Digital school for subsIntro talkThe meat!– how to edit (and why)– pics/video/metadataWork discussion
Intro by Pete AshtonWhats 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.
1. Break up running copy• Sections with subheads• Q&A format• List format• Bulletpoints, images, blockquotes• Use shorter paragraphs/sentences
2. Sub-editing for tone• Sites personality• Variations in tone• Narrative modes• Dont oversub or featurise blogs• Slang, jargon and SEO
3. "SEO the copy!"What does this mean?http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
My quick SEO checklist for editors• Post useful, engaging, relevant content• Use tools to find alternative keywords• Put top keywords in head, URL and intro• Sprinkle dont stuff!• Include relevant slang or jargon• 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• Links
5. Links - why are they important?● Currency on which the web is built● People want and expect “linky-ness"● Businesses want links for SEO value● Link karma● Marketing/networking● Stickiness● Transparency/trust
How to create a linkTwo ways to turn text into a link:1. Code it in HTML<a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk">Ebay</a>2. Highlight text and click chain iconEbay
Links need link text● Use relevant text● Rewrite click here● For PDF links, add: (PDF)● Keep short● SEO valueWhen subbing in a doc:Underline the link (aka anchor) text http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchor_text and paste thelink next to it – like so.
5 final tips on body copy• Widows• Smart quotes• Copyfitting• Call to action• Ask Why?
How to style (mark up) copy• Cascading style sheets (automatic)• HTML in text doc• Style using CMS tools
Images, audio/video - subs checklist● Break up heavy text● Does content match the copy?● Check copyright permissions/credits● If audio/video is main story, include a transcription or summary● Write alt text for all images● Accessibility check● Resize for web use
More on accessibility● Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0● Yahoo! Style Guide on gauging accessibility● Fangs tool on Firefox● Slideshow all about accessible content
Metadata...…simply means data about data or, in thiscase, information about your content, eg:● it describes the structure/type of content● it tells you who created it and when● it shows intellectual property rights● it describes subject matter
Describing content with metadataIt is your job to tag with keywords, categoriseand describe the content you are creating.● Metadescription● Metakeywords● Categories● Tags (keywords)
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