Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 12 (March 21-27)

Price: So You Wannabe a Web Writer or Editor

Where web writers and editors come from: 

Price discusses becoming a web writer and editor and the skills that you need to have. The pay is also from $35,000-100,000. To be a web writer there is a wide range of skills that you need to have, and knowledge of the internet and your consumer base is one of the main ingredients to a great website. My FAVORITE website happens to be the National Geographic site. I know that it is maintained by a professional web editing firm, however there are still people who have to decide what is best for the web and what is better to keep for their magazine.
I recently went on a tour of the London Free Press, and got a chance to talk to the sports editor David Langford about how they use the web in their writing. I was told that they use twitter as a place to get stories and post little nibblers of their stories. I was also told that while they do print their articles they often use the web as a place to regurgitate their material, and often write things specifically for the web, just little snippets of their stories. Pretty cool eh!
Basic knowledge of HTML and XML can be important but aren't necessary for writing for the web. I know that this is what Price says however, in this day and age I believe that knowledge of HTML is now essential to the web writer. Like for this course we were going to have to use Dream Weaver but I have never done basic HTML anything. I also talked to the people at ITS at Western and they said that if I don't know anything about HTML that I would totally flop on Dream Weaver because thats what is needed.

Web Editing - The basics:

Word Count = Words that Count! Price says that it is important to be a person who can make the words that count hit the page rather than sending in a whole bunch of words in a story that don't really matter. I am known to have a bit of word vomit as it hits the page and have to constantly go back over my stories to cut them down to size. This is why I don't think I would be a good web editor according to Price.

Editors Tools:
- Word
- Be able to follow a template
- How to create simple web pages
- Be able to take screen shots
- Be able to edit photos
- Be Organized.

Editors must be:
- Organized
- Self-determined
- Flexible
- Ethical
- Persistent
- Sense of Humour
- Humility

Make your text consistent, think on a global scale but relate it locally. Remember there are many different names for being a web editor.

The Debate: Free Lance Gigs vs. a Staff Job:

On Staff: there are many benefits to working on staff... 
- Health benefits
- Workman's Comp
- Pay you can count on
- Office relationships (friends!!)
- Good computer
- Lots of schmooze time
- Compensation package if laid off
- Job title for your resume

Boo working on staff...
- Work long hours
- Sharing a printer
- Lunch rooms
- Meetings
- You don't have privacy
- Horrible office coffee
- Less freedom

- Spending all day in your housecoat
- You can take as long as you need to wake up
- You can write for as many people at a time as you want
- If you want to stop writing you can

Freelance = bad
- No paid sick leave
- Work isn't constant
- No health benefits
- No options
- Not a constant cash flow
- Miss out on breaking news
- No close office friends

Freelance Markets for Web Writers and Editors: 

Every writing class that I've been in has pitched for the students to write freelance. There is nothing different from Price. There are so many markets for free lance writers out there. Almost every magazine allows for free lance, and are looking for ideas and stories. And for us Western Students, writing for he Gazette is the perfect place to start writing to get clips. Clips will help a person get hired for a writing job, everyone will always ask for clippings of your work, and its great to offer more than just something you've handed in to class.

My Personal Site: BAKING

My site is informative.

There are a lot of people who turn to the internet to learn new recipes, and tricks that will help them if they aren't a real baker. It has always been said that baking is a science. I am going to have several pages on my site:
1. Welcome (home)
2. Tools (pots, bowls, pans, utensils)
3. My recipes
4. Terms of interest
5. Links to other pages that may be of interest (products, other baking sites, bakeware)

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