Saturday, August 20, 2005

Words Matter. Make them Relevant or Kiss Off.

Seth Godin says there are two kinds of writing. I agree, but not quite the same.

If you're writing for strangers, make it shorter. Use images and tone and design and interface to make your point. Teach people gradually.

If you're writing for colleagues, make it more robust.Be specific. Be clear. Be intellectually rigorous and leave no wiggle room.
My experience points to two kinds of writing, as well. Stuff that customers find relevant and stuff that is so out-of-touch that it gets dumped in the can, clicked off to ether, tuned out or sent into TIVO-hell.

If it is relevant, it can be short or long. Of course, shorter is better. But I get awfully tired of going to websites and finding a bunch of high-level gobbeldie-gook words that are a waste of time ... I want information to help me make a decision and I get short, irrelevant vagueness. I'm willing to read if the words tell me what I need to know. Don't treat me like an idiot whether I am a stranger or a colleague.

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