Posts tagged ‘website’

December 30, 2011

Online Sharing and the Fear of Abandonment

We live in a social world, both on and off the web, and love to share things that are interesting, funny, or helpful. Online it should be easy, but often it isn’t and the sharing doesn’t happen.

Here’s an example:

  1. I see something in an email newsletter, maybe an upcoming free webinar, and I want to share it because I know the organization does good work.
  2. I look for a Twitter button, and sometimes get lucky.
  3. Unlike on a blog post or news article, it usually links to the organization’s Twitter profile rather than the specific information. I read back through their Tweets, but more often than not strike out.
  4. Generally I give up here, but if it’s important to me I visit their website.
  5. Often I can’t find the information there or it looks so unprofessional I can’t bring myself to link to it.
  6. I might write my own Tweet, or maybe forward the newsletter to one or two people, but most likely…
  7. I give up.

Another example:

  1. A friend mentions he’s speaking at a tech conference the next day. Great, I’ll spread the word.
  2. He doesn’t have a Twitter account. OK, fine.
  3. He’s a good friend, so I surf around trying to find him and the event, or even just the event. No site, no Twitter account, no LinkedIn. All I can find is the host organization’s home page — which lists last year’s speakers and date.
  4. I give up.

No doubt a more casual visitor (read: sane) would give up sooner. Unfortunately, you can’t measure this type of abandonment.

Find your audience where they are, as they say, but anticipate where their friends might be, too. Take a fresh look at your newsletter, website, blog, and every other place you have an online presence. Ask someone outside your organization to do it, if you can.

How easy is it to share your great content, events and news?

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December 2, 2011

#1

This blog is about writing and editing, customer service, online marketing, and how communications and tech come together.  Plus a bunch of other stuff.  Read it and tell me what you think!

Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via email kyla (at) kylacromer (dot) com.

December 1, 2011

Utilizing Effectuated Methodologies (What?)

Every day when I surf around the web, I notice how many people have a hard time writing in a clean, clear way. Here are some key concepts I try to use:

  1. Decide what to say and make the most important points first, in case your reader gets bored or distracted and wanders off mid-read. We all do it.
  2. An oldie but goodie: use subheadings, bullets, and numbered lists when you can, in case the reader is skimming. We all do that, too.
  3. When reviewing a draft, imagine you’re a cranky, very impatient person – say, your mother’s aunt – and ask, “So what?” after reading each bit. If there isn’t a good answer, cut it.
  4. Don’t use big words when small ones will do. They slow things down and increase the likelihood your reader will go find something better to do. “Gigantic” is more evocative than “big,” but “utilize” isn’t better than “use.”
  5. Avoid words like “evocative” if you don’t know what they mean. There are many free dictionaries on the web.
  6. Skip the trendy terms and expressions, like “planful,” or “that said.” They can have more than one meaning, or be just plain wrong. Some readers will stop to ponder, or be confused, or even go look it up. Keep them with you!

All of these points assume you will take time to write a draft or two. Or three. Do it! If possible, have someone else read your draft, too. If you can’t do that, take a long break, preferably overnight. In the morning, you’ll likely notice phrases that are unclear or unnecessary, and catch a mistake or two.

Last, notice I said, “key concepts I try to use.” Don’t drive yourself crazy chasing perfection. One can’t effectuate that no matter what methodology is utilized.

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