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Online digital text and implications for reading in academe

“While the Internet is a text–saturated world, reading online screens tends to be significantly different from reading printed text. This review essay examines literature from a variety of disciplines on the technological, social, behavioural, and neuroscientific impacts that the Internet is having on the practice of reading. A particular focus is given to the reading behaviour of emerging university students, especially within Canada and the United States. A brief overview is provided of the recent transformation of academic libraries into providers of online digital text in addition to printed books and other materials, before looking at research on college students’ preferences for print and digital text, and the cognitive neuroscience of reading on screen.”

(Barry W. Cull ~ First Monday, Volume 16, Number 6)

The Importance of Web Content Strategy

“Some web design and web development agencies have it all. They provide their clients with a complete site solution from beginning to end, from site planning and information architecture to web design, web hosting, and SEO. It’s tough for a smaller web design company or the solo freelancer to compete. Or is it? It may be easier than you think to broaden your competitiveness by adding web content writing services to your web design company.” (Rick Sloboda ~ Six Revisions)

The Importance of Strategic Micro Copy: An iTunes Case Study

“Poorly devised, unhelpful content is wasteful. It potentially wastes the time of users and can also have financial implications for the company responsible for it, in this case Apple. Because they were not more thoughtful about their micro copy, they’ve had to correspond with me multiple times, costing them and me money and time. They’ve also left me feeling frustrated and, if at all possible, I will probably look to spend my money elsewhere. Lucky for them, they are one of the only providers of digital MP3 and video content online in my region of the world. Unless you’re Apple, can you afford to alienate customers because of careless copy?” (Amy Thibodeau ~ Contentini)

Why Curation Is Just as Important as Creation

“The personal web publishing boom has led to an information explosion. It’s a data free-for-all, and it’s just beginning. Andrew Blau is a researcher and the co-president of Global Business Network in San Fransisco. Blau has foretold the changes in media distribution and content creation. Now he’s watching this new, historic emergence of first-person publishing.” (Steve Rosenbaum ~ Mashable)

What is Intelligent Content?

“(…) is content which is not limited to one purpose, technology or output. It’s content that is structurally rich and semantically aware, and is therefore discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable and adaptable. It’s content that helps you and your customers get the job done. It’s content that works for you and it’s limited only by your imagination.” (Ann Rockley ~ The Content Wrangler)

A Contentmas Epiphany

“Be honest, did you immediately think of a sketch or mockup you have tucked away? Or some clever little piece of code you want to fiddle with? Now ask yourself, why would you start designing the container if you haven’t worked out what you need to put inside? Anyway, forget the content strategy lecture; I haven’t given you your gifts yet. I present The Twelve Days of Contentmas! This is a simple little plan to make sure that your personal site, blog or portfolio is not just looking good at the end of these twelve days, but is also a really useful repository of really useful content.” (Relly Annett-Baker ~ 24Ways)

Testing Content

“Nobody needs to convince you that it’s important to test your website’s design and interaction with the people who will use it, right? But if that’s all you do, you’re missing out on feedback about the most important part of your site: the content. Whether the purpose of your site is to convince people to do something, to buy something, or simply to inform, testing only whether they can find information or complete transactions is a missed opportunity: Is the content appropriate for the audience? Can they read and understand what you’ve written?” (Angela Colter ~ A List Apart)

Web Content That Persuades and Motivates

“In this article, I am going to explore the written Web site content whose purpose is to cause prospective customers to take action—or that results in their not taking action—from the perspective of its achieving a company’s sales and marketing goals. This discussion assumes the company has a service or product to sell. If you’’re not interested in the motivational aspects of sales psychology and what their proper use can do to help a company’s sales efforts, then stop right here, because you will not like this article.” (Chandler Turner ~ UXmatters)

How to measure the effectiveness of web content?

“(…) I can see two issues that make this a pretty difficult task, and it’s the reason why the above three methods should not be used in isolation. In combination, they help tell the whole story. It is difficult to know what users really read on a page and it is difficult to isolate the effect of content changes from the other influencing factors on a page.” (Rian van der Merwe ~ Elezea)

Good Help is Hard to Find

“One of the most fundamental rules of user experience on the web is that developers are rarely qualified to evaluate it. As developers, we know far too much about the web in general, and intuitively grasp details that mystify people who spend their days contributing to society in other ways. For this reason, it’s all too easy for us to build websites and applications that are hard to use. Good user testing during the development process can mitigate the problem, but in many projects, the testing budget is limited if present at all.” (Lyle Mullican ~ A List Apart)

Organizating Content: A 7 Parts Series

“I’m starting a new series on organizing content. I’m not sure how many parts there will be in this series. Writing essays in a serial format is an experiment I’m exploring. Basically this approach to writing follows the agile model. I write a bit, get some feedback, write some more, get feedback, and keep going. The feedback along the way shapes the direction I’m heading. Also, with each serial post, I hope to take the issue a little deeper.” (I’d Rather Be Writing)