TIME Hillary Clinton

Emails Offer Glimpse Into Hillary Clinton’s Private Side

Buried in more than 3,000 messages are hints at what Clinton is like with closest friends.

When she was in Washington, Hillary Clinton often rushed to the White House to meet with visiting dignitaries, to hash out policies toward the world’s trouble spots and to shore up a once-rocky partnership with President Obama. On the road, she kept a breakneck pace of international travel. At home or abroad, she endured marathon calls and meetings with world leaders, often scheduled in 15 minute blocks. She started her schedule before dawn most days and, when she got to her home or her hotel in the evenings, yet another briefing book was waiting for her there to study.

Yet between it all, she kept her dry sense of humor, her generous approach with her trusted staff and loyalty to those who had known her for decades. Her boosters for years have insisted the hard-nosed and calculating caricature of Clinton that has emerged in the public eye is not recognizable to those closest to her. She is, they have insisted for years, one of the best bosses they’d ever had.

Aides told Clinton who was having birthdays, which State Department employees were grieving and which ambassadors and envoys were becoming troublesome, according to a trove of her emails released Tuesday. Amid the whirlwind, she was trying to do her best to carve out time for herself and her friends. In one email, Clinton told her aides that there was a 7 p.m. concert at a Washington area school. It was the day before she was slated to head to Brussels for NATO meetings. “Can I get there?” Clinton asked her team.

This intimate portrait of Clinton has emerged as part of State Department’s release of 3,000-odd emails on Tuesday, a slow-drip release of Clinton’s correspondence from her time as Secretary of State. As the country’s top diplomat, Clinton conducted business as on email stored on a personal email server stored in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home — a decision critics have condemned as a breach of protocol.

Clinton said she co-mingled her work and personal emails as a matter of convenience and deleted the messages that she considered truly personal: funeral arrangements for her mother or dress fittings for daughter Chelsea’s wedding, for instance. The balance of the emails, she said, she turned over to the State Department for review and release. She has repeatedly said she wants the messages released as quickly as possible.

The State Department for months has been going through the emails, redacting parts officials thought fell under exemptions to public records laws, such as national security discussions or private matters that made their way into official correspondence. This was the first batch of emails that were ready for public review. Officials will release thousands more emails in small batches before January 2016.

Meanwhile, a congressional committee led by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy is scrutinizing Clinton’s correspondence that took place around the time of the September 2012 Benghazi attacks for evidence of an alleged cover-up. That committee plans to release its findings next year, just as the presidential campaign hits full stride.

The State Department email batch details, in hour-by-hour fashion, Clinton’s first months as the United States’ top diplomat, always on the go but also always wanting to do more and know more. At times she seemed genuinely impressed; she wanted to know about a carpet she found particularly lovely in China. At other times, she sounded downright bored. For instance, during an international summit in Trinidad and Tobago, she asked Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills for an update to things happening elsewhere. “Count your blessings since I am sitting thru, as of now, 2 hours of speeches. Not done yet and still have cultural performances to go.”

As she runs for the White House, the complex portrait of Clinton that emerges from the first round of email releases depict a management style that is efficient under pressure and reflective in the late hours of the day. Armchair psychology has its limits, of course, but the bursts of thinking, shared by smartphone between meetings and during sleepless nights circling the globe, offer hints about Clinton the person and those around her.

Clinton appeared well aware of her foibles. In the email asking about the carpet in China, her subject line was knowingly self-deprecating: “Don’t laugh!!”

Clinton’s campaign has cast their candidate as a combative mother-hen, a candidate both protective and pugnacious. In the recent batch of emails, the concerned grandmother-to-be makes an appearance in a note to John Podesta, now the chairman of her campaign. “I’m on endless calls about the UN. Could I call you early tomorrow? Would btw 6:30 and 8:00 be too early?” Clinton wrote to Podesta, who was then 60 years old. “Please wear socks to bed to keep your feet warm,” she added.

