All posts for “Explanation”


Explanatory Accident Slings

Posted by: leelefever on May 3, 2009- 5:00pm

Categories: Explanation, healthcare, humor


These slings by Bem Legaus are sure to start a conversation:         Via BoingBoing

Common Craft Kindle Books: Better on the iPhone

Posted by: leelefever on March 8, 2009- 5:00pm

Categories: amazon, ebook, Explanation, iphone, kindle


As you may have seen, Amazon recently published the Kindle for iPhone App that allows iPhone users to purchase and read Kindle books on the phone.  Of course, one of the first things we did was to see how our Kindle Books look.  We were excited to see that our Kindle Books are in color look better on the iPhone than on the Kindle, thanks to the nice iPhone screen. Compared to: Another shot of the color:

Eleven Common Craft Kindle Books for Your New Kindle

Posted by: leelefever on February 22, 2009- 4:00pm

Categories: business, ebook, Explanation, kindle


Sometimes we think about our videos not as videos, but little lessons. Whether you watch them in a video, or read the script with visuals, the messaging should be just as effective.  This is where we got the idea for our Common Craft Kindle books.  If someone has a Kindle wireless reading device and wants to learn about Twitter or the basics of Investing money, they should be able to spend a couple of bucks and get up to speed in a few minutes.  More about our Kindle Books here. As of... Continue Reading Your Visual Resource for All Things WordPress

Posted by: leelefever on January 16, 2009- 4:00pm

Categories: blogging, Explanation, video, wordpress


Michael Pick of Automattic was one of our Explainers to Watch in 2009 and he's already delivered. is a new platform for learning about Wordpress via videos and screencasts.  The intro on the site does a good job of making the case: This is exciting to see and something I think other companies will be doing in the future. If we consumers are lucky, companies will stop depending on crappy instruction manuals and make videos instead. The biggest barrier? People to make... Continue Reading

Study: Americans Overwhelmingly Demand Simple Communications

Posted by: leelefever on January 13, 2009- 4:00pm

Categories: business, Explanation, news, plainenglish, politics


Siegel+Gale recently completed a year long study of 1,214 American homeowners and investors that shows huge demand for simple, plain English communications.  A few interesting quotes: Fully 84% of all consumers say they are more likely to trust a company that uses jargon-free, plain English in communications. And 79% say they think it is “very important??? that President Obama “mandate that clarity, transparency, and plain English be a requirement of every new law, regulation and policy... Continue Reading

What to Expect From Common Craft in 2009

Posted by: leelefever on January 3, 2009- 4:00pm

Categories: business, education, Explanation, future, thissite


In a word: Education. Our goal in 2009 is to make explanatory videos that have a positive impact.  To get there, we plan to focus of video subjects that are educational in nature and help address some of the big problems we face. We plan to introduce new series of videos that diverge from our Web roots and cover subjects that we believe need to be covered.  You'll see the first of these starting very soon and continuing into February.  We're starting with the basics - big ideas that will be... Continue Reading

Introducing: Common Craft Kindle Books

Posted by: leelefever on December 15, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: amazon, ebook, Explanation, kindle


We're big fans of Amazon's Kindle.  It makes reading easier and we're convinced it could become an iPod-like device in the future in terms of ubiquity.  We've been working to make our videos into Kindle books so people have another way to learn, in Plain English.  I previously wrote about the Kindle here and here.  The basic idea with the Kindle is that you can purchase and download books, magazines, newspapers and articles and have them delivered wirelessly to the Kindle. We see an... Continue Reading

Good Explanations Are Not About You

Posted by: leelefever on December 13, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: explainist, Explanation, lesson


Explainist (yay! they're back) has a new post about Explanatory Filenames and how to think about the person on the other end. Quote: But think about the guy on the other end who receives proposals from 10 different candidates on the deadline day, all with the same filename. The first thing he has to do is rename each of them. If you’re thinking about your audience, you’d save the proposal with your company’s name in the filename — e.g. TomCo-Annihilatrix_Proposal.pdf. I think the key point... Continue Reading - Where Did You Go?

Posted by: leelefever on December 10, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: blogs, Explanation


By the time I discovered the blog at, it had gone dark.  The authors "Tom" and "Dave" had covered Common Craft , Scott McCloud's work at Google and a host of other explanation-related topics since January of 2007. Now the blog has sat unused since September 4th.  I'm writing because I hope will come back.  I've tried to find the owner of the site, but the WHOIS lookup only shows the host's name.  I even thought Tom and Dave might be the Tom Crawford and Dave... Continue Reading

What A New Dentist Taught Me About Explanation

Posted by: leelefever on December 6, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: Explanation, lesson, personal


Over my life as a dental patient, dentists have told me to pay close attention to brushing the back of my bottom front teeth. Unfortunately, this piece of professional advice had a hard time getting into my daily routine.  That changed recently - I'm now much more likely to brush these teeth - and it's because a new dentist took an extra 30 seconds to explain something important - why. There I sat, with a small liquid vacuum cleaner hanging off my jaw, waiting for the dentist to check in on the... Continue Reading