Category Archives: Writing

Essential Words & Terminology for 2013

Essentials for online writing (The must know list):

If you are serious about taking your brand online this year, you better make sure that you know what you and others are talking about.

Web is developing at a “faster than light” pace and new words / phrases are coined equally quickly. It’s important to get a sense of the general terms so that you don’t become overwhelmed by semantics and terminology. Some basic but essentials to know:

Blog

A blog (originally called weblog / web-log) is an online collection of articles (posts) targeted at a specific audience profile. For instance a travel blog will concern itself with posts and updates related to the realm of traveling, holiday spots etc. It is important to note that every blog reflects the personality of its host / author (also called a blogger). Readers respond to both the content of the blog (what is being said) and the personality of the blog (how it is presented to the reader – humourous, serious, visually etc).

Tip: If you are considering a blog, decide what type of personality you will be reflecting before hand. Be consistent and make sure that your blog promotes your business with integrity and honour.

Collaboration

In an online world this means that more than one person is contributing to a post or topic. This is a great idea as it allows subject-matter-experts in your community to weigh-in on important issues. This should increase your blog visits.

Content Management System (CMS)

A computer program that allows you to create, publish and edit content. Once your content is created, the CMS then presents it to the web where others can view and comment on. Most CMS’s provide an interface that is user-friendly and easy to operate – even for persons with hardly any web background.

Del.icio.us

The social bookmarking site where users can collectively tag favorite links. As you browse the web and come across content that you find valuable / meaningful, DELICIOUS is the site that allows you to store, share and continue discovering more.

Links

Using hypertext, a link is connection between one picture, word or post to another. Perhaps it will help you to think of this as strings running between concepts that allow to jump from one to the other.

Tip: Bloggers use links to create multiple entry points to their blogs and posts. This is done by creating links to your blog in as many places as possible – i.e. placing a link to your blog on your website is a good starting point. You can build your link strategy by adding links to your blog to other partner sites (remember to request permission first!).

Social Media

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment contents among themselves in virtual communities and networks. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media).  Some of the most popular social media sites include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – in no order of preference.

Scheduling

Using blogging software to write posts and schedule them for publishing in the future. A blog engine like this one (WordPress) allows you to plan and schedule your posts like you would schedule an appointment in your diary.

Tag

Tags are terms / phrases or specific words that describe the nature / content of a post.

Tag cloud

Visual representations of tags or keywords used in a blog. In other words a group of the most popular tags (words / phrases / terms) the blogger uses to categorize his / her posts.

Thread

A collections or series of posts pertaining to a particular topic.

WordPress

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that allows users (like you and me) to sign up for an account, to customise what our blog will look like and to publish our thoughts and comments via this “program” (I use this term very loosely) or platform. The beauty of this CMS is that you don’t need any web development knowledge to get going, it is almost as simple as typing an article in Microsoft Word.

Over to you

Are there specific words / phrases that has you bamboozled? Feel free to leave a comment and let’s see if I can help you clarify them.

Adrinalin DIVA, done-and-dusted.

 


Trashing your Boss on Facebook (An Article on Caution via www.labourwise.co.za!)

TRASHING YOUR BOSS ON FACEBOOK

From an article on www.labourwise.co.za

Social networks, such as Facebook, serve as a useful vehicle for sharing one’s personal views. It can also have unexpected and unfortunate ramifications. One example is when an employee makes use of a social network to air his views about his or her employer. It would seem that, for some reason or other, employees lose their inhibitions when there is a screen between them and the world out there.

There have been several cases where employees have used a social network, such as Facebook and Twitter, to say nasty things about their employers.

It is one thing to speak your heart out about your boss to a friend over a drink. As soon as you post it on a social network, though, two important dimensions are added: Firstly, your thoughts or words are recorded in text and cannot be retracted; secondly, you lose control over its distribution.

Who can blame an employer for wanting to take disciplinary action if an employee’s caustic comments about the employer are given publicity in this way? Several questions arise, though:

  1. What if it did not happen at work or during working hours?
  2. What about the employee’s right to privacy? Can the employer rely on evidence that was meant to be private?
  3. Does the employee’s position within the company make a difference?
  4. Does the remark necessarily destroy the employment relationship?