In another note, she tries to encourage her deputy chief of staff and policy adviser. As Clinton was preparing for a July 2009 trip to India and Thailand, she dashed a quick note to Jake Sullivan, now a leading contender to become her National Security Adviser if she wins the White House. “Jake—i told you yesterday, but it bears repeating—you’re doing a wonderful job. Not just on the speech, but all the work to establish and implement the priorities it represents. I’m very grateful—Hillary”

Irritation with technology was apparently unavoidable even for the world’s most important diplomat. While U.S. troops were fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Clinton was at home battling a fax machine: an exchange of emails with longtime aide Huma Abedin over half an hour show Clinton growing increasingly frustrated with a non-working fax line. In an earlier exchange, Clinton is apparently unable to set up a secure phone call. “I can’t get it to work. They go secure and then there are noises and voice interfering w any ability to talk. Can you help?” Clinton asks.

The mundane, day-to-day logistics also come through in the messages. During an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Singapore, she messaged Abedin about her schedule. “I do not think I’m supposed to be here. I don’t see another FM,” she said, abbreviating foreign minister. As Secretary of State, she essentially shared that rank with other nations’ top diplomats. “Can you check?” she asked Abedin. During another exchange, she messaged her aides; she was at the White House for a meeting and seemed to be the only one who showed up. “What’s up???” she demanded.

The schedules in the emails reflect a humble approach to the job, as someone who traveled to meet with people rather than summon them to her. She traveled to the Naval Observatory on one Tuesday in June 2009 for breakfast with Vice President Joe Biden. She shared lunch that day with Larry Summers, then the Director of the National Economic Council—and previously Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary—in the White House cafeteria alongside the 20-something aides who made copies and ran errands. For dinner, she shared noodles at Hunan on the Hill with Sen. Chuck Schumer, with whom she represented New York for eight years in the Senate.

Clinton’s career-long focus on girls’ education didn’t end when she became Secretary of State. In August 2009, Clinton inquired about a Yemeni girl, Nujood Ali, who at the age of 10 had asked for a divorce; two years later, a news report indicated Ali was bitterly unhappy and not going to school. “Is there any way we can help her?” Clinton asked the U.S. ambassador for global women’s issues in an uncharacteristically long email. “Could we get her to the US for counselling and education?” Next week, she followed up. “That’s good news,” Clinton wrote after finding out Nujood was indeed attending private school.

She also never lost her uncanny sense for the value of personal politics. When Sonia Sotomayor was named as Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, she got a message from her chief of staff with a simple subject line: “Sonia Sotomayer,” misspelling her name. Clinton then messaged her assistant. “Can you get #s for me so I can call and congratulate her?”

In another note, longtime friend Marty Torrey messaged Clinton to alert her about the arrival of a newborn. At the end of the note, the one-time chief of staff to former Rep. John Sweeney added a note of encouragement: “Still think we need you as Pres.” Clinton forwarded the note to her assistants: “Pls do a congrats letter.” She made no acknowledgment of another White House run.

During another note with Torrey, she jokingly suggested that former Rep. Harold Naughton should become a regular contributor to Fox News: “Those shows need at least one sane realistic voice.”

Her wariness of the press comes through in other passages. The day a New York Post article appeared about her vacation with Bill Clinton in Bermuda, she emailed Abedin about the image. “Did you see the photo in the NYPost of Bill and me from yesterday?” she wrote. “It was after lunch but I didn’t see anybody w a camera so obviously a long lens from afar.”

There are also flashes of a demanding boss.

When a brutal snowstorm blasted the Washington region and shut down the government, Mills sent Clinton a note letting her know the State Department would be having a snow day. Not seeming to understand this, Clinton replied, “What does this mean for our schedules?” Mills replied that no one would be in the building. “What about … everyone who asked to see me? I have to come anyway,” Clinton declared in a Sunday evening message back.

The notes also depict a wife to a man as busy as she was. In one June email exchange, Abedin sent a note to her boss letting her know Bill Clinton—William Jefferson Clinton, or WJC—was making a stop to pick up jet fuel, and his longtime aide Doug Band had his cellphone on: “If u r still up, wjc landed in brazil for refuel. He should be on the ground for an hour or so. Call dougs cell.”

During another fast-developing moment, Clinton learned that her husband had agreed to become a Special Envoy for the United Nations’ response to a devastating earthquake in Haiti. News leaked from the UN before Bill Clinton had time to phone his wife to let her know of his new role. “Wjc said he was going to call hrc but hasn’t had time,” Band wrote to Abedin and Mills. Mills forwarded the message to her assistant. “You need to walk this to HRC if she is not gone,” Mills told the aide.

