Plain English to help SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

The highlight of the week just gone was the issuing of 200 banned words by the GLA: BBC News Story, List of Banned Words. This reminded me of the importance of plain english, the sort that the Plain English Campaign hark on about. These people write some very useful guides which help those writing for the web avoid inane jargon and write normally. The principle is straightforward when applying plain English to websites:

Social networks: Drawing the line between professional and personal

See also: Top ten tips on using social networking sites.

You might think I have something against Facebook and the like with this second post on the topic, however this post takes a slightly different slant looking at the way Facebook and other social networking sites are becoming more important to employers. So this post is focused on the users rather than the service itself.

Fixed width or full width websites?

I recently read an article on A List Apart called Fluid Grids. This got me thinking on how many websites use fixed width columns and how many used full window width to display content. Certainly when the web was young, the design of many websites (quite often personal web pages) were full width, expecially with the typical resolutions being 640×480 or 800×600 if you were lucky. The lack of screen space meant that to have any area dedicated to ‘airy’ white space would result in lines of text comprising three words. Since then, we’ve had more screen space to play with and then the dilemma of to fix or not to fix lurks around every corner.

Why I’ve removed all but my name from Facebook

I might not be one of those activists that has completely deactivate their Facebook profile or those lucky enough to actually have their profile deleted by the powers that be, but I’m getting a little annoyed about the whole terms and conditions saga. It’s been well documented in the news and on networks that Facebook’s attitude to privacy, ownership and rights is somewhat lacking in user-focus. Their change of heart over a section of the terms and conditions which granted Facebook rights to do whatever they wanted with user information, data or files, seemed obviously reactive. What I mean by that is that they appeared to be expecting to get away with it.