Tag: Writing

  • Busi-ness and blogging in 2024

    A busier life, and recent events on the internet, mean a new direction for my blog.

  • 20 years of blogging

    Today marks the 20th anniversary of my first blog post. Blogging is important to me, but it has seen many changes. The online publishing ecosystem is having a moment right now. So what’s next?

    20 RSS icons laid out across three rows, representing the three different decades I have been blogging through
  • Khoi Vinh on how his blog amplified his work and career — Own Your Content

    An interview with Khoi Vinh on the benefits of blogging. Blogging has always been pivotal to my career. When I was offered my first ‘proper’ job as a web editor at the University of St Andrews, I only really had my blog to speak for. Yet it was enough to get my name out there, and […]

    Khoi Vinh illustration
  • A year of blogging daily

    Last year I began a routine of publishing shorter posts on an almost-daily basis. Today marks a full year of blogging on a daily basis. It’s also the day I’ll stop posting each day.

    Computer keyboard and mouse
  • Technology changes how authors write, but the big impact isn’t on their style

    Technology changes how authors write, but the big impact isn’t on their style How technology affects the way we write — but not necessarily in the ways we expect. I was particularly struck by the idea that one of the biggest changes has been how the “distinction between revision and composition began to erode entirely” […]

    Writing ball
  • Why makers write

    Why makers write This is a bit of a sales pitch, but it is a good piece on the importance of writing regularly. Deep understanding is necessary for makers. Understanding develops the perspective and conviction needed for bringing products to market. This is why blog-first startups are viable. Writing forces a maker to deeply understand […]

  • Just write

    Just write Sara Soueidan on why you should just write, regardless of what the voice in your head may be telling you. Start a blog and publish your writings there. Don’t think about whether or not people will like or read your articles — just give them a home and put them out there. Most […]

  • Using contractions could be making your writing inaccessible

    Using contractions could be making your writing inaccessible We found that some of these users did not understand sentences that had negative contractions in them (negative contractions are words like ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’, ‘don’t’). They interpreted the sentence without inferring the ‘not’. I have been in two minds about using contractions for a while. On the […]

  • Readability guidelines

    Readability guidelines I really like this idea of crowdsourcing, and making available to the community, a set of readability guidelines based on evidence. I see many content designers spending time talking – arguing – about points of style when often accessibility and usability show what we should do. What if there was one place where […]

  • More frequent posting

    More frequent posting More on the idea of writing more regularly. In the Marshmallow Challenge there are two groups of individuals that tend to produce the best results. (Un)surprisingly, structural engineers do well (as you would hope!) but the other highest scoring groups are actually 2nd graders. Yeah, 2nd graders. Not project management teams, or […]

  • Good writing and analytics don’t mix

    Good writing and analytics don’t mix If you want to be a good writer then you can’t worry about the numbers. The stats, the dashboards, the faves, likes, hearts and yes, even the claps, they all lead to madness and, worst of all in my opinion, bad writing. Recently I have been thinking a bit […]

  • “Did you know that in Edinburgh, there are more statues of dogs than there are of women?”

    “Did you know that in Edinburgh, there are more statues of dogs than there are of women?” From Message from the Skies, the virtual walking tour run in Edinburgh during January. The story for the walking tour was written by Val McDermid, and celebrated the work of Edinburgh’s literary women, many of whom are unsung […]

  • An ode to writing with a human voice

    An ode to writing with a human voice More on the apparent decline of blogs from the Government Digital Service (GDS). This article makes the excellent counterpoint to a recent GDS post apparently attempting to address the debate around the quality of their recent blogging efforts. The measures of success cited include levels of ‘engagement’, […]

  • The tools matter and the tools don’t matter

    The tools matter and the tools don’t matter It is easy to sneer at a question about what brand of pen to use, or whether you should use a pencil or a typewriter. But in this piece, Austin Kleon argues that different tools can help you “get you to a certain way of working in […]

  • A few notes on daily blogging

    A few notes on daily blogging A striking article, partly because I find it slightly eerie that the author chose to start blogging daily on 1 October, the same day I started blogging again. I haven’t quite managed to blog on a daily basis. Although I do publish something at least once a day, I […]

  • Word count for web pages

    Word count for web pages Why setting a word limit for webpages may actually be a bad thing. Like speed limits, people begin to treat it like a target.

  • Kickstarted: iA Writer for Windows

    Kickstarted: iA Writer for Windows – iA I am a fan of iA Writer, a writing application designed to help you focus. The only problem is that it is not available for Windows. I have the Android version installed on my phone. But I don’t know about you — I don’t tend do my writing […]

  • Getting titles wrong: what you can learn from our mistake

    Getting titles wrong: what you can learn from our mistake – John Ploughman, Inside GOV.UK Getting the title of your content right is vital. When you get it right, users can find it and use it. When you get it wrong, it can really cause problems.

  • The single reason why people can’t write, according to a Harvard psychologist

    The single reason why people can’t write, according to a Harvard psychologist For [Steven] Pinker, the root cause of so much bad writing is what he calls “the Curse of Knowledge”, which he defines as “a difficulty in imagining what it is like for someone else not to know something that you know. The curse […]