Between international diplomacy and running a sprawling department, she often turned to routine tasks and comforts. As Clinton was preparing for a two-week trip to Africa, aides were trying to find some time for her to look at new furniture for her house in Washington. “Are you around this week?” designer Rosemarie Howe asked Clinton in an email directly to the Secretary of State. “If you have any time we could look at coffee tables for the den.”

During another email exchange, she asked her assistant about the New York-grown apples that were always around her Senate office during the fall months. When she moved to Foggy Bottom’s State Department headquarters, she worried she might no longer be getting New York apples now that she didn’t represent the apple growers in the Senate. “Will we receive them this Fall? How can I buy some for personal use?”

Read next: Bernie Sanders Catching Up to Hillary Clinton in Iowa

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TIME technology

EU Proposes Sweeping Ban of Cellphone Roaming Charges

The new rules also include net neutrality regulations for cellphone service providers

European Union proposed new rules on Tuesday banning cellphone roaming charges in all 28 member countries, as part of a raft of legal reforms to improve communication and e-commerce opportunities across the continent.

The agreed upon rules, which are expected to be voted upon and approved by EU member states in the next six months, will eradicate all cellphone roaming charges by June 2017, the New York Times reports. A gradual cost reduction will take place over the next two years.

Lawmakers also proposed net neutrality regulations that will prevent Internet service providers from providing different data speeds for different tiers of service.

“This is a great success for the European Union,” Anrijs Matiss, the Latvian Minister for Transport, said in a statement, but the new rules they have garnered pushback from service providers, including the British Vodafone and German Deutsche Telekom. Both companies have warned that the ban on roaming charges would dampen their incentive to invest in mobile and broadband infrastructure.

[New York Times]

TIME technology

Uber Offers Free Rides to Its New York Protest

US-ECONOMY-TRANSPORT-UBER
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS—AFP/Getty Images An UBER application is shown as cars drive by in Washington, DC on March 25, 2015.

uberPOOL will pick up participants on Tuesday

Uber is using an unusual resource to protest a New York City proposal: its own cars.

Protesters attending an Uber rally outside New York’s City Hall on Tuesday can get free rides to and from the event through the company’s carpooling service.

The company is organizing a protest against legislation backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio that would limit how much large car services in the city could grow each year in order to limit congestion on city streets.

Uber says the bill “would stop thousands of new drivers from joining the Uber platform … destroy 10,000 job opportunities for New Yorkers in just one year, and result in longer wait times, higher prices and less reliable service for riders.”

Uber says anyone who takes a cab to or from City Hall on Tuesday between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. will get a free ride through uberPOOL—though theoretically that means some City Hall employees could get swept up in the mix alongside protesters.

TIME technology

Federal Agency Announces Temporary Shutdown of Hacked Database

Katherine Archuleta
Susan Walsh — AP Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The federal personnel agency whose records were plundered by hackers linked to China says it has temporarily shut down a massive database used to update and store background investigation records.

Hackers linked to China are believed to have stolen records for as many as 18 million current and former employees

(WASHINGTON) — The federal personnel agency whose records were plundered by hackers linked to China announced on Monday the temporary shutdown of a massive database used to update and store background investigation records after newly discovering a flaw that left the system vulnerable to additional breaches.

There is no evidence the vulnerability has been exploited by hackers, agency spokesman Samuel Schumach said in a statement, adding that the Office of Personnel Management took the step protectively. He said the system could be shut down for four to six weeks.

Hackers suspected of working for the Chinese government are believed to have stolen records for as many as 18 million current and former federal employees and contractors last year. Detailed background investigations for security clearances of military and intelligence agency employees were among the documents taken.

The shutdown announced Monday is expected to hamper agencies’ ability to initiate investigations for new employees and contractors, as well as renewal investigations for security clearances, Schumach said.

But, he added, the federal government will still be able to hire, and in some cases grant clearances on an interim basis.

The database is known as e-QIP, short for Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing.

