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online writing

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  • 1.
    • Writing for the Scanner
    • By Serena Carpenter, Arizona State University
  • 2. 2003 Poynter Eyetrack Study
    • Difficult to read on screen, so they read less
    • Scan for interests
    • Text, then photos, then graphics
      • 75% read all of text (online)
        • Lead must be compelling
      • 20-25% (print)
        • Less vested interest
  • 3. 07 Eyetrack Study by Poynter
    • Completion
      • 77% of online text read
      • 63% finished the story
    • Maps & graphics (88%)
  • 4. Text Story
    • Write tight
      • 300-400 words
      • 600-800 words
  • 5. Text Formatting
    • Paragraph chunks
      • Text that fully conveys a single idea
      • Don’t indent
      • http://venturacountystar.com/news/2008/mar/13/oaks-christian-asked-to-find-new-league/
    • Headings within text (boldface)
      • Absolutely clear what they page contains
      • Must not repeat
      • Consider including informational, not clever subheadings
        • If text exceeds 300 words or more
    • Pull quotes to draw people in
      • Make your article as 'scannable' as possible
      • http://cronkitezine.asu.edu/spring2008/hats.html
    • Lists
      • Keep short
      • http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4872351
  • 6. Writing
    • Short sentences
      • Subject-Verb-Object
      • One idea per sentence (which, and)
        • Two sentences or eliminate words
      • A combo of broadcast & print
    • No more than 5 sentences (OJR), 1-3 sentences
    • Single-spaced
    • Spaces between paragraphs
  • 7. Short sentences
    • Active
      • A meeting will be held for the company’s director next week.
      • The company’s director will meet next week.
    • Attribution first (Intern at the Blaze)
    • Junk up sentences with empty adverbs
      • Actually, totally, absolutely, completely, continually, constantly, continuously, literally, really, unfortunately, ironically, incredibly, hopefully
  • 8. Lead - Straightforward
    • Inverted pyramid (1900s)
      • Top-down
      • Lead must be compelling
      • Important info at top
  • 9. Photos
    • Use your own photos
    • Avoid mug shots
    • Close-ups better
    • Add info value or draw reader in
  • 10. Graphics
    • Maps
      • http://cronkitezine.asu.edu/specialprojects/economy/housing.html
    • Excel
      • Bar chart or pie chart
      • http://msujrn.com/meridian/schools/technology/technology.html
    • Users understand better and faster when information is presented visually
  • 11. Lists
    • Providing a Service
      • Contact info
    • Stats
    • Background Information
      • History
    • Instructions
  • 12. Video
    • Is it justified?
    • Does it enhance or complement the story? Should not be redundant.
  • 13. Linking
    • 1 – 2 words
    • Clickworthy - Link with purpose
      • Lose their trust
    • Link outbound
      • NBC’s Chicago affiliate begins to act as guide, rather a TV station
      • http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/world/middleeast/27contractor.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
    • No “click here” or full URLs
  • 14. Searchable Headlines
    • Don't use puns, metaphors or wordplay
    • Google pays greatest attention to the first 60 characters of any headline
      • Many RSS feeds cut the headline off after 60
      • AP – 40 characters
      • Unique, urgent, short, rewarding (copyblogger.com)
      • www.cnn.com
  • 15. Summary Deck
    • Major online stories must be accompanied by a headline and summary deck
    • Brief summary under headline
      • After the headline this paragraph can be the next section of text search engines read, so include keywords.
      • http://www.roanoke.com/news/breaking/wb/ 113294
      • http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/02/kroger.recall.salmonella/index.html
  • 16. Give up Control
    • Link to original documents
      • http://www.edweek.org/login.html?source=http%3A%2F%2Fjournalist.org%2Fawards%2Farchives%2F000773.php&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2007%2F06%2F28%2F43scotusmain_web.h26.html&levelId=2100&baddebt=false
    • Direct email address
      • http://www.coloradoconfidential.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3558
      • Serena.Carpenter [at] asu.edu
    • Rethinking the idea of package
      • Collaborate with others (photographers, videographers, design, web)
      • http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2007/04/16/
  • 17.
    • What is SEO?
  • 18. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Optimizing a Web site for search engines so people can find your content
    • Google dominates
    • 25/75 rule
  • 19. 25% of SEO (page) (Hubspot)
    • Page Title
    • Headings
    • Page text
    • Bold
  • 20. 25% of SEO = code
    • Meta tags (keywords, images)
      • Alt text on images/video
        • Descriptive file names
      • Tags
        • Too many tags and categories are not useful
  • 21. 75% of SEO = Outside sources (Hubspot)
    • Recommendation from friends
      • “I know Mike Smith.”
      • “Mike Smith is a marketing expert.”
    • Links to your site are online recommendations
    • Use social media and comments to encourage people link to you
  • 22. Thursday
    • Lecture: 1) promoting your blog, 2) social networking, and 3) using social media
    • Second blog post, About page, and comment is due