Make your point clear in the first sentence
Everybody knows the cardinal rule of journalism–don’t bury the lede.
Well, almost everybody.
Today I picked up a local newspaper bearing a headline stating the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will get funding for body cameras. But I couldn’t tell what the story was supposed to be about until the third paragraph.
Continue reading “The lede–a story’s heartbeat”
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”
I 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”
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”
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””
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”
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”
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”
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.
Continue reading “Trumped up anger?”
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)”