Writing for the web, questioning what you know, and the irresistible appeal of a slinky little number

OK, slinky little number first. This week, Steve Jobs came back from the dead and announced the new range of iPods. It’s not the first time (for the iPods, not the resurrection). This time last year, he did the same thing, launching a new range in time to make them the must-have Christmas present. I have a Nano. It’s not the square-ish one. It’s the original – the one with the screen that scratched easily. “There was an issue with some Nanos,” said the salesman at London’s Apple store when I bought mine, “but it was very limited.” (A week later, I realised I had one of the limited-edition Nanos.) And so, to the new new Nano. Or Nanos, because there are eight funky colours to choose from. And it’s curvy. So far so superficial. So what are the real changes? Well it’s now either 8GB or 16GB (I already have enough space with 4GB). It lets you cycle through album covers in 3D (not interested).  It picks similar tracks and creates compilations for you (not interested). It helps you organise your music better (I listen mainly to spoken-word podcasts). And lastly, you can ‘shake to shuffle’ to let it randomly jump to another track (not interested). So why am I still interested? Hats off to Apple. I have no logical reason to upgrade my Nano. But they’ve appealed to my emotion, knowing that that’s the reason behind most sales. Clever move.

iPod. Do uPod too?

You’re tempted, aren’t you? If you do end up getting a sexy new Nano, you’ll need something to fill up all those gigabytes. So here are two suggestions to get you started: First up is Jonathan Drori, an ex-BBC man whose presentation at TED questions how (and what) we learn. Why we don’t understand as much as we think we do is funny, informative and thought-provoking. Second is the Internet Marketing Podcast from AI Digital. It’s a monthly podcast, with insider tips and advice for online marketing. The current episode is #39: Writing for the web revisited. It’s packed full of practical advice on web copy. Even if you think you know all there is to know (and remember what Jonathan said) it’s still worth a listen. To visit the subscription page, click here. Enjoy.