Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Write me a web page Elsie

This is the cover of Rachel McAlpine's book Write me a web page, Elsie.  Photo from the publisher.   We at the New Zealand School of Export think this is a really useful guide to writing on the web.   We have used it to re-vamp some of our pages on the School's website http://www.export.ac.nz/   I have been guilty of some of the worst of faults - using generic photos - well almost!  McAlpine says that eye-tracking research shows that most people ignore the pictures.   I am now trying to use images which fit really closely with the text and add to what it is saying!   She also recommends captions - sounds very simple.  That is the essence of this book - she gives down to earth advice in a style which makes you want to change!
If I have any gripe about the book, it is that the index doesn't cover everything in the book e.g. ACHOs and AFFLOs.  That aside I can thoroughly recommend it.
By the way, Rachel McAlpine is a dramatist, poet and novelist besides writing books on writing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New New Zealand datasets website

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs has just produced and gone live with their data.govt.nz website which is an index to publicly accessible government datasets.   These are not necessarily new datasets, but this website brings them all together.

A search on exports retrieves four results, but a search on trade is more productive and produces 13 hits.  
This is a good way to ensure that you or your international trade colleagues have picked up all the relevant and available information.