These considerations were addressed very lucidly in the CCMA-case of Sedick & another vs Krisray (Pty) Ltd.

Two senior employees were dismissed for having exchanges via Facebook regarding the employer and members of management. They exchanged several snide remarks about the founder of the business and younger family members that were brought in to help manage the business. These remarks included “Trust me no one can put up with so much shit when the fing kids join the company!”; “From so-called ‘professionalism 2 dumb brats runnin a mickey mouse business”; “… today was hectic with Frankentein”; “What an idiot”; “a very ugly man with a dark soul”.

In this case the dismissal was not challenged on the basis that the exchanges had happened outside of working hours. However, it has become a firmly established principle that an employer may take action against employees for conduct outside working hours if such conduct has an adverse impact on the employment relationship.

As far as the issue of privacy is concerned, the commissioner noted that the internet is, for most part, public domain. This also applies to Facebook, to the extent that the employees had not restricted access to the relevant pages. As a consequence of their failure to make use of the privacy options, they had abandoned their right to privacy and the protections of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act of 2002 (“The Interception Act”).

Although no names were mentioned, the employees were intentionally communicating with subordinates within the company, as well as with ex-employees and other persons. According to the commissioner this meant that two of the senior employees in the organisation were publicly making derogatory and demeaning remarks about the director and management to persons who, on the balance of probability, were fully aware about whom these comments were being made. Whilst some of the postings were quite innocuous and not, in the commissioner’s opinion, all that damaging to the employment relationship, the greater number were extremely serious and, if not constituting insubordination, certainly constituted gross insolence. After taking into account what had been written, where the comments had been posted, to whom they had been directed and by whom they had been said, the commissioner found that dismissal was a fair sanction.

The arbitration award was concluded with the following terse observation: “If employees wish their opinions to remain private, they should refrain from posting them on the internet”.

Jan Truter of www.labourwise.co.za

This entry was written by Labourwise www.labourwise.co.za is an on-line labour relations service aimed at assisting employers with the implementation of effective labour relations. They can be contacted via the website or info@labourwise.co.za.

Adrinalin Point-of-View:

Social media sites are public – VERY public – and whether you are acting as an individual, a business representative, an employee or a business owner BE AWARE. Don’t post pictures or post willy-nilly. Decide what your core values are (in any and all of the above instances) and post according to this self-imposed standard.

Encourage yourself, your employees and your colleagues to maintain integrity-based, authentic and professional images for themselves and your business. Don’t abandon the fun, just be cautious when it comes to posting online.

Diva over-and-out.


Content

Question:

“What should I write about on my website?”

“How do I know whether I am covering the right topics on my site / Facebook page etc?”

Same questions over and over again – so let’s make your life just a little easier.

Keywords:

Deciding on what to write about becomes super easy once you have pegged down the top keywords for your industry / business. If you know what people are searching for on the internet, you can respond appropriately.

So how do you decide on the relevant keywords? A good place to start is the Google Keyword Tool. Type in the search terms / words and phrases you think people use when looking for your product or service. Make sure you set the location correctly. Now you can compare the number of local searches (per month) per word, phrase or search term you specified. Are the searches significant enough for you to take note of? Obviously thousands of searches per month is much better than single digit ones.

Writing website content:

Once you have your list of keywords, narrow down to the top ten (maximum twelve!) and use these keywords to structure your site content.

Some basic tips:

  1. Use the keywords to map your navigation
  2. Use the keywords as often as possible in headings (H1 Tags) in your site. Your webmaster can help you with this if you are unsure.
  3. Use the keywords (sensibly) but often through out the site. Let’s look at an example. Our keywords: business plan, business plans, sample business plans or business plan templates. (Obviously this is just an extract but you get the idea).

” Whether you are new to the business of business or have been running your own business for years – business plans are essential documents for any entrepreneur or business owner. But what is a business plan and why is  it so important? If you have ever looked at a sample business plan or a business plan template – you will know that a business plan is designed to collate all the essential business information (current facts, business climate, projected growth and business vision) into one sensible document that clearly, simply and effectively communicates the who, what, where and why of your business. “

Writing is easy – just work with a plan.

