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Showing posts from 2016

Front-loaded text and scanning the page

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We push our writers to always front-load their titles and paragraphs not just because we think it's a good idea, but because studies back up the technique.

Jakob Nielsen posted a great article, "First 2 Words: A Signal for the Scanning Eye," where he goes into the details of his research in this area.

Jakob starts with reminding us how our customers have many lists to read, err scan -- it's not just search results.

Search result pagesList of current and/or archived articles and press releasesProduct listingTable of contentsQuestion lists on an FAQ pageBulleted and numbered lists, checklists, etc

11 characters is used as the baseline measure the number of characters a user actually reads when looking through a list (link text). The test is to see just the first 11 characters and see if you can predict what's behind the link -- what will you get when you click.

The best link text has these characteristics.

Plain languageSpecific terminologyFollow naming conventionsF…

Improve your writing for the web with the Hemingway Editor

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As we know, readers on the web don't really read, they scan and skim articles, and won't read anything that's long form. With the Hemingway Editor, you can improve your writing by making it more "bold and clear" -- make your writing standout so your audience actually reads it.

The Hemingway Editor is going to give you feedback and input on the following:

Sentences that are too hard to readSimpler alternatives to words and phrasesUnnecessary adverbsUse of passive voiceReadability score
The Hemingway Editor also has other helpful functions:
Basic formattingImport from WordExport as HTMLCharacter count It's free to use online, or a mere $10 for the app version.


Text (SMS) from your computer using MightyText

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It's 2016 -- if you're not texting, you've fallen behind. I text my family, I get appointment reminders via text, and text is being used for 2-factor authentication.

At my company there are several different communications apps, from Yahoo Messenger, to Slack, to HipChat. They each work well, but only texting is guaranteed to reach the person I want to talk to.

With that being said, texting can be difficult from my phone if I have multiple conversations going on, or I have a lot to share. Fortunately, I've found a great solution. Whenever I'm at a computer, PC and Mac (I have both), I can use MightyText instead.

MightyText works with Android phones and Google Chrome browser. Not only can I type faster using MightText, I get notices from my phone on my computer screen. I no longer need to take my phone out of my pocket to see alerts or respond to text messages.

It also as the added benefit that I can easily attach any image that I can access from my computer. There&…

Favorite Podcasts

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It's been a year since I've posted, and only once in 2015... how time flies! I was sharing with a friend my favorite podcasts and thought I could share here.

Daily Tech News Show (DTNS) -- I've been following the host, Tom Merritt for 10 years. He's excellent. If you only have time for 1 podcast, this is the one.Serial -- Spin-off from This American Life (below). There have been 2 seasons. Each is a story. I would highly recommend listening to both seasons. This American Life -- Big variety; some better than others. The host Ira Glass is excellent. TWiT -- This is a network of Podcasts. The quality varies. The founder, Leo Leporte should be recognized as the person who pushed podcasts to be more mainstream. I've been to their studios in Petaluma, CA. Try these:This Week in Tech. This was the original show that started the network.Tech News Today. Started by Tom Merritt (DTNS).The Tech Guy. Syndication of Leo's radio show.Security Now. Deep technical -- if you l…