Recent Reads Wants to Tweet Like Wendy’s

It turns out that Wendy’s Twitter feed is downright hilarious. When Wendy’s took a swing at Hardee’s about offering a similar promotion, their rival responded that being first didn’t make it best. Wendy’s response: “Tell us the fourth person to walk on the moon without googling it.”

We have more thoughts on Wendy’s Twitter acumen in this edition of Recent Reads, along with articles about “truth decay,” whether music improves your focus and warehouse workers competing with robots. Also, a multimedia piece about homes people used to order from Sears (you read that right) and a podcast recommendation about self-improvement.

With that, here’s Recent Reads.

You Want Snark With Those Fries? No One Is Safe From Wendy’s Tweets – I don’t fall within the Millennial demo Wendy’s is looking to target – and fast food isn’t a staple of my diet. But after reading this WSJ piece on Wendy’s snarky Twitter feed, I am craving their infamous chocolate frosty with a side of fries. Instead of coming out with the latest 10-pound burger or fancy chicken sandwich, Wendy’s has found an even better way to stand out in the burger wars: contentious tweets. I think what they’re doing is hilarious and am particularly amused that many of their competitors can’t take the heat and have taken measures to block them. Wendy’s social media team has successfully created a brand personality and extended the chain’s market reach, all while likely keeping many struggling comedians employed. Win, win. – Lisa Seidenberg

A Heart that Watches and Receives – In a commencement speech earlier this year, Hampton Sides spoke about “truth decay,” saying that “the real problem, I think, is not that there’s no such thing as truth anymore. Rather, it’s that there are multiplicities of truth, multiplexes of reality.” At Greentarget, we work hard to convey truth through facts, evidence and informed perspectives. Sides’ take on truth – the various forms and complexities he says it now has – is one that I hadn’t heard before, but one that we should all consider. One perspective, one truth for a single person is not inherently the same as it is for someone else. This phenomenon is shaping the news, it’s shaping journalism and it should be shaping our conversations. – Megan Duero

Does Listening to Music Improve Your Focus? – Walking through our office any given afternoon, you’ll likely see roughly half of our employees wearing headphones or, if you listen closely, hear music playing from their computers. In this article a neurology expert delves deep into music’s relationship to language, examining the “Mozart Effect” and deciphering if background music can help you focus on a task. The conclusion: “The effects of listening to music are highly individual and based on experience and pleasure.” – Sarah Rocca

Robots will take your job, if you work in warehousing – Fresh off the heels of Jeff Bezos being named the richest person in the world (albeit briefly), Crain’s Chicago Business has an interesting look at the future of Amazon’s warehouses, specifically regarding their robot team members. This isn’t surprising, of course. Industries ranging from transportation, shipping and logistics to insurance, technology and financial services are grappling with their business models and, effectively, their workforce in terms of costs, overhead, efficiency and more. While state and local governments are quick to dole out tax credits and other incentives with visions of job-creation grandeur, Crain’s notes that these jobs may not last. Jobs numbers notwithstanding, the lure of major companies to your city or state may be a positive sign of investment, perhaps spurring future development, if nothing else. Is this enough to roll out the red carpet? Like the businesses looking for a new location to take up shop, legislators across the country may want to take a good, hard look at the long-term ROI on these incentive packages. – Padraic Swanton

Would you buy a home from Sears? These people did and they love it – This one’s a video, not a read, but it’s about a weird bit of American history that’s fascinated me for years. Essentially, in the early 20th century, Sears, Roebuck and Co. used to sell “kit homes” that people would order and have delivered via the railroad. The buyers would then assemble the contents of the kits and make a house. Even more impressive is that some of these homes are still standing (and standing solidly, if this video is any indication) today. If you’ve lived in a town with a major rail line, you’ve probably even walked by some of these homes without knowing it. – Paul Wilson

GT Podcast Recommendation

The Art of Charm (AoC) – Sometimes I like to mindlessly listen to music on my commute, but other times I think I should be more productive, and this is one of my go-to podcasts for that. In the vein of Radio Lab and Freakonomics, AoC is entertainingly educational. Each episode focuses on self-improvement, but episodes vary in format. Some feature interviews with successful business professionals, some feature coaches and trainers discussing their area of expertise, and others are “how-tos” from the hosts on self-improvement. Regardless of the format, each episode provides listeners with tools to use to improve communication, confidence, mindset, persuasion and overall success. – Tana Watanabe