Tag Archives: online presence

Getting Your Social Network Started, Part 1

social network using stick peopleAt writer’s conferences and in critique groups people throw phrases like “social networks” and “platform building” around like cheap confetti. Judging from the glazed look on the eyes of many writers, there seems to be a disconnect between knowing one should work on their online presence, and how to do just that. It’s not enough to tell folks to build a network, because that’s too abstract a concept in a universe of hundreds of social networking Web sites and applications. Worse, all of the jargon is so intimidating many writers begin to justify their absence from the market. “Well, I need to have time to write, not promote myself,” one romance writer told me at this year’s PNWA. Others that I’ve spoken with don’t see the benefit to all of these online sites—it looks to them like a lot of time spent tooling around the interwebs for next to no return on their investment. And that’s a shame.

When I was working in the usability field—trying to match people’s needs with the design of the Web systems they were using—one of the recurring issues I ran into was language.  Someone looking for “Data” as a topic in a list of items is likely to miss their target if it comes after the word “Healthcare,” as in “Healthcare Data.” Tiny differences in inches or color contrast or expectations around word choice throw people off more easily than we as confident humans would like to admit, and attitude makes a big, big difference. So if I may pull a little from my past professional experience, let me boil down a few simple steps to establishing an online presence.   Read More…

Online Presence the Sane Way

Once upon a time, I worked as an evaluator of information systems, which apparently nobody thinks are important in Walla Walla, but which trust me, they sorely need. The usable Web sites are few and far between around here, even for well funded organizations and businesses. But I digress. I bring up information design when talking about online presence because both of them, for me at least, start with the same set of questions.

What am I trying to accomplish? Who is my audience? What is my product or service? Read More…

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