Archive for ‘Resources’

November 2, 2012

The Voice of Canadian Editors

Excellent resource for skill set descriptions, certification, continuing education.

September 17, 2012

Media by Numbers

I love this infographic not only for the wealth of information it contains, but also the elegant presentation. (via HuffPostBooks)
Created by: MBA Online

March 15, 2012

The Curator’s Code

The curator’s code provides two unicode symbols that aim to standardize the act of attributing content across the web.

  •  A sideways “S” figure, which represents an original source (think of it as the the equivalent as a retweet or “via” on Twitter)
  •  A looped arrow, which represents a “hat tip” (as in, “here’s the source who alerted me to this thing I’m linking to” or “here’s the original inspiration for this spinoff idea I had”)

For example, for this post, my attribute line might be:

ᔥ  |  | 

Grabbing the symbols to insert into text is made easy by the provided bookmarklet. The drawback with that method, however, is that the symbols are pasted into your posts with built-in links to the Curator’s Code Website. I prefer to simply use the unlinked symbols (both methods are utilized in this post).

Will they catch on?

November 3, 2011

Asana: Like FaceBook, but with the opposite effect.

A single place where people can see every project colleagues are working on, answer questions, and get instant updates about how the work is progressing.

And it’s free!

Some recent articles:

September 9, 2011

From movable to mobile type.

“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” – George Bernard Shaw

In honour of Michael Stern Hart, inventor of e-books, founder of Project Gutenberg.

It’s been years since I visited the site and it looks much the same now as it did then. No fussiness, a pure resource. On my first foray, I downloaded a copy of Remembrance of Things Past (Swann’s Way) by Marcel Proust and was a bit dismayed at the very boring reems of typewriter-like Courier font. Still, I had the text at my fingertips, gratis, and that was immensely pleasing.

Much progress has been made in the subsequent years. Project Gutenberg now offers over 36,000 FREE ebooks to download to your PC, and also for Kindle, Android, iOS or other portable devices, with or without graphics. Click the image below to begin your tour through Hart’s e-stacks.

September 2, 2011

Lorem Ipsum 4G

This is hilarious. I love that “living in your mother’s basement” has become part of the new latin.

Journo Ipsum for the Internet Age

                             –  Nieman Journalism Lab

August 24, 2011

But “pilliwinks” sounds so cuddly. (Except it’s not.)

Chambers dictionary has been updated (thank you, Economist). One of the fun features is the  Word Lover’s Miscellany chapter. A fascinating read; my favorite section features words that we like simply because they sound good or are fun to say.

pilliwinks:  an instrument of torture for crushing the fingers

(Sounds like a writer/editor’s nightmare of a device. No illustration provided, for which we can be thankful.)

August 24, 2011

Why DropBox Is Easily Worth $5 billion.

Great article from Business Insider on the DropBox app (which I use to great benefit … and it’s free). Also, see the accompanying article about the cloud and our outdated allegiance to “files” (hint: we really don’t need them).

Dropbox is a blockbuster because it has magic economics.


August 17, 2011

My First Company (Store)

Over the past few days I’ve been busy building this e-commerce site for a client. They have branches right across the country and this stand-alone store allows everyone in the company to procure branded items online with ease. The site features a custom selection of products, easily expanded to include new items, is fully operational — shopping to shipping,  and was built using a back-end provided by Volusion.

[Takes a bow.]

This is a great service for any enterprise that wants to provide an endless range of branded products/ stationery/holiday cards, etc., using a platform that operates independently and doesn’t tie up in-house staff with sourcing/inventory/delivery. Companies can incorporate all manner of special coupons or pricing for client gifts or staff incentives.

Very cool.  And I got to brush up on my dusty old HTML skills in the process.

(Not to mention becoming rather too familiar with Canada’s bizarre federal/provincial tax structure. Do you know, for example, that provincial sales tax for the residents of lovely PEI is calculated on top of GST. That’s right! They are are taxed on tax! Quebec too. Come on. How messed up is that?! )

August 16, 2011

Love a Duck

Aside from Time’s endorsement, aside from its respectful privacy policy, aside from a desire to encourage healthy competition with Google, I’m a convert to DuckDuckGo because it provides an instant lorem ipsum page (along with a lot of other cool little quick links) on its tech goodies page. It’s a sweet story, check it out.

