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Category Archives: Good Practice

 

It’s a simple thing to remember:

The day after the event everything advertising the event is outdated.

 

Yet, we somehow always only ever seem to plan up to the event.

 

But the day(s) after the event are just as crucial:

 

As the reviews are pouring in, photos being uploaded, colleagues telling their stories at work, most people who missed the event and hear about it afterwards would probably like to make sure they catch the next opportunity of such an event.

 

However, very often I find event pages leading up to an event stay frozen on their “Register now!” hype:

The day after the event visitors to the event page are still invited to register for the event.

The day after the event visitors to the event page are still invited to register for the event.

The registration of course no longer works as you have to frustratingly find out when clicking the button.

"The event has completed and registration is now closed." Ok, so what next? Registration is not possible, Log-in is not applicable for first time visitors.

“The event has completed and registration is now closed.” Ok, so what next? Registration is not possible, Log-in is not applicable for first time visitors.

 

A missed chance of connecting with the people who would make a repeat of the event possible.

 

A tip to make the best out of your event is to think one step further:

 

After the event is Before the event.

 

If you treat the day after the event like the first day of the lead-up to a new event, you run little risk of leaving your event promotion material outdated.

 

Even if you don’t intend to repeat the event, this mindset makes you consider what comes next and can help you cater for those who have missed it or attendees who are checking back for more information.

 

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Check out this long url linking to this photo! It contains much more info than just the photo url, so make sure you clean it up first before you share it.

Check out this long url linking to this photo! It contains much more info than just the photo url, so make sure you clean it up first before you share it.

 

A url is not just a url in times of digital tracking.

 

After clicking on a link, chances are the url contains lots of cryptic tracking code.

 

An example in Facebook:

 

If I want to share a photo, the photo url can be a long tail containing more information than just the link to the picture. This could even be sensitive information, but is definitely unnecessary, and thus rather annoying:

https://web.facebook.com/pg/RatsMakeGreatPets/photos/a.508095925914082.1073741831.489807454409596/1663840230339640/?type=3&theater&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic&notif_id=1517478207624645

 

Look at this long url! It tells me the Facebook page, the photo album ID, the FB page ID, the actual photo ID, some stuff in between, the viewing mode, some notification info and some more cryptic code.

 

On top of it, Facebook shows my browsing device, in this case ‘web’. However, some apps don’t recognise ‘web’ and what if I want to share this link with someone who is not using a desktop computer to browse Facebook, but their mobile phone.

 

In addition, Facebook adds the identification for a Facebook page ‘pg’, which is basically superfluous code that just stretches the url even longer.

 

Instead, this link gets you to the photo just as well: https://www.facebook.com/RatsMakeGreatPets/photos/1663840230339640

 

Once you click on it, Facebook might extend this link to their long url, but at least the url you use to share is neat, short, to the point, and does not run the risk to reveal more than you had intended.

 

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WordPress has an integrated spellchecker. It also automatically tells me when there's nothing to check: No writing errors were found.

WordPress has an integrated spellchecker. It also automatically tells me when there’s nothing to check: “No writing errors were found.” – Phew! 😉

 

Because we all make mistakes, why take a chance when it’s so easy to double check:

 

Write your copy in a text editor with a spellchecker. At least it’ll help you get rid of those really silly errors.

 

When it comes to using copy in an image editing program, copy and paste the text into a word editor to confirm your grammar is correct.

 

Even better: Use an integrated spellchecker in the software. Most programs offer to activate a spellchecker or to install a widget or plugin.

 

Don’t fall for the temptation to switch off the spellchecker.

Maybe you’re using professional terminology and get a lot of words highlighted as wrong. Rather add these to your spellchecker’s dictionary and customise it to your needs.

 

And because we all still make mistakes, always proofread your copy.

 

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I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

I painted this bathroom door myself and love the result.

 

When our builder’s workers started applying the primer on our interior doors while they were still hanging, I knew this would end badly.

So I decided to save some costs and paint the doors myself. It couldn’t get worse than how it had been done so far.

Of course I knew nothing about painting doors, so I first had to do my research which I’m happy to share:

 

Good Practices for Painting Interior Doors

 

1) Lay down the door flat on saw horses

Painting a new interior door is easiest on saw horses:

–  Only when the door is removed from the frame can you reach all the edges. Especially new doors need to be sealed everywhere to prevent moisture from entering – that includes the bottom edge.

