How to Deliver Bad News

I am out of podcasts, having been all caught up. On my BlackBerry I found some old Toastmasters podcasts, one of which is on delivering bad news. Timely, since I had to deliver such a message about expectations. I decided to remind the staff about the guidelines, and throw in some humor, so I sent the following email: (more…)

Article: Uptalk

Fascinating article about the origins of Uptalk. After reading it, I will attribute it to the Vikings. I used to think it was a distinctly Canadian thing. Obviously not.

BBC News: 10 theories on how uptalk originated – the habit of making statements sound like questions

Article: Barefoot Shoes? The Primal Reason You Want to Take Off Your Shoes

Here is a good article from Mark Sisson entitled Barefoot Shoes? The Primal Reason You Want to Take Off Your Shoes.


“…would you choose to go barefoot as often as possible? I think you would. Most people, when they get home after work, or vacation in a tropical locale, kick their shoes off…but you could never, ever, for example, go to a job interview in bare feet. It just isn’t done, right? But doesn’t the existence of that instinct toward freeing your feet, make you wonder why? Instincts…are there for a reason…an infant’s propensity toward putting things in its mouth (introduces novel bacteria to their budding immune systems); a teen’s, ahem, primal urges when it comes to sex (allows the propagation of the species…); and our love of sunny days (sun exposure provides vitamin D, an essential micronutrient for health)… our love of being barefoot is a similarly beneficial instinct. …foot itself, it’s a remarkably complex piece of machinery… one of our oldest bodily features, having been essentially unchanged since our graduation into full-on bipedalism at least four million years ago…It allowed us to travel great distances more efficiently than quadrupeds. And it was all done without expensive Nikes…”

“We’ve still got those same feet, but we don’t use them anymore. Instead, we cover them up. We wear shoes that alter the structure and function of our feet, and that weaken the myriad tendons, muscles, and ligaments through disuse. We strap on rubber soles that sever our proprioceptive connection with the ground and restrict our nervous system’s ability to subconsciously respond to changing environments and protect us from tripping or turning an ankle.”

“…orthopedist named Philip Hoffman… 1905 study, titled “Conclusions Drawn From a Comparative Study of the Feet of Barefooted and Shoe-Wearing People, …results were clear: lifelong bare footers displayed wider feet with wider toe beds and fewer foot dysfunctions, while shoe-wearers displayed narrower feet, narrower toe beds, and many more foot dysfunctions… did not find a single foot associated with the symptoms of weakness so common in adult shoe-wearing feet, which are weakened by the restraint the shoe exerts over function.”

“…the human foot was designed by millions of years of natural selection to work in its unaltered state. Putting on thick, restrictive shoes with prominent heels and lots of padding puts us at a greater risk of lower body injuries, both chronic and acute. It allows the muscles in our feet to atrophy from disuse. And once that primary link between our bodies and the ground is compromised, the rest follows: ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, back pain…Go barefoot as often as possible. It’s as simple as that….”

Good article but I disagree with his final advice to “Ditch the shoes when and where it’s acceptable: at home, on walks around the block, at the park. Working in the office? Go in socks and leave the shoes under the desk…” because if so many people feel this way, about going barefoot, we should do it everywhere. That is the way to ensure it is socially acceptable.

Presentation: Article: The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time

This article from is by Perry Marshall. If you are familiar with the 80/20 Principle, loosely stated that 80 % of your revenue will come from 20% of your clients, so to be more productive, and therefore more profitable, you want to target and increase that 20%. Another interpretation is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your products/services, so you want to concentrate on those 20%, cut down the effort put into those 80%. For this article, the concept is to put the bulk of our time into those most productive activities, what Perry calls the $1000/hour activities, instead of us as business owners doing the $10/hour work. Some of his advice:

Small-business owners waste their time on $10 an hour work, like running to get office supplies, and forgo or delay the activities that earn $1,000 an hour, such as sending the right email to the right person, or negotiating a lucrative contract, or convincing a client to do more business with you. We rationalize, I can do it myself. Then we spend six hours trying to fix a leaky faucet. Many a promising business has been killed by those little jobs. When someone says “time management,” you probably think of time logs, goal lists, and “Getting Things Done.” But getting busy is not what makes you rich. We’re tempted to hire out the toughest jobs, like sales and marketing and public relations, but these are extremely high-skill and almost impossible to delegate to someone else.

