From: Marj Tiefert <matiefert -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 12:05:04 -0800

>...Without further ado, here are the questions:
>1) Do you have a Web site to promote your tech writing
>consulting/contracting (or other) business?


>2) Do you have personal info (hobbies, family, etc) on your Web site?
>If not, is it because you think it is unprofessional to do so?

No, like most others have said, bidness is bidness. I do have a link to my
personal website as part of my portfolio, but visitors have to dig to find
it -- it's not on the first page.

>3) Do you think it is unprofessional to offer advice to other tech
>writers on your site?

Depends on how it's done. I learned a lot from other tech writers'
websites, but most of it wasn't presented as 'advice'.

>4) Do you think it unprofessional/inadvisable to use frames?
>Javascript? Java? ActiveX?

No - but I wanted a site that looks nice but loads relatively fast. I'm
also not looking for work as a scripter, but as a writer/editor. I also
wanted to look like a sole proprietor rather than some flashy big
impersonal company.

>5) Do you think it unprofessional to have a few cutesy, animated images
>on your site to lighten things up?

Absolutely! (At least for the audience I'm aiming for.)

>6) Do you mention how much you charge for your services on your site?
>Give details about your fees? Disclaimers, legal or copyright notices?

Most of the websites of other science writers/editors that I found include
pricing information, and (in trying to think like a potential client) I
felt more comfortable with those who did, so I did too. I figure I could
always give discounts...

Just a standard copyright notice in pale text at the bottom of pages. And
some privacy/security information, mainly for reassuring the potential client.

>7) Do you have samples from your portfolio on your site?

Sort of... (i.e., not directly linked, but findable. I'll probably remove
it sometime.)

>8) Do you list references on your site? Quotes from the references?

I intend to, as I get permission, but I'm not putting a high priority on
tracking down old clients for that. (I'm re-entering science editing after
a break of quite a few years.)

>9) How often do you update your site? Do you NEED to frequently change
>things on your site to keep it fresh?

Depends on what part of the site. One page is automatically updated.

>10) Do you provide a lot of linking and menuing, or do you keep it short
>and sweet with most Web actions/behaviours available from the first

I hate long front pages that require scrolling - they tend to feel
disorganized and confusing (to me). I like sites that have a rather simple
front page - enough information for the visitor to decide if they want to
click to find out more. This also has the advantage that you can tell by
looking at the access logs if you're getting any serious visitors, since
you know when they're going beyond the front page.



* * *
Marj Tiefert, PhD
Science editing services:

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