Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

the Write stuff

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

I'm conducting a web writing course today - blogging as the class writes.

I'm curious if you find our writing at toronto.ca too complicated?  In the course, we talk about the basics - short, good headlines, context clues for the reader to find more, etc. but is the writing getting better or worse?

Keeping short in mind, I'll end here. But, please, let me know here what you find good and bad about our writing at toronto.ca.


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Keith from the TO web re:Brand team said...

No reactions on this. Happen to be doing another session as I write this October 22.

It's a sweeping generalisation but I suspect the quality of our writing is less important to you (users) than it is finding the information.

I would think it should be as important but the black hole on this post (and tweets around the topic for some months) certainly make a case that ... (1) ya' don't care too much about this or (2) care enough to challenge us back and show where we are failing.

Please comment if you like and correct me if I'm wrong.

Keith from the TO web re:Brand team said...

We've received some mentions of writing at the Comments Wall (http://toronto.ca/comment) but not enough there in detail to go on. Really ... we would like to get some page references and hear your specific troubles, if any, with the writing on toronto.ca.

Usually we are criticized for writing at too high a literacy level. Recently a comment said we are writing for "dummies". We encourage writing so that everyone will understand. Some people interpret this as "dumbing down" but that isn't the intent.

See my notes on City of Chicago's content for an example of a critique we'd like to get: http://webrebrand.blogspot.com/2010/03/that-toddlin-town-website-model-for.html (see "bureaucratic writing" section mid-way down my post).