Web.Search.Social Style Guide

As a writer for this blog you should familiarize yourself with our guidelines and make sure your article complies before submitting it for publication. We edit but we don’t babysit!

We allow some liberties with style and language provided it is relevant to your topic, voice and point of view. We’re not your 5th grade English teacher but we do expect a clean, professional, spell-checked and grammatically correct post.

Specific Rules For Our Magazine

Headings and titles must be in title case – that means each word of the sentence begins with a capital letter, even small words like of, and, or the.

Captions on photos are optional.  But if you have more than one photo in the same article, be consistent and either caption or don’t caption them all.

Numbers one through nine should be spelled out, after that use numerals, e.g. 10, 56, 152. If the number is more than a million, it’s “24 million people, $6 million.”  Exceptions are ages and percentages, e.g. “He was 6 years old; we pay 2 percent.”

In a title, you may write “10 things to know…” But if the number starts a sentence in an article, it should be spelled out, e.g. “Five people in our firm are good marketers.”

Omit the third comma in a sequence or list, e.g. “That website is boring, slow and ugly.” Although this is not a hard and fast rule and is hotly debated among people who have too much time, it saves space and helps keep things consistent.

Titles of people should be capitalized when used along with the person’s name, e.g. “Governor Chris Christie,” “President Barack Obama” On second reference, it’s “Christie” or “the governor,” “Obama” or “the president.”

Use parentheses and quotation marks sparingly, like salt. Try to be clearer in what you’re saying so they’re unnecessary.

Quotation marks go outside punctuation, with exceptions for colons, semi-colons, question marks and exclamation points: If the punctuation applies to the entire sentence, not just the quotation, it goes outside.

Incorrect —  George says she’s “the best webmaster we’ve ever had”.

Correct — George says she’s “the best webmaster we’ve ever had.”

Incorrect — Did you really tell him, “Make my day!?”

Correct — Did you really tell him, “Make my day!”?

Incorrect — With a rebel yell, she cried- “more, more, more”.

Correct —  With a rebel yell, she cried- “more, more, more.”

Also, in recounting a conversation, you must go to a new paragraph for each person’s speech.

Frequently Made Errors We’d Like You To Avoid

Never write “try and.”

Incorrect —  Try and get your work in on time.

Correct —  Try to get your work in on time.

Apostrophes: “1960s,” not “1960’s.”

Use “it” when referring to a business or other entity such as Congress, not “their.”

Incorrect —  Facebook has changed their privacy settings so many times nobody understands them.

Correct — Facebook has changed its privacy settings so many times nobody understands them.

Spelling Of Frequently Used Tech Terms

e-mail

website

internet

home page

World Wide Web

dot-com

webmaster