Editing Errata

I've been swept along in the self-editing stream the past couple days, so anything I happen to see on the subject from news items and blog posts is gobbled up first. While catching up on the news feeds this morning, I spotted a 10 ways to become a better blogger article on ZDNet Asia, and down the rabbit hole I went.

Everything was fine for a while. Define your purpose, check; create visual appeal, check; use the proper tools, che . . . oops. Reverse thrusters, and return to the last sentence in that paragraph.

If your blog is hosted on a free public blog site, such as Blogger or Windows Live Spaces, you can write your posts in your e-mail client and send them to a special address you're given when you create your account. For many, this is the easiest way to post, although it doesn't show you the formatting.

For me, posting by e-mail is, in fact, the easiest and best way to do it. One thing I particularly like about this method is the pre-formatting I can do on the post before I send it to the host. This is possible because the post is already in HTML format, and therefore specifically does show me the formatting. If a word on my screen is red or blue, or underlined, or bold, it will be the same after it arrives at the host. If a quoted section is indented and italicized on my end—like the one above—it will be indented and italicized on the blog post, too. Same goes for bulleted lists, horizontal lines, and photos inserted within the text for that matter. To put it another way, WYS is very much WYG, even if you happen to be using the rudimentary mail client included with Windows.

As I mentioned on Wednesday, there are a few caveats when you're e-mailing HTML files to your blog host, but they have more to do with attempting to make certain changes to a page that's already formatted and ready to go. Some things can be changed with impunity even when the post is halfway out the door, but in general, it's best to do the writing with as little formatting as possible, and worry about layout after that part is done.

Ten good points in your article just the same, Ms. Shinder.


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