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October 08, 2006

Give it to me straight

Ch. 11- "Writers don't start genres, audiences do." (273) I liked this quote because it explains that all genres start from people asking eachother questions and pretty soon a bunch of anwers that involve other forms of media come up and bam, you've got a genre. This chapter basically said: talk in terms appropriate to your audience, take on whatever persona is necessary, and make sure you adapt to forums. People are seeking answers and you're website should help them in an easy-to-follow manner.
Ch. 12 "You are not 'writing about' the site--you are annotating the interface." (286)" I've gone online and become frusturated easily by websites that don't offer basic instructions and field labeling before. It is awful when you can't order something since "error" keeps popping up and you are not informed "why." I thought the labeling fields part was particularly helpful, because a simple "Please enter month and day," is alot nicer than getting instructions that are barked at you and unclear to boot. It may be extra writing for you, but the audience needs examples and wants to know just why they have to jump through hoops so they are more likely to stick it out than just give up and go to another site.
Ch. 13 "...Straightforward information sells!" (343) I like this because it puts you on a more personal level than trying to push people to buy your product through scheming. Getting rid of the mission statement allows people to see right away that you aren't trying to b.s. them People visiting want to see pictures and testimonials from the average Joe letting them know the product is helpful. This ties in with Ch. 11 because it helps to adopt the right tone with whomever you're addressing so that they feel they can trust you enough to stay on the site and perhaps buy your product.

Posted by ErinWaite at October 8, 2006 03:16 PM


I agree with all of your ideas, especially that straightforward information sells. No one wants to browse through a mix and mess of clutter before they actually find what they are looking for. Brief key words, phrases, and basic info are enough to tell the customer "Yes I have found the site," or "No, I need to try again." One of those two thoughts should be established by just skimming through the key words, phrases, and bolded words. It saves time for people.

Posted by: Tiffany Gilbert at October 9, 2006 12:00 AM

Price & Price brought up a good point regarding mission statements, and I feel the same way you and Tiffany did.

So much of what I've read from businesses is a bunch of "Blah, blah, I've seen this before." I think most of information they put out there belongs in-house--it never quite translates to the *real* world or their customers.

Posted by: Cherie at October 9, 2006 09:56 AM

Thanks, ladies! Who wants to read big words about how much "we" are going to help you when half the time you get sent to 15 websites when you are just trying to solve one problem.

Posted by: Erin at October 10, 2006 01:33 PM

Erin, I posted a similar quote to the one about the creation of genres. I really liked that idea, too. It really makes a writer think--without readers, genres don't exist. And without genres, well, we don't have much!

Posted by: Karissa at October 10, 2006 10:29 PM

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