“Not even my wife has satisfied me this well”

Yeah, so this is a strange one – I love receiving feedback on the Unremarkable Book, from Tweets, to passing conversations to reviews on Amazon, however, this one left me with some “mixed” feelings:

This.

This… this?

As you can see by the date, this review was posted some time ago and I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it.

But now it’s sunk in, I feel like highlighting some of my “favourite” bits from one Gordon Strunk.

“A Truly Splendid Trip to Cornwall”

Positive feedback is good and I’m flattered to here that my words may have had a more satisfying effect on someone than nearly four decades of marriage. Although once the moment of flattery had passed I began to worry for their relationship, has Mr Strunk shared my work with his wife? Better yet, has he spoken to her about their marital problems?

I guess we’ll never know… I do hope those stitches healed alright.

“A Gentleman of Advanced Years”

Being referenced as a “young Christopher Green” and a “gentleman of advanced years” within the same review is a little confused, then again if this was written shortly after it being read, I guess he might have been somewhat delirious.

NB: the “advanced years” remark does give me an inkling as to the true identity of this reviewer.

“Rollercoast Ride”

Is the “rollercoast” another reference to that trip to Cornwall?

I’ll leave that one to sink in for a bit…

True Identity

Would I be overdoing it if I were to say that Gordon Strunk is my Moriarty?

Whether he (or she) is my true antithesis or arch nemesis I’m not so sure, but I want to remove some of the enigma around the identity of this reviewer.

Having said that, I have had no luck recently having asked around and pretty-much interrogated the most likely suspects (well, almost all of them) – so I’m drawing a blank now.

My last ditch attempt to solve the mystery was an Anagram Solver – which, surprise surprise, was no help at all:

“No answers found for ‘GordonStrunk’. Check you entered the letters correctly.”

Strunk 2 – 0 Green

Thank You Gordon Strunk

By this point I’d hope that you’d have twigged (as I did after I read the title) that this review might have been slightly subversive and more than likely disingenuous.

However, it was amusing and it’s contributed to my (slowly growing) 5/5 star rating on Amazon (never a bad thing) and it has given me something to blog about long after the event – thank you Gordon Strunk, whoever you are!

“Telephone me Ishmael.” – 10 Spun Classic Literature Opening Lines

In the past it would have been fair to say that technology and the internet in combination have created a few things that ruined writing (or at least had a damn good go at doing so!). One of those things which I have experienced first hand is the concept of “spinning” text as it was an old favourite* of internet marketeers who wanted to plagiarise text without making it look like they were plagiarising anything.

Spun text is like the original but with words or phrases replaced by different ones that broadly mean the same thing – at least that was the plan! However, the Thesaurus Spinner – a piece of software that would pick out synonyms and drop them in, seemingly at random – had a habit of reproducing work that was at best, crazy and at worst  completely unreadable.

To prove how draft spun content is, I’ve done something that literature buffs the world-over will hate me for – I’ve taken 10 opening lines of some of the most noteworthy literature classics in the English language and ran them through a Thesaurus Spinner. WARNING: this is entertaining, but also pretty sacrilegious at the same time!

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Digital Marketing Flow Chart

I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that the digital world has a certain chaotic edge to it, even with all the talk of big data, of analytics and empirical evidence, there are a huge amounts of value judgements, subjective decisions and emotional responses. If we even begin to approach the world of SEO, amplify this feeling a few times and you might get close to the feeling which is stoked around a new algorithm update from Google.

We’re all human right? This is only to be expected!

Unless you have a calculator for a brain or see the world in 0s and 1s, a fresh prospective is important when things aren’t going well. It may sound clichéd, but there few opportunities where a fresh prospective can’t shed some more on elements to be improved or changed. This is where the Digital Marketing Flow Chart comes in, it’s not a ground breaking production, moreover an act a rationalising the current situation and encouraging a step in the right direction.

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Really easy VLOOKUPs for excel/spreadsheet beginners

VLOOKUPs are great, unless you’re struggling to get them to work, then they’re a massive pain in the backside – there are a lot of tutorials on how to get them right, but most of them already assume you’re more than a beginner at using Excel or similar spreadsheet software like Google’s Spreadsheet or OpenOffice Calc. This guide is only going to assume a very basic knowledge of excel and by the end will help you get stuck right into it!

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