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A Write Good!: The News report

(Merida, Mexico) What began as a prank 5,125 years ago has landed four ancient Mayan gods in a Yucatan court facing misdemeanor charges of terrorizing the Earth’s population and several parking violations.

The four gods, Itzamna, Cinteotl, and two unnamed minors, admitted concocting a Mayan calendar that “predicted” Dec. 21, 2012 as the end of the world in a fiery apocalypse that would reduce a fearful, screaming humankind to charred ashes spinning endlessly through the black void of the celestial firmament.

“We were just trying to lighten the mood,” Itzamna admitted to an arraignment judge before a packed courtroom. “Everybody’s always acting so…you know, serious. It was just a joke. We honestly didn’t mean to fool, like, every living person on the entire planet.

“That was wrong.”

“My clients are quite red-faced,” said their attorney Mark T’xtal. “Of course, several of them are, in fact, red. Also blue, grey-green. One of them’s violet. Most are feathered. Colorful? Yes, but also very, very apologetic.”

Mayan god and alleged doomsday prankster shown here with…weird shit.

Mayan god and alleged doomsday prankster shown here with…weird shit.

Although no one was harmed by the prank calendar and bogus prediction of doom, prosecutors intend to take a hard line with the perpetrators, despite their youth.

“If they’re ‘ancient’ gods they’re expected to make mature choices,” declared Asst. State’s Attorney Patrick Mc’Quetzal for the First District of Chichen Itza. “What if this had been the real end of the world? Someone could have gotten hurt.”

Misdemeanor charges usually result in an extended period of supervision. In cases involving gods, that could run into the millions of years, plus a fine for the parking violations.

Write Good!: The News is a money-losing subsidiary of Write Good!: The Blog.
This story is courtesy of Write Good!: The News – “All the story, plus lies!

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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No writing format is more effective in attracting social media attention than a list of valuable, illustrative, clearly delineated points, provided that at least one of them is a secret weight loss tip to lose belly fat.

Historically, “lists” have served as efficient marketing tools since long before the advent of the Internet – a time when pencils and paper still strode the Earth like giants. There even exists archaeological evidence that prehistoric man made lists, though usually with just one item due to the lack of stuff.

The Origin of a List, featuring cognitive detours.

The Origin of a List, featuring cognitive detours.

Advertising professionals know that information disseminated in the form of a list has a powerful effect on people, especially those who are left-brained, or “analytical”, as compared to those who are right-brained, or “egg-laying.” In the realm of social media, the “list” has become so important that it gets its own quotation marks and is often photographed surrounded by a security detail when out clubbing.

Unfortunately, because of the prevalence of so many lists on so many blogs even the Internet has begun rolling its eyes and making snide comments that it thinks we don’t hear. Well, Write Good hears, Internet, and maybe you and Mr. Google and Ms. Yahoo would like to share with the entire class what’s sooooo funny!

No? Write Good didn’t think so.

Listed below we’ve listed a list of tips on creating a list. Wow! That sentence nearly broke Write Good’s brain!

1. I’ve read that lists enhance your blog’s SEO. What does that mean and why do I feel threatened?
There’s no reason to feel threatened, as near as we can tell at this time and under the current administration, for the next 10 to 14 weeks. SEO – an acronym for Centers for Disease Control – is the process by which your web content is made highly visible to search engines – huge, steam-powered machines, invented in 1785 by Ely “Googly” Google, that once crisscrossed the nation and made cotton king.

2. I’ve heard that list blogs only appeal to the short-attention-span readers of the Internet. What was I saying?
Not true! Lists also interest the lazy. Well, not so much “interest” them as interfere with their porn.

3. Should I number my list items or set them off with those sideways things from math class?
As a rule, numbers are indicative of facts while “carets”, as they’re known, improve your eyesight.

4. What if my list repeats itself or, to put it another way, is repetitive saying the same thing over and over again? And again.
That’s a very good question deserving a—

Internet! Google! I heard that! I’ve had it with you two! Get your books and go straight to Principal Harrington’s office. No! No back talk. March! And you’re next, Ms. Yahoo. Spit out that gum right now, missy!

5. I don’t know 10 things about anything. Can I just use three?
Well…then it’s not really much of a list, is it?

6. Can be.
Have you ever read a blog? How did you even get here?

7. I was scrolling on HornyFormerSovietChicks.com and this thing popped up next to an ad about how to lose belly fat.
Thanks for reading this “thing.”

8. How long should my list be?
No longer than this.

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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Most frequently asked of Write Good! The Blog by small business owners is “Can you teach me how to write a press release?” and “Is my company going into receivership?”

The answer to both is “probably.”

Let us tackle the former and distance ourselves as far as possible from the latter.

Surprisingly, many business professionals, even some with their own office with a door, are unsure how a “press release” differs from a “news release.” In fact, the two are virtually identical, but “press release” harkens back to a time when business announcements were “pressed” into wet adobe bricks, dried in the sun, then hurled through the plate glass window of the local newspaper. On the other hand, news releases are printed on shiny paper.

The purpose of a press release is quite simple: to clearly impart Just read the quote. It's rather catchy.newsworthy information about your company’s products, services and activities to reporters or, as they’re known in developing countries, journalists.

Writing a press release that captures the attention of a reporter is not as easy as it was in the old days when they drank heavily. Shrinking newsroom budgets and staff layoffs have forced remaining reporters to do the work of three – fortunately not three reporters. More like one-and-a-half reporters, three-quarters of an editor, half a custodial worker, and half a delivery boy riding two-thirds of a bicycle. Not sure if that adds up. Better do the math yourselves.

Interestingly, this changed media landscape also offers unprecedented opportunities for the voice of small business to be heard, especially when combined with the Internet’s voracious appetite for information. (Note New York Times Online latest tagline: “All the News that Dogs can Skate!”)

The key to unlocking the marketing potential of the Internet is a well-written news release,Stop wasting time! Read the blog. and the keys to a successful release are brevity, quality and news value. That’s a lot of keys and I’m not sure what those other tarnished ones do, but bring them along just in case we get locked in.

It would take too long to explain “brevity,”* and “news value” is an important enough topic for a later Write Good! The Blog blog. (Proposed title: “What is News? Anyway?”) So you’re stuck with “quality,” which we will explore in our next Write Good!: The Blog blog, titled “Quality is Job Three out of Seven!”

*See “Brevity: A Write Good! The Blog White Paper – Volumes XXII – LXVII

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, Dave Jaffe Communications, Inc., is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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