The Internet, A New Frontier for Writers..and all of us

December 6th, 2007 · No Comments

If you don’t know, Hollywood writers are on strike. First it was Late Night TV shows like David Letterman and the Daily Show, then prime time TV production like The Office halted production. The last strike in 1988 lasted 22 days and cost production companies $500 million. This current strike “pits union writers, whose position has been eroded by reality television and galloping technological change, against studios and networks that are backed by big corporate owners. Ultimately, the two sides gridlocked over the writers’ insistence on a sharp increase in their residuals payments for the re-use of movies and shows on DVDs and on new payments for the distribution of such works on the Internet, over cell phones and elsewhere. Producers refused to boost the DVD payments and rebuffed demands related to electronic distribution, arguing that industry economics and still-shifting technology made accommodation impossible. ” (NY Times) This got me thinking, how do we define publishing given the numerous types of media used to display content on the Internet alone?

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Tags: Writing

How to Find Inspiration for Your Blog

November 28th, 2007 · No Comments

lookingSometimes it’s hard to get motivated to write a post for you blog. Sometimes it’s hard to find what to write about. Writing every day, or every other day for a blog is time consuming and mentally exhausting. You won’t always know what to post next. The best advice I can give you is what I learned at school as a writing major, don’t think so hard. Explore the world around you. Take a nap. Socialize. Work on something else. History proves time and time again that you often find what you’re NOT looking for and that inspiration comes from all corners of your life.

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Tags: Blogging · Web Content · Writing

The Value of “Free” on the Web

November 21st, 2007 · 1 Comment

Starting a business, I read a lot on marketing, advertising, promotions online and offline and a common method of generating more leads was giving something away. Free tutorials, free whitepapers, free samples of my services, etc. It’s uneasy to give away my time and sweat, but as a business owner, perhaps it’s part of the process to give a little away to get a little back that’s worth a lot more. This afternoon I came across this article at The Blog Herald (a great resource, by the way) titled “The Value of Free Information?”. The following is an excerpt that stood out most.

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Tags: Web Content

Good Web Writing is All in the Tone and Context

November 14th, 2007 · No Comments

write stuff for the webIt’s a difficult thing to write and non-writers take it for granted that readers don’t want to read bad writing. Bad writing is like bad singing. If you’ve seen the auditions for American Idol, you get my meaning. Anyway, bad writing is especially offensive on the web because the web is meant for readers irregardless of this new dawn of videos, photo galleries and emoticons. Just like the web won’t replace books, no matter what people say (and fear), images won’t replace text as the major form of communication no matter how evocative the image. Not that an emoticon can be that evocative to begin with. And yes, a picture says a thousand words, but the words they say can’t always be left to the imagination of the viewer if you’re trying to get your point across. I’m a big proponent of distinct communication. What I mean by distinct is that no matter the medium and no matter the context, what you’re saying should be evocative of the the tone in which you mean it, and the context in which you put it. Obviously you should write what you mean as clearly as you can, but more than anything, humans being what they are, the way something is said is as important as what’s being said. This may seem like a lot of effort for web content, but to stand out on an Internet with over a 100 million web pages, it warrants a little consideration at least, right?

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Tags: Blogging · Essentials · Writing

Good Web Content is Only Published By Talented People

October 28th, 2007 · No Comments

I read this wonderful article by Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 about the myth of user-generated content. He argues that the media and corporations aren’t always looking for the next great piece of user-generated content (like digital video, blogging, podcasting, news, gossip, research, mobile phone photography and wikis, etc.) that will make that “average user” famous. It’s poppy-cock! Sure once in a while something a user creates, a great video found on YouTube or a podcast or an excellent whitepaper may be so good that some media company or a corporate head finds it compelling enough to give the user his chance in the spotlight, or hell, a job making mucho dinero. But Karp is right, more likely than not the user is talented, not average, and that is the reason he or she is recognized. Great content isn’t published by your average wannabe who stumbled upon something amazing and publishes it. I doubt Apple or Microsoft or whomever discovers the user is going to give the person a job or accolades if he or she were a no talent hack that just got lucky. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And even if you should, doesn’t mean you’re good at it, whatever “it” is.

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Tags: Writing

Our Love Affair With WordPress: Part 3 - Your Blog Content

October 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

We love WordPressSo, back for more? Couldn’t resist, huh? Well, let’s get started then. Friday, we went over the The Essentials of Blogging and talked about how content, categorizing (including archiving) and commenting are the main staples of blogging. A blog exists for content and sociability for the most part. The goal of any blogger should be to make your blog as interesting to read as possible and that promotes interactivity (usually through commenting and often also through sharing and bookmarking, which we’ll cover later). Your content must also be categorized in such a way your readers know where to look for articles on a given topic or maybe even a specific article. Category listings, archiving and tag clouds are the most common methods of effective and simple ways to organize your blog articles without confusing or frustrating your readers.

Though categorizing and commenting are essential, content is king. More importantly, your written content is king and executioner. A blog is nothing without good content and everything with it. More to the point, good content is what brings in readership. Relevant content creates a following. Crappy content kills a blog.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Blogging · Our Love Affair w/ WP · WordPress · Writing