If you want / need help with your content – call one of the Adrinalin Junkies today!

Diva over and out :P

 


How webby is your website?

When last have you REALLY looked at your website? Have you recently tried to navigate the menu, find information or send a ‘contact us’ e-mail? Having a website with inappropriate content, outdated information, broken links /menu options or stale humour just does not cut it anymore.

Maintaining your website must be a crucial part of your online strategy. Here’s a suggested to-d0 list to update and zhoosh-up your site and make it all the more alluring for your visitors:

  • Make a list of your top keywords.

Top words or phrases that describe what you do. Specifically if possible. If you understand how to categorize your business, it will be much easier to group and explain it to others. Here’s some help if you’re interested (post is a somewhat older but offers good content).

  • Read through all the pages.

Does the content still make sense? Is it relevant (i.e. has it been updated recently to reflect current industry news, your own product and service improvements etc.)?

Do you use your keywords to describe your business and your service  / product? Try to steer clear of flowery descriptions that never use your keywords. How on earth will Google now to look for you if you don’t at least give it a hint?

Are the pages interesting, engaging and appealing? Will readers enjoy the time they spend on your site? It is always a good idea to spend time planning the content of your site. Repeating the same stale information over-and-over again from page-to-page and year-to-year will encourage your would-be visitors to look for other websites!

  • Look at the pictures.

Do they make sense? Do you use pictures of your products or your staff members? Will people now more about your business, your values or your brand personality by looking at the pictures on your site? If you answered Yes – good for you! If No – it’s probably time to dig through the photo libraries and pictures folder!

It is also a good idea to rename the pictures on your site to reflect it’s content. Numbers (from a SEO and content perspective) aren’t great. Use descriptive titles AND make sure that you add descriptions (image ALT Tags) to all the images on the site. Good for search engines. Good for you.

  • Links to other sites

I have written an entire post on back links before if you want to know more. Suffice to say that you should probably think of:

  1. Adding your social media feeds or icons to your site
  2. Linking your blog to your business site
  3. Linking your website to your social media profiles
  4. Mention your website whenever (appropriately!) possible

It is also an excellent idea to get other people to review your site. Ask them to comment specifically on user-friendliness, enjoyment, appeal and of course value-of-content. Now, it’s time for you to start making some changes to your website.

Diva, over and out.


Writing for Facebook

Facebook is growing, evolving and constantly changing the rules. Online communicators can’t afford to become complacent or lethargic. There is more and more content being circulated via Facebook and other social networking platforms. The overall effect that we are finding (looking specifically again at examples from our South African client base) that this is creating a more discerning reader. With so much on offer, we need to constantly work at adapting and innovating when we write for Facebook.

Here are three tips I always offer to my clients:

  1. Not all readers are alike. Some think visually others like intellectual stimulation and some still look to social networking sites for diversion and escapism. When we create your content strategy, try to incorporate messaging that will appeal to a broad reader-demographic. This means that you will need to create fun, interactive posts, try to incorporate meaningful polls and of course add videos and photos when appropriate.
  2. Circulating content from other blogs and websites. Subscribe to sites and pages that you like and that could add value to your content strategy and share the stand-out posts. What is even more meaningful is to add your own opinion, thoughts, comments or polls based on this content. In other words, use it but make it your own! Please give credit where due and don’t plagiarize.
  3. Don’t sell. Teach, inform, educate, introduce your brand personality and even have fun. You should ideally be prompting readers to visit your website regularly – they can learn more about your products and services there. Don’t spoil your online networking by mistaking it for a door-to-door sales opportunity.

And of course, don’t be stale. Try new ideas. Ask different people in your company to contribute posts and encourage interactivity and dialogue whenever possible.

Our favourite page of this week (with some excellent examples of the above) is Intiem / Intimacy Magazine. Have a look at their live chat sessions and the amount of activity on the page – we give them our A-D-A (Adrinalin Diva Approval) stamp. If you have more examples, please feel free to share.

Diva, over and out.