Editing Online News

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Information about Editing Online News
News & Politics

Published on February 17, 2009

Author: ryan.thornburg

Source: slideshare.net

Description

From www.futureofnews.net, UNC Assistant Professor Ryan Thornburg presents tips for editing and producing online news -- including SEO, headlines, blurbs and links.

Editing Online Stories “ Inverted Pyramid 2.0” Ryan Thornburg University of North Carolina [email_address] Carroll 219 919-962-4080

What’s Different Online? Headlines Homepage Blurbs & Packages Sidebar Links Inline Links Story Structure

Headlines

Homepage Blurbs & Packages

Sidebar Links

Inline Links

Story Structure

Elements to Consider Search Engine Optimization People Don’t Read, They Scan Every Page Is a Homepage Inverted Pyramid 2.0 Trust

Search Engine Optimization

People Don’t Read, They Scan

Every Page Is a Homepage

Inverted Pyramid 2.0

Trust

An Example … U.S. News & World Report MSN Money

U.S. News & World Report

MSN Money

Content Is King Because Editors Don’t Control Layout Browser Penetration: 44% Firefox 26% IE 7 20% IE 6 4% Chrome 3% Safari

Browser Penetration:

44% Firefox

26% IE 7

20% IE 6

4% Chrome

3% Safari

Content Is King Because Editors Don’t Control Layout Screen Resolution: 38% greater than 1024 x 768 48% 1024 x 768 8% 800 x 600

Screen Resolution:

38% greater than 1024 x 768

48% 1024 x 768

8% 800 x 600

Content Is King Because Editors Don’t Control Layout Operating Systems: 71% Windows XP 17% Windows Vista 5% Macintosh OS X 4% Linux

Operating Systems:

71% Windows XP

17% Windows Vista

5% Macintosh OS X

4% Linux

Headlines

Headline Editing for Searchers and Scanners Be Brief. Google and MSN display the first 8-10 words of your headline. Yahoo displays up to 16. Make the first 3 words the most important, even if you have to write in passive voice A headline is a label for the page. More emphasis on nouns. Less emphasis on verbs and adjectives. Headlines must be able to stand on their own, without context of other page design elements. Remember: Even when editing for an engine, a human still makes the click.

Be Brief. Google and MSN display the first 8-10 words of your headline. Yahoo displays up to 16.

Make the first 3 words the most important, even if you have to write in passive voice

A headline is a label for the page. More emphasis on nouns. Less emphasis on verbs and adjectives.

Headlines must be able to stand on their own, without context of other page design elements.

Remember: Even when editing for an engine, a human still makes the click.

Headline Verb Tenses Simple Present Tense Use When … Action Recently Completed: “Obama Signs Bill” Habitual Action: “Santa Brings Joy” General Truths: “Happiness Is a Warm Puppy”

Simple Present Tense

Use When …

Action Recently Completed: “Obama Signs Bill”

Habitual Action: “Santa Brings Joy”

General Truths: “Happiness Is a Warm Puppy”

Headline Verb Tenses Present Progressive Tense Use When … Action Is Ongoing: “Weather Hampering Commute” or “Congress Voting on Bill”

Present Progressive Tense

Use When …

Action Is Ongoing: “Weather Hampering Commute” or “Congress Voting on Bill”

Headline Verb Tenses Simple Past Use When … Past action only recently revealed: “Government Denied Benefits to Veterans”

Simple Past

Use When …

Past action only recently revealed: “Government Denied Benefits to Veterans”

Headline Verb Tenses Present Progressive Tense Use When … Action Is Ongoing: “Weather Hampering Commute” or “Congress Voting on Bill”

Present Progressive Tense

Use When …

Action Is Ongoing: “Weather Hampering Commute” or “Congress Voting on Bill”

Headline Verb Tenses Present Infinitive Use When … Future action is almost certain: “Obama to Sign Bill Tuesday”

Present Infinitive

Use When …

Future action is almost certain: “Obama to Sign Bill Tuesday”

Blurbs Blurbs ALWAYS promote the story. They SOMETIMES summarize it. Blurbs are not leads. Blurbs mimic a magazine TOC: 62 Parents Battle High Costs of College This year’s freshman class will take out more college loans than any group of college students in history.

Blurbs ALWAYS promote the story. They SOMETIMES summarize it.

Blurbs are not leads.

Blurbs mimic a magazine TOC:

62 Parents Battle High Costs of College

This year’s freshman class will take out more

college loans than any group of college

students in history.

Blurbs Compare washingtonpost.com blurb and lead After Iraq, the Battles Continue Mixed martial arts star Brian Stann has a story that sells and an undefeated fighting record. The War Is Over for Stann, But the Battles Continue Before each fight, Brian Stann walks into the cage knowing that whatever happens, nothing will compare to the hell he survived in Iraq.

Compare washingtonpost.com blurb and lead

After Iraq, the Battles Continue

Mixed martial arts star Brian Stann has a story that sells and an undefeated fighting record.

The War Is Over for Stann, But the Battles Continue

Before each fight, Brian Stann walks into the cage knowing that whatever happens, nothing will compare to the hell he survived in Iraq.

Headlines & Blurbs: Working Together From NYTimes.com … McCain Camp Says Obama Is ‘Playing the Race Card’ The statement was in response to remarks Barack Obama made warning that Republicans would try to scare voters.

