Journalists know about style guides – Associated Press, Strunk and White – well, how about we drop another resource…Yahoo, Inc !
Yahoo recently published The Yahoo Style Guide, proclaiming it “the ultimate sourcebook for writing, editing and creating content for the digital world.” At more than five hundred pages, and with an accompanying robust Web site, it is remarkable both for what it addresses (everything from hyphenating compound modifiers to abbreviating state names) and for what it says about where journalism is headed in the twenty-first century.
I am very excited to get and read this manual. As you may recall, we here at THE Tech Scoop are making a valiant effort to revitalize the Blogger Code of Conduct Movement started by Tim O’Reilly back in 2007 (see our post here).
The editors of The Yahoo Style Guide make their priorities clear early on. When writing for the Web, they favor short over long, simple over complex, consistency over laxity. “Online audiences expect far more information, in much less space, in far less time, than ever before,” the preface says. “Attention spans are short, and every pixel counts.”
The guide emphasizes techniques to make content easily searchable, as a way to drive traffic and help ensure the success of your site. The reader is urged to “[s]eed your copy with keywords” that search engines can find quickly—and embed those keywords in headings and other display type that count the most. Link to other sites, and encourage those sites to link to yours. And if you have the choice between being clever and being search-engine friendly, opt for the latter.
The Yahoo Style Guide: The Ultimate Sourcebook for Writing, Editing, and Creating Content for the Digital World | St. Martin’s Griffin | click here to get the paperback or digital copy from Amazon.