December 30, 2011

Write Faster and Control the Length of your Web Article with Phrase Outlining

A web article is a relatively short write-up that is meant to be posted to a website. It should not be more than 10 paragraphs of about three to four sentences each. If in the process of writing the article, your soon realized that it will reach three pages of text, you should publish the article in PDF or any other document format that can be displayed on various gadgets used to access information from the Internet. You can then just make a write-up describing the article on your website and offering a link from which the document can be downloaded. Your reader can then have the option of printing the document and reading it offline.

In order to avoid unnecessarily lengthening your article, you should make sure that you focus your article on a very specific and small aspect of the topic you have chosen to write on. If during the writing of the article, you soon found out that you cannot shorten it to a manageable length, you can divide the article into two or more parts and write an article for each part. A very long article on your website can appear intimidating and the reader may just choose to  print it or dispense with reading it altogether.

Coming up with just the right length for your article is a carefully-executed balancing act between substance and using too many words to express the ideas that you have in mind. You don't want to cut your article too much that the article becomes pointless. At the same time, you don't want your article to appear dense and thus intimidating to the average reader.

Phrase outlining or idea outlining can help you control the length of your article and at the same time enables you to write your article much faster. If you have chosen to write on a bigger topic that can be accommodated in one article, it can help you divide the big article into two or more smaller articles. With the help of your idea outline, you would never experience being bogged down by the writer's block. Thus, you achieve a smooth and pleasant writing experience.

We were taught in school how to use sentence outline for planning our writing assignments. However, you don't necessarily have to use sentence outline which is the formal way of doing it. A phrase outline or an idea outline consists of phrases that are short enough but sufficiently captures the point that we want to impart to our readers.

It is so frustrating for a writer to start writing eagerly on a topic only to be stopped abruptly by the dreaded writer's block. To avoid finding yourself in such a situation, do not start writing until your phrase outline is complete. By being complete, I mean that the proposed article has enough substance to stand on its own. It means that there is sufficient number of points to support the main topic of the article.

In my experience, having at least five major points that support your main idea is enough to warrant the writing of the article. You can then proceed to write from one to at most two paragraphs of text to expound on each major point. Exercise strict control during the writing process to avoid unnecessarily lengthening your article. Do not introduce any new idea that do not properly belong in the major point that you are writing on.

It would be much easier if you would be bogged down during the outlining phase of your writing activity as it would feel less frustrating than when you experience it during the writing process itself. If by any chance you got bogged down when completing your phrase outline, it only means that your main topic had not sufficiently jelled in your mind. Stop doing the phrase outline and let it sit for a few days but keep the incomplete outline in your mind. Come back to the outline when the points that are to make your outline complete pop out of your mind. Now, you can complete your phrase outline after which you can start writing your article.

However, some experienced writers go boldly into the writing process without first outlining what their write-up is supposed to contain. They challenge their minds to take them to as far as they can go and then look at what they will find there. It is possible to be able to complete an article using this approach. But if you're not careful, you could easily lose control and find yourself in never-never land. It is much easier and more reliable to use the outlining approach.

Read my other article on taking notes and outlining as being the cure for writer's block at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2012/01/taking-notes-or-outlining-may-be-cure.html.

Read my other article on writing an article for your website as much like packaging a gift for a dear friend at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/writing-article-for-your-website-is.html.

Read my other article on good ideas about writing as a mental process at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-ideas-about-writing-as-mental.html.

Read my other article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html.



December 22, 2011

Laptops May Yet Survive Despite the Tablet Onslaught

The latest development in the computing world is the tablet computer like the iPad. But it doesn't appear as a major rethink of the laptop platform, just like the leap away from the desktop and toward the more useful laptop design. It doesn't look like a quantum leap that would merit a major step in the evolution of the computing device.

Apple has unveiled the amazing new features of iPad tablet. Ten hours of battery life is a feat of human ingenuity. I wonder if this technology could be adapted for the car industry? I have seen a really cool iPad setup with a nice wireless keyboard and would love to have one like that if only I can afford it.

One of the biggest issues with iPad is that it is a closed system. I've read of a report that an iPad user was unable to charge the iPad from the USB ports of non-Apple hardware. So if you're a user of an Apple product, then it would be to your advantage if you would own other Apple products as well. It's a good strategy when selling in well-to-do markets but may not be as effective with consumers who are not as rich.

iPad has been designed to be waterproof that's why there are no vents where cooler air from outside could flow inside of it. This results in the device's propensity to overheat. Most laptops have overcome the overheating problem. If you look at the underside of your laptop, you'll notice that there are vents into which air current could flow. Then, there is a fan inside that blows away hot air from inside out.

Another issue with tablet computers is the smaller size of their screen. For some, the minimum size that the eye could use comfortably is 14 inches. Have a screen smaller than that and it may cause eyestrain if you look at the small area for a long time. You may say that you could always zoom the document but those screen changes could make the experience more tiring to the eyes.

