Category: Standards

Markdown: Markup That’s Downright Simple

Markdown Can Make Online Writing Easier Than HTML and other Markup Languages Consumers crave technology—increasingly sophisticated tech—robust and loaded with useful bells and whistles. It’s why smartphones and streaming devices are such indispensable, in-demand gadgets today. But as many electronic tools become more complex, others survive and thrive in a state of simplistic bliss—appealing to modern consumers with their retro charm and unfussy features. It’s this backlash against digital precociousness that helps explain the recent resurgence of vinyl LPs. And it’s part of what’s behind the longevity and enduring popularity of a resource that bloggers, web writers and editors, developers, academics, technical...

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The US Digital Service: Transforming the Way Government Works

“The U.S. Digital Service is using the best of product design and engineering practices to transform the way government works for the American people…Together, teams of America’s most capable problem-solvers are striving to make critical services — like healthcare, student loans, and veterans’ benefits — as simple as buying a book online.” In the span of just a few years, the Obama administration has launched a series of initiatives aimed at modernizing the federal government’s public-service technologies. The overall thrust and scope of these initiatives is nothing short of a major “reboot.” They aim not only to equip government with...

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10 Lessons Learned from the SEC Plain English Handbook

“Investors need to read and understand disclosure documents to benefit fully from the protections offered by our federal securities laws. Because many investors are neither lawyers, accountants, nor investment bankers, we need to start writing disclosure documents in a language investors can understand: plain English.” In 1996, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a series of initiatives to simplify the language used in documents intended for the public. As part of a larger federal initiative toward the governmental use of plain language, the SEC’s efforts culminated in the enactment of the 2010 Plain Writing Act. This act...

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“The Language of Content Strategy” by Scott Abel and Rahel Anne Bailie

It’s a book. It’s an eBook. It’s a website. It’s a deck of terminology cards. In fact, it’s all of these things and an introductory lexicon for our discipline. What is this amazing creation? It’s The Language of Content Strategy, the latest project from The Content Wrangler. The Language of Content Strategy (February 2014, XML Press) is the gateway to a language that describes the world of content strategy. Co-produced by Scott Abel (The Content Wrangler) and Rahel Anne Bailie (Intentional Design), and with over fifty contributors, all known for their depth of knowledge, this collection of terms forms...

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hypertext

By Mark Baker, Analecta Communications Inc. The Hypertext Nobbling Committee (HNC), that secret cabal of marketers, publishers, writers, and designers dedicated to breaking the Web, has been busy of late. Their latest ploy: the one page site in which all the content is presented in one continuous scroll and any links simply lead from one part of the page to another. The aim of the HNC is to reestablish linearity and hierarchy in the creation, management, and consumption of content. The one page site fits this mission perfectly. It makes it harder to find information within the page via...

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