Weeknote 3: websites and wish lists

Two books: Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, and Transciption by Kate Atkinson.

This week’s reading

OK, I said last week that I don’t watch daytime television. But I do sometimes watch Pointless. Does that count if it’s on after 5pm?

And I often wonder, how I would answer Alexander Armstrong’s question to contestants: ‘And what do you do in your spare time?’ The answer would probably be: the same as what I do for work.

My main work project at the moment is rewriting a website which is being migrated to a new platform. Other people have already done a content audit and agreed a new information architecture, so these are the basis for my updates: rewriting, revision, or minor edits. As well as talking to different people to check that the content is up to date, the job also involves working out how the information will be presented on each page.

The new content management system uses a range of templates, depending on what job each page has to do. So there is a choice of templates for landing pages (the jumping-off point for each section), and a different set for more text-heavy content pages. Each template will have a variety of elements that need to be created – page title, subtitle, body text, and so on – as well optional items to choose from. Which is where the job gets into ‘content design’ territory.

In my spare time, I started writing the minutes for the editorial board for The Journalist (the NUJ members’ magazine). And I remembered from the minutes that I volunteered to put together a wish list for the magazine’s presence on the NUJ website, which is also being imminently revamped. So I’ve also started reviewing what’s currently on the website, how it might be improved, and what discussions we need to have before we decide what we want. It might not be everyone’s idea of a hobby, but I find this sort of thing fun.

And feedback on the minutes from fellow committee members? A discussion on whether ‘wishlist’ is one word or two. My preference is the former, so I was mortified to find out that the Oxford English Dictionary says it is two.

I felt a bit better when my colleague pointed out that Pearl Jam also use ‘wishlist’.  Perhaps we should always use popular music as the arbiter of grammatical questions.

In other news

Publicity photograph showing the three actors in the play, Art.

I saw an interesting blog post called How to get a job in content design (I couldn’t help thinking: what a great SEO title). Although I’m not job-hunting myself, I was happy to see that I ticked a lot of the boxes – and have read three of the four recommended books.

The Conscious Style Guide, a website that discusses respectful and inclusive language, had a blog post about Doctor Who, so obviously I had to read it.

I went to the Oxford Playhouse to see Art, the acclaimed comedy by Yasmina Reza. The conversation with my husband in the afternoon went like this:

Him: What are we going to see tonight? Me: Art. Him: But what is it? Me: Oh… the play is called Art.

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