SXSWi 2011 Writing Workshop with @BettyDraper


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Session given at SXSWi on Friday, March 11, 2011

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  • I started in advertising. Billboards 6 words. TV spots 60 words. Betty--with a few words, evoke universe. You can’t say much. For one thing, u don’t know what’s going on with storyline.\n
  • I appreciate that twitter imposes character count. It takes away 1000 little decisions about form when you’re writing. When you have a choice, form speaks volumes. Mme Bovary took one sentence to have a baby, then spent the next 4 pgs naming her.\n
  • How many long emails do you have in your file to answer? Long emails are burdens to people without time--everyone these days. If someone writes 3 para, you can’t respond w/one sentence which is all you have time for.\n
  • First, television was blamed.\n
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  • 9 million twitter accounts, 500 million FB-\n
  • Unplug for an hour--you’ll get four hours of work done.\n
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  • Betty’s most popular tweets are often the shortest.\n
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  • Even people immersed in the social space have a hard time remembering this. \n
  • They made a graph to explain, which made the description more obtuse.\n
  • Simple.\n
  • Even simpler.\n
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  • Novels have been written on the backs of post cards.\n
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  • If you’re a shopkeeper troubled by customers unruly children, you could put up a sign saying “Children must be accompnanied by adults.” \n
  • Or if you’re a tea shop in upstate New york fed up with rude New Yorkers at the cash register, You could post a sign “Don’t be rude.” Which would offend customers, instead of charm them as this one does. \n
  • It’s not only about being creative with words, it’s about being creative with the space.\n
  • If you’re an author today, you must do a website. You’re not limited to how people have done it before. Take a look at Miranda July’s creative approach to the author’s website which got alot of attention for her and her book. \n
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  • No matter who you are now, you have to tell your story succinctly online--Linked In, FB, your site, whatever social channels you participate in. Even writers good at promoting others find it challenging to do this for themselves. \n
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  • He could have said “businessman, Family man, author, sports fan.” Not nearly as fun as this story that communicates his personal charisma\n
  • Conveys business, passion, personality in 9 words. Always link to site for those who want more.\n
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  • When I started in social media, I was anonymous. Ad agencies didn’t want bloggers on premise.\n\n
  • I looked for a description that would make my blog stand out from others.\n
  • After I came out, I was stuck with the handle. Which is NOT LITERALLY TRUE!! Your character is you, but not you.\n
  • Mine says 1960s, woman, advertising.\n
  • both Chief officers of companies-different communication. \nAd agency--approachable, fun, out of the box thinking\nWhite shoe law firm--serious enough to trust with your corporate merger\n
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  • 2004 senior yearbook. Girl chooses photo, class gives their impressions. How other people saw her contributed to how she saw herself and what she was able to turn herself into.\n
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  • SXSWi 2011 Writing Workshop with @BettyDraper

    1. image swiped from sxswi 2011Writing Workshop with @bettydraper Saying It Short
    2. @adbroad @bettydraper
    4. The less you say, the more they’ll remember.
    5. “Short attention span linked to TV” image pilfered from --USA Today, 2004
    6. “The internet is rerouting our neural pathways.” --Nicholas Carr, The Shallows What the Internet is Doing to our Brains
    7. The biggest impediment to concentrationis your computers ecosystem of interruption technologies: IM, email alerts, RSS alerts, Skype rings, etc. --Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things.
    8. 1.Make a story.
    9. Our brains are wired for stories. image swiped from
    10. Make it a short story. (this takes a long time)
    11. “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”-Blaise Pascal, French scientist (often falsely attributed to Mark Twain)
    12. 2.Make every word count.
    13. “The difference between the right word and almost right word is the difference between lightening and lightening bug.” --Mark Twain
    14. dataISN”T A
    15. One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic. --Stalin
    16. DataThe king died. Then, the queen.
    17. StoryThe king died. Then, the queen died of grief. --E.M. Forster
    18. Paul Ford listened to 1,302 bands worth of music at SXSW09 and reviewed each in six words or less.
    19. 3.Consider the target images courtesy
    21. 4.Keep it simple.
    23. “Betty’s tweets are simply entertaining. That is, they’re simple. Frequently her tweets are less than 140 characters.” --Englund Blog, Daily Dose of Social Media
    24. Stop writing paragraphs.Think about traffic signs.
    25. before you think you are finished
    26. A kindergarten teacher turned every student into an artist.“It’s just a matter of knowing when to take the paper away.” --Martin Stevens, former Revlon Creative Director
    27. Leave out the parts people skip. --Elmore Leonard
    28. It’s not about telling it all. It’s about telling it right.
    29. Michael Pollan’s theoryby Design strategist Jono
    30. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. --Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food
    31. (actual slide, not a simulation) What is transmedia? Transmedia is a format of formats; an approach to story deliverythat aggregates fragmented audiences by adapting productions to new modes of presentation and social integration.The execution of a transmedia production weaves together diverse storylines, across multiple outlets, as parts of an overarching narrative structure. These elements are distributed through bothtraditional and new media outlets. The online components exploit the social conventions, and social locations, of the internet.
    32. What is transmedia? Narrative told through many media at oncein a way that is non-linear, participatory and immersive. --Frank Rose, author The Art of Immersion
    33. What is transmedia?Stories freed from the restrictions of any single platform or media. --Michael Morello, co-founder, ECD of Campfire
    34. Successful communication isn’t about technology. It’s about story.
    35. For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. -Ernest Hemingway
    36. Shipwrecked by Bob Thurber (from Hint Fiction, Stories in 25 Words or Less)After we buried the captain, we salvaged theVictrola. It worked, though the mahogany wasruined. Half of us put on dresses. And wedanced.
    37. 5.Say it different.
    39. --sign by cash register at Harney’s Tea Shop, Millerton,
    45. The most important story you tell is your own.
    46. Writing your bio means creating a narrative from the many people you are.
    47. “Thus play I in one person many people, and none contented.” --Shakespeare, Richard II
    48. Writing your bio means creating a character.
    49. The oldest working writer in advertising
    50. Your photo speaks volumes.
    51. Evan R. Chesler, Presiding Partner,Marty Cooke, CCO ad agency corporate law firm
    52. What do others say about you?
    53. Convent of the Sacred Heart, NY2004 Yearbook
    54. Exercise partially stolen from Michael Margolis @GetStoried.
    55. 1. Where were you born?2. What was your first job?3. What is your work now?4. What is your passion?5. What did you wake up thinking about this morning?
    56. Helen Klein Ross She’s loved advertising since the dayit convinced her mother to buy Sea Monkeys.
    57. 917-796-8330 @adbroad