Archive for November, 2008

How to Say Absolutely Nothing on Your Home Page

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

The main difference between a website that works and a website that sucks are the words on the page. This is why when I’m working on a website rewrite the most important part of my job is jargon busting. Jargon busting consists of finding words and phrases that don’t say a damn thing and helping the business owner replace them with words that make sense to people.
I love it when I come across an especially jargon laden site. These sites save me a lot of time. I can show them to my clients and all of a sudden light bulb goes off. They get how bad it is to use generalities to the point of vagueness.

I came across the mother load of all jargon sites today. The following is the home page text of a company on track to reach 1 billion dollars in revenue by 2010. Obviously, this is not a small company and yet, this is their home page text. I have replaced the company name with “Our Company”.

Our Company efficiently and effectively integrates a wide range of
resources and core competencies to provide unique and timely solutions that
exceed our customers’ stated needs and expectations.

We are guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world. Our Company’s professionals leverage state-of-the-art training facilities, professional
program management teams, and innovative manufacturing and production
capabilities to deliver world-class, customer-driven solutions.

Our corporate leadership and dedicated family of exceptional employees adhere to essential core values- chief among these are integrity, innovation, excellence,
respect, accountability, and teamwork.


Click here to find out whose home page text is this bad.

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Best Facebook Group Names According to Non Required Reading

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

I ferverently wait for “The Best American Series” each year. For the last several years I’ve bought “The Best American Short Stories” and “The Best American Non Required Reading”. They’re kind of like magazines you can buy once a year and are pertinent for the next twelve months. I just got my 2008 copies at Wordstock this past weekend.
Since 2002, Dave Eggers (author of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”) has been the Chief Editor of Non Require Reading. As far as I can tell the series started with him. And that’s fine. He does a great job of pulling together all kinds of fun stuff. I mean this with all due respect; this is a book you should keep in the loo for prolonged transactions.

My Favorite segment of Non Required Reading is the lists. One of this year’s lists, Best American Facebook Groups, seemed especially pertinent to the internet audience.

Here are my favorite’s from the Best American Facebook Groups list. (Please note, I just think they’re funny. I don’t necessarily agree with them.):

I Thought You Were Hot Until I Clicked on “View More Pictures”
I Feel Bad When I See Kids on a Leash
If This Group Reaches 15k, Kevin and I Will have a Pine Cone Eat Off
Catholic School Screwed Me Up, but I’m Still Sending My Kids There
I Beat George W. Bush on the SAT’s
Disney Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations about Love
When I Was Your Age, Pluto Was a Planet
I Wish My Homework Was Asexual So It Would Do Itself
I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar
Every Time I Walk into Math Class a Little Part of Me Dies
Legalize Dueling
Automatic Doors Make Me Feel Like a Jedi
I Have to Sing the ABCs to Know Which Letter Comes Before the Other
It Wasn’t Awkward Until You Said “Well, This Is Awkward.” Now It’s Awkward.
I Refer to People by Nicknames They Will Never Know
Friends Don’t Let Friends Invade Russia with Winter Approaching
I’m Asian, You’re Asian, Let’s Compare Grades!
I Stay Up Late and I Don’t Do Anything Productive
Mr. Miyagi Taught Me How to Fight
…So Apparently I’m Going to Hell
If You’re OCD and You Know It Clap Your Hands!
I Had a Leash When I Was Little
Being Bilingual Obviously Makes You a Better Person
I Love How We Are Friends on Facebook, but We Don’t Actually Talk in Person
When I’m Super Bored, I Go on Facebook and Join Tons of Pointless Groups

Intrigued? Buy the book and support the cause! We need more people to do Non Required Reading.

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