MONEY Opinion

Innovation Isn’t Dead

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Dave Reede—Getty Images A farmer looks out over his field of canola being grown for biofuel while the encroachment of his farmland by housing development is in the background, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Most important innovations are only obvious in hindsight.

Wilbur and Orville Wright’s airplane flew for the first time in December 1903. It was one of the most important innovations of human history, changing the world in every imaginable way.

To celebrate their accomplishment, the press offered a yawn and a shoulder shrug.

Only a few newspapers reported the Wright’s first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. All of them butchered the facts. Later flights in Dayton, Ohio, the brothers’ home, still drew little attention.

David McCullough explains in his book The Wright Brothers:

“Have you heard what they’re up to out there?” people in town would say. “Oh, yes,” would be the usual answer, and the conversation would move on. Few took any interest in the matter or in the two brothers who were to become Dayton’s greatest heroes ever.

An exception was Luther Beard, managing editor of the Dayton Journal … “I used to chat with them in a friendly way and was always polite to them,” Beard would recall, “because I sort of felt sorry for them. They seemed like well-meaning, decent enough young men. Yet there they were, neglecting their business to waste their time day after day on that ridiculous flying machine.”

It wasn’t until 1908 — five years after the first flight and two years after the brothers patented their flying machine — that the press paid serious attention and the world realized how amazing the Wrights’ invention was. Not until World War II, three decades later, did the significance of the airplane become appreciated.

It’s a good lesson to remember today, because there’s a growing gripe about our economy. Take these headlines:

  • “Innovation in America is somewhere between dire straits and dead.”
  • “Innovation Is Dead.”
  • “We were promised flying cars. Instead we got 140 characters.”

The story goes like this: American innovation has declined, and what innovation we have left isn’t meaningful.

Cancer? Not cured. Biofuel? An expensive niche. Smartphones? Just small computers. Tablets? Just big smartphones.

I think the pessimists are wrong. It might take 20 years, but we’ll look back in awe of how innovative we are today.

Just like with the Wright brothers, most important innovations are only obvious in hindsight. There is a long history of world-changing technologies being written off as irrelevant toys even years after they were developed.

Take the car. It was one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. Yet it was initially disregarded as something rich people bought just to show how deep their pockets were. Frederick Lewis Allen wrote in his book The Big Change:

The automobile had been a high-hung, noisy vehicle which couldn’t quite make up its mind that it was not an obstreperous variety of carriage.

In the year 1906 Woodrow Wilson, who was then president of Princeton University, said, “Nothing has spread socialistic feeling in this country more than the automobile,” and added that it offered “a picture of the arrogance of wealth.”

Or consider medicine. Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic effects of the mold penicillium in 1928. It was one of the most important discoveries of all time. But a decade later, penicillin was still a laboratory toy. John Mailer and Barbara Mason of Northern Illinois University wrote:

Ten years after Fleming’s discovery, penicillin’s chemical structure was still unknown, and the substance was not available in sufficient amounts for medical research. In fact, few scientists thought it had much of a future.

It wasn’t until World War II, almost 20 years later, that penicillin was used in mass scale.

Or take this amazing 1985 New York Times article dismissing the laptop computer:

People don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so …

Yes, there are a lot of people who would like to be able to work on a computer at home. But would they really want to carry one back from the office with them? It would be much simpler to take home a few floppy disks tucked into an attache case.

Or the laser. Matt Ridley wrote in the book The Rational Optimist:

When Charles Townes invented the laser in the 1950s, it was dismissed as ‘an invention looking for a job’. Well, it has now found an astonishing range of jobs nobody could have imagined, from sending telephone messages down fiberglass wires to reading music off discs to printing documents, to curing short sight.

Here’s Newsweek dismissing the Internet as a fad in 1995:

The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on a computer. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach.

Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet.

Uh, sure.

You can go on and on. Rare is the innovation that is instantly recognized for its potential. Some of the most meaningful inventions took decades for people to notice.

The typical path of how people respond to life-changing inventions is something like this:

  1. I’ve never heard of it.
  2. I’ve heard of it but don’t understand it.
  3. I understand it, but I don’t see how it’s useful.
  4. I see how it could be fun for rich people, but not me.
  5. I use it, but it’s just a toy.
  6. It’s becoming more useful for me.
  7. I use it all the time.
  8. I could not imagine life without it.
  9. Seriously, people lived without it?

