Summarizing Chapter

Here are key messages from Chapter 12:

• Don't make new program and product names into links by themselves.

• Rethink document titles and headings that turn into links.

• Think ahead. Match links and page titles.

• Be as explicit as you can in the space you have - and make more space if you need it.

• Use action phrases for action links.

• Use single nouns sparingly as links; longer, more descriptive links often work better.

• Add a short description if people need it - or rewrite the link.

• Make the link meaningful - not Click here, not just More.

- Click here is never necessary.

- More isn't enough.

• Coordinate when you have multiple, similar links.

• Don't embed links if you want people to stay with your information.

- If people are just browsing, embedding may be okay.

- But if you don't want people to wander off in the middle, put links at the end, below, or next to your main text.

• If you use bullets with links, make them active, too.

• Make both unvisited and visited links obvious.

- Use your unvisited link color only for links.

- Show visited links by changing the color.

Getting from ^ Draft to Final Web Pages

Your job as a web content writer isn't over when you've first created the content. Whether you are a blogger, a solo author on your own web site, or part of a larger organization, you will have better and clearer content if you include editing, revising, and proofreading in your writing process. If you have colleagues and stakeholders, you may also need to give your drafts to them and then negotiate with them about what to say and how to say it.

Your attitude about reviewing and revising can go a long way to making it a smooth and productive process. Make it fun. Make it a learning experience. As Tom Brinck told me to tell you when he reviewed the first draft of this chapter:

You should delight in feedback and getting your content just right. You should enjoy the surprises and discovery when people come from a different perspective and want something you totally didn't expect. If you're brewing in resentment over having to suppress your supposedly good ideas, you're going to die young of stomach ulcers. Take the opposite perspective: Share your ideas and love what you learn, not as your ideas are "shot down," but as your ideas compete in an ecology of good ideas and improve as a result.

To help you get easily and successfully from first draft to final web pages, this chapter has six sections with lots of guidelines and tips:

• Think of writing as revising drafts

• Review and edit your own work

• Ask colleagues and others to read and comment

• Put your ego in the drawer - cheerfully

• Work with a writing specialist or editor

• Make reviews work for you and your web site visitors

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