Podcast 44: Writing for the web

Paul Boag

This week on boagworld.com: How to write good website copy and why designers should care. Is using Dreamweaver cheating? And how to “super charge” your web feeds.

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This week in the world of web design

There are some very interesting stories that have caught my attention this week:

Zeldman on W3C

It would seem that it is no longer just Joe Clark speaking out against the W3C. Jeffrey Zeldman (the godfather of web standards) has condemned the W3C in an article on his site, saying:

Beholden to its corporate paymasters who alone can afford membership, the W3C seems increasingly detached from ordinary designers and developers.

John C. Dvorak on CSS

John C. Dvorak, don’t you love him. What I like is the way he is always so positive and upbeat! The man that has made his career from being a "cranky geek" turns his critical eye on CSS in an article for PC magazine.

Andy Budd thinks web standards are not important

Always one to make us think in new ways, Andy Budd encourages us to stop think of web standards as a goal in itself, but to use them to get on with the business of building websites. His talk at the first London Web Standards Group reflected many of the same sentiments I expressed in my post "the sin of over enthusiasm".

Question: Is using Dreamweaver cheating

Thanks to Chris for his excellent question about using Dreamweaver. This led to an interesting discussion about developer attitudes to Dreamweaver, as well as a rundown of Dreamweaver 8’s superb coding environment.

Writing for the web

This week’s main topic is about writing for the web. To be frank this is not an area I am an expert in and so this week’s show lifts heavily from a number of sources.

Calling All Designers: Learn to Write!
An excellent article on the "A List Apart" website, explaining why designers need to take more of an interest in the copy on their sites.

Jakob Nielsen: How to Write for the Web
We touched on the principle of "front loading" proposed by Nielsen in this article.

Steve Krug: Don’t make me think
This book has some excellent advice on keeping your sites content short and to the point

Mencap: Creating accessible copy
The advice in this PDF file aims to show web site owners how to write accessible web copy. However, I would argue its suggestions apply to every website, not just those focusing on accessibility.

Boagworld: Effective website copy
This previous boagworld post brings together various tips I have picked up over the years, many of which made it into this week’s show.

Also in this week’s show

Finally, we also take a look at web feeds. Why you should add them to your site and how to get the most out of them by using an excellent service from feedburner.

Web Feeds Explained

The benefits of web feeds