Who do you write for?

Ask a journalist who do they write for and they’ll probably ream off a list of magazines or newspaper.

Ask a web copywriter who they write for and they may list of a load of clients. But really when you’re asking that of a web copywriter that’s not necessarily the answer you’re seeking. The first on their list should be the reader. Of course you do some writing for the client and of course if you’re including keywords and key phrases in the text to help with SEO, well you’re writing for the search engines and their algorithms and systems.

Dealing with inadequate content

Some people to seem to think that a Google patent in relation to ‘inadequate content’ means that keyword stuffed, uninteresting and useless content will be filtered out of results. That’s great for search engine users so – they’ll probably get the useful information they came to the internet for in the first place. It’s a great theory – but there are other things at play…

According to the Financial Times “Google obtained a patent this year for a system that would help it identify “inadequate content” on the web, based on comparisons of what people search for and what they find.” This information could be sold to online publishers or given away.

The SEO by the Sea blog raises the question as to whether people would start writing content on areas because Google suggests there’s a lack of content on that topic? He also says that sometimes people blame the search engine as opposed to content creators when they get search engine results they aren’t happy with.  He adds: “It’s possible that there may be information on that query or topic that isn’t in a very search engine friendly format, which couldn’t be indexed by the search engine. It’s also possible that there just aren’t very many quality pages that might provide results on those topics.”

Referencing the Financial Times article on TechCentral.ie they’re saying “If true this could lead to a paradigm shift in how companies handle copywriting to become more reader- over system-oriented.”

So how ready are you for whatever Google is going to next throw at us? Do you have quality content? Do you think it matters? Are you writing for the reader?

Review of HP Photosmart Premium All-in-one

The HP Photosmart Premium All-in-one printer (and also scanner and copier) is wireless. Which is why I plonked it on the middle of the coffee table in the sittingroom for the Bank Holiday Weekend.

And from there I printed off photos to my heart’s content. And then I decided to turn on the laptop and I sat a bit away on the couch, printing off lovely 4×6 photos on the lovely glossy paper that comes in a pack.

How did I manage this? Well, I know it’s not an entirely new concept in printers, but the HP Photosmart Premium has a SD card slot for printing off photos straight from your camera, without even connecting up your computer. The brightly lit and easy to navigate touch screen on the printer makes it easy to flick through your photos and decide what you want to print off. A bit like what it must be like to use one of those in-store photo printing kiosks (I’ve never used one).

The official list of features on the HP Photosmart Premium All-in-one

  • Large Touchsmart screen
  • Wireless printing
  • View, edit & print photos without a computer
  • Archive, retrieve and print photos from Snapfish.com
  • HP Quick Forms
  • Copy, scan and reprints from TouchSmart Screen
  • Printing from iPhone; phones etc via Bluetooth; Playstation 3
  • RRP of €199
  • Approx €30 for Photo Value Pack containing ink and glossy photo paper.

Click here for photos and video of this HP printer

Printing wirelessly from your laptop to printer is a joy, no bother with USB cables reaching from wherever you want to leave your printer and wherever you’re relaxing with your laptop.

All in all, I found the printing of photos a really easy and straightforward experience from my laptop and directly from the SD card.

What didn’t really work for me

However, a word of caution, the wireless set up required me to connect the laptop to the printer initially at set up, so some wired connectivity is required.

The printer also took a dislike to my SD card and photos that were appearing fine on my laptop were coming up as corrupt on the touchscreen and wouldn’t print. Some photos only partially printed direct from the SD card.

I don’t like the texture of the photo paper, but I’d get over that just to be able to share photos instantly – offline. For example, within seconds of receiving photos from Australia by e-mail, I was able to print out a pic of my best friend’s baby and put it up beside my screen for the day.

Features I couldn’t test

  1. iPhone I don’t have an iPhone, so I couldn’t try printing direct from that. I did try printing via Bluetooth from my Nokia E51 handset. Despite altering settings on both printer and phone it would only print on the normal paper, not the 6×4 photo glossy paper, which has a separate tray.
  2. Playstation I don’t have a Playstation 3 and doubt one will ever cross the front door, but cool for kids (even the grown up ones), I imagine.
  3. Snapfish.com I don’t use HP’s Snapfish.com for storing/printing photos online, I’m a Flickr kinda girl and Snapfish’s functionality let me down last year when trying to make calendars for Christmas presents (though it must be said, they are the best for designing calendars!)

Who’s it for?

  • Families/households that need to print from a variety of devices from kids on Playstations, teenagers with iPhones or iPod Touches, students with assignments, parents with printing needs, anybody who’s into photography.
  • Small office home office / people working from home who like to be able to press print from the comfort of the kitchen table without being tethered to the printer in their home office,  study or computer room.
  • People who want to print photos at home from SD cards but haven’t a clue about using a home computer.

Value

  • If you already print a lot of photos from printing kiosks, your local pharmacy or online, it may be worthwhile weighing up the cost of that versus the cost of the printer and photo value packs.
  • If you have a bit of cash to spare, need a printer (or a printer even that scans and copies), and always mean to print off photos but never do, this is a good option.
  • If you’re tired of wires and have a number of devices from which you’d like to print either documents or photos wirelessly, this should be on your list.

I hope to post a blog soon about how the scanner and copier works on this machine. And see if I can find out more about Wireless radio and Bluetooth radio in its settings. How cool would a printer be that also worked as a DAB wireless radio!

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.

The power of persuasive advertising

About a week ago, tired of my laptop slowing up and Internet Explorer crashing etc, I decided to do things like Defrag and delete unused programs and realising I only have 15% capacity left, bought an extrenal hard drive. One of the programs I removed was Google Chrome. I like messaging my friends on Gmail chat. I find it a pain in the a$$ to have Chrome and Explorer open. I pressed remove. Great. Only since then everywhere I’ve been seen “Have you got Google Chrome it’s faster”. I don’t have it, haven’t plugged in my externald hard drive yet, and my computer is chugging away worse than ever. So I’ve just downloaded Google Chrome again. And in the course of writing this I’ve realised it is now letting me use Google Chat. Yay!