Inseperable: excellent design and excellent content

Reading is something I do a lot. At times, I just scan over the content of a broadsheet, a magazine, an e-mail newsletter or an online news website. Other times, I read every word in detail. Or, words jump out at me. I love seeing how different words can be used in different situations, or more interestingly what substitute words are not used. It’s all about reading between the lines.

One word that jumped out at me lately was the word ‘inseperable’. It was in an obituary and the relationship between the lady who had died (may she rest in peace) and her husband. They were described as ‘inseperable’ and nobody could recall seeing one without the other in decades. I thought that was sweet, to me it said something about a certain type of relationship from a certain era.

It made me think about relationships nowadays and how eyebrows are as equally raised if a couple are seen together the whole time or if they never seem to be in each others’ company.

Anyway, that was just a musing and I couldn’t really figure out whether inseperable is good or bad in human relationships. (I think it’s bad if say one half of the couple is more dependent on the other and doesn’t mix with anybody other than their inseperable half. But I think being inseperable while alose retaining strong friendships and relationships with others is a sign of soulmates or two halves becoming one. But less of that).

So anyway, my mind brought me off on an Alain Botton-esque tangent into the philosophy of love and relationships, but ultimately brought me back to the role the word inseperable has to play in my business. I’m in the business of words, writing online copy for businesses websites, ensuring that the content naturally contains those all-important keywords so that it’s found easily. But I also concentrate on good writing, making sure the content is interesting and readable, written in such a way that the reader wants to read it.

But, I’m a strong believer in good design and this is where the word inseperable comes into play. Why have a beautifully designed website if it’s just pretty to look but nothing else (unless maybe you’re just a visual artist and communicate in pictures and not words). The whole point of the exercise (in most business cases anyway) is that the website is informative or it makes people want to hire you or buy your product.

If your content is just slapped together by four or five people in the office, not edited for consistency, has no style about it, is way too long, or not informing enough, is filled with misspellings etc, it’s just not going to wow either existing clients or potential customers or investors. Good design and good content are inseperable. It’s a bit like being all dressed up and nowhere to go. You can separate the two, but really, honestly, in the age that content is king, you really shouldn’t.

To be a reporter or not to be

I see that the two men kidnapped in Somalia ( had checked into the hotel they were kidnapped from as reporters.
They were, in fact, security experts. I know that being a journalist can give one some safety in difficult regions, but at the same time it is one of the most dangerous professions in the world (as we were told in our first day of journalism college).
The fact that two people would pose as journalists as a safety measure I find incredulous, especially in Somalia where a number of journalists are already in captivity.
I remember travelling through South East Asia (a completely different kettle of fish completely, but off the beaten track for a 23/24 year old in 2002.) My profession was ‘journalist’. As was my travelling companion’s. But we devised a strategy not to get us into trouble with the authorities, and signed ourselves in everywhere as ‘editor’.
Every border crossing, every visa application, every guest house demanded this information. Editor, editor, editor, we wrote everywhere. We didn’t feel like journalists in the typical sense – we weren’t investiogative journalists, we weren’t staffers at any paper, neither of us had any particular interest in staying in journalism, why declare ourselves as journalists, we thought, considering we both technically had been employed as editors beforehand.
Little white lies, eh?