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Bullet blunders

Bullet points are the best friend of the web writer.

They break up pages into neat, bite-sized chunks – making content easier to scan and read. But unfortunately, they are also often incorrectly punctuated.

Here’s a cheat sheet:

  • If the bullet points are complete sentences (like these), punctuate them as you would a sentence with a capital at the start and a full stop at the end.
  • It doesn’t matter if there is a lead-in sentences or not (with a colon), as long as each bullet point makes sense as a stand alone statement.

But, if the bullet points are a carry on from the lead-in sentence:

  • you use a colon at the end of the lead-in sentence
  • you don’t capitalise the first letter
  • there is no need for a full stop until the final point.

I hope this helps!

Intranet redevelopment planning 101

I’ve recently been appointed as the Project Manager for a large intranet redevelopment (yes, another one). Part of the redevelopment will be the implementation of a web content management system (WCMS). I’ve now got a couple of these types of projects under my belt, but as they usually take so long (due to the size of the sites), it’s always good to sit down and re-visit some great intranet/cms resources. Here are my favourites:

Step Two Designs

Definitely the leaders in all things intranet, KM, and CMS, James Robertson and his team provide an invaluable insight in what to do and what not to do with these types of projects. The best thing about their site is the abundance of useful articles and papers, most of which are free to view.

Mark Morrell – the BT intranet guy

Mark is lucky enough to work in an organisation where the value of a good intranet is recognised and cherished. He takes you through different redesigns, enhancements, and general observations on how to manage a large intranet. Well worth the read.

AGIMO better practice checklist – Implementing a CMS

Even though it has a government focus, it’s still a really useful checklist that you can also download as a PDF.

CMS watch

If you’ve got some money to spend, then CMS watch can be quite good. You have to pay for the detailed reports, but the blog can contain some useful info.

What other resources are out there? Please let me know.

Sentence case v title case

I was talking to a team member the other day about the pros and cons of using sentence case or title case in headings.

Quick refresher:

Sentence case is when you only capitalise the first letter of the  first word in a heading – like you would in a sentence. Proper nouns also have a capital.

With title case you capitalise the first letter of each word.

This Is Title Case.

Even though there isn’t a hard and fast rule over which style is better for the web, my personal preference is for sentence case. Here’s why:

  • There is some evidence to show that the use of capital letters slows the ability for people to scan content – it breaks the flow.
  • Sites that use title case often use it inconsistently. Sometimes You Get This. But Sometimes you Get This. Sentence case is far easier to teach, implement and apply quality control. (Great if you’ve got a decentralised authoring model.)
  • Breadcrumbs in sentence case are far easier to scan – you can easily see the different levels of navigation. For example: Home > About us> Corporate profile > Management team.
  • If you do a lot of work for government or universities, there is a trend towards minimal capitalisation for all publishing – a style that they carry to the web.

What does everyone else think?

I’ve been SNOBed!

And that’s a good thing!

The lovely Carlee at the Social Network for Opportunistic Businesswomen (SNOBs) has written a feature on Snappy Sentences for the New Kids on the Block section. This really has been my lucky week – first making it on the list of the Top 50 Australian writing blogs, now this.