The 50 Best Websites of 2011 TIME Specials


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August 16, 2011

Proofreading Checklist

This is totally how I work … reading in levels, paging through again and again, back and forth. Happy to see I ain’t the only one!  I suggest making a laminated printout of this to present to your boss/client the next time they expect instant turnaround. (And don’t they always!)

Never proofread by reading a manuscript through only once looking for errors. The mind is not able to process all of the information in a document in one pass. Instead, read every normal, uncomplicated manuscript three times:

1. Read for grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
2. Read again for content errors.
3. Read a final time for consistency in format, list items, and choice of words.
4. If the manuscript contains any of the following, read through it once for each characteristic after you have finished the three readings above:

  • Statistics, numbers, or dollar amounts. Do a separate statistics proofread.
  • Dates, telephone numbers, addresses. Do a separate numbers check. For important dates, telephone numbers, and addresses, look up the original information and compare the records. For advertising copy or direct mail, dial the phone numbers to be sure they are accurate.
  • Special formatting. Do a separate check of special formatting to be sure it complies with requirements.
  • Headings, numbered lists, sections with titles. Do a separate check of the headings, sequences of numbers, and titles on sections. Check to see whether the stated number of points is present. Check consistency in formatting.
  • Tables, charts, graphs. Do a separate accuracy check to be sure the visuals match the originals.
  • Cross references. If the manuscript refers to other pages, do a final proofread for cross-references after the manuscript has been printed for the last time.
Check these areas where errors are most likely to occur or be missed:
    1. Captions and titles in tables, graphs, and illustrations
    2. The first words or paragraph of the document
    3. The last words or paragraph of the document
    4. The text break at page breaks
    5. Titles and running heads
    6. Titles or other words in all caps
    7. Words in large type
    8. Headings
    9. Table of contents
    10. Page numbers

Much thanks to :

August 16, 2011

Tweet Organization

If, like me, you telecommute and are not subject to IT jamming your ability to integrate professional social media networks — Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. — you may find one certain tool very helpful: Tweetdeck. Perhaps you’re already using it!

This little blog is fairly new so all these links and resources are being built as we go and tweetdeck is the latest addition, but it’s been available for quite some time.
Our Supervisory_Analyst deck is organized with a column for newsfeeds (Reuters, AP, New York Times, et. al.), a column for editorial contacts, one for fun (gotta follow Snoop Dogg!), and a few others. Very easy to set up and modify as you go.

A quick scan to any column, and you can catch up on your custom filtered tweets, ignoring the rest. Bliss. Plus, there’s a handy pop-up that displays incoming tweets (and helps keep one awake during periods of text fatigue). Highly recommended and … best of all … FREE.

August 12, 2011

Head in(to) the clouds.

I’ve been doing some freelance work and cloud computing is the best. No need for back and forth emails with files attached, just work in the cloud! You share the file and get updates when files are changed, etc. Similar to having a network server in a regular office, but this server is limitless and you can invite anyone to be a part of it. You can restrict sharing to specific folders (i.e., one client doesn’t have access to another client’s folder).  And you can set up folders for anyone on any specific topic (say, vacation photos). It’s almost like the circles in Google+ (I’m assuming you’re on there too, I am … find it a bit ho hum but that’s a topic for another day).

Anyway, the cloud I’m on is “Dropbox” but there are many others. Free for the most part, an easy download and you’re up and running. If you use up massive amounts of space then you can opt to “rent” a cloud for a reasonable fee (consider the alternative of having an IT department maintain a server!). The files are regularly backed-up, the site is just as secure as any other site, like your email account, for example … so I wouldn’t tend to put highly sensitive material there … but that’s a judgement call. One business I work for has virtually all its working files uploaded so anyone (who has been granted access) can keep up-to-date on job progress from anywhere in the world without a lot of inbox clutter. Sweet.

Here’s an article that reviews a few of the free options available.

August 9, 2011

Best Practices for Analysts

This book has been highly recommended in a few of the forums I frequent. Haven’t read a copy myself, so can’t recommend first hand, but if buzz is to be had for such a book, this one’s got it.

(Click image to visit Chapters/Indigo page.)

“Jim”s book is an excellent window into the world of securities research. Very few works cover the complete life cycle of an analyst and the necessary balance between theory and practice. This is one of them.” — Juan-Luis Perez, Global Director of Research, Morgan Stanley 

August 5, 2011

Envisioning Information

Two books I recommend for every personal library, which held pride of place in mine long before I ventured into the world of finance, Edward Tuft’s “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” and “Envisioning Information”.

