by Jim Courtney
I hate to be somewhat pedantic but when you lose the thread of thought in a post due to spelling and grammatical errors, it kills the author's articulation of the point(s) s/he is trying to make. And when you post links that give your weblog visitors the infamous 404 message (or an equivalent in Firefox), you are losing site visitors and repeat audience.
Here are some basic check procedures that I attempt to follow when making posts:
- Re-read it before posting just to make sure the content makes sense; in fact most weblog authoring tools will provide a "Preview" option -- have a look at how it is going to look to others.
- Run the weblog editor's spell checker -- at least it catches basic spelling errors although it will not catch misspelled words that may be correct in a different context.
- TEST YOUR LINKS: I have come across two sites in the past two days referencing the authors' own weblog from another location where the link gave me the infamous 404 error (or the Firefox equivalent). By devious means I have figured out what the link should have been and notified the author.
- Put your contact information on the weblog; I would prefer to send a private message to the author such that s/he can discretely go back and correct the errors without embarrassment. Comments should be for debating the author's points, not pointing out spelling and grammar errors.
Bloggers love the fact that they can express their opinions free from the interference of an editor or other "corporate protocols". But that does not relieve them of the need to articulate their points in a manner readily understood and comprehended by their readers. Let's not give professional MSM editors obvious reasons to "put down" the weblogging wave.
BTW, occasional typos are tolerable but a spate of errors within a posting is where I get frustrated. I know the poster wants to make a point but the cumulative errors get in the way of articulating the overall post's argument. In fact, one often hears the remark that occasional typos show the human side of the blogger. Just make sure you are communicating your point at issue in a way that will still be easily comprehended.
[Tis mesage have been run thru the Bloger spel cheker. ;-)]
[MSM = MainStream Media]