Reader's Corner No.21: RC Blimp Autopilot Test, The Serial Comma, Helping Team Members Understand their Impact, and Google Advice on Duplicate Content SEO

April 3, 2017

We hope you survived April Fool’s Day without too much stress! Our team members are kicking off April by sharing what they’ve read this week, including: successful RC Blimp Autopilot testing, the debate around the serial comma, how to help team members understand their impact, and Google advice on duplicate content SEO.

Successful RC Blimp Autopilot Flight Test

Jay Roberts

Source: Scott Lobdell

Takeaway: Real world tests help to identify a number of fixes and improvements which seem obvious in retrospect.

Tags: #Programming, #Hardware

‘A, B or C’ vs. ‘A, B, or C’ — the serial comma and the law

David Gouch

Source: The Washington Post

Takeaway: Written English can be ambiguous. It allows for fun. But simply enforcing a serial comma wouldn't banish all ambiguity in sentence lists (hello appositives).

I previously linked an article about Arrival's screenplay breaking with tradition in order to achieve clarity. I think Maine's laws could use some bullet points.

Tags: #TechnicalWriting

Avoid the Domino Effect: Help Your Team Members Understand Their Impact

Michael Nicholson

Source: Wrike Blog

Takeaway: Small delays or substandard deliverables from a single team member don't feel like they have all that much impact on a project; in reality, these shortcomings can cascade down the process chain and create larger impact than is visible for a team member who is 'heads down' in the work.

The solution is to keep the big picture in mind; not just for the PM or leadership, but also for each team member see the big picture and how they impact it. The article identifies four behaviors that can help make this a reality on your team.

  • Kickoff meetings should be used to get all stakeholders and team members on the same page, and show the scope of the project (the 'big picture')
  • Cross training to gain appreciation of other team members' role in the project and how the many roles work together
  • Emphasizing the human element reinforces the impact of shortcomings on other team members; this often gains better buy in from all involved
  • Consistent focus on the 'big picture' is necessary to create a cultural change, rather than a 'flavor of the month' effort

Tags: #ProjectManagement

Duplicate Content SEO Advice From Google

David Minton

Source: SEO Hobo

Generating new web content is a constant struggle; many succumb to the temptation of cutting corners. Can you “borrow” content and still rank well in Google, or do you face the risk of attracting the ban hammer? What if it is not exactly the same, or is legally syndicated content? Shaun Anderson authored an authoritative article on the differences between scrapped content, duplicate content, copied content syndicated content, and how Google claims to react to each.

Tags: #SEO, #Google

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