field report: documents to go for iphone (updated for 1.1)

IPhone and iPod Touch apps for creating and editing business documents have surged to the top ranks of the App Store’s popularity charts. This is good news for freelance writers who work in the field and who like to travel light.

Over the course of the next few entries I’ll be reporting on my field tests of some of my favorite apps. These won’t be full-blown reviews, but rather brief and complementary summaries of the highlights (and lowlights) of each app that revealed themselves while I put them through their paces.

First up is the long-anticipated DataViz Documents to Go for the iPhone app.

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freelance writing tips from an advertising master

If, as Ernest Hemingway once told a reporter, the one essential tool of a good writer is “a built-in, shock-proof crap detector,” then Bob Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman/Lewis advertising in San Francisco and St. Louis, possesses one of the most finely-calibrated, jewel-movement, brass-cased crap detectors in service today.

Hoffman’s blog, The Ad Contrarian, covers today’s advertising scene. He offers cogent advice based on over 30 years of experience in the ad business. He doesn’t suffer fools, gladly or otherwise, and doesn’t mind saying why not. Hoffman believes that advertising “has one simple purpose: to find something interesting to say that will make someone buy your stuff.”

Hoffman’s free book, The Ad Contrarian: Getting Beyond the Fleeting Trends, False Goals, and Dreadful Jargon of Contemporary Advertising, is the distilled essence of that principle, both in format and in content. Here’s a quick review that I hope will convince you to order your own copy and read it in a single sitting, and then go apply his insights in your own writing.

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