What Does a Sub-Editor Do?

It’s a common question: what is a sub-editor. The name would suggest that they are somehow linked to the editor, like a mini version of the person in charge of the whole operation. In fact, sub-editors are the defensive unit that makes sure the publication on which they work doesn’t go to the printers riddled with spelling mistakes.

A sub-editor has many roles:
1. Check copy. “Copy” is another word for “text” or “words”. Writers “file copy”, ie “write some words” and hand it over to the sub-editors who will then read through it in order to pick up spelling mistakes, factual inaccuracies and style points.

2. Cut copy. When a magazine or newspaper page is laid out by the design team, chances are that the copy won’t fit on the page. Writers love to write lots of words. Designers prefer to use pictures, so there’s always going to have to be some sort of happy medium, but this usually involves too many words being put on a page. A sub’s primary job in this instance is to “cut” some of the words out whilst retaining the writer’s meaning and style.

3. Write headlines and captions. While a writer might want to call one of their pieces of work “Twenty-five reasons why this summer’s music festivals are going to be amazing”, the design team might only have left you enough room for 10 characters. It is therefore the job of the sub to condense all of that information into a catchy phrase that encapsulates the whole piece. Aside from the writers and designers, picture editors like to throw their spanners into the works by giving designers a range of images to choose from. These get placed on the page and blank captions get put on them. It is the sub’s job to get the right information and then condense it into the 20-word space left for the caption.

4. Ensure pages keep with the publication’s style. Each magazine or newspaper will have a “house style guide” – a set of rules to follow to ensure continuity in their publications. Rules can extend to the way numbers are written (One to nine in words, 10 and above in figures), date formatting, or even the preferred way to spell certain words (such as “yoghurt/yogurt”, both of which are correct). Every page should adhere to these rules and the subs are there to ensure that they do.

5. Flag up any legal issues. Subs are not lawyers, but they need to have a keen eye for what may get a publication into hot water and liaise with the legal team when necessary to ensure no libel action is taken.

6. Chase people. While writers love to write, they seem to hate deadlines. Subs love deadlines. They love order and continuity. Day to day, a sub will have to make sure that writers are getting their words in on time, designers are laying out pages promptly using pictures that have been gathered efficiently. Think of them like attentive parents in this respect.

Subs are by no means infallible, and mistakes still get through (keep an eye out for a “caption here please” or something similar – usually missed by a sub on deadline), but for the most part, a good team of sub-editors will stop the vast majority of errors making it into print.

How to Avoid the Dreaded Wall of Text That Keeps Online Customers Away

Have you ever been to a flea market? There’s a throng of people wandering around eager to buy. So you do the sensible thing and build a wall around your table. Build a wall around your table? That doesn’t really make much sense. Does it? How are people going buy anything if they can’t see what you offer? Yet this is what many people do on their websites every day. They hide their product or service behind a wall. “The Dreaded Wall of Text.” What is “The Dreaded Wall of Text?” It’s brick after brick of words. Line on top of line. Stretched across the page with no room to breathe. This giant block of text intimidates your potential customer. Keeping them from learning more about your offering. So if you want them to find out more, you’ve got to break down the wall. How do you break down the wall? It’s simple if you remember one thing. Reading online is different from reading offline.

Don’t be afraid to use the return key. Just by adding space between paragraphs you open up your copy and make it less intimidating. Try to keep paragraphs to four lines or less. And yes, even a single sentence as a paragraph is okay.:) We tend to scan first when reading online. Spacing out the text allows the information to look more inviting to your customer. You can also bold key phrases and use sub-heads to draw the reader in. And once they’re reading don’t make them strain. How do you reduce the strain on your customer’s eyes? Keep the width of your lines short. Don’t go across the whole width of the page. Take a look at news sites. They’re built for ease of reading. Notice how the text is kept within a short column. Much like newspapers. Using these short columns reduces eye fatigue for the reader. Too much reading across the page and your customer gives up. One you’ve got their interest you want them to keep reading. And if you can keep your customer reading It’s more likely they’ll take the action you want them to take. And isn’t that what you want?

So remember:

 

  • Use short paragraphs no longer that four lines
  • Keep the column length to about 14 words
  • Make sure you’ve got sub-heads to draw in the scanners
  • Use this format on your website and emails
  • Go to your site now

 

Look for some places you can hit the return key. Then you’ll be on your way to breaking down the wall between you and your online customers.

