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Web Word Wizardry: A Net-savvy Writing Guide Paperback – 31 Dec 2000

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Amazon.com: 14 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
One of the best guides available 22 Jun 2002
By Harold McFarland - Published on Amazon.com
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.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This book is NOT about content writing for the web 17 Mar 2002
By Shaun W. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Decent book that doesn't really cover writing for the web. 21 April 2005
By sinistermidget - Published on Amazon.com
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Web Word Wizardry Works Wonders on the Web 11 Sep 2003
By Robert L. Brewer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Thoroughly enjoyable & useful for online and ezine writers 20 April 2002
By Rosemary Bailey Brown - Published on Amazon.com
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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