Using an MVP approach for prioritizing website content

By Samantha Enslen •

Just read a fantastic article by Sparkbox on prioritizing content updates for a website relaunch. They suggest taking a minimum viable product (MVP) approach for planning a website launch. If you’ve ever found a launch endlessly delayed while you struggle to get each page “perfect,” the simple solution that Sparkbox suggests will seem like a godsend. Like most brilliant ideas, once you …

Fact-Checking 101

By Emilie Ferdelman •

Quote-by-Abraham-Lincoln-the-problem-with-quotes-found-on-the-internet-is-that-they-are-often-not-true

We don’t do a lot of fact-checking per se here at Dragonfly. Only one of our clients asks for it by name. But in a sense, good copy editors are always fact-checking, whether they call it that or not. That’s because we take a highly skeptical approach to the material we review. Factual inconsistencies make us flinch — until we query them. …

Are one-sentence paragraphs OK?

By Samantha Enslen •

one_sentence_paragraph

Recently, a colleague wrote me with a concern from one of her clients. Here’s what she said: He seems happy but commented that I use a lot of one-sentence paragraphs. I never noticed this, but it’s probably a holdover from reporting work. Is there a rule against this? He wasn’t really complaining but sort of musing about it because he says writing …

The newest Dragonfly has landed! Meet Becky Harris Sullivan

By Emilie Ferdelman •

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Becky Harris Sullivan is a Renaissance woman. The newest full-time Dragonfly has worked as a technical writer in areas as varied as international development, import taxes, agricultural economics, politics, and human rights, putting her skills to good use for employers ranging from a World Bank watchdog group to the International Food Policy Research Institute. In college she studied foreign languages, art …

Removing a Watermark in Microsoft Word

By Samantha Enslen •

An illustrated Image of a serene river with surrounding trees it

A fellow editor just wrote with a problem related to Microsoft Word. Seems that a document she was trying to edit had the word Draft splashed on the background on every page, in big, blue, 40-point type. This “watermark” was a huge distraction. Could she get rid of it? Indeed she could, and she did. To remove a watermark in …

Fun with Visual Thesaurus

By Samantha Enslen •

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve always hated using a thesaurus. I always felt disappointed when I looked up a word. The synonyms never seemed that synonymous, and therefore not that useful. Visual Thesaurus changed that for me. It makes finding alternative words fun and often leads me to exploring relationships between related words. For example, here’s what you get if …

How editors could have saved Obamacare

By Samantha Enslen •

The U.S. Supreme Court is soon expected to announce its decision in King v. Burwell, which deals with the Federal Government’s responsibility to pay for federal exchanges established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). When it comes to laws that affect millions of Americans, I think we mostly trust that somebody is going over the text with …

Not to brag, but…

By Samantha Enslen •

Dragonfly is the proud recipient of yet another round of awards for our exceptional writing, editing, and design work. The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative pros of all stripes. Each year, corporate marketing and communication departments, ad agencies, PR firms, graphic design shops, production companies, web and digital creators, and freelancers from around the world all …

The power of checklists

By Samantha Enslen •

This is a tweet from an ACES chat on using checklists when editing.

I’ve been speaking a lot recently about the power of checklists. Yesterday, I did a Twitter chat about checklists for ACES, the American Copy Editors Society. I and my fellow tweeters talked about how checklists help us cope with an overwhelming world by getting “all those things we’ve got to remember” out of our heads and onto paper. How they guide us through …

Learn editing from ACES, here in Ohio!

By Samantha Enslen •

Live in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, or parts nearby? Step up your editing game at the ACES Editing Boot Camp in Columbus, Ohio. It’s coming up next week, it’s near you, and registration is still open. What more could you ask for? The fact that I’m teaching? Well…I am! Here are some more details: When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 24 Where: Hyatt …