Meet my robot editor, Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway and Carlos Gutierrez aboard Hemingway's boat Pilar , 1934. (public domain)
Ernest Hemingway and Carlos Gutierrez aboard Hemingway’s boat Pilar , 1934. (public domain)

If you’re looking for a decent, cheap editor, allow me to introduce you to Hemingway. He started helping me with this blog yesterday. Here is how we work together.

I write a blog post in WordPress.

I copy the text from that post.

I visit and select all the text in the middle column.

I paste in my text.

Hemingway gives me instant feedback. He highlights text that could be improved. Sometimes, I point to those highlights and he offers his advice: “Change to active voice.” Other times, I have to refer to the color-coded notes in the right margin to understand what he’s saying.

Hemingway tells me when he thinks a sentence is hard to read. He suggests simpler phrases when appropriate. He tries to lessen my use of adverbs.

Hemingway is a web app created by Adam and Ben Long. It’s a robot editor whose goal is to make “your writing bold and clear.”  I couldn’t find any information on the site to explain how Hemington works.

The app is also available as a $6.99 program for Mac or Windows computers. For that price, you can work offline, save your text and use markdown.

No, Hemingway can’t completely replace a human editor. But I’m a zero-budget blogger with no one to read my posts at 12:41 a.m. Hemingway is the only editor I know who will work these hours for free, and he has definitely improved my blog posts.

It’s not a resolution, more inspiration and perspiration

I’ve decided to write at least one blog post every day. As I ramp up the frequency, you can expect the quality of the posts to decrease a bit.

In a rather selfish move, this blog is becoming a more personal space. A place for me to practice written and recorded communication.

My day job no longer requires as much writing as it has in the past, so this is old place is my new place to practice writing and recording words and images.

It’s not a resolution. I don’t do that. It’s just a commitment to work harder, inspired by these three things:

By the way, I’m taking the advice of many who say to just write. That means, I will edit less before I publish each post. At night, I might edit the posts that I publish in the morning.

Prepare before you live-tweet from an event like #TEDx

John Jolliffe and Kary Mullis by TEDxOrangeCoast licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
John Jolliffe and Kary Mullis by TEDxOrangeCoast licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Preparation is key for live events. Organizers plan ahead. Speakers and performers rehearse. If you plan to use Twitter to cover a conference, set aside time prior to the gathering to prepare to live-tweet. It will make the process easier for you and more fruitful for your followers.

I will be tweeting from the TEDxOrangeCoast conference tomorrow and Saturday, as an audience member @ksablan and as a volunteer @TEDxOrangeCoast. I’ve done this kind of work for years, and have learned quite a bit from the mistakes I’ve made. I’m providing these preparation tips to help you get ready for the next conference you attend. Continue reading

What stats from a 4-day-old blog say about you

This blog was revived five days ago, and I’m horrible obsessed with its stats, so here is what I’ve learned by looking at the first four days of data from Google Analytics, Twitter and Facebook.

You are loud.

Pioneer, Barkerville BC, megaphone by J Scott licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Pioneer, Barkerville BC, megaphone by J Scott licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

More than 2,000 people visited the blog, and 80% of you found yourself on this site after following a link shared on a social network. That means you  brought people to this site. You tweeted an Almighty Link blog post to your Twitter followers more than 350 times, shared a post with your Facebook friends 40 times, liked those Facebook entries more than 200 times, and left 88 related comments on Facebook. I posted only three Facebook status updates on my personal profile, and four tweets, again from my personal account. Continue reading