Developing Content and Written Text for Web Sites

“Content is King,” is a widely used term on the online community. “Good Content makes a poor man rich”, is another popular term online. Content is the term that refers to everything you provide on your Web site. Content includes written text, photographs, images and advertisements. It is a proven fact that people do not read extensively online, they only scan to save time. That is why it is extremely important the content that you provide on you Web site needs to be interesting enough to hold your visitor’s attention. That is why Web site owners go to all extents in providing the best content available. How do you provide good content on your Web site? Here are some suggestions that you need to follow when creating a Web site or Web page.

The most important feature of your Web site content is the headline. High-quality headlines hold your visitor enough to gain their interest and keep them reading. One good practice is to use sub headlines. Sub headlines help divide the text or written content on the page and make it easier to read; also it draws the visitor further into the page and possibility even buy. Several Web site content developers embed keywords into the headlines and sub headlines to improve search engine ranking.

The first sentence on the page needs to be extremely effective. Providing benefits or useful information to the readers on the first sentence will maintain them longer on your site. The first sentence is referred to as the “lead”, because it will lead your reader to rest of the page.

Writing articles has the same concept as writing Web pages. However, a good article needs to be at least 500 words or more, where a good Web page only needs to be 150 to 200 words. When writing Web pages keep the visitor from scrolling excessively down the page. Long written text on a Web page will only make your visitor move to a shorter Web site.

Keeping your visitor is the number one goal when creating your Web site. That is why it is important to keep the content short but interesting and informative. In today’s world, people are always in a hurry and do not have time to read everything. By using short terms, short sentences and short pages and by placing the most important information at the top of the page, it will keep your visitors long enough to read the important points that you are providing. If your topic is interesting, the visitor will return to your site when they have more time from their busy schedule.

Write brightly and skip the technical terms. Use simple language or terms that everyone can understand. You have no idea who is viewing your site, which is why you need to keep the content as simple as possible.

As we find ourselves always on a hurry to create a Web site with great content, we forget to take care of some simple steps that are crucial to your site’s appearance. Always check the spelling and grammar. If you do not, your visitor will have a difficult time understanding what the purpose of the content is and certainly they will leave to another site. All word processor programs include a spelling check and proper grammar feature. Be sure to use the programs tools often when creating the written content or text.

Before launching your site take some time and have others read what you have written. When writing, you get so involved in your work that you overlook important issues as simplicity and precision and possibly there are words and sentences that are best omitted. After you complete your Web site give yourself some time to proofread your content and text. Put your work down for a day or so and return to proofread the text. One great practice is to read the text out loud. This process will help find errors that need to be corrected. It is very important to keep your site’s content and text from any possible errors, you do not want give your visitors the impression that you are careless with your work.

College Texting Services Keep Students and Faculty in the Loop

College and university texting (SMS) services are quickly becoming the gold standard of campus communications. While email is widely used to disseminate information and notices, it has been found that many college students rarely check their email these days and that the only reliable way to insure they get a message is by texting them. The vast majority of students have text capable mobile devices and cell phones and check their text messages dozens of times a day, almost instantly upon receipt.

Fortunately, colleges and universities do not have to invest in expensive hardware or equipment to implement a texting notification program. Fact is, the technological infrastructure is already in place and educational institutions can tap into it and begin their text programs immediately with very little or no ramp up time by outsourcing to a text service bureau. Because the text service is online, colleges only need to upload their list of opt-in phone numbers to begin texting messages at will.

Colleges are using texting for many applications and across divisions and departments. For example, SMS (short message services) texts are being used to:

— texting incoming students on application, registration and payment deadlines.
— recruiting students advising them of the latest college offerings
— alerting students about closing or delays because of weather conditions or power outages.
— instant updates on traffic and parking status for students and faculty and staff
— campus event notifications, club announcements, concert ticket sales
— notices about food service and daily menus
— campus emergency announcements and instructions
— text reminders about assignments, test dates and homework

Colleges are compiling mobile and cell phone databases by collecting cell numbers various ways, including capturing numbers via webpage sign ups, getting expressed permission on hard copy forms or sign up sheets, and/or promoting and advertising codes that the students or interested parties can text to a short code (a 5 or 6 digit number) which both automatically responds with a text message and enables them to double-opt-in to put their number on the list. Laws require that any contact you text must have opted-in to join your list. You cannot send out spam texts.

You can have any number of lists — from a general campus wide list with everyone’s number on it, or sub-lists for specific departments or divisions. For example, you may want a general list for a college wide message, a more specific list for athletics and an even more specific list for the baseball team.