This process can take years, or decades. It always looks like we haven’t innovated in 10 or 20 years because it takes 10 or 20 years to notice an innovation.

Part of the problem is that we never look for innovation in the right spot.

Big corporations get the most media attention, but innovation doesn’t come from big corporations. It comes from the 19-year-old MIT kid tinkering in his parents’ basement. If you look at big companies and ask, “What have you done for the world lately?” you’re looking in the wrong spot. Of course they haven’t done anything for the world lately. Their sole mission is to repurchase stock and keep management consultants employed.

Someone, somewhere, right now is inventing or discovering something that will utterly change the future. But you’re probably not going to know about it for years. That’s always how it works. Just like Wilbur and Orville.

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TIME technology

12 Questions To Ask Before You Hit ‘Send’ on Social Media

"How many times have I already posted something today?"

Before you hit the Publish button or send an update to the queue, what do you do?

Quite often, I find myself publishing instinctively and sometimes failing to consider all the necessary questions and guidelines for what makes a wildly successful, viral—and valuable!—social media update.

To do right by your audience, to deliver the utmost value and receive the maximum engagement, there are a handful of qualifications that every social media post should meet. From our experience and our research, 12 items stand out, making for a super slick checklist. We’d love to share with you how this looks.

The 12-Step Social Media Checklist

  1. Is the message educational or entertaining?
  2. Is the voice correct?
  3. Is it too long?
  4. Is the URL correct?
  5. Should I target a specific audience with this message?
  6. Did I use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure?
  7. How many times have I already posted something today?
  8. Did I spell check?
  9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?
  10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?
  11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides?
  12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes?

12 questions to ask before hitting send

The foundations for this checklist come from a lot of the learnings we’ve had with sharing and scheduling to the Buffer social media channels. Also, we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from some great resources on the topic of social media post checklists.

Forbes contributor Ilya Pozin passed along some great advice from marketer Lisa Goeckler, who suggested 12 questions to ask before posting on social media.

Similarly, marketing strategist Gerry Moran of the Marketing Think blog, shared 9 ways to think of social media sharing through the lens of content marketing—specifically how it relates to adding value for your audience with each social media post.

I loved this quote from Gerry:

No matter the marketing goal or how well-built the “rails” of the system are, it is content that is king and is the fuel that will make the “train” run and a strategy succeed. I have found that a social media filter is a useful before-you-press-that-send-button tool to make sure that you are delivering the best messages possible for your readers, customers and prospects!

So without further adieu, here are the questions that we settled on for thesocial media checklist for sending your next post.

1. Is the message educational or entertaining?

We’ve found that the most valuable content on social media—the content that gets the most interactions, engagement, and virality—has one of these two components. It’s either educational or it’s entertaining.

We tend toward the educational with our Buffer social media posts (and our content strategy in general).

Jay Baer shared some thoughts on content marketing and social media, two overlapping areas that share a lot of similarities for businesses. As you create content to share on social, you’re dipping into a form of content marketing also.

Content marketing is a device used by companies to educate, inform or entertain customers or prospects by creating attention or causing behavior that results in leads, sales or advocacy. Social media is used by customers and prospects to communicate among themselves, and occasionally with companies.

A few other questions that can be helpful at this stage to determine the educational/entertaining element of your social media post:

  • Is your content interesting enough that users pass it on and post about it?
  • Will anyone really care about this content besides me?
  • If you were to see this post in your social media timeline, would you pause to read or reshare?
  • Does your post add value for the reader?

2. Is the voice correct?

We’re big fans of finding a consistent voice and tone for your social media content. In our case, each social media message we put out seeks to achieve the following:

  • Positive
  • Helpful
  • Actionable

Another way that voice can make a difference is with the pronouns and words you use in the post. Are you using language that others can easily reshare?

For example, a message like: “How I Write 4x Faster Thanks to This One Small Tip” could be a great headline coming from you. When others share it, does the pronoun cause more confusion than it’s worth?

