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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Yahoo! Style Guide: Write Digital Content Everyone Will Read
There's a lot of information packed into The Yahoo! Style Guide a new book from Yahoo!. While other style guides and manuals have kept the topics of writing, user-interface, webpage coding, and SEO separate-The Yahoo! Style Guide brings it all together-making it a one-stop-guide for every member of your digital team.

One of the most useful chapters in the book...
Published on July 7, 2010 by Debbie Hemley

versus
32 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a remarkable book; very dry reading.
If you've never read _anything_ about writing for the Web, this book may be okay for you.

But if you've read other books such as "Don't Make Me Think", you may find Yahoo's style guide extremely repetitious, tedious, and lacking in any innovative product.

Okay, I'm writing for a global audience. I should use simple language. I should not use...
Published on November 2, 2010 by Erez Zukerman


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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Yahoo! Style Guide: Write Digital Content Everyone Will Read, July 7, 2010
There's a lot of information packed into The Yahoo! Style Guide a new book from Yahoo!. While other style guides and manuals have kept the topics of writing, user-interface, webpage coding, and SEO separate-The Yahoo! Style Guide brings it all together-making it a one-stop-guide for every member of your digital team.

One of the most useful chapters in the book is on copywriting for search engine optimization (SEO), and includes tips about keywords, links, page titles and metatags. People and search engines don't scan pages in the exact same way but there are some similarities to keep in mind, e.g. both need to know: what a page is about, what's important, options for acquiring more information.

There are excellent suggestions too, about how to "write for the world." We're reminded that the Web is a worldwide medium and "site visitors probably come from more than one country and more than one culture. Collectively, they probably speak several languages. It's a good practice to make the text on your site clear to as many people as possible." Five best practices we're urged to put into practice are: 1) Keep the sentence structure simple, 2) Include "signposts": words that help readers see how the parts of a sentence relate, 3) Eliminate ambiguity, 4) Avoid uncommon words and nonliteral usages, and 5) Rewrite text that doesn't translate literally.

You can read through the style guide from beginning to end and use it as a reference when stumped with a punctuation question, wondering how to write a perfect title for your email newsletter or streamlined text for mobile devices. The book is filled with loads of great tips. One of my favorites is on editing with screen-reading software so you can hear the page read aloud to you. (In Windows, Narrator or Ease of Use in Windows Vista and on the Mac, Text-to-Speech.)

The Yahoo! Style Guide is also available online with a companion website and includes additional resources and updates. You'll find a good companion in The Yahoo! Style Guide.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stylebook for the Online World, July 24, 2010
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It has been a while since I actually read a style usage book. As a writer, I read and write constantly, so every book, article, website, brochure, email, and even utility bills I peruse are style manuals of sorts. I always notice what words and style conventions are used in texts I read.

But with the instantaneous pace of writing and publishing these days, there's much inconsistency when it comes to grammar and punctuation rules, word usage and style, readability standards, and just plane old clear concise writing. There's not a day go by that I don't read articles, including my own, that are in need of a copy editor to check for grammar errors and wordiness. Most bloggers and web content writers must write, edit, and proofread their work like lonely housewives in need of help with daily chores. It's nearly impossible to do it all effectively.

This is where The Yahoo! Style Guide can be useful. It's one of the only sourcebooks I know that is written--as it subtitle says--"for writing, editing, and creating content for the digital world." When I purchased the book, I thought I'd simply park it on a bookshelf near my work area, but as started scanning through it, I realized it would be useful for me as a writer to read it cover-to-cover. And quite surprisingly, it is actually a sourcebook that you can read in its entirety. Sure, there were some sections that I scanned because I was thoroughly familiar with the content, but for the most part, the book was not only a good refresher course, but it made me aware of some issues of usage and style that I need to keep an eye on when I write.

I particularly bookmarked a useful '"superfluous phrases" list, marking some of the extraneous and redundant words that sometimes crop up in my own writing. I also like authors' suggestion for keeping a style word list, for keeping track of how you will use certain words (e.g., p.m. or pm, African-American or African American, screenshot, not screen shot.) The book ends with 40 pages of [...]own word list, which you will find quite consistent with word style usage across the net and in paper publications.

Another section I bookmarked is about using "consistent terminology for your calls to action" (e.g. edit, change, uncheck, deselect, IM, type or enter.) And every writer who post his/her work on the World Wide Web should read the chapter, "Be Inclusive, Write for the World." The authors of this Guide make good points about how people from different parts of world read words in English differently. They advise, "do not assume that you know who's reading your website." They give tips on writing for an audience that is not homogenous. For example, they talk about using "signposts" that help readers see how the parts of a sentence relate. They talk about producing gender-neutral copy, and avoiding slang and idioms that might be unfamiliar to many readers.

