Remembering the 2015 flood following Hurricane Matthew’s aftermath

House debris

One Columbia-area home gutted after the 2015 flood damaged whole neighborhoods and towns.

South Carolina has seen a lot of devastation by weather in the past year. I expect storm damage to be a primary budget focus for lawmakers next year, even after some have said that the state’s most critical funding issue is the Retirement System’s $21 billion unfunded liability.

Photos of caved in roads, a specter of last year’s flooding devastation across wide swaths of the state, filled the state Transportation Department’s Twitter page today as the agency goes into cleanup mode following Hurricane Matthew.

Continue reading “Remembering the 2015 flood following Hurricane Matthew’s aftermath”

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Lowering your bounce rate, from one non-web guru to another

tablet screenI don’t check in on my website analytics quite like I’m supposed to.

One particular post at The Carolina Ledger performed well on social media last week. My interest in my website’s analytics is usually piqued when that happens.

When I checked my report, I noticed something I’ve notice before–a high bounce rate. (Cue dramatic music.)

Continue reading “Lowering your bounce rate, from one non-web guru to another”

NWS all-caps “yelling” gone the way of teletype

NWSchange

 

 

The National Weather Service announced this spring that it would stop publishing in all caps in May.

And this is a wise decision because if every forecast is printed in dated teletype, it seems like an emergency, as one Pro Publica article points out.

But in addition to generally communicating a more appropriate level of urgency, the change also addresses how we process information.

Continue reading “NWS all-caps “yelling” gone the way of teletype”

A “difficult, agonizing, dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation”

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had minor dental surgery a few weeks ago.

And recovery from a concurrent dental infection has taken longer than I had expected.

I’ve had to reach down deep–deeper than usual–to find the energy to do my work.

It’s in these moments in life that writers need a reason from which to pivot. Slow your work down if you must. But find the reason to keep working, or else you’ll quit.

Continue reading “A “difficult, agonizing, dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation””

Five keys to consistency

Another one of my notebooks

Another one of my notebooks

It’s about time for a sermon on consistency in writing.

Partly because writers and bloggers need to hear it.

But mostly because I need to hear it.

Continue reading “Five keys to consistency”

Three tips for the typography novice’s next project

Typeface is a language all its own.

More than mere decoration, typefaces—or font families—should support your message. Select your typefaces as carefully as you select your words.

Continue reading “Three tips for the typography novice’s next project”

Getting there first, but getting it right

I find coffee helps with clarity.

I find coffee helps with clarity.

Editors make mistakes.

Even good editors, when writing, need an editor to screen for potential errors before publishing their work.

I made a mistake several weeks ago. Surprise, surprise.

One reader called my attention to it in an email.

Continue reading “Getting there first, but getting it right”

Trumped up anger?

Donald Trump

Businessman Donald Trump on the campaign trail. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

I don’t recall the exact date. But I remember the moment approximately six years ago that I was standing around at a Tea Party rally on the Statehouse grounds to see whom I could see, when I noticed something.

A candidate for public office in South Carolina had said it again. “Republicans aren’t much better,” or some similar expressed affectation.

Right there, in that second, it struck me. I was hearing that expression a lot in those post-Obama victory days.

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What I learned creating ads on Facebook (plus a tutorial roundup)

Image by Jen Mayfield. Copy by Jessica Cross. TDC's Facebook ad preview.

Image by Jen Mayfield. Copy by Jessica Cross. TDC’s Facebook ad preview.

I’m not naturally a leap-before-you-look kind of gal. And creating my first Facebook ad for The Design Consortium, where I write copy and analyze websites, was no exception.

I knew I could write the copy according to Facebook’s character length specifications for our particular ad objective. What unnerved me was the process of setting up the ad. Fortunately, I had TDC team depending on me to get it done–that’s the cure!

I learned that the process of creating a Facebook ad, though detailed, is easy.

Continue reading “What I learned creating ads on Facebook (plus a tutorial roundup)”

Five things to consider before crafting your next email subject line

You’ve written your best email yet. And you can’t wait to share it with readers. But before you email your audience, consider your first impression–the subject line. Consider these five things as you write your next subject line–

Length

According to one marketing guru on LinkedIn, subject lines ranging from six to 10 words in length correlate with higher email open rates. Continue reading “Five things to consider before crafting your next email subject line”