Optimizing Online News Sites

“The Web is only limited by the hard drive(s) your site is stored on, print is strictly limited by story inches. Have you noticed a tendency to ramble on a bit online? If you want to retain your readership you’ve got to curb that urge, at least on your front page. The way around that dilemma is to give them tight descriptive teasers that link to longer stories.|Writing compelling headlines and decks, or ‘blurbs’ as we call them, is an art form in itself. At WebReference we used to see who could ‘out-blurb’ each other in one or two sentences.” Andy King

Optimizing Online News SitesHolovaty)

Andy King is the author of Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization. He sent me a free copy of his book, and has been doing a pretty good job publicizing himself online — sending me what looks like pretty darn much like an personalized e-mail (from a keyboard that apparently lacks a shift key) when he’s been interviewed on a topic that might feasably be of interest to me. The article above, from Adrian Holovaty’s weblog, is presented like an interview — but the diction of King’s responses sounds much more like pre-written prose lifted from another source — it doesn’t have the breezy, conversational tone one would expect to see in a weblog interview. Still, it’s nice to see a designer pay so much attention to blurb-writing. (See my “Blurbs: Writing Previews of Web Pages.”)