Are you ever at a loss for words? Sometimes the words flow like honey… and other times, they flow like cement it seems. Well, here’s a few cool tools to help you find the words to say what you’re trying to say:
- Dictionary.com: A very easy to use and comprehensive online dictionary
- Wikipedia: Yes, I still use this sometimes maligned site, but it provides great depth in some areas that can take you in unexpected directions with an idea
- Thesaurus.com: A more traditional thesaurus done by the same folks as the Dictionary.com site
- And Thinkmap’s VisualThesaurus.com: A very cool visual tool that will help you SEE some options for the words you’re looking for
If you haven’t played with the last one… Here’s an example. You enter your word — in this case, I entered “excessive” and it provided a variety of options… You can click on any of them and get a whole new range of options, and so on. It’s a great way to brainstorm for headings or titles or even if you find yourself using the same adjectives or adverbs over and over again to get out of a rut!
So check them out… I use them on a regular basis! What tools do you use? Leave me a comment and let me know!
This term keep surfacing in my web surfing… Meme. According to Dictionary.com, the definition is:
a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.
There’s a cool service for us tech junkies called Techmeme.
Techmeme’s mission is as follows (according to the Techmeme About section):
At this moment, the next big story in technology may reside on a blog you’ve never heard of or a news site you don’t have time to scan.
So I built a software agent to surface these links in real time and the result is Techmeme, the site you’re visiting now.
Coverage is driven by a mix of industry insiders, passionate independents, and established journalists. So Techmeme gets the story no matter where it appears, and often days before it hits major sites.
Techmeme has consistently provided interesting stories from the forefront of technology… Today’s headlines include information about the iPhone, FCC, AOL, Google, Intel, AMD, Blogging… and so much more. It’s a feast for the mind for us techno-geeks.
And if that wasn’t enough, Techmeme also provides a leaderboard for the top sources for the information on their pages.
So if you’re a tech junkie like myself, you can keep abreast of what’s going on in the industry pretty easily by browsing the headlines here. Techmeme does an amazing job of transmitting these technological items repeatedly!
Until next time… Enjoy!
I’m starting to write some press releases announcing the release of the roleplaying game I’ve been working on and have come across some great sites with advice for creating great press releases that I will try and distill down to five easy steps… (I’ll provide links to the other resources I found also at the bottom of the article.)
So the five easy steps…
- I’ve seen the acronym AIDA several places while figuring out a strategy for press releases. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. The Attention part is that you need to grab your reader at the headline. Catchy headlines are tough to come by sometimes, but you want to grab your reader and make them read the rest of the article. All too often, editors and writers will look at press releases and dismiss them due to poor headlines. Too many releases cross their desks every day to read something boring.So to create a catchy headline, you have to appeal to your reader’s emotions and use trigger words. Find examples of press releases written for your field. Analyze their headlines for key phrases or words. Perhaps even go so far as to come up with a variety of different options and test them on coworkers, friends, and family to see what they like or don’t like.In my case, I’m writing a press release for roleplaying gamers. A couple of places I’ve looked for press releases is at GamingReport.com and RPG.net’s press page.In these cases, most releases seem to have pretty mundane titles announcing product availability or sales. These are important topics obviously, but may not get a reader’s attention quickly. What I want to get across is three main ideas: the name of the game system, the name of the book, and what it will bring to you as a gamer.So some options I’ve come up with are:
- Moebius Adventures: Core Rules Opens New Doorways to Adventure!
- Moebius Adventures: Core Rules Released Into The Wild!
- Moebius Adventures: Core Rules Book Available – Start Adventuring Infinite Paths!
I’ll probably go with the first one. The others seem pretty corny.
- Now that you have your readers, you need to give them the facts. The first sentence or two of the first paragraph of the release needs to tell the reader what the press release is about. This is where you go with the traditional journalistic five words — who, what, where, when, and why. Think of this as continuing the “tease” for the rest of the release and as the first few sentences of a news cast or newspaper story summarizing the main points of your release succinctly.In my case, I’m publicizing that the Moebius Adventures game is being released for sale. The first release will be to describe the eBook distribution via RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. So my first paragraph will look something like this:
“On November 12, 2007, Moebius Adventures releases the Core Rules book for the Moebius Adventures Roleplaying Game in PDF (eBook) format for $10.95 on RPGNow.com (http://www.rpgnow.com) and Drive Thru RPG (http://www.drivethrurpg.com). The Moebius Adventures Roleplaying Game is a universal, cross-genre rule system that will enable you and your gaming group the ability to explore multiple worlds. The Core Rules book starts the trip by providing all the basic rules for the system. Here you’ll learn about character creation, general gameplay, combat rules, and possibly even save the village of Domerre from some men with a monster.”
- So now you have the basics out of the way and you can focus on the other aspects, key selling points, of your product or service that customers would be interested in.In my case, I plan on providing a simple bulleted list of features for my game:
- Open character generation system
- Random character generation offers crunch for characters, or can use point-based system to choose skills and characteristic values
- Simple rule mechanic for skill resolution
- Simple, effective combat rules that take strike effectiveness into account when determining damage to combatants
- Sample Characters and Adventure to get you started
- This is an optional step, but it can be very useful to include a quote from a customer about your product or service to show other customers that this new release does work for someone and isn’t just marketing fluff.In my case, I have a brand new game and very little exposure as yet. I hope to be able to use quotes in follow-on releases.
- Lastly, you need to talk about product availability. If you’re releasing the product, when are you releasing it? Where can they learn more? Where can the find your product? Who can they talk to for more details? Contact information is very important.
The key point here is to focus most on content, not layout or formatting. Make sure that the press release says what you want it to say clearly and concisely so that your customers can find you and your product easily and quickly!
Once you have your press release written, you can submit it via a number of free distribution websites, including:
Here are some other resources on the web for helping create great press releases:
I hope this has helped you get some ideas on your own press releases. I’ll be honing my own skills as I write some for my own products!
Have a great day!