My top 10 stories determined by you, the reader

My fans chanting for a rant encore. Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

Let’s just say that my sense of humor is an acquired taste… like chocolate-covered pickle ice cream garnished with fire ants.

While most of you out there have the good sense to ignore my rabble-rousing, rants, and ruminations, I am grateful to those who have read and clapped for my stories on Medium.

The crazy thing about art is that sometimes the work you are most proud of gets ignored, while a silly one-off story attracts the most readers.

A few years ago, I listed my personal favorites.

Today, I’m going to list my readers’ top 10 stories on Medium…


Don’t blame me, they’re are only song parodies

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

And it will probably go on for a long, long time, despite how strongly readers may feel that I’ve killed music with my song parodies, including a great collaboration with Mike Range in which “American Pie” takes on a whole new meaning.

But if you enjoyed my humorous approach to dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, here’s an easy way to find (and praise) every song.

I have compiled all of my songs here in one easy listening catalog. Trust me, it would not be such easy listening if I tried to sing these songs.

For your…


Injuries, brain freezes and horrible coaching have ruined the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Source

With the NBA’s rush to cram in the season before the Olympics, injuries and Covid protocols have decimated every team.

Even the team that wins the title will know it was one injury or an oversized sneaker away from being eliminated long before the Finals.

Brooklyn was the best team in the East and it’s not even close. Their three superstars were so good, they only shared the floor for eight games this season and still came within one game of the #1 seed in the East. …


A round two recap and my Conference Finals predictions

Author composite of Kawhi Leonard (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images), and Chris Paul (Getty Images),

On June 5, I published my second round playoff predictions with this disclaimer:

this is not gambling advice. When I said you can take them to the bank, I meant you should put them in a safe deposit box and never look at them again until I call out the one prediction I got right.

I was wrong about one thing with this disclaimer because I didn’t get one prediction right…

I got them ALL right.

  1. With Booker taking his game to a new level against the Lakers and the injury to Murray, the Suns should bury Denver.” …

Ev, your programmers could make this a place for writers who blog, not bloggers who write

Photo by Fernando Brasil on Unsplash

I’ve seen articles that sing Medium’s virtues and ask for features to improve the user experience. Sometimes, their suggestions become codified into, well, code.

My idea is so simple, it shouldn’t cost more than I earn in a month writing here. In other words, dirt cheap.

  • Each time someone highlights a line in one of your stories
  • Each time someone follows you
  • Each time someone you follow highlights a passage you highlighted
  • Each time someone claps for your story or response
  • Each time your story reaches a set number of fans (10, 50, even 100, but someone would have to…


A short off-season, compressed schedule and Covid protocols have decimated every team

Author composite of Kawhi Leonard (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images), Chris Paul (Getty Images), and Kyrie Irving (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Thursday morning’s news might give us the worst Finals matchup since the 8th seeded New York Knicks hip-checked their way into the 1999 NBA Finals.

  • Kawhi Leonard is out for Game 5 and may miss the rest of the playoffs.
  • Chris Paul is in Covid protocol and out indefinitely.

If you count all the other injury issues in Round 2 of the playoffs, every team has suffered key injuries.

  • Kyrie Irving and James Harden suffered injuries during the Bucks series.
  • Joel Embiid hurt his knee and didn’t score in the second half as Philadephia blew an 18-point lead.
  • Mike Conley…


The industry replaced classic, unforgettable ads with JackAss gifs and juvenile memes

Photo by Oluwakorede Enoch Adeyanju on Unsplash

Look at the subtlety and humor from this 2000 Super Bowl commercial below. Look at the attention to detail. Look at the production values.

The spot cost $2,000,000 to produce, about twice as much as most 60-second spots for the big game.

Back then, advertising agencies acted as media buyers for their clients and got 15% to create a marketing plan, negotiate with TV networks, track the ads to make sure they aired in full and on time, and then analyze results. There was so much money floating around, agencies could pay a large staff to develop great work.


AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE REVERSE RANT

A heartfelt notification to friends and family everywhere

Author illustration using Bully Bloggers photo

For fans of the 500-WORD RANT, don’t worry.

I didn’t get run over by a dog sled, contract a rare disease, or find religion.

I only wanted to say thank you to a woman who has done something for me that my wife would never do. No, not that kind of favor. I don’t write sex confessionals (sounds of crowd stampeding for the exits, then dead silence).

It’s like when your favorite sports team wins a championship, and you bask in this glow of irrational happiness.

Have you ever gone a day or two without receiving a single notification about…


A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WRITING ON MEDIUM, PART 5

A history of changes to the almighty algorithm

Author illustration using photos by Katrin Hauf and NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Note: Since 2015, I’ve published over 500 stories here on many topics. Almost nothing makes as much money as articles that claim to teach writers how to beat this highly addictive game.

Here’s a brief history of how the algorithm has changed and how it affects earnings.

As a newbie in November 2015, everything thrilled me. Prestigious publications like Coffeelicious accepted my stories. It was a big deal when the editors chose to feature one of my articles in Medium’s then-Mt. Rushmore, the above-the-fold section of the homepage.

I even appreciated some of the self-help articles.

Many of my stories…


Apple fires another salvo over Google’s bow

Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash

Apple is taking a huge step forward in the race to dominate the smart home industry.

HomeKit accessory makers will now be able to integrate Siri voice control into products later this year.

I don’t know if Apple is too late to the game, as they were in the PC wars, but this could be big.

Your iPhone can already control navigation, music, calls and text messages in 22 non-luxury vehicles with Apple CarPlay.

If you have an iWatch, you can monitor and receive vital feedback on your health and lifestyle every minute of the day.

Now, if you have…

Lon Shapiro

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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