I Am Officially a Furl Junkie Now…

…Because I am suffering withdrawal symptoms.

At the moment, Furl is down for maintenance. I’m researching an article I’m writing for CMSwatch. I’m finding tons of good information on the web. And I keep hitting the “Furl it” button on my browser toolbar! I can’t help it! I know Furl is offline at the moment, but I keep hitting that button!

Grrrr….. back to taking research notes the old way…. copy and paste, copy and paste, save save save…. So 20th-century…

It’s only temporary, I tell myself, swallowing my panic… Only temporary….

This Week’s Grab Bag

Once again, here’s a smattering of interesting items which have caught my attention lately.

TOP OF THE LIST: The ASTD E-Learning Handbook, edited by Allison Rossett. My Dad just got me this book for my birthday. (See, my wish list came in handy!) It’s fabulous, I’ve been devouring it in spare moments. I’ve read several books on e-learning, mostly how-to and theory. This book offers unique appeal because it’s actually a compilation of articles where e-learning practitioners discuss, largely in plain language, the practicalities, possibilities, and pitfalls of this field. It’s fascinating reading – right up there with my other favorite title in this genre, Michael Allen’s Guide to E-Learning. Thanks, Dad!

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This Week’s Grab Bag

Here’s another roundup of items that have caught my attention lately:

TOP OF THIS WEEK’S LIST: Work Talk Writing Tips, by Elizabeth Brenner Danziger, author of one of my favorite books of practical writing advice, Get to the Point!. I always recommend her work to my coaching clients. Also read her other collection of tips, Writeamins. And subscribe to her monthly e-mail newsletter (she doesn’t offer a webfeed yet). Danziger offers some of the best, most concise writing advice available.

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Grab Bag: Miscellaneous Cool Stuff to Read

Yet another list of interesting content from around the Web that I’d like to share.

TOP OF THIS LIST: UK Guardian political commentaries by Terry Jones, formerly of Monty Python. His latest, published July 7: In Iraq, it’s already July 9th. Here, Jones observes, “…Perhaps the most important lesson to be learnt from the handover of sovereignty ceremony in Iraq is that on no account should any ceremony actually mean anything.” Also, content professionals are especially likely to appreciate First Bomb the Language, Then the Iraqis.

Regardless of which part of the political spectrum you prefer, you have to admit – wouldn’t it be fabulous if more political commentators had the skill and guts to make such poignant, pointed, and genuinely funny remarks? One of the great advantages of humor is that it helps us back away from the inflexibility of deadpan seriousness and thus open us up to seeing the bigger picture.

Find commentaries by Terry Jones by searching the archives of The Guardian and Counterpunch for “Terry Jones” (include the quote marks).

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This Week’s Grab Bag

More miscellaneous cool stuff I’ve recently stumbled across and would like to share.

Topping this week’s list: Writing Tips for E-mail Distribution of Your Article or Message (by Bill Platt). As always, I love succinct and practical tips articles – and this one succeeds on both counts. Many people and organizations (myself included) continue to publish text-only e-mail newsletters. This surprisingly demanding and quirky medium needs special attention. The tips in this article will help you create e-mail newsletter content that displays and works well for your subscribers.

SPECIAL MENTION: Being an avid bookaholic, I’m forever touting the joys of reading to, well, everyone. Now you can too – and win $1000 worth of books in the process. Powell’s Books is currently running an essay contest. Just answer this question in 350-750 words: What was your most memorable reading experience of the last ten years? Entry deadline: August 31, 2004, 11:59 p.m. PST. For each entry, Powell’s will donate $1 to Reading is Fundamental (a leading children’s literacy nonprofit).

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More Recommended Reading

Here’s this week’s list of items that have caught my attention, and why I recommend that you check them out.

At the top of this week’s list:

Corporate Blogging, by Fredrik Wackå , for the Danish publication Kommunikations Forum, July 5.

Need a good, basic article on corporate blogging to help persuade your boss that your company should try it? One that sounds positive but realistic, and that clearly acknowledges the pitfalls of company blogs? Something that’s practical, brief, and not too technical? This is the one. (Yes, it’s in English.)

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More Misc. Cool Stuff to Check Out

Once again, here’s a quick roundup of some interesting items I’ve recently stumbled upon that I’d like to share. They’re all well worth checking out.

TOP OF THIS WEEK’S LIST: This Feb. 2004 Inc.com article, Writing Well on the Web, by Ann Stuart. It’s very basic and short, but that’s exactly why I like this article. People are forever asking me how Web writing differs from print writing, and frankly I get rather sick of running over the same basic tips repeatedly. From now on, for such general inquiries I’m going to recommend this article. This is an ideal piece to share with coworkers. I would even suggest getting permission to reproduce it in Web style guides.

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Update: My Reading List

I’ve just updated my list of what I’m currently reading. Surprise, surprise, it’s a lot of stuff, quite a mix.

Check out my Bloglines list of Feeds Amy Reads for my current webfeed selection. It includes some new categories, such as “content management, metadata, & info. architecture,” and several cool new additions to “writing, editing, & communication.”

Also, near the bottom of the right column on this blog’s home page is the current list of books I’m reading.

Enjoy!