Paul Dwyer, Web Editor
Here to Help
Every publicly accessible page on the
Skidmore Web site reflects on the College and shapes visitors
perceptions and opinion of it. Therefore my goal is not only
to correct errors, but also to add value to Skidmores
site by making its prose as professional, consistent, elegant
and readable as possible.
| What does the Web Editor do?
My primary responsibility is to improve
the verbal content of the official Skidmore Web site. This
includes, but is not limited to, spelling, punctuation, grammar,
style, logic and sense, and to a limited extent, fact.
As a member of the Web team, I work with Electronic Communications
Manager Andy Camp and Webmaster Elizabeth Katzman to improve the
usability and functionality of the Colleges Web site
and to plan its growth.
Also, in cooperation with the College
Relations Office, I handle news items and assist my colleagues
as needed, including occasional writing for the Web and/or
College print publications. I also edit the College's print and online
So youre going
to do all the Web writing for our group?
No. Individual departments and offices
are still responsible for creating contentno one knows
your business better than you! Part of our mission on the
Web team is to empower users to create and maintain their
own pages. I offer a resource you can call on to help improve
your departments image online.
| My writing is perfect. Why do I have to submit it to a gatekeeper?
You dont have to: Participation
is strictly voluntary. Second, I dont accept or reject
manuscripts; Im here to sweat the details. But if, for
lack of being checked, a page is posted with an error (language,
design or coding), it could be a long time before the problem
Our mission is not to change an authors
voice or to squelch creativity. But every writer
can benefit from some backup.
| How does the process work?
First, it makes sense to choose someone
in your department or office to be the Web contact. That person
should send me text thats complete and ready for posting,
The best method is to attach a Microsoft Word document to
e-mail. I will make changes in revisions
mode, send the file back, and you can go through the revisions
and accept or reject them as you like. Then simply paste the
text into DreamWeaver when you build or revise your pages.
Note: Raw unformatted text
is best. (Extensive formattingtype faces and sizes,
rules, margins and page breaks, etc.doesnt translate
well from Word to the Web anyway. But if youre starting
with a document that was designed for print, thats OK,
too.) Editing in HTML or in other word processing programs
is more awkward and time-consuming for all concerned.
Please bear in mind that this is largely
new territory, and the system were creating is subject
to refinement. It might also be different from the protocols
youre accustomed to with print publishing, either in-house,
through the College Relations Office, or externally.
|What about the pages that are already online?
The Web team is reviewing the entire Skidmore
site, looking at a variety of aspects, including verbal content.
Since there are literally thousands of pages on the College
site, this is a long-term project.
| What style do you recommend?
What if I prefer a different one?
you may see on the Skidmore site include those promulgated by
of Chicago Press (most formal print publications), the American
Psychological Assocation and Modern
Language Association (scholarship) and the Associated
Press (news). Some academic disciplines, particularly technically
minded ones, have their own variations. For essential guidance,
most offices can turn to the classic Elements of Style
by Strunk & White, available at the Skidmore
The most important thing is that a page or group of pages be
internally consistent. For general purposes, Skidmore
house style (based on the Chicago
Manual of Style, 14th Edition, also at the Skidmore
Shop) will be applied by default to Web pages. However,
I wont override your choice of style, if one is apparentparticularly
with academic or technical work.
|What do you mean by official College Web site?
|| This includes
pages controlled by and related to the Colleges academic
departments, offices and officially sanctioned organizations.
Student pages, employees private pages not related to
the College (even if they reside on the Skidmore servers), and
pages belonging to outside groups are not supported. For more
information, see the Skidmore
Web Management Policy.
Creative Thought Matters.