Painless Gender Neutrality

Jun 9, 2010 by Lindsay Gower

For generations, English speakers used he, him and his as the unnamed agent in written examples.

No longer. We strive for gender neutrality.

Please don’t strive too hard.
He? or She? Pick one.
Do not shy away from using he when it helps you make your point.  That said, do not shy away from using she, if that helps you make your point.

(I once worked for a company that gave conferences for nurses, at which 98% of registrants were women. Yet when I drafted instructions such as Hand the registrant her name badge … my boss would correct it to Hand the registrant his …

Saying “No” Like You Mean It

Apr 28, 2010 by Lindsay Gower

Often enough, we use the word don’t and do not in our writing.  They’re real words, they convey clear meaning, I’ve got nothing against them.

Yet, often enough, your reader will skip over the “not” part, and think you’re saying “do.”  Here are some tips to help you say No and be sure your reader hears you.
Vocabulary choice
Replace don’t with a precise and unambiguous word. Here are just a few excellent candidates for the job of saying No: Avoid, ban, block, delete, exclude, forbid, hinder, obstruct, omit, prevent, prohibit, reject and stop.

Avoid submerging your toaster in water.   is clearer …

Finding Online Ore at the Gold Mine!

Apr 27, 2010 by Aaron Rubman

What is Online Ore?

Online Ore is a new feature here at the Gold Mine, and one that has us all fired up.  Each week, on Monday morning we’ll be featuring a new site or service to improve the life or productivity of business owners or their employees.

Online or not, each of these nuggets is a tool that can be used to find value, joy, or efficiency, either inside the workplace or out of it.

So far we have featured

Online Ore: Vimeo.Com

Apr 12, 2010 by Aaron Rubman

This week’s vein of online ore can be found at http://vimeo.com

Vimeo is a high definition, community driven video sharing site.  While most video sharing sites limit the quality or length of the clips you upload, Vimeo allows the full 1280×720 resolution supported by HD TVs and monitors.

As with other video sharing sites, you can embed your favorite clips into your own website, indicate which films you like, and leave comments for the video creator and the other community members who like their work.

And speaking of community, Vimeo’s is highly collaborative, creative, and encouraging  - with their …

Producing Cost-effective Video for your Website: Post-Production

Apr 2, 2010 by Scott Stiefvater

This is the third part of a 3-part blog series focusing on producing dynamite video footage for your website while getting the most bang for your buck.

In the second installment, I offered a number of tips for the production phase. In this installment, I address the post-production phase, i.e. editing. Remember, the tips I provide below are based on a conventional corporate-video formula intended to yield about 5 minutes of final, edited video footage. Remember, they are just guidelines and may not apply to every project.

Post Production

Keep Graphics Simple

Flying, flipping motion graphics, even from templates, take lots …

A Bit About Copyright

Mar 24, 2010 by Lindsay Gower

Your web site and marketing materials are protected by copyright.

Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects the authorship of original works of fiction, non-fiction, music and lyrics, poetry, plays and screenplays, computer software, and architecture. On your web site, copyright protects original text as well as original artwork, music, sound recordings.
Instant copyright: Just add ink
You own the copyright on your work as soon as you put it into a perceptible, tangible form. As soon as you jot it onto notepaper or type it up on a MS Word doc, the copyright is yours. It doesn’t …

10 Tips to Gather Company Bios for Websites

Mar 23, 2010 by Aaron Rubman

Including team biography pages on your website is a wonderful way to put a human face on your company and to provide potential clients, colleagues, and vendors with additional insight into who you are and how you roll.

However, a good bio page requires some degree of individual content gathered from every team member who is featured.  And while web designers can do a lot of things, we can’t just invent content (especially personalized content) out of thin air.

How then, should you go about gathering the information you need for team bio pages?

1. Know Your Roster

When you get started, make sure …

Voice Choice: Active or Passive?

Mar 17, 2010 by Lindsay Gower

Although we usually speak in active voice, many of us shift into passive voice when writing.  Although not always incorrect, writing in passive voice can cause confusion. Using active voice will keep your message lively and specific.

The technical details

In passive voice, the subject receives the action of a transitive verb. The focus is on the action rather than who performed that action. Consider this witty example from UNC’s The Writing Center:

Why was the road crossed by the chicken?

The object (the road) is the subject of the sentence. The action (crossing of said road) gets more attention than …

Defining the Blogosphere: a Glossary

Mar 5, 2010 by Aaron Rubman

Blog

Web Log.  A blog is a website maintained by an individual or group that is characterized by a persistent record of old content and the regular addition of new content.  A typical blog will present these entries in reverse chronological order.

Blogroll

A list of recommended blogs that is typically displayed in a persistent sidebar

Blogosphere

The whole of the blogging world, including all blogs and those who write them

Embedding

Placing a pre-written piece of code into your blog or website so that you can display a video, widget, banner, or content block created by someone else.  …

Producing Cost-Effective Video for Your Business Website: Pre-Production

Feb 26, 2010 by Scott Stiefvater

This is the first part of a 3-part blog series focusing on producing dynamite video footage for your website while getting the most bang for your buck.

The tips I provide below are based on a conventional corporate-video formula intended to yield about 5 minutes of final, edited video footage. They are just guidelines and as such, you can tweak them to fit your situation.

Pre-Production

Secure 5 Interviewees
3 happy customers and 2 expert employees. Getting customers is often challenging …

Welcome to The Gold Mine

The Gold Mine is a blog developed by MB/I to assist site owners with the process of developing and maintaining a website. MB/I is a full-service web development company building websites since 2000.

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