WRITE YOUR WAY TO CREDIBILITYWritten by Meredith Pond
If you're trying to do business anywhere, especially online, you can never overestimate impact and importance of good old- fashioned credibility.
Any brick-and-mortar, street corner business has at least some level of credibility. The fact that these businesses have an established, tangible presence, physical inventory, and staff gives any traditional businessperson a certain level of reliability in eyes of consumers. Online however, such credibility is much harder to come by. An Internet storefront or other online business has no roof overhead, no shingle to hang, and no inventory for consumers to pick up and examine. This puts a certain distance between buyer and seller, and that breeds uncertainty in a lot of consumers.
When doing business online, only way to instill confidence and trust in potential customers is through your website. Your website, for most part, is made up of nothing but WORDS, WORDS, WORDS.
If your website copy is full of typos, grammatical errors, and unbelievable guarantees, your credibility is likely to suffer. On other hand, a site that is well-written, easy to read, and full of useful information makes your business seem stable, reliable, and credible. In eyes of consumers, your web site IS your business, so a site full of mistakes is a business not worth buying from.
Each discipline has its own languageWritten by John Warzecha
English scholars may use such language as "stream of consciousness", while economists may speak of "market maximization". Unfortunately this makes it indecipherable to everyone else. Individuals not directly involved in discipline, or a related field, are left thinking that language is convoluted and not worth time and effort to understand. Perhaps there is safety in isolation but in this safety there is potential for losing your audience.
Words, or rather control of words and hence control of language, have given one a sense of power. If some language confuses, then there may be impression that one is somehow superior over someone who does not understand language. This is great democratizing feature of Internet.
Unfortunately there has now developed a separate language that has become exclusive to Internet and it has had effect of scaring many people away from active use of net. It is true that there has been a phenomenal increase in business on net but in many cases use is restricted to e-mail and basic research for papers or reports. Many individuals need a very precise explanation or understanding and yet while they are surfing around net they come across a word such as "e-zines" (which means a newsletter sent through e-mail) and now their enthusiasm is tempered. This is not to suggest that people using net are linguistically challenged in some way. They merely want to understand language without having to resort to a technical dictionary.
Perhaps introduction of Apple computer can serve as an illustration. When individuals began working on computers, there was constant frustration for people who were able to use computer but who were not literate enough to work their way through myriad of DOS prompts. The concept of a user friendly system opened door for Apple with its user friendly Icons and point and click method. What could be easier? Now computer could be used by everyone and not just technologically gifted. Computers were now taking on some human attributes - so to speak.
This kind of democratization of Internet is also necessary. Why should a potential user, especially someone who wants to set up a web page, but who does not necessarily possess technical expertise, be faced with phrases that talk of "switch off external CPU cache in your PC's Bios" or "paid-rank" search engine." This is a case where old "kiss" (keep it simple stupid) would prove effective.
There is a power in language but that power does not have to be hidden through an over dependence on technical jargon. Gone are days when a computer firm would fearfully bring a programmer into a meeting because typical programmer gave impression of having lived in another time zone while operating as a social outcast.