Get to the point right away. Get to the point, get to the point, get to the point. I am literally scrolling through hundreds of PR pitches every day, looking for two or three a week that I might write about. ANYTHING that speeds up this process will bump a pitch incrementally higher to the top. Embed content in the email rather than sending it as an attachment — that’s particularly true for Microsoft Word documents. Eliminate ALL throat-clearing prior to getting started. Even salutations (“Hi, Mitch! How is your Monday going?”) are superfluous.
Don’t start your email telling me something I — and my readers — already know. Don’t tell me that the cloud is becoming more popular, or that networks are under attack by hackers, or that software-defined networking delivers cost benefits and added flexibility. If the first paragraph of your email starts with something as kindergarten-level as that, it makes it hard for me to read any further.
Predicting the future isn’t what science fiction is for, says Cory. Science fiction reflects the aspirations and anxieties that people have about technology at the moment it was written.
It’s not just technology. It’s also politics and social change. And it applies to fantasy. H.P. Lovecraft in real life was a full-throated bigot who feared invading hordes of filthy mongrel immigrants; he turned that into some of the most powerful horror and fantasy written (enjoyed by legions, including the descendants of those same filthy mongrel immigrants). Star Trek has always been a reflection of whatever was going on in the news at the time the shows and movies aired.
In a recent column, Doctorow says that “all the data collected in giant databases today will breach someday, and when it does, it will ruin peoples’ lives. They will have their houses stolen from under them by identity thieves who forge their deeds (this is already happening); they will end up with criminal records because identity thieves will use their personal information to commit crimes (this is already happening); … they will have their devices compromised using passwords and personal data that leaked from old accounts, and the hackers will spy on them through their baby monitors, cars, set-top boxes, and medical implants (this is already happening)…” We’ll talk with Cory Doctorow about technology, privacy, and intellectual property.
Cory Doctorow is the co-editor of popular weblog Boing Boing and a contributor to The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. Doctorow is also an award-winning author of numerous novels, including “Little Brother,” “Homeland,” and “In Real Life.”
Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman tells us about her book Coding Freedom and the time she spent among the Hackers, “Chris” makes his TOE debut with a story about the alleged hacking of the New York Times by the Chinese, and your host wonders if it might be possible to hire a hacker to break into George RR Martin’s computer so that he can read the rest of the Game of Thrones story without having to wait 10 years like everyone else.