Wednesday, November 3

Grind 'Em!

from Jeffrey McManus:

Jeffrey McManus' Grind: 'Learnings' Is A Stupid, Stupid Word:

Attention, Masters of Business Administration of Corporate America: Quit using the word 'learnings'. It makes you sound really stupid. The word you really want is 'lessons'.

Your pal,


Hear, hear. Our suggestion: Use a catapult to leverage your granular pile of learnings through the aether into a porcelain vat half-full of water, where the learnings would splash and dissolve, creating a solution.

Thursday, October 28

Just a general "what's up with that?" entry here:

Books with authors who use "Dr." as a prefix. Stop it.

I guess "Dr. Phil" is the corniest manifestation of this phenomenon, the cheesy, bullying effort to establish some kind of authority over the unlettered peasantry. Oooh - the Doctor is in! Quick - everybody to the town square for the laying-on of hands!

It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the additional, inevitable use of the "M.D." or "Ph.D." suffix at the end of the author's name. Hey fatheads - the suffix is all you need! People understand what M.D. and Ph.D. mean.

Tuesday, September 14

make your own bogeyman!

Now here is a new one, on me at least. Transmedia Corp has apparently trademarked a concept, "digital friction," which is the alleged problem their wares purport to solve. Rather clever, actually - first, invent the problem:

What is Digital Friction??

Digital Friction™ is caused by the rapid proliferation of digital files and information (music, video, images, documents, calendars, contacts etc.) and of non-integrated, incompatible proprietary systems used to manage the many aspects of digital work and home life.

Digital Friction™ begins when you select and purchase software based on your PC and OS requirements, continues when you install and configure software and is most apparent when working with and navigating between multiple programs on your desktop creating software and OS conflicts, often necessitating extra steps to complete tasks (e.g. manual migration and format conversions of incompatible files and information between software applications) and taxing processor power and memory. These are examples of Digital Friction™ that we all experience…and that we have considered acceptable…until now…

Who is Responsible for Digital Friction™?

The Digital Revolution like the Industrial Revolution has brought with it incredible advancements but also its own set of intrinsic problems. One byproduct is Digital Friction™ that takes away valuable time and resources from people. Many technology companies, create Digital Friction™ by --
• Promoting proprietary and closed platforms
• Working against open systems and customer choice
• Fighting format wars that create incompatibilities for users and frustrate their ability to manage and share media and communicate with others
• Forcing people into “artificial” online communities that are exclusionary by design and defined by corporate interests
• Promoting open systems that do not honor and protect content creators and the value of media content

How Does TransMedia Combat Digital Friction??

TransMedia’s individual empowering and community building technology, makes the status quo and current methods of media and information management, communication and sharing a cumbersome experience. A process of natural selection drives people away from rigid, closed, friction filled systems toward compatible and integrated system.

The TransMedia platform reduces Digital Friction™ by providing a single integrated and compatible online platform that enables users to manage media files, communicate, and browse and share media files and information through a fully interactive media portal providing global access to media content and information. Colaborata overcomes differences in hardware, software, formats and other technical obstacles.

Wow. This is vintage 1998 "marketing collateral," warmed over for the new millenium. Scintillating stuff.

afterthought, 6-29-2005:
And furthermore, trademarking it! What better way could there be to make sure that no one else will ever use that phrase you're trying to popularize?

Tuesday, April 13

"m-commerce," R.I.P.

There's an entry at VentureBlog that looks at why the non-phenomenon formerly known as "m-commerce" was a total non-starter in the USA.
The author, Kevin Laws, theorizes that the US carriers were too short-sighted and control-crazed to see how they could make money by letting people buy stuff using mobile phones, and therefore strangled it.
We have a theory of our own, as indicated in our super high-profile buzzkiller column's take on that almost-burgeoning field in the former magazine known as [inside] back in '00: it's a stupid name for a bad idea put forth by a terrible industry (the US mobile phone industry, that is - the rest of the world seems to somehow have a much better grasp of how to do mobile-phone business).
The other possibility, of course, is that all those captains of industry were [inside] subscribers, saw our mockery of the whole m-commerce notion, and immediately decreed that all m-commerce initiatives be scuttled.

Tuesday, April 6

Hyphen, God of Mirage

DuCharmed, we're sure

From: ""
Date: Mon Apr 5, 2004 1:04:18 PM US/Pacific
Subject: world-class value-added hyphenation

See this press release:

Whoever wrote it did some did world-class, high-quality, content-centric, enterprise-class, mission-critical, leading-edge, world-leading, value-added work.

I swear, every one of those is actually used in the press release--some more than once. (As a game, find which one is used more than once *in the same paragraph*.)

stay vigilant,
Bob DuCharme

[ed. note: we sense an up-welling of non-sense as the technology start-up scene begins to stir again with new money. We welcome it.]

Wednesday, March 10

Hello, Fodder

Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:19:55 AM US/Pacific
Subject: More Fodder

Hi! Just visited your Web site for the first time. Love it! Want to contribute!

We have a queue where people can request help from my department on their development projects. This was recently added to the queue:

Subject: Productionize Analytical Models

And if that wasn't a bad enough case of turning a noun into a verb, here's the first line of the description of the request, which turns a noun into a verb and then back into a noun again:

Description: Development and productionization of 21 analytical models ...

Oh! That felt good! Thank you for letting me get that off my chest!

Dawn Carter
Technical Writer and WebMistress