Thursday, October 26, 2006

Proofreading - the 30 minute rule

I've been writing copy for a long time, articles, mailing packs, websites, emails, shopping list and now a blog.

I'm not the greatest writer but I like to think creatively. Doing that means that on occasion I come up with an idea that really works well. The problem is that my mind works quicker than my fingers and in my rush to get a piece of writing out I read over my mistakes and even when I try really hard they can still creep through. That kind of kills the idea.

The obvious thing is to have someone proofread everything. That's fine, but I work at a small company and everyone is very busy. Sure they look and read but they are busy and trust that I've got things right. So they look past things too.

This is a real demon I'm struggling with, my keystrokes are my job. So a little thing I've come up with may help. It may help you to. I don't claim to have invented this, maybe I read it somewhere. Sorry if this is actually your idea. Anyway here it is.

30 Minute Rule

When you finish some copy and everyone has had their input and all the corrections have gone in and you're ready to send it out.


Put the copy to one side for 30 minutes and then re-read it.

You'll read it with fresh eyes and may spot those little things which will haunt you if you send out your communication with them in.

Nothing will spoil for 30 minutes, but a rushed out email, mailshot, ad, website or god help you shopping list. Could haunt you for a very, very long time.

Tattoo Translations

How would you feel if you'd had a tattoo in a foreign language and then discovered years later that what you thought said "Happiness" really said "Ugly" or "Stupid". Once it's there there's no moving it.

We'll now you can be sure that your tattoo says what you think it does. Applied Language have a new online system which allows you to enter your text online and have a professional translator do your translation.

No more asking the man in the Chinese Restaurant!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Enter the Dragon

The wisdom of Bruce Lee

"Don't think feel. It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger all you will miss all the heavenly glory."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Professional online translation

Most online translation is done by machine. It's very good, and the best is about 51% accurate which when you think about it is amazing!

The only problem is that the other 49% in inaccurate.

Don't get me wrong machine translation is a great way to find out the gist of a text you can't read yourself. But it can't beat translation by a human. The problem with professional translation though is that it can be expensive to get good quality translation.

So on the Applied Language we've added a new service for Professional Online Translation.
This is and idea service for having Tattoos and Mottos translated which is a huge area. There are so many instances of bad tattoo translations it's frightening David Beckham, Britney Spears the list goes on.

All you need to do is log on type your text, pay only £6 and the translation will be delivered back to you via email in 24hrs.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Indian workforce moving up the ranks

A recent report from the BBC points out that India is having a problem finding enough graduates to fill the jobs they need in India. The cream of the crop from the Indian schools are being lured by the big US and European companies with large salaries and bonuses.

This is just another stage of the circle, in a short time this will spread from India to China to Russia and back to Europe and the US again. The world works in peaks and troughs of power and this is another blip on the way to the world levelling off until another major differentator comes along.

Who knows maybe agriculture will be the next big thing?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Google to by YouTube?

The BBC have just reported that Google are looking to buy YouTube

I'm not surprised by this Google already has Google video which is very similar to YouTube. The guys a Mountain View are just aquiring eyeballs, plus according to the report, a headfull of copywrite headaches.

Well they can just be added to the problems with the book scanning

Spam reporting checklist

I've posted before about spam. My day job involves (shock) getting people to buy things. I'm old fashioned I know but as far as I know that's what Marketing is all about.

On my site we have a section for people to leave details to ask for a quote. It's very clear what this form is for, there are no tricks. At the end we even tell you we'll be in touch.

Yet when I go back to the list of people who visited the form and left their details to contact them to see if they would still like information. They get shirty, accuse me of invading their space and abusing their email in box. Some, especially AOL users, reach for the "Report Spam" button.

Now, I'm ethical, I only contact people who come to me. I don't buy lists and I always include an automatic unsubscribe link.

Here are a few tips to deal with spam in a proper way

  1. Don't fill in forms on sites you never want to hear from
  2. When you receive something you don't recognise, check for an unsubscribe link/system and use it.
  3. If you're not certain that will happen then reply to the email.
  4. If the reply address is not valid, then just delete the email.

Real hard core spammers, don't care if they are marked as spam, they move so quickly it'll never stop them. Save yourself the time and anxiety and just delete or unsubscribe.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stop using Flash Splash Pages

On SEOmoz, I found this very good article on why not to use Flash Splash pages

This is a great article which gives all the right answers as to why it's a total waste of time energy and money to have a Flash Splash page on your site.

What staggers me is that people still need to be told that this is a very bad idea. It was a bad idea back in 1998 when I worked on my first ever site, and it's still a bad idea.