Detox your Documents: Put Your Words on a Diet

Goethe once wrote to a friend, “If I had more time, I’d have sent you a shorter letter.” Here’s why.

Ernest Hemingway’s 10 Step Guide to Persuasive Writing

Hemingway’s prose is ‘ordinary’, but you can’t help keep reading on and on and on… It looks simple until you try it. Look at how he does it. Crisp, direct and engaging. He makes long sentences short, mundane subjects interesting, clips along at a nice pace, without losing the thread. You can use these techniques […]

Google News: How to Get Your Blog Indexed

Ever wondered how some blogs appear on Google News and others don’t? Ever wanted to get your site on Google News. Google has published guidelines explaining how the process works. Do it right and you might be indexed. If you’d like a site to be included in Google News, you can also send them the […]

How do you Manage Negative Comments on your Blog?

I need your advice. Someone has left a fairly negative comment on my blog. What should I do? Approve or Delete? The reason I ask is this. I want people to give their opinion and, even if it offends me in some ways—let’s say they made some sarcastic remarks or found a typo—I’d still approve […]

Why Users Want Familiar Web Design and User Interfaces

Jakob Nielsen warns us that users hate change. He recommends that “it’s best to stay with a familiar design and evolve it gradually. In the long run, however, incrementalism eventually destroys cohesiveness, calling for a new UI architecture. ” You often hear design team members (or their management) say, “We need a fresh design.” This […]

How To Mind Your Grammar On The Web

Ben Parr (Mashable) asks: “Say your project manager comes to you with his proposal that will be going out to investors, business partners, and potential clients. Then you find that your manager has used “4” instead of “four”, “r” instead of “are”, and abbreviations such as lol, atm, and idk. How would you react? “

How to write guidelines for Twitter?

I’ve been asked to prepare a set of guidelines for Twitter by a company I used to work for in Sacramento. They’re a well-established financial services firm and are struggling to get a handle on how best to approach this. What’s the balance between allowing employees to use it as their discretion while also protecting the company from legal issues and other possible negative fallout if/when an employee rants or discusses company business on Twitter? I should stress that they want their employees to use Twitter (within reason) but are a bit nervous. Remember they want to create guidelines – not rules.

The Chicago Manual of Style Online Just Got Better!

What’s the best style guide to use? I use Microsoft’s technical publications guide for my technical documents but have started to use The Chicago Manual of Style online. It’s been a while since I visited the site and there has been some very nice features added. Like the site says: Welcome to The Chicago Manual of Style Online—the indispensable online reference for all who work with words. For professional writers, book-mark this!

How to write your first Standard Operating Procedure

Writing your first Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) can be a daunting task. Before I left for Japan I managed to get some words over to Carlos. Here’s a few ideas I had. What do you think I should add?