Once you have your lists compiled (you’ll always be adding more numbers as you go along) you can upload them to the Internet and type your message online that will go out to one list, or all lists, whatever you prefer. Because your contacts will receive your messages quickly and conveniently, they can take whatever action is necessary to respond to your notification.

Overall, college texting services will be leading way in distributing important information to hundreds and thousands of students, faculty and staff who depend on getting timely updates that directly impact their work, studies and life.

What Is Group Text Messaging?

A business or organization, or an individual for that matter, can get a text messaging account with most providers for free. Some companies may offer a small amount of credits to start to try it out. Once an account has been set up, a business or organization would ask people to opt in to their text messaging list. This is similar to an email list but instead of submitting an email to join the person would either reply to a text or, text a keyword to a short code, to join the list. This puts that person’s cell phone number on the list.

For example company XYZ may have an in store ad, an ad in the newspaper, TV, etc. that instructs people to “Text SALES to 000999 for our weekly specials”. In this case the word “SALES” is the keyword and 000999 is the short code. Once someone texts, “SALES” to 000999, their cell phone number is added to that store’s text messaging list. This is “Opting In” to a list. Any messages that are sent to subscribers on a list would include instructions to be able to unsubscribe at any time, any rates that may apply and a way for people to get help if needed.

A list can be built in many ways. It costs to add people to the text messaging list if they text in to join, normally around five cents, every time anyone opts into a list. Subscribers can be added manually as well. Sending messages to subscribers of the list is slightly cheaper and costs on average around four and a half cents per messages. There are two types of messages that can be sent, express and standard messages.

Express messages are send from a short code directly connected to the carriers that are supported by a particular company. Most companies should be supporting all the major carriers and it is a good idea to check what carriers are supported by a group texting company.

Standard messaging may be available through some texting companies. Standard messages are sent out through the Internet using SMTP Email and are not supported by the carriers. These messages can be trapped in spam filters so deliverability, most times fairly consistent, may be unpredictable.

If you are considering using text messaging for your business or organization then you should consider a company that offers most or all of the following.

  • A try it free option that may include free credits to try it out.
  • No contract to sign.
  • Discounts for annual payments
  • A pay as you go option. You may only use the service once in a while and since most plans that includes credits may not roll over to the next month. The pay as you go option allows to purchase the credits when you want to use them.
  • Support all major carriers
  • A shared short code that you use.
  • Option to lease keywords monthly
  • Sub keywords available
  • Anytime credits that never expire.
  • Express and standard messaging.
  • Unlimited contacts and groups. You don’t want to be restricted with the amount of contacts you can add or the amount of groups you can divide your list into.
  • Bulk discounts for pay and go accounts.
  • Upgrade at no cost
  • Human support.

If you are still not sure if text messaging is right for your business or organization, below are a few examples of what companies and organizations are using texting for.

  • On Saturday night after shows let out, a Pizza shop texts their list with “Come in and show this text for half price slices, the next two hours only”.
  • To increase sales a board shop texts it’s list just before a predicted snowfall, “Come in and show this text for 10% off all snow boards, today only”
  • A church after hearing of a family that was burnt out in a fire texts it’s members, “Important emergency meeting tonight at 7 to help a family affected by a fire”
  • A school wants to increase it’s participation at a curriculum night texts parent and guardians on it’s list, “Important curriculum meeting tonight at 6 for all parents and guardians.”

Group text messaging can be used by any business or any organization to increase it’s contact with customers and members. It’s all about building relationships and text messaging is the closest thing today that connects people to people in an unintrusive manner.

Why Major Corporations Now Use Text Message Marketing

Imagine if you could send an amazingly efficient marketing message to people who want to read it? That is to people who have said, “Yes, I am opting in to your marketing strategy.” That is, in essence, what happens with text message marketing. Customers, visitors and people who have an interest in your products or services sign up to receive your marketing texts.

It no wonder that major corporations such as Verizon, and have decided to utilize this direct form of advertising. What they and others have discovered is that 90% of those texts are opened and the return rate ranges from 11% to 30%! Does that say something to you about text message marketing and what it can do for you?

Why it Works

Text message marketing works for various reasons. Along with the fact that those who received them have requested they be contacted via this form of communication, there are other factors that help to make them efficient and effective.

These include:

· They may be created quickly
· They may be scheduled to be sent at any time.
· They may be read quickly.
· They may be accessed from virtually anywhere.
· Sub-lists may be specifically targeted.
· Various campaigns may be run at once.

