Not only copywriters are writing for the web these days. Because information on the web needs to be updated constantly, more people (especially developers and designers) are becoming “accidental copywriters.” Here are a few general tips for writing for the web.

– Know the scope of your project, the content and strategy

– Web copy and design should be inseparable

– Understand the audience you’re writing for and don’t use big nouns. People don’t have time to hear you sound smart.

– Don’t be cliche. Be original. Example: “Got Widgets” = Lame!

– Knowing the language your writing for is half the battle (duh)

Fifteen percent of product liability comes from improper documentation, so hiring a professional copywriter might we worth the extra money to avoid the headache.

 

 

 

Most sci-fi films have predicted technology like the iPad, video phones (Blade Runner and iPhone screenshot below) and touch screens but none ever predicted cell phones. Slightly odd. Seeing yourself while video chatting is another concept that was never introduced through sci-fi films. According to panelists at Make It So, Christopher Noessel, David Lewandowski, Mark Coleran and Michael Fink, seeing yourself while video chatting is a new and vain development that users wanted because they were wanted to see what they look like while chatting.

Other take-aways for designing interfaces for film:

– Always make it blue

– Don’t give anything corners

– Make everything transparent

– Make ridiculous wireframes

(but onĀ  a more serious note…)

– Take something normal and build upon it

– Can’t make something smart, make it beautiful

– Can’t make something beautiful, make it smart

– Research, research, research

– Simplify your design

Yes, they are. Move over DJs, music magazines, record stores and A&Rs, developers are the newest gatekeepers in the music industry. It’s no secret or great surprise that the music has been greatly affected by the digital era, so it makes sense that traditional mediums of discovering music and the gatekeepers that create them would also change. Developers are using open APIs to create apps for mobile devices, software and hardware to collect music, info about musicians and stats that include events, gig tickets, music similarities, content streams, recos and more. How do they do this? Through events like Music Hack Day – http://musichackday.org/ – where developers/music lovers get together, drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of pizza and develop “the next generation of music apps” in less than 24hrs AND they don’t get paid for it. They do, however, win cool prizes like Invisible Instrument, which I’m geeking out on.

Nice quote from the panel summary on the SXSW app for Love, Music and APIs: “Someone once said ‘APIs are the sex organs of software. Data is the DNA’ If this is true, then Music Hack Days are orgies.”