From NYTimes.com …

McCain Camp Says Obama Is ‘Playing the Race Card’

The statement was in response to remarks Barack Obama made warning that Republicans would try to scare voters.

Writing Homepage Packages There are five elements of headline and blurb writing. Heads Blurbs Links Labels Timestamps

There are five elements of headline and blurb writing.

Heads

Blurbs

Links

Labels

Timestamps

Every Page a Homepage

Every Page A Homepage 50% to 70% of visits start at article page Serendipity … … and Spiders Low Click Rate

50% to 70% of visits start at article page

Serendipity …

… and Spiders

Low Click Rate

Editing Link Sets Group similar items together under a unifying label. Don’t write generic labels. Don’t be repetitive. Limit lists to 3-5 links. Do not mix links that are relevant to the story with links that promote unrelated content elsewhere on the site. When writings link text, follow SEO headline tips. Keep them short and descriptive. Avoid commands such as “Read More” or “Click Here” whenever possible. Remember: The User is in Control. The Editor is the Guide. Links within the main text column are more likely to be clicked, even if they’re at the bottom.

Group similar items together under a unifying label.

Don’t write generic labels. Don’t be repetitive.

Limit lists to 3-5 links.

Do not mix links that are relevant to the story with links that promote unrelated content elsewhere on the site.

When writings link text, follow SEO headline tips. Keep them short and descriptive.

Avoid commands such as “Read More” or “Click Here” whenever possible. Remember: The User is in Control. The Editor is the Guide.

Links within the main text column are more likely to be clicked, even if they’re at the bottom.

Editing Inline Links People say that links within text are more annoying, but they are more likely to click on them than links on the side. Link no more than three words in a row. Link only the first instance of a word (unless the word is in the first graph, then you should link only the second instance of the word)

People say that links within text are more annoying, but they are more likely to click on them than links on the side.

Link no more than three words in a row.

Link only the first instance of a word (unless the word is in the first graph, then you should link only the second instance of the word)

Editing Inline Links Linked words should be selected because they describe the content to which they link. Linked nouns often indicate the destination is an evergreen reference page. Linked verbs often indicate either a visual of the action or a contemporary text account of the action.

Linked words should be selected because they describe the content to which they link.

Linked nouns often indicate the destination is an evergreen reference page.

Linked verbs often indicate either a visual of the action or a contemporary text account of the action.

Link Trust (or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Wikipedia”)

Elements of Link Trust (a theory) Transparency Empowerment Community

Transparency

Empowerment

Community

Elements of Link Trust (a theory) Make sure links work Whose job is it? Tell readers… When they are going offsite. When they are going to a different media type, such as photos, video, audio, PDFs, or discussion boards. When files are particularly large (>1 MB)

Make sure links work

Whose job is it?

Tell readers…

When they are going offsite.

When they are going to a different media type, such as photos, video, audio, PDFs, or discussion boards.

When files are particularly large (>1 MB)

Elements of Link Trust (a theory) Links : online new :: Quotes : print news Show the direct words of another person. Need to be put in context. Need to have clear attribution. You’re responsible (ethically, not legally) for inaccuracies.

Links : online new :: Quotes : print news

Show the direct words of another person.

Need to be put in context.

Need to have clear attribution.

You’re responsible (ethically, not legally) for inaccuracies.

Editing Inline Links In the right context, links can provide humorous irony. In the right context, links can serve as a narrative “reveal.”

In the right context, links can provide humorous irony.

In the right context, links can serve as a narrative “reveal.”

Inverted Pyramid 2.0

Inverted Pyramid 2.0 News at the Top Practice Sustainable Journalism Choose Your Own Adventure Related Content

News at the Top

Practice Sustainable Journalism

Choose Your Own Adventure

Related Content

Search Engine Optimization

SEO Paid Search Results Relevance of Search Popularity of Term Publisher’s Bid Organic Search Results Relevance of Search Popularity of Page

Paid Search Results

Relevance of Search

Popularity of Term

Publisher’s Bid

Organic Search Results

Relevance of Search

Popularity of Page

Page Editing For Search Engine Optimization Avoid using images for text Be Brief: Anywhere from 800-1,000 words Be Focused: One topic per page. Label: Use page headers and paragraph headers with keywords Use Metadata

Avoid using images for text

Be Brief: Anywhere from 800-1,000 words

Be Focused: One topic per page.

Label: Use page headers and paragraph headers with keywords

Use Metadata

Meta What? Metadata: Data About the Data <title> <description> <keyword>

Metadata: Data About the Data

<title>

<description>

<keyword>

Metatag: <title> 5-10 words; 70-80 characters Unique for each page on your site No Superlatives No Prepositions, Conjunctions, Articles

5-10 words; 70-80 characters

Unique for each page on your site

No Superlatives

No Prepositions, Conjunctions, Articles

Metatag: <description> Marketing: A Call to Action Use Keywords Who, What and Why

Marketing: A Call to Action

Use Keywords

Who, What and Why

Metatag: <keyword> Be Brief: 10 keywords; 200 characters Be Focused Don’t Deceive

Be Brief: 10 keywords; 200 characters

Be Focused

Don’t Deceive

How do I know how searchers think? https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

SEO Is … A black art… Always changing … A battle of good vs. evil … http://SearchEngineWatch.com http://battellemedia.com

A black art…

Always changing …

A battle of good vs. evil …

http://SearchEngineWatch.com

http://battellemedia.com

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