Writing for the Web for Dummies
Okay, so although I was one to criticize this book as often as possible, I acknowledge that parts of this book did help me. In terms of content, Kilian does an excellent (sometimes overly excellent) job at explaining what to and not to do when writing hypertext. Having said that, I do have a few complaints. For one, I felt that Kilian spent far too much of the book leading up to actualy hypertext writing. Most of his advice really isn't that different from news writing. I understand that Kilian felt he needed to address an audience who did not know how to write, but I feel like he almost insults anyone who does know how to write, journalistically (is that a word?) anyway. But, the point is, for a reader who doesn't understand the concept of writing towards an audience rather than towards a professor, this book does a great job of explaining simple rules and guidelines.
Nevertheless, Kilian spends far too much time explaining these sections. For example, his entire section concerning "print out to proofread" could be condensed to a single sentence 'Not only is computer-screen text hard to read, it's hard to proofread as well."
Kilian spends so much time stressing the importance of condensing material and then writes a book with so much "fluff" that I have to wonder if he took his own advice at all. However, not everything in Kilian's book was useless.
The most useful section for me was probably Chapters 7 & 8, in which Kilian explains the usefulness of web-writing skills. For example, the section explaining the difference between different types of blogs helped me to realize that internet writing is a much larger and useful tool than I'd first realized. The section on Personal Sites for Self-Marketing also proved helpful in that, although previous "about me" websites served as a page with "links of sites of interest," "about me" pages can now assist people in finding prospective jobs.
Although I didn't enjoy reading this book by any means, sections (specifically the last three) helped me the most. This isn't to say that others might've found use in the earlier paragraphs, but perhaps Kilian could add a disclosure at the start of each chapter, explaining what specific material will be provided in each section.