I don't know much about the applications that run on tablet computers but one thing is certain: they are using an operating system that is different from the Windows or Linux systems that we have been accustomed to use. If that is the way that the world wants developments in computing to follow, then are we to learn again yet another operating system after having been comfortable using Windows or Linux? I would agree to this provided that the operating system is given free thus lowering further the cost of the computer.

Well, there may be two types of computer users in the world and one would migrate gladly to the world of tablet computing. These are primarily Internet surfers or gamers or social media enthusiasts. At the other end are the business users and the serious individual entrepreneurs. These are people who use computers in the pursuit of their business or profession. Most of them are expected to stick it out with laptop computers.

To be sure, tablets are going to eat a substantial portion of the laptop market. The young and the active segment of Internet users will surely be drawn to the portability of the tablet model. These users are primarily consumers of the products and services available in the Internet. At the other end of the spectrum and substantially less in numbers are the content and media creators who are expected to continue their development work using laptops.

Students are a special case in that they are required to create academic reports and other sorts of documents. The netbook model would be the more appropriate gadget for them as they have physical keyboards needed for creating long documents. The netbook is a stripped-down laptop that contains only the basic necessities for accessing the Internet and preparing documents. So in this specific segment at least the laptop would still become prevalent.

Another factor that would favor the continued relevance of the laptop is the price issue. Tablets are aimed at the high income segment and would be beyond the affordability threshold of the world's ordinary consumer. Laptops are going to become cheaper and yet more powerful and more versatile than the tablet computers. Price and value conscious consumers would surely favor the laptop over the tablet model. Laptops are thus expected to continue selling on the points of power, reliability, versatility, and value over the competing tablets.

Laptops have come a long way to provide a good enough computing power and operational stability. As long as you take prudent measures to protect your data, you can rely on your laptop for the long haul. And its technology have been here long enough in a way that you can very well do your own upgrading and repairing. It has a proven track record that tablet computers have yet to establish for themselves. It is a platform that you can rely on not to let you down when you most needed it.

So I think that the laptop is not on the verge of becoming obsolete. The development toward the tablet model may not be considered as a major technological leap that would warrant a universal move from laptops to tablets. Various factors are converging to assure that the laptop platform remains relevant in spite of the substantial market inroads achieved by the tablet computers.

Read my article on how you can get more years of useful life from your laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-you-can-get-more-years-of-useful.html.

Read my other article on laptop bag features that can save your laptop from breaking down at; http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/laptop-bag-features-that-can-save-your.html

Read my other article on using sensible accessories to extend the useful life of your laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/use-sensible-accessories-to-extend.html.



December 21, 2011

Is your Laptop Getting Obsolete?

With the advent of tablet computers, a question is raised on whether a new dawn has broken on the Internet skyline ushering the end of the laptop era. We are interested in this issue because we might have planned to replace our existing laptop and have to decide on whether to embrace the new technology or stick it out with our existing hardware.

No, I don't think tablet computers are being manufactured as a replacement for laptops. I see them as a product aimed specifically at a substantial portion of the market who are primarily involved in getting information from the Internet or engaging in socially oriented activities in the Web. They are being marketed at the higher end of the market specifically students and newly-employed youth.

The laptop share in the market would be surely affected. I think what would happen is that there will arise a substantial difference on the hardware being used to create websites and other media forms on the one hand and the hardware that would be used in the acquisition of such objects from the Internet. Essentially, what would happen is that the designers of media forms will be using laptops but will have to have access to a tablet computer if only to see how the information would appear on a tablet computer.

So would buying a tablet computer be a worthwhile plan? I believe so, yes, if you're someone who is involved in offering information or service through the Internet, then it might be a good idea to have one for testing how your design would be executed on a tablet computer.

I think there will be some adjustments on how websites are designed and how media is delivered to the intended recipients. More and more users are going to use smart phones or tablet computers to access information from the Internet. Therefore, our design for websites and other media forms should consider the substantial reduction in the screen size of these gadgets if we want our products to be optimally displayed on these small-screen devices.

There will be pressure I think to shrink the size of the information further as it would be a strain to the eyes to have to look at a small screen for a long time. Here, I would surmise that there will be a further split on the part of the Internet users between those who are only interested on the fun side of the Internet and those who are serious information seekers who in turn would stick it out with laptops as the information that they need are substantially larger and cannot be displayed fully on small-screen gadgets.

There will also be some technical challenges ahead as those gadgets and tablets are using an operating system that is different from that used in laptop computers. The main obstacle to be dealt with is how the keyboard and mouse events are to be rendered by touching the screen of the tablet computer. Then, relevant laptop applications will have to be modified to suit the requirements of the smart phone and the tablet gadget.

There will have to be some sort of standardization on how touch-screen is to be implemented among the various small-screen devices. Otherwise, there would be chaos with different manufacturers having their own versions of touch-screen technology. Apple is considered to be the leader of the pack in this area. But with the death of Steve Jobs, the visionary behind Apple, what would become of Apple's business strategy?

Google has also put its weight on the tablet computer issue when it launched Android, a free operating system for smart phones and tablet gadgets. It appears that smart phone and gadget manufacturers are gearing up for a fight to the death with Apple's iPhone and iPad. As to who will emerge as the winner, no one knows. China is becoming the battleground where Samsung and Apple are fighting it out for a bigger share of the market.

