Question: I created one child for print, and another for the web

Question: I created one child for print, and another for the web
Is there a difference? Can you tell the difference?


The child created for the web is a lot shorter and much more active.

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Writing for new media is different

Writing for new media and the web has unique payoffs and pitfalls. Using them will help us write copy that appears before more readers and holds their attention longer. Let's share our tips for writing copy that will spark interest, maintain reader involvement, and place highly in search results.

Let's also discuss non-copy elements - widgets, RSS feeds, polls, imbedded video, photos, and killer graphics - that we use to engage the reader. We need every trick: readers are just one click away from other compelling articles and videos...and they know it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What is social media worth?

The value of social search: how about 40% of the net income of AT&T? I just read in Dave Evan's Social Media Marketing that in 2005, AT&T's Directories Services segment netted 40% of the company's total net. Social search - being able to find and connect - accounted for a huge chunk of cash, $2 billion in this case. If search, finding people and information, is so valuable it pays to USE those keywords and embed them prominently in copy. Help readers find your writing. Here's a link to Dave's blog:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Heat map shows hot spots for writing new media

In new media, readers quickly scan your copy, looking for important info at the upper left. Put your facts in the 4 to 6 words of copy closest to the left margin because that's what readers are most likely to see.
The heat map measures eyeball movement. Read it like a weather map, with red indicating the most intense areas of visual engagement, followed by orange, yellow, get the picture. The heat map confirms that most readers only "see" less than a quarter of the precious copy we slaved over.
So: put your story where those eyeballs are, in the upper left and at the start of copy lines. Pack your key words in there, to reassure readers that this is an article they want to read; they searched for those key words and need to see them, or they'll click away.
It's not enough to produce good content; we have to put it where it will be seen. Visit to see how heat maps can help you position web design elements as well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Olivier Blanchard Basics Of Social Media Roi

This SlideShare Presentation gives some nice ideas on measuring the impact of social media. How can we sell our projects unless we can prove they work?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Social media: getting it wrong is a great blog to read regularly if you’re serious about writing for new media. (And if you’re not, why are you here?) Please take a few minutes and read this insightful article, The Top 5 Misconceptions about Social Media. We not only need to educate ourselves, but this article clearly answers objections we are likely to hear from every potential client when we make a social media presentation. Here’s a sample:

Misconception #3: “By using social media we will lose control of our Brand’s Image” People will talk about your brand whether you like it or not. Opening a Facebook page is not going to change it and not opening a Facebook page is not going to make it go away. The question is: Do you want to be a part of that conversation or not?

I have reservations about the writer’s reference to “social media experts,” since the field is evolving so rapidly, but the concept of a company seeking professional help is sound. Enjoy.

Writing for new media; do it.

Do you have a blog? Post comments on other blogs? Have a Facebook page? A LinkedIn page? Do you tweet at least occasionally on Twitter? If you intend to write for new media, why don’t you do it? I was reading an article about Skyrock (xenophobes beware: site in French), the world’s 7th biggest social network, and found this quote by Skyrock CEO, Pierre Bellanger:

“You learn nothing through words but through experience: if you are interested in social media, experiment! Never consider that you know a service because you have read about it.”

Playing around after reading how others have done it successfully is the best way to get a feel for the media. Ground rules: listen before you speak, and read more than you write. Some say a good rule of thumb is to read twice as much as you write. I would suggest reading ten times more than you write. But the important thing is to just do it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Writing new media? Read new media!

Posting is important; reading is even more important. Even if you can't find the time to pop off a fresh post regularly, scan Mashable or your favorite new media site while you sip your morning coffee. Take the 5 minutes and see what the world's doing with new media every day. Things change quickly, and you want to be ahead of the curve. Don't you? Read like your job depends on it because, guess what? It probably does.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The key to writing new media: keep learning!

To be successful in the digital business one has to be constantly learning and adapting to a changing context. Companies pay large salaries for digital "experts" even though the internet is changing so fast that what works today might not work tomorrow.

Where do internet “experts” come from? How can there be so many and how can they know so much? Greg Satell at Digital Tonto is at it again, with another thought-provoking post on the internet and the Western philosophical tradition. It's well worth a read, and encourages us to keep reading, keep learning, with examples of the true humility voiced by some of the greatest minds in history. Reading Greg regularly is a good way to keep learning.