Pure loveliness (even if I don’t understand much of the material) and can be compared to the gastro-porn of decadent cookbooks, except with numbers.

See for yourself.

Envisioning Information

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information 

August 5, 2011

Self-publishing 101. (Kindle-lit)

Before landing on Bay St., I was a lowly copy editor at McClelland & Stewart and one of my jobs was to wade through the slush pile of material that came in “over the transom”. It was a daunting task — and heartbreaking — as there were SO MANY hopefuls in the queue, few of whom would receive the attention they might deserve, with rare exception. Our senior editorial staff was fully occupied with established names, or with shepherding lesser-known writers or new projects along, so these carefully prepared manuscripts, given emotional send-offs at the post office and hurtled into the unknown, now served mainly as ledges in a mountain of paper. Situation dire.

Dark days.

Enter technology! Writers can now skip that forbidding transom altogether and BAM! become published authors of practically instant e-books. (Though I hope they have the good sense to engage the services of a good editor — crucial.)

Got a book that must see the light of day? Drop by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

In addition to having your books available for purchase on Kindle devices and on Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, Android-based devices, and Windows Phone 7, you also have the opportunity to participate in the 70% royalty program and can specify pricing in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, or Euros. You can also publish books written in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian – reaching audiences around the world!

August 4, 2011

They’re not kidding around!

With captivating simplicity, the workshop was a powerful approach to unlock the full creativity of staff. The progression of skill building exercises creates a uniquely grounding experience of three-dimensional self-discovery interwoven with genuine team values.

Now this is something I can envision every sales/trading desk participating in. Invite research! Invite IB! It is serious results-oriented "play".

A university in Switzerland has put this into practice to design online communication strategies and applications and has published a fairly intense book of guidelines, available at their site.

URL: User Requirements with Lego

August 3, 2011

Sweet: Onepager

It doesn’t get much easier than this. A simple (and free!) interactive app to create a hosted one-page website, step-by-step. It’s so easy, virtually anyone can use it. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. (Click photo.)

Onepager provides quick and easy set-up for a business (or person) who wants to be found; it’s like creating an informative bookmark on the web, just for you. Minimum interactivity, sure, but it gets you in the game and lets people know what you’re about and how to contact you for some real life products or service. Presto!

Disclosure: I’ve got no stake in this but I am a big fan of little apps that are 1. free and 2. make things that were formerly complicated,  simple and easy. Onepage fits the bill! I can think of a bunch of my friends who enjoy oddball hobbies, coach amateur sports teams, or have upcoming events that could use a service like this. Can’t you?

Thanks to BusinessInsiderSAI for tweeting this out!

August 3, 2011

Skewed Distribution/Convergent Validity

Interesting compilation of what the brainiacs are writing about these days.

There is a respectable presence of Canadians here, but without exception, the writers are all academics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; and sure, I get it, publish or perish, etc., but how great would it be to see some of our excellent working analysts — the ones who actually toil day-to-day in the field — included in this august list, or elsewhere?

I can think of a couple of sterling contenders right off the bat. Both quant guys, both crazy brilliant …

Wouldn’t it serve the firms that employ them and the industry in general if some actual stakeholders were to publish outside of their client lists?

Just asking.  : )

And if you know of  some examples of “rogue publishing” we should be celebrating, share them in comments.  Ta.

August 3, 2011

Copy Me! I don’t mind, really.

Financial service companies take note! Tynt is an app that tracks how your website is being used via what material is copy & pasted. Even if just a single phrase is “Ctrl-C’d” to use in a search engine elsewhere, this is recorded. Wouldn’t this be a useful tool for research departments (or for any department that interfaces with clients via a website)?!  We could easily see who is using what  — and how — and use this to 1. Get paid. (Always at the top of the list!) and 2. Unearth gaps in the material we publish and/or direct us to the most popular items, which we’d probably want to build on.


Tynt’s technology now captures how people are using data – whether reposting on another site, e-mailing or even pasting it into a search engine to look for more information.

This last capability is significant, Mr. Ball says. When readers copy and paste into a browser, online publishers can learn what topics people are interested in. In addition, it can reveal information gaps in a site.

Tynt’s tools rely on Internet cookies – widely used for tracking online behaviour – and small snippets of code that publishers can insert into Web pages. Simplicity is part of the appeal.

Turning Failure into Copy & Paste Success

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with this company/technology. Saw a story on it and thought, hmmm.

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