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Web Word Wizardry A Net-Savvy Writing Guide Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1580082235 ISBN-10: 1580082238 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580082238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580082235
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,532,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Good Web writing needs to be like soda pop or champagne," says Rachel McAlpine in Web Word Wizardry: "crystal clear and fizzy." But engaging prose isn't enough. Web writing needs to be straightforward ("the enigmatic, provocative, cryptic, poetic, ironic, or witty heading is wasted on the Web," she confides) but not bland. To instill trust in the reader, it must be both personal and professional. McAlpine, a trainer and consultant in online content, addresses everything here from alt-text and source code to doorway pages and link popularity. She discusses the differences between writing for the Web and writing for intranets (private Internet systems used by large organizations). She warns against long domain names, italics, and flags as language indicators. And she devotes a considerable amount of space to the fine art of customizing pages of your Web site for specific search engines. After all, who cares how brilliant your site is, if no one can find it? --Jane Steinberg

Review

Potent advice for the World'¬?s wannabe Webbies. — Chicago Tribune.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Easy to follow and written in plain English.
lesmis
It's filled with practical advice that those responsible for Web content or design can put to use immediately.
JaneConsumer
Much of the book covered outdated search engine optimization techniques.
sinistermidget

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Writing for the Internet is very different from writing a novel or an article. A reader tends to skim the page looking for words of interest and if they don't find what they want then it is easy to just click an link or hit a search engine and go to another page that might be of interest. In Web Word Wizardry the author leads the reader through the snares and pitfalls of writing for the Web in a style that demands attention and is directed towards a goal - getting the reader to actually examine the page.
By far the most comprehensive book that I have seen on this subject, Rachel McAlpine works through not only Web Pages but also writing and style for Ezines, writing for Search Engines, using Keywords and similar items. She ends the book with a checklist for Meta Tags, Title Tag, Description, Body Copy, Links, Optimization, Micro Content, Skim-Reading, Clarity, Adapting for the Web, Credibility, and Profitability. The checklists are well worth the price of the book by themselves.
With plenty of examples throughout the book it is clear and concise and a valuable reference to onyone designing a web site, Ezine or other Internet communication medium. If you want your site to be professional and user friendly then use this book as a magnifying glass to evaluate your site. Highly recommended.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shaun W. Taylor on March 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book's title and editorial review are terribly misleading. This book is not about writing copy or online content, contrary to how it sounds.
Nonetheless, the book is clearly written, and might even prove helpful to the right audience. The right audience would be anyone "brand spanking new" to the ways of the web, with little to no knowledge of page design and usability. Yes, page design and usability--like I said, this book is not about writing content.
I was hoping for a "best practices" guide with some examples of good and bad text. There are 30 to 40 pages of text devoted to this topic. Another 40 to 50 pages are devoted to usability concerns--please note that these have been adpated directly from some well-known usability authors like Jakob Nielsen and Steven Krug, known to be at opposite ends of the usability spectrum!
Another 50 to 60 pages were devoted to search engine placement. Again, nothing earth shattering. If you've been exposed to the web, and have some basic knowledge about the innerworkings of engines, the tips won't add any value. Anohter 20 to 30 pages on misc. topics like what businesses might do well on the web. About 50 pages of pure fluff--I guess a sub-200-page book wasn't acceptable?
At the end of the book are some useful checeklists. All-in-all, the content of the book is good for newcomers to the web, but I'm thoroughly disappointed that the text matches neither the title nor the description.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sinistermidget on April 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book with the intention of improving my ability to write for the internet. I was disapointed to discover there was very little coverage of writing copy for the web. Much of the book covered outdated search engine optimization techniques. Avoid this book if you want to learn how to write online copy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Brewer on September 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book helped shape my view of how to write online, and it's done wonders for the web site I manage. The site has boasted about a 50% increase in customers, and I feel a large part of that can be traced back to principles learned in this book.
Of special importance is the weight McAlpine places on being International-sensitive, because though it goes without saying, the Web is accessible to the entire world economy. And there are people who speak English in nearly every country in that world economy. So, of course, everyone is taking advantage of this fact, right? Don't count on it.
Read this book, and enlighten yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Bailey Brown on April 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've been writing for the Web and ezines since 1996, and thoroughly enjoyed and learned from this book. Rachel's personality and gentle humor shines through; and, although her helpful tips are often things I already knew, they're still awfully good reminders.
No this is not an encyclopedic guide to e-copywriting or online journalism persay. It is, however, a very good baseline guide for communications professionals (and hobbiests) who may be good writers in print and now have to take that skill online. It's also a great friendly reminder guide for those of us who've been doing this so long we've forgotten some of the rules... :-)
My favorite part of this book are all the examples and screenshots. Yes, some of the stuff Rachel points out is obvious. But if it's so obvious, why do so many, many Web sites and email newsletters *still* make these dumb mistakes?
Avoid the dumb mistakes. Enjoy the author's warm voice and jokes. Check out the useful samples. Buy the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JaneConsumer on November 18, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm about half-way through the book and love it! It's filled with practical advice that those responsible for Web content or design can put to use immediately. After a few hours, I have a checklist of changes I need to make to the site I manage. I also appreciate the author's witty style, which makes the book enjoyable as well as educational.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "j2t" on February 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Buy this book. With so much free information available now via the web, I expect a book author to inspire and entertain as well as inform. A writer owes a reader a duty of care, to create the greatest possible change in the shortest possible time with the highest possible level of fun. Rachel delivers. Energetic, sassy, mischievous, she explains why content is just as important to your website as to a book, periodical or brochure. Then she trains you to write text that is useful, appealing and available, tailored to its audience, matched to its medium. The section on optimising web sites for search engines alone is worth the purchase price. What would a book that increased your site's hits, your sales or contracts, your transaction value and your industry profile by 10% be worth to you? Don't settle for less expert advice -- get what you deserve.
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