These six attributes help to make this marketing platform especially attractive to businesses of any size. One very important thing to realize is that this is value-based advertising that is relatively inexpensive.

Cost Effective

Text message marketing services usually offer a range of plans and just about every business can find one that will fit their budget and needs. Plans are usually based on how many messages you expect to send in a month and some offer flexibility in rollover message units and temporary expansion of services. The best providers will allow you to sign on for a limited amount of time with no sustained contracts. With that type of service, there is little to no risk on your part.

Focus Your Message

With text message marketing you have the same number of characters at your disposal that you’d have in sending a regular text-160. That is somewhere between 30 and 45 words, including spaces, punctuation and all letters and numbers.

The essence of text messaging, the fact that you do only have 160 characters, means that you must use every word with care, finding the most powerful combination possible while making sure your advertisement contains all essential information.

The more focused your message, the more effective it will be. If you’re not able to create an effective marketing message, then it’s essential that you use someone who can.

Reap the Benefits

The benefits for any business, whether it is a major corporation or a small mom and pop store, can be massive. Text message marketing can instantly connect with those on your list, giving them special, time sensitive offers, reminding them of your new location or announcing a new product or service. Small businesses can get a larger piece of the pie with text message marketing.

Generating Website Traffic with Sub-domains

Sub-domains are websites that are located within a directory of your main site and have their own domain name. Because they use the same resources as the main website, they are normally much cheaper than getting another hosting account. Their low cost and flexibility make sub-domains a great device for directing traffic to your site without breaking the bank.

*Sub-domains as Portal Sites*

One of the best uses of sub-domains is portal websites. Portal websites are sites that link to your main website and have a similar theme. Basically, they provide another portal, or doorway, for visitors and search engines to get to your main website.

Since creating content for a website takes time, often webmasters simply modify the existing text of the main site and reuse it on the portal site. It is important that the content is not exactly the same and the portals do not just redirect to the main site. Otherwise, search engines may not index them.

*More Portals, More Visitors*

Portal websites can be submitted to the search engines just like your main site. If your website is doing alright in the search engines, then imagine having five more websites out there for the spiders to find. Five more listings means that Web surfers have five times as many ways to find your network of websites.

*Search Engines and Links*

More and more search engine algorithms take into consideration the number and ranking of sites that link to you. By linking your sub-domains to your main site and to each other, the ranking of all of your sites is improved.

*Banner Exchange Programs*

Banner exchange programs allow members to share advertising space on each other’s websites. They are a great way to generate traffic to your website, but you may not want to clutter your main site with ads. Portal websites provide a good place to test different programs and direct the resulting traffic to your main site.

*Alternative Markets*

Search engine spiders will pick up on content variations among your websites. Subtle differences could place a site in a category that you had not thought of and open up an entirely new base of visitors and/or customers.

*Product and Service Specialization*

Your main website may have dozens of different products and services. This is great for your business, but generality can hurt your ranking in the search engines. Using sub-domains to create sites that specialize in one product or service increases your keyword density and improves your ranking. Plus, many consumers would prefer to work with a specialized business than a one-stop shop. (You can still link to your main site with all of your products.)

Are Teenagers Obsessed With Texting?

You only have to drive 20 yards down the road before you come across a teenager either talking on their mobile or texting and downloading information from another world onto their latest mobile gadget. There’s an app for this and there’s an app for that. You will struggle to find a teenager who will leave home without their mobile or cell phone, whatever you wish to call it, and you will struggle even further to find a teenager who does not own a mobile phone.

Texting has become a frightening obsession for many young people and has seemingly become their primary means of communication with their friends and even family. They live in a world where everything has to be relayed instantly and without the need to raise a voice or look someone in the eye.

Two teenagers in the same room, the same class, the same train will think nothing of sending one another a text to let each other know how they are feeling, where to meet or what they did the night before – not giving a it a second thought that they could just as easily greet one another with a friendly smile and speak to each other.

It has become socially unacceptable for teenagers not to own a mobile phone. They communicate with one another on a level that has created a sub culture and a language which can only be understood by them. Having said that, twenty or so years ago, teenagers had their own sub language in the spoken form anyway because teenagers need to set themselves apart from their elders and exist in a world which is exclusive to them.

Now, even text language has evolved and divided into sub languages over the last ten years. What was once ‘cool’ to type on text or email is now just ‘so last year’ and it has moved on. There are levels of texting within texting and it has developed into its own language with its own etiquette.

