, I do believe I have an eye. Two in fact. And both give me the same feedback when I see some Instagram feeds.

I'm singling out Instagram because it is the pre-eminent visual social media tool and one that seems to be 'hot' right now. Okay, and Pinterest. But let's stick with Instagram.

Perhaps I'm not the right guy to be jabbering on about Instagram as I have a pathetic number of followers and I don't own a swimwear range and would fail the Men's Health cover model test. Badly.

Now, there's an old quote that says "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like (or hate)" and the same goes for me. Es…

Blogger fined $420k for #fakenews

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The 'Belle Effect' is an age-old syndrome already rife across all our media platforms. When will we learn?

Australia’s Federal Court in Melbourne has handed down a verdict following an investigation by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) which determined that the blogger and self-proclaimed cancer survivor, Belle Gibson, had misrepresented herself and made fraudulent claims.

In a landmark case that should get the attention of all social media gurus and ‘influencers’, it highlights the vulnerability of the public in getting their news and advice from so-called experts via unverified social media sources ie #fakenews. A glaring case of ‘people believe what they want to believe’, fueled by a popular media hungry for sensation and a complete lack of fact-checking in their rush jump on the bandwagon.

Young, blonde and vivacious, Ms Gibson seduced not only the public, but also the media and publishing industry with her story of self-curing brain cancer with diet and alternative therapie…

Guidelines for starting a travel story

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Remember standing up if front of your primary school class and reciting “what I did in my holidays”? Did they stay awake? The same is true for travel writing and unless you grab your audience’s attention early, you’ve lost them forever.

“We did this” and “then we went there” are the travel writing equivalent of watching paint dry. Travel writing needs colour and excitement. It needs to transport the reader into the middle of the location, immerse them in the experience and leave them wanting more.

When I’m trying to start a story, I always remember some advice given to me by Don George of Lonely Planet.

“Find the passion point,” he told me.

By this, Don means pinpoint the one key moment in your journey, trip or experience that encapsulates the event. It might be an encounter with an interesting person (this is always good) or a moment of visual climax that was why you went there in the first place. There are no rules to this except to say that if the moment excited you for whatever reason…

[updated] How to share your Facebook videos with anyone

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UPDATE: During 2016, Facebook changed the video player interface and moved the video link. But fear not, it's still shareable with non-FB friends and contacts.

All you do now is right-click on the video panel

And the new menu will appear. Copy the link from the box.


Below is the original post from 2015 >>


A little known and under-used feature of Facebook is the ability to share a link from your uploaded videos to anyone on the net, even if they don't have a Facebook account.

Here's a quick-and-dirty how-to. I'm assuming you already know how to upload a video and where to find it afterwards.

TIP:
You can click any image to enlarge.




"Because they say so" and famous misattributed quotes.

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One of the most annoying and lazy habits of some writers is to refer to the nebulous entity, “they”.
“They say travel broadens the mind, ...”[1]
"Don't listen to what they say ..." Nice sentiments, but who are 'they'?

“They” are not a trusted source or reliable reference for any fact or assertion. Using “they” to reaffirm an opinion not only insults your readers by expecting them to just consume whatever you write (because you are such an authority), it is also puts on show your inability or unwillingness to actually research something properly.

Okay, while it may be safely assumed that more than half your readers will just take your word for it, there is also a percentage who will ask, “says who?”. Thereafter, none of your writing carries any weight at all.

Simply substituting ‘scientists’ or ‘critics’ doesn’t work either unless you can point to exactly who these learned individuals are. If quoting ‘studies’, then what studies performed by whom and when.

Many of …