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302 Dana Hall
N43 05.850'
W73 46.980'





Skidmore College
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs
New York, 12866

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 Skidmore’s 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 College’s 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 catalog.

So you’re going
to do all the Web writing for our group?
  No. Individual departments and offices are still responsible for creating content—no 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 department’s image online.

My writing is perfect. Why do I have to submit it to a gatekeeper?   You don’t have to: Participation is strictly voluntary. Second, I don’t accept or reject manuscripts; I’m 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 is corrected.

Our mission is not to change an author’s “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 that’s complete and ready for posting, not drafts.

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 formatting—type faces and sizes, rules, margins and page breaks, etc.—doesn’t translate well from Word to the Web anyway. But if you’re starting with a document that was designed for print, that’s 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 we’re creating is subject to refinement. It might also be different from the protocols you’re 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?
  Styles you may see on the Skidmore site include those promulgated by the University 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 Shop.

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 won’t override your choice of style, if one is apparent—particularly with academic or technical work.

What do you mean by “official” College Web site?   This includes pages controlled by and related to the College’s 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.

The Web Team Andy Camp, Electronics Communications Manager
Paul Dwyer, Web Editor
Elizabeth Katzman, Webmaster

Creative Thought Matters.
Skidmore College · 815 North Broadway · Saratoga Springs, NY · 12866

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