Three of a kind [4]

Why your news site should never automatically open external links in a new window

Martin Belam is making this case for news sites but I think it is true of just about every website out there and certainly every website I have ever been involved in. It is also true that I have had to have this very conversation on every website (and blog) I have ever worked on. This post makes the case much more convincingly than I ever managed (I usually just played the ‘over my dead body’ card!) and the point about it messing with your analytics data is especially valid.

A Journey through Search Engine Optimisation

There is no doubt that there is alot of negativity around SEO – mainly due to the amount of ‘blackhat’ tactics that many people have used over the years to game the system and the side effect of this being that that ‘optimisation’ has a negative effect on the search experience for the majority of users.

All that said though I do have an interest in learning more about the more positive aspects of SEO. I’m looking for ways to better fulfill our ‘public engagement’ remit via our website and other digital activity and can see that we don’t make nearly enough of the good content we have online that might be of wider interest. So it is always interesting to read about SEO from the likes of the BBC and GDS as (a) it portrays that practice in a slightly more positive light and (b) they aren’t hung up on the usual sales & conversions language which is often hard for me to translate into lessons I can take away.

The myth of the ‘portable presentation’ in slide form

I am always interested in techniques to provide better presentations. I don’t speak in public much anymore and when I do I have found I have become a little lazy about it. Not spending enough time polishing the presentations and relying too much on things I did in the past. I also allow myself to get distracted designing the slides rather than concentrating on the real content.

That is why this post from Christian struck such a nerve with me I guess. Especially the latter paragraphs (though I have also tried the HTML side format and found it too clunky..). Christian prepares his presentations in the exact way I know I *should* but rarely if ever do. His ‘Content First’ approach is great as it ensures you have something helpful to share after the talk (I’m no fan of screencasts as I don’t like to hear my own voice but also personally prefer the written word for skimming than any multimedia..) I particularly like this line

We should not prepare slides, we should prepare presentations.

When he’s right he is right 🙂

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