October 04, 2006

Hot Text: When Blurb's the Word (Or would that be words?)

Dr. Jerz, your blurb text and Prices blurb text run pretty parallel to each other, with Price getting a little more persnickety about how much technicality he actually explains. Compliments of Dr. Jerz's website, "On the web, a blurb is a line or short paragraph (20-50 words) that evaluates (or at least summarizes) what the reader will find at the other end of a link." I think this is a very helpful thing. I think that blurbs are useful and i understand the frustration of a reader who encounters bad blurb after bad blurb. It is true, when you are using a search engine, you read the title and the blurb to see if it interests you and then base your decision to click on your initial interest. I know that is my personal style, and one would think that most people react this way to a search engine list. In a case such as this, I don't think the matter is laziness, as much as it is wanting (and needing) to save time.
There is also one point in Hot Text, I'm not sure whether it is chapter 7 or 8 honestly, i lost it, but Price is talking about linking and making keywords at the ends of the sentences on your page. Price says something along the linees of the natural emphasis for a sentence is at the end, so it is good to work with that. I remember thinking while i was reading that paragraph that i felt like i was in a journalistically twisted world. I felt like i was being told to write from right to left, rather than left to right or top to bottm. The paragraph tips are relatively similar to journalism though, starting with the important information first. It seems to me that Price wants us web users to write in inverted pyramid style, but neglects from using this particular term. Maybe he thought by using it, his audience would be narrowed down to only those with journalism knowledge. Or maybe he just didn't want to confuse people...I found the text we had to read for today relatively informative. Also, it was all related, which is the actual point i think Price is trying to make in his text (to have all paragraphs be related). I surely cannot write perfect blurbs yet, but at least i know what they are, what an audience expects and how to write them by being both informative and efficient.

Posted by Lori Rupert at October 4, 2006 05:21 PM

The thing about the English language is that we don't often realize where we are placing emphasis in anything--syllables, words, phrases. Unless we exaggerate or set-off the stress in quotes or bold or by saying something louder, words sound the same.

But, if you look at most sentence structures, the point comes at the end. Indirect and direct objects come at the end (usually), and refer back to both the subject and the verb. The predicates of sentences usually have the meat 'n potatoes of the thing--the details.

I can understand your frustration with the idea of putting links near the ends of sentences, however, since it never actually struck me as a good idea to do this. Nor has it ever stuck me that there would be an advantage to placing a link at any particular part of a sentence... Is this rhetoric of psychology? Usability or common sense? My thoughts? All of the above.

Great points, Lori :)

Posted by: Karissa at October 6, 2006 12:23 AM
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