Character Coding UTF-8 For Your Browser

Character Coding UTF-8 For Your Browser

You have seen some strange non-English characters here and there that come out looking like scrambled eggs on your browser? That’s probably because your browser is trying to read Russian (“русский”) or Japanese (“日本語”) or Chinese (“中國”) or Arabic (“العربية”) or Thai (“ภาษาไทย”) or whatever language with an ASCII English-only character code. I know, that’s Greek (“Ελληνική”) to you, right? Well, there is a way out that is not very strenuous.

For Firefox since at least version 11:

  1. Click on the dropdown main menu item “View” and choose…
  2. “Character coding” or something similar (it is the 5th item down in the dropdown list)
  3. and then select “Unicode” which is the first one below “automatic”
  4. and you are finished!

For Internet Explorer since at least version 9:

  1. On the top line of instructions, click on “View”
  2. Then move your cursor down the drop-down menu to “Encoding” (this is the 8th item down the list)
  3. Go down to the 3rd item “Unicode (UTF-8)” and click on it. Repeat the exercise if the line “left-to-right document” is not already checked
  4. … and you’re done!

If you use Chrome or Safari or Tor or something else, the procedure should be roughly the same.

Now you will be able to see all the characters for all the European languages plus all the others that are covered by UTF-8 (includes specifically all Latin-character, Greek-character, and Cyrillic-character languages). You can find more information at Wikipedia if you need any help at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8 or in an appropriate language if English does not help you.

The original version was published on 24 April 2012 on LMDY.CH.

Web Content Copywriting

Web Content Copywriting

web content writing

Hi there, I guess this subject really gets down to the basis of copywriting for websites – what it is and how to do it.

First, let’s talk about the definition of copywriting. Wikipedia says: “Copywriting is the act of writing copy for the purpose of marketing and advertising a person, business, opinion or idea.
The purpose of marketing copy, or promotional text, is to persuade the reader, listener or viewer to act — for example, to buy a product or subscribe to a certain viewpoint.” ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copywriting.

Wikipedia continues to say (with some editing by me): “Copywriters are used to help create direct mail pieces, taglines, jingle lyrics, web page content, online ads, e-mail and other Internet content, television or radio commercial scripts, press releases, white papers, catalogs, billboards, brochures, postcards, sales letters, and other marketing communications media. Copy can also appear in social media content including blog posts, tweets, and social-networking site posts.

“Content writing on websites [my main subject here] may include among its objectives the achievement of higher rankings in search engines. Known as “organic” search engine optimization (SEO), this practice involves the strategic placement and repetition of keywords and keyword phrases on web pages, [while] writing in a manner that human readers would consider normal.”

In my business – “Copywriting for Websites” or “C4W” – the definition is taken a little more broadly. In addition to the uses listed by Wikipedia, we will write “content” for you which is not specifically aimed at any particular product, but which might touch on the edges of what you want to sell. An example: we could write one or more articles about what the mechanisms of weight loss are, although your specific subject might be “Weight Control Using X-Y-Z Diet Pills.” This seems to be the type of content that Google is looking for these days – real content and not advertising copy, nor re-hashed (“spun”) articles that have been around for years and are present on tens or hundreds of websites.

As you have probably seen in our lead article, “Technical” Means What?, we are specialising in technical content. There are two main reasons for this: (1) I am an engineer and have spent my entire first three careers dealing with technical things, so I understand them reasonably well, and (2) quite frankly, it brings more money on an hourly basis than run-of-the-mill content writing. The reason for number (2) above is that there are not so many people who are knowledgable about technical items, and who are willing and able to write about them. There is an unfortunate situation here – typically, technically gifted people can not write well, and gifted writers often do not understand technical things. My background is “liberal arts” with two teachers for parents who were sticklers about using good English, even at home. Add to that growing up in the southeastern USA, where the liberal arts education is usually stronger than the mathematical/technical education. Also, a well-rounded liberal high school education at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. did not hurt, nor did some continuing liberal arts education in University (Antioch College, Univ. of Kansas, Pepperdine University).

Needless to say, we would enjoy having the opportunity to help you out with your projects, whatever they might be. If this sounds interesting for you, the most sure way to contact us is using the form on the right that says “Contact Us Here.”

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Web Content Copywriting


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