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Web Writing for communicator by Mind Map: Web Writing for communicator
4.0 stars - 2 reviews range from 0 to 5

Web Writing for communicator

Bad initial assumptions

The web is not a magazine

Your visitors are not leisure-readers

The web is not a powerpoint

People like to read online

The home page is what really matters

You know the language your visitors speak

You can control how people are going to browse

Useful assumptions

You only have a minute to get your message across

People are informavores

Informavores are hunting for information do perform a task

Informavores jump into a property a search engine to find a patch of juicy information to mine

Informavores forage by scanning and hopping from patch to patch with links

If a patch doesn't seem fertile, informavores will leave that property with search and look somewhere else

People scan online

The long tail is where the traffic is

It's how you say it

Create scannable text



Short sentences

Interactivity, Link is fundamental to web interactivity, People use links to browse to, Links suggest what's next, and people form strategies by reading them, Search engines use links to understand your content, the concepts behind it, and how it related to itself, People actually read links!

Offer multiple modes to get at content




Interactives, Browsable maps, Links, Calculators and Applications, Other cool stuff

Create a browseable site

Smaller chunks of focused information, Good for Google, Good for linking

Use web pages when you can, There are perfectly acceptable uses for PDFs, PDFs are great for things people plan to print and take with them, PDFs are fine to put online if you already have them and are going to support them with web pages, Regular HTML pages are often better than a PDF, PDFs are nearly never written for the web, PDFs a hard to link to and between, Search engines treat PDFs different than web pages, PDFs are a usability nightmare, even for savvy users

Use your visitor's language

Don't make up words

Ask people what they'd call things

Ask people how they'd organize things

Look at search analytics

Look at keyword tools (how do people search across the web)

What do we get?

Your site is usable

People actually see your message

People are likely to stay a little longer if they browse more

You have a better shot at a better page rank

More bad assumptions

There's no place for long copy on the web

There is a place for long copy on the web, it's just not on most pages. But even long copy should be easy to scan

There's no place for good writers online

Writing concisely is extremely difficult, "I'm sorry this is so long; I didn't have long to write it."

Writing clearly is extremely difficult

I can't get my message out in short sentences and bullet points

If no one reads your long, tortured prose, what's it getting you?

You're going to turn the web into a giant powerpoint

Yes, good presentation techniques help on the web

No, you can't treat web pages and presentation slides the same, You're not there to explain web pages -- they have to speak for themselves

It's what you say

Have a content strategy

distinguish between internally-exciting content and externally-interesting content

Why should anyone care

A technical section on a children's site

Motivating and Justifying facts

People skim, reading between 20 and 80 percent of your words.

People understand more when we use words and pictures

People spend 25-35 seconds on a home page, reading maybe 10 to 20 words (Nielsen pp 30)

If a user is interested, s/he'll scroll; however, users do not scroll when looking to navigate or when bored (Nielsen 100, Pirolli 168/9)


Visitors are goal oriented

Visitors need to see what's on a page early

Good examples