Do you run your blog on WordPress? Show your fandom, air your rants, ask for help and offer it.
Location: The internets
Latest Activity: Mar 3
Started by Susan Edel Jun 2, 2013.
Started by Stinky Suitcase. Last reply by Courtney Mroch Jan 7, 2013.
Started by Dick Jordan Oct 3, 2012.
Have just tried the repost.us plug in discussed in the Syndicating Discussion Forum if anyone would like to republish my articles. Thanks - Steve@StevesTravelGuides.com
Oh, wow. Thank You very much Joe Harkins...I will study this subject, I never before wrote online therefore lack of my knowledge about it all. Thank You very much.
to Mr. Travel Affairs - just to qualify my critique, I have been building and hosting web sites for more than 18 years. My business, with clients all over the world, builds roughly one a week, mostly in WordPress.
Mine was (I believe) one of the world's very first nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columns (archived at TravelTheNet.com) on the topic of using the Internet to plan travel.
The content of your site in general is good but readers will have a lot of difficulty with barriers you have created out of lack of consideration for "readability."
First a clarification. Readability and legibility, while they are related and function simultaneously, are not the same thing.
Do a Google on "readability vs legibility" (in quotes) and you will see plenty of explanation, including a few sites that do a great job of explaining the issues and then violate the very concepts they so intelligently presnt (example: http://mypaintednails.blogspot.com/2011/06/readability-vs-legibilit...).
You readibility issues are these: - text block waaay to big - lines of text waaay too wide - fully justified text
Trying to read an online article that involves one of them is annoying. Any two of them in one screen is a distraction. All three are just plain "don't bother trying."
BLOCKS OF TEXT (formerly known as paragraphs)
Take a look at how web sites that have a lot at stake (advertising revenue) use layout to keep eyeballs from getting lost in the thicket of text and wandering away from the picnic. For example, compare your text blocks with those of a site like ABC News that spends millions on focus groups and visitor research to learn how to keep people on pages that advertisers pay tens of millions to support.http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/changing-positions-oba...
Note that the first half of that typical layout is built of text blocks that are rarely longer than 5 lines. Some "paragraphs" are only 2 lines.
Note that the paragraphs get longer - but never as long as yours - only further down the page after the reader is (presumably) deeply hooked into the subject.
I put paragraphs in quotes because these are not Sister Mary Agony's "paragraphs" that she so patiently and selflessly drilled into me back in the 7th Grade. Her paragraphs were defined as a set of sentences that contain one coherent thought. If you pick up most novels printed before 1950 - and definitely all novel of the 19th Century - you surely will see paragraphs that run on for pages in rigid adherence to her rule.
But reading text online, on a monitor, is different from text on a printed page. That's where the next two readability issues take over . . .WIDE LINES OF TEXT AND FULL JUSTIFIED TEXT They are - together - the Scylla and Charybdis of web page layout. (I don't often get the opportunity to cite Homer and I can't resist).
When you do the Google search on readability vs legibility, you will encounter discussions of how line length and text justification work together to discourage reading and send people away, reeling with the fantods.
The problems they create boil down to this:
Reading at a pace that approaches the speed with which one can comprehend and enjoy requires that the eye go leaping down the page in smooth bounces. To do that, a reader sub-conciously uses peripheral vision to "know" the exact location, in his visual space, of the start of the next line at the left margin.
In the case of those who read in "chunks" this is even more true. Without visual clues, one easily gets lost.
I recall once, back in the late 60s, on a gray day in a Soviet block country, wandering without a single deferential clue, amid uniformly plain apartment buildings. The buildings were the same from street to street. The streets were the same. I soon became dis-oriented.
Only the sudden arrival of a very helpful - eagerly and even aggressively so - pair of cops - got me back to my hotel. Large blocks of long lines of fully justified text are like that kind of an housig project.
Text wider than 70 characters increases the difficulty of reading without deliberate (but still un-concious) effort. It soon becomes uncomfotable, then tiring. This is especially true on the monitor.
Fully justified text also contains one more unavoidable barrier.
That new barrier is the micro-spaces inserted into every line (and maybe even within each word) in order to make the right margin of each line up. When you do that, the shape of each word is subtly but detectably altered.
Words are read as shapes, not as collections of letters. There's interesting proof that in tests of reading comprehension is based on shapes.
So, for a better, more inviting, more readable web site (aren't you sorry you asked?) chop down those blocks into 5 lines or less. Use a three column layout or some other layout device to force line length at least below 100 characters and allow text to be right-ragged.
Are these rules rigid? No but they are real. You can get away with bending one to two of them, but not all three at once.
One more item. A better way to show off your excellent photos would be to use a WordPress plugin such as "expand images." When an image is clicked on it should not open on another page.
To see all of the above "in the wild," please visit Two Weeks In Tuscany (http://twoweeksintuscany.com/). Your rebuttal and contrary opinion will be respected.
PS - You are a better writer than most. You make good use of metaphor and excellent use of hooks such as the GBS reference.
I ran my website on WordPress http://www.mytravelaffairs.com/.
Please have a look and tell me what I could do better, what is wrong etc
All comments and advices are welcome and needed :)
After an amazing 2 month tour of Southeast Asia, I'm back stateside and going through reintegration. Have you ever experienced reintegration? If so how did you deal with it?
Would love tips and feedback :)
What new friends have you made this year?
My photo dairy has a new entry today =)
Just Like Home
Holiday in Langkawi: Staying at The Frangipani Resort and Spa http://chatteringkitchen.com/2011/12/26/holiday-in-langkawi-staying...
What if your $10. had the power to totally transform a child's life?
See how here: http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/wanderboomer/2011/12/05/pass...
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