3. Is it too long?

There’s been lots of great research into the ideal length of online content. In general, these guidelines are:

  • Twitter – 71 to 100 characters
  • Facebook – 40 characters (we’ve observed the other end of the spectrum—quite long posts—doing well also)
  • Google+ headlines – 60 characters

The reason these recommendations are in place is because length matters greatly for posts that get viewed and reshared.

For example, tweets of 100 characters or fewer allow those who retweet to add their own commentary to your original message and stay within the 140-character limit themselves. And shorter posts on networks like Facebook and Google+ make it a bit easier on the reader to spend a quick second looking things over.

4. Is the URL correct?

There’re a couple parts to this one:

  1. Is the link accurate? Does it click through to where you intended?
  2. Is the link appropriate for the message and value proposition of your social media post?

It’s not all that helpful to have a catchy, clickable headline with a link that goes to the wrong place. And it also doesn’t feel great for your audience if the link doesn’t follow through on the promise of the tweet or post—or worse, if the link goes to a deceptive, salesy landing page!

When in doubt, click on the link in your social media post and see where it goes before hitting publish.

5. Should I target a specific audience with this message?

e.g., Who is my message for?

In most cases, your message will be intended for all your followers.

In some cases, the message might be better suited for a smaller group or an individual.

Facebook allows for audience customization with the messages you post from your personal profile. You can send to certain segments—friends, lists, or connections from a certain city, school, etc.—or you can send private direct messages as well.

On Twitter, you can point your messages to a particular person (or persons) by starting the tweet with an @-mention.

Also, Twitter direct messages can be sent privately to individuals who follow you (and whom you follow back) or sent privately to groups.

Good to know: For group messaging, those who are invited to the conversation can invite their followers also.

6. Did you use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure?

In many ways, what this recommendation boils down to is this: Am I speaking the language that my audience understands?

  • Is this post too vague? Will everyone understand what I’m saying?
  • Am I using too many abbreviations in this post and starting to sound like a teenager?

You’re likely doing a great job of this already, if you have a sense for your niche and target audience. Focusing on the terminology that your audience uses will help your messages have maximum meaning and be easily found.

Adding hashtags to your messages can also help in terms of surfacing your content for those who follow you and for those who don’t. Users can search social networks for hashtags and click on hashtags to see other updates that use the same terms.

If you’re new to hashtags, we’ve enjoyed learning from one of our favorite browser extensions, RiteTag, which adds hashtag insight to the messages you’re composing.

7. How many times have I already posted something today?

Social media frequency is another area with a ton of great research attached. From what we’ve been able to find, these are some guidelines to consider when thinking about the volume of your social media posts:

  • Twitter – 3-5 times per day
  • Facebook – 2 times per day
  • LinkedIn – 1 time per day
  • Google+ – 3 times per day
  • Pinterest – 5 times per day
  • Instagram – 1 to 2 times per day

Of course, you’ll know best what is the right frequency for you and your brand. Feel free to use the above guidelines as a starting point for tests of your own.

8. Did I spell check?

It happens to all of us.

There’re some handy browser extensions and plugins to assist with spell check if it’s something that bites you often. (I might recommend starting with the Grammarly extension.)

9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?

Especially for those who post from a personal brand or profile, understanding the ramifications of this question can be huge. Not only do friends and family see your updates, so too might future employers, colleagues, teammates, and really anyone. Even one’s sharing history can be searched and found quite easily and screen captures taken of content that slipped out too soon.

10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?

Sometimes, it’s good to pause and reflect on the emotion behind a post. Is the post a knee-jerk reaction to something? If it’s real-time, did I take a moment to pause and re-read before hitting publish?

Here are some more questions to consider for this one.

  • Will I offend anyone with this content? If so, who? Does it matter?
  • Is this appropriate for a social portal, or would it best be communicated another way?
  • Am I using this as an emotional dumping ground? If so, why? Is a different outlet better for these purposes?
  • Is this really something I want to share, or is it just me venting?

11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides?

Images are the No. 1 most important factor in optimal social media content. This according to an ongoing research survey conducted by Software Advice and Adobe.

If there’s a way to work in visuals—be they images, video, slides, or otherwise—then it’s likely to be best for the success of your message.

And if you’re short on ideas, we shared a big list of ways to create Twitter visuals, including screengrabs, Canva templates, rich media, and more.

