Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sloppy writing is bad business

Sloppy writing can damage the company that allows it to reach the eyes of customers and prospects. Here’s a recent example:

The URL-shortening company bitly made a major change in its marketing strategy and thereby confused and irritated many of its customers.* The company not only made a confusing change, but also announced the change in sloppy, heavy-handed, arrogant language.

I was making a few notes for a blog post on this rich topic when I noticed that the prolific author Gary North had already published a piece on the topic. Dr. North describes bitly’s self-destructive behavior with his usual directness and thoroughness. Here’s a sample:

“Incoherent? Yes. That’s because a programmer wrote it. Obviously, no one beta-tested it with Ordinary Users.”

You can read the full article here.

The Takeaway: I recommend you read the article, especially if you are a programmer, engineer, or other technical person. You may not have the time to keep improving your writing; you have your own work to do. Of course. But please, at least test your writing on non-technical readers before you publish it.

See disclaimer.

*Disclosure: I am one those confused and irritated customers.

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