Category Archives: Links

A few starter posts for new visitors

I’m on a list! Hello to anyone who has arrived here via Journalism.co.uk’s 36 blogs by journalists, for journalists, which was published today (and updated in the future in January 2022).

If you’re struggling for work and interested in making the digital transition from being a print sub, then you’ll find a fair few posts here on that. It’s the reason I started this blog. In fact, I still think blogging is one of the easiest and cheapest (free!) ways to self-train in digital publishing. Just set up a basic blog on WordPress.com (or platform of your choice) and Google anything you get stuck on.

Having made the transition, I don’t keep this site updated. My main site is now at fionacullinan.com, which has evolved into a hub for work and other projects. (Future update: in 2022 I’ve transitioned again. Still working as a digital content editor but also working as a walking artist. Who knew?).

Meanwhile, here are five of the most popular reads from Subs’ Standards, which tell a story of digital transition that will probably become more of a historical document in time. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by.

Starter kit: how to blog for your company

Here are the quick links to my Blogger’s Style Guide. This is the ‘how-to’ that I give to my company bloggers when they start writing posts for their employer’s blog. It acts as a support document for those who know their subject well, but know little about blog writing or publishing in general.

The Blogger’s Style Guide

  1. How is blogging different?
  2. What readers like / ideas for your posts
  3. How to structure long posts
  4. Short or long?
  5. What does SEO mean for writers?
  6. Links are good!
  7. Five tips on tone
  8. Comments and feedback
  9. Writing a good title
  10. Don’t fall foul of your boss – or the law!

Pick of the links (12 Feb-22 Sept 2009)

      Pick of the links (18 Nov-22 Jan 2009)

      Style guide wiki now up for online copy editors

      After calling for a universal style guide in a recent post, well, here it is:

      Style guide for online sub-editors 

      Thanks to journalism.co.uk for the set-up. It’s editable for your learning pleasure and is full of tips, links and explanations for print subs moving over to online. Would be great to hear the input and suggestions of subs and copy editors, or go to the wiki and add your tuppence worth there.

      There’s loads of things I haven’t covered, or haven’t covered enough. Please help and make this work-in-progress a useful resource.

      Freelancing in the nude?

      Cronewynd/Flickr

      Nice tablecloth. Pic: Cronewynd/Flickr

      Was bemused to listen to the awful Freelance National Anthem – but think the endline is wrong. Freelance writers have the the joy of working in pyjamas. Working ‘in the buff’ is just plain wrong. Or am I being naive?

      What do you wear when working from home? And, less contentiously, what time do you get dressed?

      Maybe the writer just couldn’t find a rhyme for pyjamas…

      Let’s create a universal style guide for web subs

      Get your red pen out, or should that be grey mouse? The first steps towards a style guide for subs and copy editors working online are being taken by Martin Stabe, online editor at Retail Week. Huzzah!

      This follows The Times finally changing its style for Bombay to Mumbai. Because even though the city officially changed its name in 1995, the recent attacks have zoomed Mumbai up the Google search rankings, so much so that it has now become the preferred search term of UK users. It seems The Times is playing the SEO game – and rightly so.

      Martin says he’ll be posting a public Google Docs soon for subs to contribute to. But I wonder if a wiki might allow for a wider take on this, encompassing a central place to house preferred search terms across a multitude of topics. Think of all the online women’s sites, for example, that would like to know that ‘lose weight’ is the search term to write in over ‘diet’ (according to Google Trends).

      Anyone up for it?

      Also, since ‘fall’ scores higher than ‘autumn’ and ‘copy editors’ beats ‘subs’, should we also start brushing up on our American English?

      New year, new online role?

      Is your new role in the 21st century newsroom here?

      It’s a breakdown of the personnel, roles and tasks in the 21st century newsroom – in the gospel according to Paul Bradshaw of the OJB.

      Recognise what you’re doing – or perhaps what you might want to be doing? Check it out and add to the suggestions…

      Amplified08: UK’s network of networks?

      Ach, it’s been a week already since Amplified08, which took place a short walk from the ghost town of print media, London’s Fleet Street, and I’m only just getting round to posting some feedback. But my pop music course taught me never to start with an apology so stuff it.

      I attended #amp08 for two main reasons – partly to put a face to my Twitter contacts, who’ve helped me greatly since I started blogging four months ago, and partly because I don’t want to miss out on the social media trends that are happening now.

      Brief aside for sub-editors wondering what all this has to do with copy editing – I did attend a discussion topic called ‘Mainstream media and citizen journalism’ aka #amp08#21. The good news is that the quality and accuracy of information is forecast to become more important. Readers will expect different levels of conversation – not just ‘Wild West opinion’ but also ‘moderated BBC content’ types, so trust and reputation will remain a brand indicator. The bad news is that, atm, this seems dependent on the brand being actually able to afford the staff.

      But sub-editing wasn’t the point, or journalism, or any of the short topic sessions around which we all gathered, submitting, in some of the Barleyesque pods, to being live-streamed.

      Get yourself connected
      Amplified08 mainly offered an opportunity to get connected. Nesta invited the UK’s 40 most active social media networks to essentially hook up in the sexy new social media-style format of an ‘unconference’ – where the organisation and content is left to the attendees and a wiki to decide.

      The big event in 2010
      Feedback from #amp08 – to explain, hashtags are collected post-event to collect outcomes – will inform #amp09 leading, hopefully, to a super-connected conference in 2010, and fulfilling Nesta’s ‘modest ambition to make the UK the most connected place on the planet’. Because apparently 99.9% of us still don’t get ‘it’ – the new connectivity, that is. And I’d add that even the ones that kind of do get it are still boradcasting (Freudian slip typo there!) as a default because they’re just not used to readers and customers talking back.

      I think, for all its faults, ultimately the medium of #amp08 was the message – how we are now coming together, organising ourselves without hierarchy, sharing ideas, making new contacts, learning through conversation rather than presentation, trying out the fun stuff such as table wikis, live Twittering on screen and ‘what I learned’ Tweets after each session.

      How could Amplified do better?
      More feedback to come but, for now, here’s my 3 ideas for #amp09:

      • more visible hashtags so I can catch up on all the sessions I wanted to see
      • more soundproofed conversation areas so I don’t have to bring my ear trumpet
      • more introductions and insights into the attendees and a meet-up slot – perhaps profiles of contacts up on site well beforehand and opportunities to arrange a meet. Maybe a little ning to go with the wiki? Cos I’m sure I was inches away from meeting my perfect compadre in a ‘million dollar homepage’ type scam, sorry, I mean ‘social enterprise’ start-up.

      Links [15 Sept-18 Nov 2008]

      Getting into full swing on delicious these days: