Yesterday, I knew that I had a full day to leisurely work through a project due on Monday. So, like any self-respecting business owner, I opened WordPress to write a blogpost….and got distracted by the Need to Update!
It’s snazzy. It’s fast. And Web 2.0 make life easier for everyone – or at least, it’s faster than ever to connect and post and update and revise….you get the picture. We can all thank O’Reilly Media for creating the phrase in 2004, hosting a conference in 2008, and having their term snagged by LifeWire to explain something we get told every day in every way: the social media age is here. Learn to live with it or die.
Tangled Web 2.0
Since most people have heard all about the amazing benefits, as well as the downfalls (i.e. we’re so connected that we hardly have time to walk next door and say hello to our neighbors), there’s no need to explain the tangled mess that is The World Wide Web.
Publish or Perish
These days, it’s not just academics who have to publish or perish – it’s the business-owning public.
Unless you have the cashflow to pay for a social media manager and website developer and WordPress expert from Fiverr, and depending on the type of business you own, it will probably make sense to post on your own Facebook page and write your own blogposts. At least, it makes sense until you’re doing more than contract work.
Today, I found a great tool: Pixabay! Instead of having to roam through Google Images and find the content with ‘usage rights’ set to ‘labeled for reuse’, this genius company has cut out all that hassle for the mere right to ask for a donation. Why yes, I gave them the price of a cup of coffee, and gladly. I may use their images 20 times in the next month, and then realize I need to donate again. Any blogpost needs photographic, eye-catching help.
Words, Meet Photos
Words and photos have never had such a great relationship. Everyone who uses Google regularly can attest to that ‘one site’ rife with spelling errors, turgid with tangled prose, and generally an Internet eyesore. Usually the images are also grainy, badly pixilated, and matching in the eyesore department. [Note: I would be quite happy to edit those websites, if only the owners themselves knew their own passcodes or were able to pay more than $1 USD per hour. I still get those types of quotes from Upwork, every once in a while. Sad!]
So today, I marked one more To Do off the list: add some photos to a few blogposts. Every Friday, I will do something to improve the state of my blog or social media offerings – because even a late adaptor monkey can get out some sentences if she types long enough.
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor
Most of my clients, past or present, are hampered with lack of funds. They are not hampered by a lack of words. My job is to sail in and save their bacon, so they look good online.
However, none of that will help if I don’t also attend to my own plumbing, metaphorically speaking. (What I mean is that most business owners who offer a service, like plumbing, don’t attend to that service in their own home or business.) As an editor, I have to pay attention to how people see and ‘hear’ words. In the Web 2.0 world, this also means that I have to pay attention to how they see the images and postings that match the words.
New Branding, Classic Content: Black is still black
However, since language changes much more slowly than the World Wide Web, most of my actual work doesn’t change. I will still remove unnecessary words, add missing punctuation, move phrases for better flow and viewing, and generally act like a word mechanic. A mechanic must have a car to work on. I must have actual written words or an outline to revise; in rare exceptions, I can create content out of nearly nothing, but the overall concept must be clear!
I still believe that black is the all-time classic color. Web 2.0 constantly pushes people to follow trends: pink is the new black, orange is the new black, gray is really a kind of modernized black, who knows. Once people are tired of trends, they usually return home and decide to get stable instead of trying to please everyone’s wildly differing tastes. Variety is good, just don’t set your hair on fire trying to figure out ‘the new black’.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!