How to become an effective writer. These five steps worked for me

I used to spend too much time on writing. Sometimes it took me a whole day to write a post of only 500 words. When I look back on these days of toil, I realize the actual writing had only cost me around an hour. The other hours were devoted to staring at the screen and relentlessly editing the article. My mistake? I […]

Finally watched ‘The Internet’s Own Boy’

Last night, I watched this documentary about Aaron Swartz (1986 – 2013). He was the co-founder of Reddit, RSS and the Stop Sopa campaign.  Impressed by how relentless this wunderkind lived. Basically he died because he wasn’t interested in the start-up money and fame, but pursued his ideals for a better world. Both a very tragic and […]

Getting past the dynastic Bush Clinton narrative

In a delightful honest and transparent post, The New York Times‘s public editor Margaret Sullivan expresses 17 hopes and dreams for her newspaper in 2015. She kicks off with this one: “Presidential campaign coverage that does not seem based on the idea that the presidency is dynastic, and must be handed down to a Clinton […]

The Problem With The King Of Clickbait

This The New Yorker profile of a young ‘viral guy’ shines a light on the supply side of the ‘ads race to the bottom’. It’s hilarious. Especially when the journalist visits his childhood home and meets the dad, who ‘speaks in passionate bursts that sound like unrelated fortune-cookie aphorisms spliced together’. But it’s also a depressing article. It shows how the […]

One bespoke library please

A Saudi businesswoman wanted her London boardroom lined with books about the West’s engagement with Islam and the Arab world. The thousand-or-so books—a reader’s selection rather than a true collector’s library—cost £80,000. A London bookseller reinvents itself as a purveyor of private libraries. It takes all the fun of book collecting away. But it’s a […]

How to invest in growth according to Buzzfeed’s publisher Dao Nguyen

“When media companies think of growth, they tend to think of it as a marketing function. We talk about growth as a technology function—building tools and products, and making changes in your platform. That’s more lasting than a marketing campaign. Marketing campaigns end after you run out of money.” I agree 100% with Buzzfeed’s publisher Dao Nguyen. She […]

Some thoughts after 3.5 years of watching The West Wing

‘Did it make you a better person?’ That’s what a friend asked me when I had just finished watching The West Wing. It took me 3.5 years to watch all seven seasons (and I was already late to the party). A couple of years ago, he told me he occasionally watched episodes before going to work. […]

The ‘Everywhere’ Strategy

With De Correspondent, we publish our stories everywhere. Listen to our podcasts on our site, Soundcloud or iTunes? It’s up to you. Recently someone made fun of our low YouTube numbers. ‘They invested all this money in a video and all they got was a couple of hundred views’. Well, he missed the thousands of views of the  Facebook video.

This blog is analytics-free

I’ve just removed my Google Analytics plugin. Every time I published a post, I became obsessed with how it got picked up. Even when I didn’t care. This article, for example, isn’t written to attract big audiences. My blog serves as a public notebook. It forces me to rephrase the incoherent thoughts in my mind into clear stories […]

Close The Door, Then Start Writing

I’ve just finished reading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000), a book about writing by Stephen King. Blogs like Brain Pickings often quote it.  I only know Stephen King from the movie adaptations of The Shining, The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption. But after reading On Writing, I feel like I’ve known King for ages. He writes about […]

Elizabeth Warren: ‘Enough is enough’

I’m just posting this video here for future reference. Of course I had read the profiles about senator Elizabeth Warren, but after having seen this senate speech about the damning influence of banks on the US (and thus the rest of the world), I now truly understand what she stands for. And how she’s willing to get […]