Don’t touch that chopper

The Rolling Stones are playing a notoriously rowdy rock festival.

To protect themselves, the band has hired the Hells Angels – who’ve surrounded the stage with a ring of Harley-Davidsons. Behind each machine stands a furious Angel – glaring into the crowd, willing them to misbehave.

It doesn’t take long.

During the second song, one of the fans accidentally bumps one of the Harleys, not realising it’s verboten to touch a Hells Angel’s Chopper.

All hell breaks loose.

In our industry laying your finger on someone else’s precious copy usually provokes a similar reaction. People hate having their words messed with.

I’m the same. But in Silicon Valley, collaborating on work has become part of the culture. For example, at Facebook engineers can change anybody else’s code without asking. And with Microsoft integrating Yammer into Office 365, collaborating on writing will become the norm for us too.

What you’re reading now is an example of this. It was written in collaboration with Jess, Matt and Victoria who came on Gatehouse’s Rockstar Copy School.

I’m starting to see that when it comes to writing, as long as you hold on to the keys, it doesn’t hurt to let others help polish your pride and joy.

If you want to come on the next Rockstar Copy School, here’s the link.

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