–  Only when the door is lying flat down can you achieve a smooth streak-free paint finish. It is easy to miss drips and runs leaving unsightly paint marks on your door. Plus you’ll avoid any mess on the walls and floors.

If the door is already installed, take it off for painting. Interior doors are hollow and easy to remove from the hinges.

 

2) Clean the door

Make sure there is no residue or grime on the door that would spoil the paint.

Wipe the door clean with soapy lukewarm water.

 

3) Sand down the door

If new or old, before painting you need to roughen up the surface.

Use a sanding block for profiled moldings and sandpaper on flat boards to smoothen any irregularities.

Clean up the dust with a vacuum or brush and damp cloth.

 

4) Fix any holes

Should the door have any holes, cracks or scratches, fill them before applying any primer or paint.

 

5) Dampen the surface

This trick is meant to help you achieve a smooth paint finish:

Wet the door’s surface slightly with a sponge or cloth.

When applying paint on the damp surface, it’ll take longer to dry, giving you more time to smoothen out any unwanted streaks or tears.

 

6) Prime the door

New doors need to be primed to ensure good adhesion of the finish coats. Already painted doors need no primer if they’re in good condition.

Apply one coat of primer and let it dry.

Sand down any irregularities.

 

7) Paint the door

The best way to avoid brush marks is by avoiding using brushes. Only paint the tricky parts like edges and ornamental designs with brushes.

Use a foam roller on all straight surfaces for an even looking finish. You might need to apply an extra coat, if the foam roller spreads the coat too thin.

Apply as many layers of paint as needed for a great finish. If you can still spot some irregularities, give it one more coat. It actually goes quick and will leave you truly happy with the result.

 

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Just because you’re a #GrammarNerd doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to math formulas.

 

Another example why you must always proofread your copy:

When creating an infographic double check that everything is correct.

When creating an infographic double check that everything is correct.

 

This is an infographic explaining payment flow and costs and still they managed to get the main equation wrong:

Of course it’s not R500 times 7.5% equals R462.50, but:

R500 7.5% = R462.50

 

A hint for this is actually the sentence below: “Bidda keeps 7.5% of all transactions.” Keep, as in retain / withhold / deduct / subtract.

 

If you’re unsure about your algebra but are creating explainer infographics which contain mathematical equations, get your calculator out – there’s an app on every device – and quickly double check.

 

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"Ready for Season 2017" - Not so much, as it's 2018 already.

“Ready for Season 2017” – Not so much, as it’s 2018 already.

 

So it’s the middle of January 2018 and I still find visuals referring to 2017 around the internet.

Why even? In the above example, simply stating: “Ready for This Season” could’ve worked just as well.

Using imagery with concrete dates is an easy trap to look outdated. Unless you’re spot on on the case, updating your campaign the minute it expires, don’t dig this unnecessary hole for yourself. Every time you’re tempted to use a real date, be it only the year, think about it:

Does the date make the campaign look more current or rather outdated if you don’t have the resources to keep it updated.

Even if a date is required, for example for a competition, remember that incorporating it in your imagery means you’ve got to update all your visuals should there be any change to the date, for example extending the entry deadline. Rather referring to the Ts & Cs means you only ever have to update your Terms & Conditions.

If you do decide to feature a particular date in your graphics, set yourself a reminder to be alerted when this date has passed.

 

This one made me laugh:

Spot the spelling mistakes! This is why you must always proofread.

Spot the spelling mistakes! This is why you must always proofread.

“This is possibly how German Shepard Emma felt before she escaped from the vet and ended up wondering terrified along the Liesbeeck River for five weeks.”

 

Besides that it is of course a German Shepherd, the image of this poor creature sitting all pensive and contemplative by the river, humming to herself a terrified Rodriguez’ “I wonder…” made me involuntarily laugh.

 

Yoh, two spelling mistakes in one sentence!

 

As Wikipedia puts it: “Shepard may refer to: A common misspelling of shepherd”.

 

And yes, the wonderful wandering / wondering swap, which in this example works just as well actually.

 

Maybe it’s because I can relate: I also wonder, about all the things, and it makes me terrified.
Of course, wondering for five weeks is a bit extreme, but I’m sure it can happen to the best of us if we ended up along the Liesbeek River. 😉

 

Luckily the dog was rescued and it all ended well. 🙂

I can only repeat my advice: Always proofread your copy before publishing.

 

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