Hot Text: Web Writing That Works - Book Review - WebReference Update - 020214
((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) February 14, 2002
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This week we review "Hot Text" a new book on Web writing from New Riders. Learn how to heat up your text to "push through" the cold computer screen. In other news yours truly makes The New York Times, and CmdrTaco proposes on Slashdot, and she says yes.
New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:
1. BOOK REVIEW: Hot Text: Web Writing That Works 2. OTHER VOICES: * Olympic Accessibility Story Continues * Olympics Site Not Medal-Worthy 3. NET NEWS: * Online Proposal at Slashdot
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. BOOK REVIEW: Hot Text: Web Writing That Works
Want to learn how to write for the Web? Read this book. Hot Text shows how to grab your audience's attention and never let it go. Based on extensive research, the book is a fun yet in-depth how-to guide for effective writing on the Web.
Every place you use text on the Web is thoroughly explored. From headlines to links to menu design you'll learn how to make your text stand out from the crowd. In addition to conventional writing wisdom like using the active voice and one idea per paragraph the authors urge readers to adopt an object-based approach to writing for the Web.
Object-based text invites reuse. With each object answering one question, personalization and repurposing become easier. Your writing will also improve. Having an object model is like a DTD for your prose. Extraneous fluff falls away naturally.
Writing for the Web is different. Computers are cold, so warm up your text to "push through" the screen. Develop an attitude. Write in a genre. Go gonzo. Pull a Rageboy. Be outrageous. Oh, and make sure you spellcheck that last post on your blog.
The authors are both professional writers and it shows. Sentences flow seamlessly from one idea to the next. Hot Text is so good it could be used as a textbook for "Writing for the Web" classes.
So cut out that marketing blather. Halve your text, then halve it again. Cut out those adverbs and adjectives. Re-invert that pyramid. Get to the point. Write tight. Write right. Go gonzo!
There are other Web writing books, but none as erudite or entertaining. It was a real pleasure to read such a well-written book. Highly recommended.
Hot Text: Web Writing That Works By Jonathan and Lisa Price New Riders, $40 ISBN: 0-7357-1151-8
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. OTHER VOICES: Olympic Accessibility Story Continues, Olympics Site Not Medal-Worthy * Olympic Accessibility Story Continues
Shirley Kaiser and I are quoted in a story today in the New York Times by Pamela LiCalzi O'Connell. "Site Unseen?" explores the accessibility debate over the Olympics.com web site that Shirley first reported and yours truly followed up in this newsletter. Here's an excerpt from today's New York Times story:
..."The Salt Lake Cite site was designed by MSNBC. 'Being accessible has been a priority with us,' said Perkins Miller, Internet director for the organizing committee for the Salt Lake City games. 'There is useful link text throughout the site.'
Accessibility for All? http://www.webreference.com/new/020122.html#feature?
Site Review: 2002 Olympics http://www.webreference.com/new/020117.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/14/technology/circuits/14ONLI.html New York Times, Feb. 14, 2002 (Circuits, page D3)
* Olympics Site Not Medal-Worthy
Jakob Nielsen held a media luncheon in San Francisco earlier this week to promote his new book, "Homepage Usability." He said the Olympic Web site met 66% of his usability guidelines. "That's not a total disaster," Nielsen said. All the site needs, he thinks, is a complete redesign. http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,50332,00.html Wired.com, Feb. 11, 2002
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. NET NEWS: Online Proposal at Slashdot
* Online Proposal at Slashdot
In the hopelessly romantic department, Rob Malda, founder of Slashdot, proposed this morning to his sweetheart Kathleen Fent, on the front page of Slashdot. A few minutes later, Kathleen said yes. Congratulations to the happy couple. http://slashdot.org/articles/02/02/14/143254.shtml?tid=166 Slashdot.org, Feb. 14, 2002
Happy Valentine's Day! See you next time.
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