12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes?

Sometimes I find myself writing a post off the top of my head and neglecting to consider the proven benefits of the formulas and post types that have done well for us in the past.

We shared some fun and interesting types of Facebook posts as well as a host of headline formulas that can work great for social media (copywriting formulas, too!).

Another way to look at this one: Can anything be removed to make the message stronger?

If afforded the time, editing and revision can be a great asset to a social media post. Aim for simplicity. Remove a word here and there, if possible. It’ll make the meat of your message stand out even more.

Conclusion

Working from a social media checklist can be a helpful way to ensure the utmost quality for each post that goes out. And the more you share, the more intuitive this all becomes (until you might not even need the checklist any more!).

When posting, consider some of the following, or print out the checklist to keep by your side during social media marketing time.

  • Is the message valuable for my audience?
  • Is everything correct—voice, URL, spelling, length?
  • How many times have I posted already today?
  • Did I make the most of visuals and post styles?
  • How reactionary is this message? Would I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing it?

This article originally appeared on Buffer

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY Tech

You’ll Need a Prescription to Get Google’s Cool New Wearable

It will take your pulse and track the environment — but you can't have one.

Google’s new wearable is something most people won’t get the chance to wear. Google X, the part of the company that innovates new technology, says the wearable will be used primarily as a health research tool. This device is to become “a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials,” says Google’s Andy Conrad.

TIME Autos

Check Out the World’s First 3-D Printed Supercar

Divergent Microfactories

It has a chassis about 90% lighter than the average car

The “Blade” is light, sleek and — at an acceleration of 0-60 m.p.h. in 2.2 seconds — incredibly fast, just like you’d want any supercar to be. But a few things set this wondrous machine apart from others of its kind, foremost among them its method of manufacture.

The car, made by San Francisco–based startup Divergent Microfactories, has a chassis created entirely using a 3-D printer, Engadget reports. The 3-D printing reduces the overall weight of the car by 90%, the manufacturer claims, coupled with the use of carbon fiber for most of the car’s body rather than steel or aluminum. As a result, the whole vehicle weighs just under 1,400 lb.

“How we make things is much more important than how we fuel them and whether they have a tailpipe or not,” Kevin Czinger, CEO of Divergent, said in an interview with Forbes.

Czinger has also put some thought into how the car is fueled, however, with Blade carrying a 700HP engine that can run on compressed natural gas — thereby also making it one of the most environment-friendly automobiles around.

The company will produce a certain number of cars initially, but eventually plans to sell its technology to smaller manufacturers to make their own vehicles.

“We have got to rethink how we manufacture, because — when we go from 2 billion cars today to 6 billion cars in a couple of decades — if we don’t do that, we’re going to destroy the planet,” Czinger adds.

MONEY Shopping

Why I’m Returning My Apple Watch

Apple Watch Available Within Apple Stores
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A new Apple Watch is displayed at the Apple Store on June 17, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple began selling the Apple Watch in its stores Wednesday with their reserve and pick up service.

I’m not saying the Apple Watch is overall a bad product. It’s just not for me. Not yet.

I waited two months after launch, but I did end up buying an Apple APPLE INC. AAPL -0.16% Watch. I picked a 42 mm Apple Watch Sport, which retails for $399. That’s on the low end of the spectrum as far as Apple Watch’s pricing goes, and there was no way I was going to part with $17,000 for an Apple Watch Edition, which is quite literally exactly what I paid for my car.

Yet merely days after receiving the device, I’ve already decided to return the Mac maker’s first wearable product. I’m generally an early adopter of most things Apple, and most of my reasoning for returning the device is personal. I’m not saying the Apple Watch is overall a bad product. It’s just not for me. Not yet.

Here’s why.

Apple Watch as a notification device
It appeared that most of my interactions with the Apple Watch revolved around the notifications it would send me. Texts would come in. It tells me to stand up. There’s a thunderstorm brewing tonight. While it’s undeniably an added convenience to get notifications on my wrist, the value of that convenience doesn’t quite justify the price tag when it was becoming one of the primary uses of the device. I needed the Apple Watch to be something more.

