Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Where are we?

Eek! I just realized that the new template doesn't include a link to the contact page. Better fix that soonest!

In the interim, you can find it at http://www.thinfilmmfg.com/admin/about.htm#contact

So you want to hire a writer...

I've been chatting with a number of new potential clients lately, and realized I'm having very similar conversations with all of them. So this is something of an FAQ for people who think an outside writer might be able to support their efforts. While you don't need to have the answers to these questions before you contact me, it will save us both some time if you've started to think about them.

1. What's the audience? What do you want to accomplish with this? An article for an industry journal serves a different function than a press release or a brochure.

2. What's it about? What do you want people to know after they've read it that they don't know now? What response do you want?

3. How long is it? A 100-word event listing is not the same as a 500-word news story or a 2000-word feature.

4. What's your budget? Your timeframe? These two questions define what is and isn't reasonable. If you have a ten hour budget, but need a twenty hour project done by next week, we probably don't have much to talk about. But if you're able to be flexible about delivery, small projects can often fit into scheduling gaps.

5. What's the best use of your time? Often, handing off a large project is more cost effective than handing off a small one. The reason is that any writing project has planning, information gathering, writing, and editing components. You'll need to be involved in the planning and information gathering pieces anyway, whether you delegate the project or not. The real time savings comes from handing off the writing and editing components, which are proportionally larger for longer projects. Those components are where I add the most value, too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Administrivia - Site Blog Software Upgraded

We've been seeing too much comment SPAM lately, so for the first time in too long a time (3 years), we've upgraded the Movable Type software which drives our blogs.

With Movable Type 5.01, we are now able to require commenters to sign-in order to reduce SPAM. We will not be collecting your login information, but rather relying on your choice of another web site (Google, Yahoo, AIM, Live Journal etc.) to verify you exist. (We won't see your password for that other site, they'll just us tell your name and maybe email address.)

The leap in software releases required us to change the look of the blogs; we're not done with Katherine's TFM blog yet. In addition, we MAY have broken some links.

Please notify of us any problems you have reading or commenting on the blogs.