Monthly Archives: November 2012

Helpful FAQ Pages

With popular businesses and organizations, chances are they have a website. Some of them such as Etsy, Hulu, YouTube, and Delicious are mainly web-based with the activity from consumers. On these pages a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) page is in order. Not everyone is completely web-savvy and may need some assistance.

Jake from spyrestudios.com says, “Support pages are a commonly accepted trait amongst webmasters. Once your website grows to support a large enough userbase you simply have to offer some type of knowledgebase.”

If a person is resorting to a FAQ page, they’re probably feeling frustrated enough. How these businesses and organizations decide to curate their FAQ pages hopefully doesn’t add to the noise when searching for answers. Etsy’s FAQ page did just that as I clicked on various questions. The categories are nicely organized, drop-down menus. But after clicking on one, several possible questions appear. Going back to the FAQ page my place was lost, and the result? More frustration. Some of the question’s were so simple they could have been mentioned in other answers. For example, under “Open a Shop” the question “Who can be a seller?” has a two-sentence answer; “Anyone can be a seller. You must be at least 18 years of age to sell on Etsy”. This could be placed under “How do I set up my shop?” because if you’re not of age (or planning to lie about it to start an account) then one should stop their quest. However, Etsy’s Help page seemed a lot better. There isn’t much, but it was better than viewing a ton of questions in drop-down menus. Other business’ also take on a category set-up for FAQ pages like Hulu and definitely execute it much better than Etsy. On Hulu, there’s no losing your place and any questions about the topic are right there. If by chance questions could not be answered a “Contact Us” link at the bottom is there for any user’s convenience. Some take a different approach having it conversational like Campfire while others may have a mixture. Both Delicious and YouTube are great examples of this. They were my favorites because it isn’t overwhelming with redundant questions and the answers are simple and effective. So next time you’re on a website and have a question or two, look for a “FAQ” or a “Help” page. If the answers you seek cannot be found there, “Contact Us”.

Advertisements

States Seceding? Will They Succeed?!

In recent events with President Obama winning his re-election, citizens from of our states were not too happy about his victory. According to the Chicago Tribune, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have all filed petitions and qualify for a response.

“The Texas petition says the United States is suffering from economic troubles stemming from the federal government’s failure to reform spending. It also complains of alleged rights abuses committed by agencies like the Transportation Security Administration.

“Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union,” it said.”

Texas has done it before. Who says that they won’t be successful if they give it another go? Regardless of possibilities we should learn from our history and remember should the states be successful, there probably isn’t a  light at the end of the tunnel they’re looking for. This could, and most likely is a jab at the White House to communicate, “The hope and change discussed in a campaign four years ago needs to come in effect now. Or else.”

Hope Still Exists For The Victims of Hurricane Sandy

According to The Star Ledger, states such as New Jersey and New York took a hard hit from hurricane Sandy. While many have lost precious possessions Governor Chris Christie still has hope for everyone.

“Rebuilding will be the next phase of the recovery,” Christie said. “It will be the longest phase of the recovery. But I’m confident we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to rebuild together.”

This isn’t going to be easy for those over on the east coast, but with hope and a lot of hard work anything is possible. Slowly but steadily they are regaining power for homes and businesses. Resources such as gas are being rationed out and power to schools are a priority. If interested in donating to help the cause, take a look at  Charity Navigator’s website before picking one to give to.

Live Updates on the Election 2012

For this past election, The Guardian has a page where one could watch updates in different medias such as newspaper websites and tweets as the polls closed and states lit up with which ever color they turned to be. These updates can be viewed and still appear to be occuring. The Guardian has also posted their take on Obama’s victory and the Republicans loss.  “Action on the deficit will require a “grand bargain” with Congress and that means the Republican party, which retained control of the House of Representatives, though Democrats remain in charge in the Senate.” Within these next four years, there may not be a whole lot accomplished because of how control in Congress is split between parties.

The Purpose of Linking

What is the purpose of linking for bloggers, newspapers, etc? Jay Rosen discusses the Washington Post taking on a new media in the hopes of increasing their number of readers and gain extra profit from advertising for others. He then discusses a rule of theirs; “You don’t send people away from your domain”. Because of that rule, it does not match the ethic of the web; connecting people to knowledge where ever it is.

In Jeff Jarvis’ article New rule: Cover what you do best. Link to the rest, he discusses newspapers and their websites. “In the rearchitecture of news, what needs to happen is that people are driven to the best coverage, not the 87th version of the same coverage.” If we cannot offer better information on a topic someone else has already covered, then we can present it effectively by way of linking.

With good curating and reliable links, bloggers can keep their audiences coming back.