Levels of literacy and numeracy are reportedly poor in teens. You don’t need statistics to point out these facts – you need only spend a few hours with a group of teenagers to realise that they place importance on other things. Whilst able to design a perfect power point presentation with spectacular graphics, using a pre-packaged suite on a well-known platform, teens seem unable to find the time to check their work for such things as spelling, grammar and so on. The basics are most definitely dead. With so many people arguing that there is no longer a need for a person to be able to spell for themselves because of spell checkers and predictive text, it seems that teenagers continue in ignorant bliss as to the detrimental effects that texting is having on them and the long term effects of society. We are even breeding a generation of teachers who aren’t able to correct their pupils’ work because they often don’t know any different either.

Using text language means that teenagers are losing their ability to communicate effectively and articulately with others of all age groups and retain information for any length of time because they are no longer required to. Why retain something that is at your predisposal on a saved artificial memory? Learning the basic skills of life in the forms of literacy, numeracy, communication and the art of social interaction seem to be less and less fashionable and worryingly considered less and less important. What a shame that it is only like to become worse before it becomes any better.

What Is Anchor Text and How to Use Anchor Text to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

Have you ever read text on the internet and along the way came across clickable words which when you clicked on them led you to another webpage, blog etc? These words are converted into anchor text by the author and usually show up as being hyperlinked. The procedure is to highlight a word or group of words and then insert a link or by means of inserting simple HTML code to convert specific words into hyperlinked text.

The reason for creating hyperlinked text is to give readers an idea regarding the content matter that they expect to find if they decide to click on the anchor text. In this manner, anchor text is a neat way of allowing the reader to go to another site without displaying the site’s URL (which might also be long and unsightly and might give no indication of its content). Another reason is that you might feel that the information on a particular site will be beneficial to your readers as it complements, reinforces or could be used as a reference for your own content. Finally, linking to other content by means of anchor text could help readers understand a certain topic or sub topic better instead of providing an explanation yourself.

The words chosen to be your anchor text should be targeted keywords common to your content and the external content you wish to link to. Avoid the use of generic words such as “click here.” For example, if your main content is about dogs and you have a paragraph related to dog training, then you would use “dog training” as keywords and other keyword phrases containing “dog training” within your paragraph to link to another source describing dog training.

Anchor text can boost your search engine rankings as follows:

1. When linking your internal pages within your site, refer to your pages by using keywords that are descriptive of the page you are linking to.

2. Designated text containing external links to link to other websites or blogs or forums etc should be indicative of the content on the pages you are linking to.

3. When linking to your home page or internal pages from external sources such as articles and other sites, refer to them by using meaningful keywords. Moreover, be creative in your choice of keywords. Do not just repeat the same keywords over and over again.

4. If you are asking webmasters to give you links to your site, provide them with the HTML code to control the anchor text they display on their respective sites.

5. In all cases, make sure the anchor text makes human reading sense and not just insert phrases that are not sensible or unreadable.

Boosting your search engine rankings is very important for your website, if it is not to remain buried in search engine results. Anchor text is a simple yet very effective way of doing so and will really help your site achieve increased search engine visibility.

Converting Speech to Text is Now a Multi-Million Dollar Industry

Speech has always been the preferred mode of communication for many years now, with fewer people wanting to use the pen as a communication tool, their first choice has always been to say rather than write, and no wonder converting speech-to-text is now a multi-million dollar industry.

The doctors at the clinic or the hospital no longer have enough time to write patients medical record, they instead choose to dictate it into a digital voice recorder for medical transcribers to convert their speech into text, and thanks to their lack of time, the medical transcription process is providing employment opportunities to not only people in the United States, but to people living in India or Philippines.

Similarly the television production companies for many years now have entertained millions and millions of people, but thousands of people that are hearing impaired were unable to comprehend the programs because sub-titles were not added to the television programs, only after the US government took the step to make it mandatory for all television programs to have embedded sub-titles in them, the television companies are now adding them in all the programs.

Most television companies do not do it in-house, but instead use the services of transcription companies that convert speech-to-text. The audio of the entire program is converted into text and captioning software inserts the text into the programs. The text or the sub-titles are synchronized accurately, at the bottom of the screen, so that it appears in tandem with what is being spoken by the characters in the television program.

The doctors and the television companies are not the only ones that choose to hire transcribers, the universities and students also solicit the services of transcribers for documenting academic research or typing dissertations for graduating students, including thesis for post-graduates taking PhDs. Therefore people with the skill of converting speech-into-text are working overtime, either out of their homes or in offices that hire them for medical or media transcriptions.