Easy to read examples are included on nearly ever page of the Guide, and some chapters conclude with exercises that reinforce the previously covered material.

I know there are other style books (such as the AP Stylebook and the Chicago Stylebook) have been around for quite some time, but this sourcebook should be the definitive guide for writing in general and web content writing in particular.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, July 22, 2010
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If you are thinking of working online--buy this book! It's current (unlike many other web-related books) and full of everything you need to know or learn! I am thrilled to have it and grateful to Yahoo for its existence. BTW--IMHO, this is NOT a book to read on your Kindle.
H.E.A.V.E.N.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How To Create Your Own Web Style Guide with This Book, September 7, 2010
The title is almost misleading - the book is about how you can and why you should create your own web style guide. Yes, it is by Yahoo and the examples are Yahoo, but the focus is not how to follow their guide, but how to develop your own voice with consistency.

The layout is sometimes cluttered, but the content is so fabulous that you can overlook it.

The book is full of current, topical information. The search engine optimization tips are comprehensive and easy to understand. There are chapters on writing user interface text, e-newsletters and streamlining text for mobile devices.

This book is an excellent reference for anyone writing or approving copy for websites.
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32 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a remarkable book; very dry reading., November 2, 2010
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If you've never read _anything_ about writing for the Web, this book may be okay for you.

But if you've read other books such as "Don't Make Me Think", you may find Yahoo's style guide extremely repetitious, tedious, and lacking in any innovative product.

Okay, I'm writing for a global audience. I should use simple language. I should not use gender-biased language, etc. etc.. I'm sorry, but this has all been said before. The main problem is that following this book recommendations will results in simple, understandable copy which is also extremely dry and devoid of "magic".

On the bright side, the book contains plenty of before and after examples, and may be used as an authoritative reference to show your boss on why you insist doing something in a certain way.

Also, I wouldn't get this for the Kindle: The book contains some tables which do not translate to the Kindl's screen very well, cannot be zoomed in, and are tiny and difficult to make out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Reference for Writers, August 26, 2012
By 
L.Leander (Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
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I learned about this book through the Yahoo! Content Academy certification courses. Anyone who is currently writing or wants to write online content could benefit from the information gathered here. From SEO optimization to correct possessive nouns and state abbreviations - the book has it all!

Strunk and White wrote a little book that every writer refers to when stumped. It is a classic, even though it was written many years ago. I believe The Yahoo! Style Guide could be the same kind of book, however, with the constantly changing landscape of online content writing, my concern is that it will be outdated every few months.

That being said, the information is invaluable and necessary to each and every person who is writing in today's world. Whether you are a novelist, a freelancer, or a hobbyist you can and will benefit from the research gathered in these pages. This is a book that should be included on every writer's shelf of reference books today. Get yours now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly useful as a writing guide and model, January 3, 2011
If you work for a large company, it's likely that you must follow the writing rules laid out in a corporate style guide. If you don't, then you may need a style guide to follow--both for consistency and clarity in your own writing and to offer guidance to colleagues who write their own text.

This book is an excellent resource for both purposes. At 500+ pages, the paperback is a bit unwieldy to work with, but whether in print or electronic form, this is a writing guide you will want to keep on your desk for a quick reference.

And when you want to create a style guide for your own projects, the structure, content focus, and design of this book will give you a good model to follow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quickly Becoming My Companion, March 28, 2011
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This book is quickly becoming my work companion, as I've been reaching for it many, many times throughout the day. As a technical communications writer, it's refreshing to have nearly current terminology (because new words come about every day, it seems) in one book. My colleagues and I have given this guide a trial over the past few weeks and are recommending it as the base to our corporate technical style guide. Excellent work!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts It All Together, February 16, 2011
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This book brings together what looks like the whole spectrum of writing for the web. As an experienced tech writer and advertising copywriter (fifty-some years), I know how to put information together on a page, but I need guidance in writing for the web. This book provides it, in spades! Detailed table of contents, thorough index, LOADED with before-and-after examples -- I only wish I had the time I need to spend using it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big comprehensive sourcebook, March 10, 2013
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Big, all-encompassing sourcebook for web text producers - great for editors, bloggers, writers.
Layout is easy to navigate, chapters are concise and engaging, examples are numerous and directly relevant, and the writing is clear and direct. It practices what it preaches!
This is a reference book you'll turn to again and again. Keep it handy.
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