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October 7, 2008

Newbie Outlook for a Pro

I have to say that overall, I enjoyed Crawford Kilian's book Writing for the Web 3.0 that was part of our reading for EL 236 - Writing for the Internet for some recent assignments. And as part of another assingment, we were told to critique Killian's book. This should be fun...

In one of Dr. Jerz's blog entries, Kilian actually saw that we were discussing his book all over the web and whether we all paid attention or not, we critiqued him shamelessly through the assingments and never thought twice about it, until a comment from Kilian showed up on Jerz's blog. (Welcome to online writing, friends - nothing can be hidden from anyone.)

Knowing this, I tend to think about what I write before I just throw out a rant on this blog. There are different times and places for that. I learned during freshman year it's not always best to put you initial reaction to a reading right on your blog, it just doesn't make you look good in the wrong run - and now I'm okay with showing that entry because I can say that I'm not like that when I write, sure I voice my own opinions, but I never just sloppily throw them into an entry.

That being said, let's look at Kilian. These are the entries I blogged about his book.

  1. Well that sounds familiar
  2. Orientation: Web-Style
  3. Don't go green and proofread
  4. My majors agree?
  5. So I'm a "Blender Blog" too...
  6. A round of applause for eight, please

Alright, so in a lot of these entries, because I'm self-centered at times, I just wrote about how I could fit into the readings and how I related to them. However, through them you can still see what I liked and disliked about Kilian's book.

In entries numbered 1 and 2 I refer to parts of the chapters as "duh moments" meaning "well duh, Kilian, that point is obvious," now even though that sound critical, I feel that Kilian HAS to have that in the book because not everyone has had the experience of growing up with a computer, or more than one computer in their house like I have. Kilian needs to leave these "duh moments in there" for the fourth edition of this book because there are still people out there that will be reading it that have not had that experience that I've had, Kilian needs to relate to his reader and some of his readers will need that help in there.

In entry numbered 3 there is really not much to talk about, I did a cop-out entry for that chapter. However, number 4 shows a decent entry about relating to your audience. NO MATTER WHAT this chapter needs to remain as is. Though it was difficult for our class to cope with because we are not geared towards making corporate websites, someday we may need to and I think this book is focused on people out in the businesses writing for the web, more than it is college students learning the ropes. (I may be wrong.) The only thing that I could see being changed in this section would be to add a sidebar or something that also gives the same kind of basic run down of rules for people that are not writing for corporate websites, to cater to the audiences of other kinds of web writing.

 The entry numbered 5 was sparked from another student's blog, which sparked an entry on Jerz's website, which is actually the entry that Kilian commented on. Clearly, we need to talk about this. Again, I feel that we are not the target audience for Kilian's book because of this, the categories he divides blogs into makes sense; however, if the goal of the fourth edition was to reach a wiser audience, Kilian should take into account the way that Andy and I showed that we could fit into more than one category and did so very easily. Obviously, I'm not out in the "real world" yet and I don't know if corporate web-blogs are "blender blogs" as well, but I'm going to guess that they are not. So, Kilian, if you were to revamp this section, give a little shout out to my boy Andy and add some of the ideas that he brought up in hi entry.

The final entry I did about the Kilian readings was on chapter eight being wonderful. Though in the entry numbered 6 I do not elaborate on many of the points Kilian brings up, I do appluad that chapter for its blunt way of putting some difficult issues. I feel that more and more people/including writers are shying away from the issues and in doing so, are only making the problems worse. I like that Kilian brings up the "not so fluffy- stuff" because it shows that he's a true writer, a writer that is willing to put his work on the line, so others can grow and learn from it. Very nice, sir - don't change this section unless there are more facts to add or a more blunt way to put it.

Like I said, overall, Kilian's book was a good read. Though some things were "duh moments" and some were over said, other sections can be improved by slight changes and some sections were great as is. Writing for the Web 3.0 was easy to read, through Kilian's professional yet fun and upbeat writing style that grabs onto and keeps the reader's attention and I'm sure with a few minimal changes, Writing for the Web additions after this one, will only get better and better.

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