Digital skills for subs● Print vs digital● CMS & techy elements● Online copy editing● Multimedia overview● Jobs?
Print vs digitalWhats the difference between print & digital?What need did sub-editing fulfil for publishers?What needs exist now and in the future?
What does an online sub-editor do?Cathy Relf, Rantingsubs.com:The boring answer is: they cut copy to fit space, correctspellings and grammar, change copy to fit house style,check facts are correct, write headlines and proofread.For the web, they also source pictures, write captions andcredits, add links and optimise for search engines. Yadayada. More things too, such as poking tardy journos, layingout pages, clarifying meaning, finding missing informationand sometimes rejecting articles.
<p>This is a paragraph of text. This is a paragraph of text. This part<strong>This part is in bold</strong> is in bold and this bit is italic. Thenand <em>this bit is italic</em>. Then theres a link to another websitetheres <a href="http://website.com" before the paragraph ends.>a link to another website</a> beforethe paragraph ends.</p> In this paragraph theres a quote<p>In this paragraph theres a quote which is indented:which is indented: Im a quote which is indented<blockquote>Im a quote which is The quote is by a person and theirindented</blockquote> name is linked to their email address.The quote is by <a href="mailto:email@example.com">a person</a>and their name is linked to their email Here is a list:address.</p> ● Item 1<p>Here is a list: ● Item 2<ul><li>Item 1</li> ● Last Item<li>Item 2</li><li>Last item</li></ul></p>
5 tips for online headlines• Clarity over cleverness• Delivers on its promise• Stands alone• 40-60 characters - frontloaded• Google tools
1. Break up running copy• Sections with subheads• Q&A format• List format• Bulletpoints, images, blockquotes• Use shorter paragraphs/sentences
2. Getting the right tone• Site personality (brand)• Variations across content types• Check the narrative mode• Dont oversub or featurise blogs• Slang, jargon and SEO
3. "SEO the copy!"What does this mean?Google SEO starter guide:http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdfSEO best practices webinar:http://www.mstoner.com/blog/marketing-and-branding/seo-best-practices-webinar-recording-now-available/
The ultimate editor"In print media, what matters most is engaging prose. Indigital media, what matters most is visibility... The ultimateeditor, the filter between you and your reader, ishumourless and passionless. An algorithm." - Antonia Senior in The Guardian"Search engines are in the business of bringing anaudience to their paid advertising customers - they do thisby offering a quality search experience." - Mark Sheehy, M Stoner
My quick SEO checklist for editors• Post useful, engaging, relevant content• Use tools to find keywords• Top keywords in page titles and headlines• Sprinkle dont stuff!• Include relevant slang or jargon• Alternatives & word endings: -ings -es -ed• Go niche to beat the competition• Proper names, nouns and titles in full• Must-click metadescription
4. Edit for easy scanning• People read in an F shape
Editing for scanning readers• Head/sell most important• De-waffle start of paragraphs• Subheadings• Pull out/emphasise but avoid underlining• Use links with relevant link text
5. Links - why are they important?● What the web is built on● People want and expect “linky-ness"● Currency of the web● Link karma● Marketing/networking● Stickiness● Transparency/trust
Links need link text● Use short, relevant text● Rewrite click here● For PDF links, add: (PDF)Subbing in a doc or content template?Underline the link/anchor text http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchor_text and pastethe link next to it – as here – to let the uploader know which words are to formthe link. (Remove the underline in the CMS.)
How to create a linkTwo ways to turn text into a link in a CMS:1. Visual editor: highlight text, click chain icon and paste the URL: Ebay2. HTML editor: write it out in HTML:<a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk">Ebay</a>
5 final tips on body copy• Widows• Smart quotes• Copyfitting• Call to action• Ask Why?
Styling the copyWithin editing screen of CMSBold <b> <strong>Italic <i> <em>Indented quote <blockquote>Section Heading <h3> <h4>Lists <ul><li> <ol><li>See HTML cheat sheet.
Styling the copyLooked after by the general website styles● Headlines● Standfirst● Colours● Metadata● Links
Multimedia checklist● Resize images/video for web use● Use to break up heavy text● Does multimedia content match the copy?● Check copyright permissions/credits● If audio/video is main story, include a transcription or summary of content for accessibility and good SEO practice● Accessibility check - alt text on all images - beware visual-based instructions
More on accessibility● Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0● Yahoo! Style Guide on gauging accessibility● Fangs tool on Firefox browser● Slideshow about accessible content
Pressing publish & final checks• Beware subs notes – Oh you dummy!• What exactly happens when you publish?• Cross-platform checks• Errors: amend, strike through or update note
Post-publishing tasks• Social media work and social bookmarking• Monitor and respond to comments• Analytics and iterative editing