Engaging (with words) in the Online Environment

Entitled Engagement in the Online Environment, my first Heavy Chef event (of many, hopefully) was both inspiring and informative.  Sitting with my fellow Talooma staff members before the start, I recognised a few of the faces in the crowd. I spoke to Amor from Poken before the start and Walter also came to say hi and spoke to Nick and Jono about the recent Tedx Joburg event.

We started a bit late, with Fred (CEO of World Wide Creative) giving an introduction to the Heavy Chef as a concept and then to the first speaker Tiffany Markman – freelance copywriter, copy editor and proofreader.

Tiffany Markman

According to Tiffany, it takes 15 seconds which equates to 30 words to gain the attention of reader. We need to take into consideration that print content is and needs to be different to web content. Web content needs to be short and “tight” as Tiffany put it, equating this to a mini skirt; it needs to be conversational and make use of good words – action words eg, look, take part, help. Every word counts. Pretend you need to pay for each word. This will help you with condensing.

Also look to avoid shameless self punting.

The following rules apply for writing for web:

1. Write as you speak

2. Use “your” and “you” more than we.

3. Use contractions

4. Use short words instead of long words

5. Sound like a real human being

6. No exclamation marks!!

7. Beware of abbreviations and emoticons

8. Read your copy aloud afterwards.

Also check your copy for mistakes – reading backwards helps.

Next up: Walter Pike

Walters talk was about engaging with the audience. He had some awesome images and backgrounds for his presentation 🙂

He explained that decision making is not rational and that branding depends on a number of factors, salience is at the bottom and resonance at the top. Brands are about gut feel. The rules have changed. People are now connected.

The economics of publising have also changed. Publishing is for free – on the web. People also trust other people like them more than advertising and PR.

We need to understand that we cannot control brands but we can guide the discussion surrounding them at the different levels of connectivity while understanding the different levels of influence and who are the influencers.

Big Up

Thanks to @Yolandi_JvR , Fred, @walterpike and @tiffanymarkman for a great event – it was short and sweet and to the point with both speakers sticking to their time. The question session at the end was also a good idea. The venue at Deloitte in Woodmead was awesome and I really enjoyed my glass of red wine 🙂

Looking forward to the next one!

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