Five things you should do to stop wasting time and start earning real money:

Hire a maid. If you have a significant other, he or she will thank you. It is easy to find someone who knows how to cook. Easy to find people who know how to clean.

Get rid of your $10 an hour stuff. You are still hurting yourself if you are obsessed with being efficient. Ask: What else am I doing that is so menial, it could be cheaply outsourced? What am I doing that I should stop doing altogether?

Hire a personal assistant. With some effort you can hire a perfectly competent person at $8 to $15 per hour. Virtual or real is fine. His assistant now manages his email box, doing triage so he only reads what really matters. The time she saves him is worth its weight in gold.

Don’t feel guilty about relaxing. The most productive people are a little lazy. If there are really only a few hours a day in which you do $1,000/hour work, does it really matter if you screw around for the rest of the day? Downtime gives you the mental space you need to think.

Focus on your most productive time slot. Everybody has a timeslot in their day when they do their finest work: morning, night time, whenever. Determone that time and keep that space open. That’s the part of the day when you are most productive.

Make these changes and you’ll hit consistent stretches of $1,000 an hour many days of your week. Then and only then will you reap the true rewards of being an entrepreneur.

Read the original article: The 80/20 Rule of Time Management: Stop Wasting Your Time.

Article: The Complete Guide to Twitter Lingo – from Mashable

Here is a very useful article from Mashable: The Complete Guide to Twitter Lingo by Amy-Mae Elliott.


While some abbreviations and acronyms may be common across all social media sites, others are unique to the microblogging platform. Browse our guide, and be sure to shout out any terms we’ve missed in the comments below.


The “at” sign is used to mention another Twitter account (e.g., @Mashable). Within a tweet, it becomes a link to that user’s profile. You may see it used in a geographical sense, such as “I’m @ the office,” but this is just text-speak and not Twitter-specific.


The hash (or pound) symbol is used to highlight keywords, topics, events or even emotions in a tweet. Using a hashtag turns the word or phrase into a link that lets you see other tweets containing the same tag. Examples: “Loving the #weather,” “Watching the #SuperBowl,” “Headed to #SXSW,” “Long day — feeling #tiredandemotional.”


The caret, or hat sign, is used to denote a tweet composed and sent by an individual on behalf of a group account used by multiple people (often a company or organization) account. It usually appears at the end of a Tweet and precedes initials, to indicate which user sent the tweet (e.g., ^JS).


The dollar sign is used on Twitter before a company’s shortened stock market name/code as a kind of financial hashtag. For example, $AAPL (Apple), $GOOG (Google) and $MSFT (Microsoft). Within tweets, codes prefixed with the dollar sign will become links.


“As far as I know.”


CC’s literal meaning is “carbon copy.” As with memos and emails, CC is a way of ensuring a Twitter user sees certain content. Used with an @ mention — for example, “Interesting article – – cc @Bob” —  it will help draw a Tweet to someone’s attention.




Direct message. A way to privately message someone who is following you on Twitter. As the only way to have a confidential conversation on the platform, it’s usual to see public tweets with “DM me for more info,” or “I’ll DM you details,” etc.


#FF stands for “Follow Friday,” a way to give an endorsement or shout out to other Twitter users by suggesting that people follow them.


Occasionally styled H/T, “hat tip” is a way to give a polite nod to the person who originally shared content you are tweeting. Similar to giving someone a “via” (which is a phrase also used on Twitter) a HT will be followed by an @ mention giving a namecheck. For example, “Useful article – HT @Bob.” Some suggest the meaning is “heard through.” This is a less common definition, but is pretty much the same sentiment.


“In case you missed it.” Often employed when a Twitter user retweets his or her own content from earlier.


“Music Monday” used to be a popular way to suggest music you were currently enjoying or artist recommendations. It isn’t used very often now, though you may still see a few #MM tweets at the start of the week.


