Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Zoli: Informed Comedy. Readable, Too!

Zoli Erdos posted a hilarious and informative follow-up to my earlier post about Microsoft and Nortel's press release. Zoli, I had never heard of the Gunning-Fog Readability Test, but now I am a better man. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Microsoft: Crimes Against the English Language

It's not just humanities PhDs who write incomprehensible tripe...

Nortel and Microsoft Form Strategic Alliance to Accelerate Transformation of Business Communications: Shared vision for unified communications to drive new growth opportunities for both companies.

The title of that press release has 25 words and 171 characters, for an average word length (aka bullsh*t index) of 6.84. The first paragraph, complete with obligatory soulless handshake photo:

scores a slightly-better-but-still-horrific 6.07.

Contrast that to the gold standard for communicating meaning without baloney, Winston Churchill. The famous final paragraph of his 1940 "We shall fight on the beaches" speech scores a 4.3. Recalling that the word 'the' scores a 3, that's astonishing.

Microsoft, you still have a lot of work to do. Nortel, I'm surprised to discover you're still in business.

Back to the revolution...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Zvents powers San Jose Mercury News

Today the first enterprise customer for my startup, Zvents, goes live. At Zvents, we've always had the vision of powering the complete local events ecosytem, from individual venues all the way through to major local media. This launch is a major step toward realizing that goal.

One of the constant worries of the startup experience is what I call "360 degree vision" -- the possibility that at any given time, you could be working on *anything*; and the related concern that whatever you're focused on at the moment might be 180 degrees opposed from what you should actually be working on.

It's a considerable effort to create the organization, the relationships, and the codebase to make an event like this partnership with the Mercury News possible, and I'm incredibly proud of how our team has not only made this huge deal happen, but managed to keep several other balls in the air as well. Zvents is really on a roll.

Check out the Zvents blog announcement for more details.