Apple Watch as a communications device
Apple has spent a fair amount of type trying to hype up its new Digital Touch communication service, with which you can send drawings, taps, and heartbeats to friends and family. In practice, I found the feature completely useless. Beyond the fading novelty of sending random doodles (I’m a terrible artist) and taps, I couldn’t see myself using Digital Touch in real-world applications. On top of that, my wife didn’t get an Apple Watch, so I also had no one to send my heartbeat to, because to send it to anyone else would certainly flirt with infidelity.

“You sent your heartbeat to her?” Image source: Apple.

But I also quickly realized that I was utterly uninterested in checking my email on such a tiny display. Not only are the vast majority of emails not formatted in a way that Apple Watch can display them (many emails nowadays are formatted in HTML, which the Apple Watch doesn’t support), but the Watch is also not a realistic way to respond to an email if need be. Besides, my iPhone is in my pocket, so I might as well just check my email from there.

The same goes for iMessages. Sure, Apple’s bizarre animated emojis are unique to Apple Watch, but the experience is more catered to reading messages instead of replying. Voice dictation for inputting text seems less accurate than on the iPhone.

Apple Watch as a fitness device
Perhaps the one area where I had the highest hopes for Apple Watch was fitness. I’m the first to admit that I could use a little bit more exercise, but Apple Watch didn’t really motivate me to get up and out in the way I had hoped. Besides, there are plenty of other devices that offer comprehensive health and fitness tracking for a whole lot less, albeit with the potential trade-off of having to wear two things on my wrist. The Fitbit Flex costs just $80 right now on Amazon.com’s Prime.

If I’m going attempt to break free from my sedentary lifestyle (only to probably fail), I’d rather pay less.

Apple Watch as a payment device
Using the Watch as a payment device was probably one of the most impressive experiences I had with it. To use Apple Pay, you simply double-press the button on the side, and Apple Watch is ready to pay at retail locations where Apple Pay and contactless payments are supported. It easily made for the most convenient payment I’ve ever made — double-pressing the button and then tapping the Watch on the register.

It’s not necessarily a huge improvement over paying with an iPhone, which is already extremely seamless, but it was undeniably smooth. In fact, the biggest overall problem was that Apple Pay isn’t accepted at all of the places where I shop, but the company continues to aggressively grow its footprint.

Apple Watch as a first-generation device
All of this will get better in time. I’m not ready to spend $400 to adopt a product with some early (although not entirely unexpected) shortcomings, only to get locked into the inevitable and ongoing upgrade cycle that’s associated with all tech gadgets. I’m already on enough upgrade tracks for the time being. Instead, I’d rather wait for the second-generation model, and 9to5Mac has already given us an idea of what to expect.

By then, watchOS 2 will have been released, adding important functionalities such as native third-party apps and third-party complications. Third-party developers will also have greater access to the Watch’s hardware and sensors. In essence, watchOS 2 will focus on enabling innovation from third-party developers, which is critical for the platform to thrive.

It’s not clear yet whether Apple will redesign the second-generation model altogether (beyond the expected addition of a FaceTime camera that 9to5Mac refers to), but we do know that Apple’s quest for the thinnest and lightest products it’s ever made will never end. Both the iPhone and iPad were completely redesigned after their respective first generations, so it’s entirely possible that Apple Watch will follow the same pattern. At the same time, Apple has set a precedent that when it enters a new product category at a particular price point, it generally stays in that range with subsequent iterations. The Apple Watch’s $350 entry-level price is unlikely to budge.

Even though I’m returning this one, I’m confident that I’ll buy the next one — and keep it.

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple.
MONEY Workplace

The Best Places for Millennials to Work

For FORTUNE's 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015, go to California. Or Texas.

As you might imagine, with tech winning for millennial workers, California is the place to be. FORTUNE has released its list of 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015, and 20 of the top 100 are in technology, like Google, Twitter and Yelp. Some are smaller companies though, like #3 AlliedWallet.com, based in Los Angeles. Nineteen of the top 100 are in California, 17 are in Texas, while only 7 are in New York. Financial services and insurance is the second-best industry for millennials with companies like Edward Jones and Pinnacle Financial Partners.

Read next: The Best Youngest Places to Live

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