Modified tweet or modified retweet. This means the same as “retweet” but used to show that you’ve edited the original tweet, usually due to space restrictions.


“Not safe for work.” This term denotes potentially inappropriate or graphic content.


“Overheard.” Although in the wider world, OH is more likely to mean “other half,” on Twitter, it’s a way of reporting a humorous or eyebrow-raising comment.


Partial retweet. A way of letting people know you’ve edited a tweet. Can also mean “please retweet.”


Real life retweet. Similar to OH, RLRT is used when you tweet a notable quote from someone “in real life.”


Retweet. Forwarding another user’s tweet, usually with an added comment, letting the “RT” abbreviation mark the end of the forwarder’s comment and the start of the original tweet, e.g., “Must watch! RT @Bob: This video is cool”


Shake/shaking my head. An expression of disbelief or disappointment. Can also be used to express puzzlement — “scratching my head” — although this is a less popular usage.


“Thanks for the follow.”


“Today I learned…”


“Too long; didn’t read.” Can be used literally to indicate content that was too lengthy to wade through to the end. However, the term is more likely to be used in banter, or as a dismissive comment or insult.


“Tweet me back.”


“Thanks for the retweet.”


Translated tweet: a warning that an original tweet has been translated to a different language.



See the original article with images and examples on at: The Complete Guide to Twitter Lingo at

Article: 5 Reasons Why Do-it-Yourself Marketing Can Actually Hurt Your Business

Found a great article: 5 Reasons Why Do-it-Yourself Marketing Can Actually Hurt Your Business

I like #5, especially as it relates to people thinking they can create their own websites.

5)   DIY  Doesn’t Really Save Money.

Because you’re not spending money on outside resources you might think you’re saving tons of money with a DIY approach. Just remember this…it’s not just what you spend, it’s what you spend and get back on what you spend.

Great marketing will get you back more, and sometimes significantly more, than what you spend. So, how do you get great marketing? You find and hire great marketing people, like Steve Jobs did, like Nike’s Phil Knight did, and like every successful business owner does. And, they didn’t just do it when they were big successful companies with huge marketing budgets. They did it from the very beginning of their companies, only months after they incorporated.

You also have to factor in what your time is worth. It’s not cheap. If you kept track of every minute you spent trying to do it yourself and applied a dollar value to that, you’d be surprised at the expense. Also realize that every expensive minute you spend fumbling with something you don’t do great is taking away valuable time and talent from something you do do great. That’s another expense.

 Read the original article: 5 Reasons Why Do-it-Yourself Marketing Can Actually Hurt Your Business.

A Surprisingly Uplifting Article: 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person

This article is not for the faint of heart, or for those who cannot take criticism. I found it refreshing and inspiring as I review my own life and accomplishments. It also helps to explain why I lose patience with some people. Read 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person.

Article: BlackBerry Through the Years

Here is a slideshow of various BlackBerry products entitled BlackBerry Through the Years. I have owned five BlackBerrys over the years, loved them all, except for the last one, the Torch through Bell. More on this particular model later. Through tradeshows demonstrating and setting up our wireless products, and service calls, I have touched probably every BlackBerry model in Canada.

Article: 90% Of Customers Will Recommend Brands After Social Media Interactions

Read the original article: 90% Of Customers Will Recommend Brands After Social Media Interactions:

In brief: The survey by the Internet Advertising Bureau of over 4500 people states “… that social media can drive ROI by driving brand sentiment, encouraging  consumer engagement and increasing brand loyalty….four out of five consumers would be more inclined to buy a brand more after being exposed to their social media, with 83 per cent happy to trial the product…”

Ian Ralph, who conducted the research, says, “…to create an emotional connection brands really need to provide clear, timely and, most important of all, relevant content that develop a conversation. Interestingly, we also found that brands really shouldn’t be afraid about having their products on show and of linking up their social media activities to their business objectives. Social media has the potential to turn brand customers into brand fans. By making people love, not just like your brand, you’re more likely to drive future purchases and increase sales.”

The Robot Spider

This is creepy, the way it moves. It is a robot with eight legs, programmed to move like a spider, and covered with a black material. View the video… (more…)