As for laptops, I don't see any major leap in hardware technology that we saw when we moved away from desktops and toward laptop computers. Tablets and gadgets would eat substantially in the market share of laptops particularly for the youth segment of the market. Serious Internet users who deal with large amounts of information for long periods of time will still be using laptop computers. Of course those on the other side who produce information products for the Internet will stick it out with laptops for its power, versatility, and reliability. For them, owning a tablet or gadget would be beneficial for testing how their information products would display on devices with small screens.

Read my other article on using sensible accessories to extend the useful life of your laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/use-sensible-accessories-to-extend.html.

Read my article on how you can get more years of useful life from your laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-you-can-get-more-years-of-useful.html.

Read my other article on laptop bag features that can save your laptop from breaking down at; http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/laptop-bag-features-that-can-save-your.html.



December 20, 2011

How to Create Office Documents Without Using Microsoft or Open Source Software

With the newly renovated Google Docs service, anyone who has a laptop and an Internet connection can prepare office style documents. If you own a laptop and your office document software has broken down, you can still prepare a good enough well-done substitute using Google Docs. Or, if you are somewhere away from home and have to use an Internet cafe to create a document, it will still work for you and your document can remain safe and will never be lost. You can create documents, spreadsheets or presentations using Google's own productivity software.

To be able to do this, you would need to have a Google email account. You need to open your email account and click on the Docs button to open your Docs home. Click on Create and proceed with creating the document of your choice. Be aware that you are using a software that is being downloaded from the Internet as you work so slow down a little bit. Wait for your commands to be carried out before giving a new one. Unless you are creating a super complex document, Google's software would be able to provide you with a good enough environment to create a presentable document.

Be aware that Google is regularly saving the document you are making in their servers. Don't be surprised if you don't see a save command in the document window that you are working on. It will be saved to the file name Untitled Document. when you're finished with the document, close the document window and rename the document in your Docs home. Now, you can download the document to your computer and presto you have created an office document without using Microsoft Office or OpenOffice software. if you are concerned about security, move the document to Trash in your Docs home, then click on Trash and empty it of any deleted document.

Strive to make a simple and uncomplicated document. You are using a software that is not resident in your computer. Don't complain about the lack of sophisticated tools that you can use. Remember that you are not operating in your normal environment. You are in an emergency situation when your office software broke down or when you are far from home when you received this assignment.

After creating your document, there are several ways by which you can send it to your intended audience. More familiar perhaps is to email it after downloading it to your laptop using your own email program. Another way is to email it using the Google's mail program including your document as an attachment. To do this, highlight the document in your Docs home and click on More, then click on Share, then Email as attachment. Type the email addresses of the intended recipients and say something about it in the Message portion of the window. Click on send and your document will be on its way to your intended recipients as an email attachment.

Another alternative is to let it remain at your Docs home and share it with people who you are submitting it to. To do this, highlight the document in your Docs home, click on Share and then click on Share again. Enter the email addresses of the recipients and specify what they can do with the document. Then, click on Share and Save. An email will be sent to your intended recipients with a link to open the document in your Docs home. After the emergency is over, you can download your document, delete it from your Docs home, and process it in the usual way with your office software at your place of employment or in your house.

If you are not yet familiar with the security options in Google Docs, it would be for your own safety that you don't leave any document first in your Docs Home. Google's rule is that if any of the documents in your Docs home has a link from any publicly accessible Internet location, then it may be indexed and published by Google. Remember that Google Docs is not only a tool for creating office style documents but also a publishing platform for Google. In exchange for offering you with a valuable service, Google may include your document in the information that it makes available to Internet users. So be careful in specifying how your document is to be shared. Never make the mistake of making your document publicly accessible.

Read my other article on how to use Google Docs to promote articles in your personal website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-use-google-docs-to-promote.html

Read my other article on what you need to know if you want to create a personal website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-you-should-know-if-you-want-to.html

Read my other article on how to use the free Google tools to optimize your personal website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-use-free-google-tools-to.html.



December 17, 2011

How to Use Google Docs to Promote Articles in your Personal Website

Here's an inexpensive way to easily and quickly promote articles that you have posted in your personal website.

This technique involves creating a document containing links to article in your website and uploading it to Google Docs. The next step is sharing the link to this document in any or all of the social networking sites that you are using such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

You need a word processing program like OpenOffice, a Google account, and one or more social bookmarking accounts. If you don't have any of these, go to their respective websites and get one. Don't worry they are free. Familiarize yourself with how things work in these web portals. The key to this simple approach is the Google email account which gives you access to Google Docs, a place where you can safely store some of your documents for free.

Open your Notepad or Textpad and copy and paste the titles of all the articles in your website that you want to promote. Include a short description of each and paste the link to the article in the document that you are writing. To get the URL of your article, display the article in your web browser and copy everything that is displayed on the address bar of your browser. This way, you won't mistype or else make a mistake on which link refers to what article.

Think of a good introductory paragraph and type it on top of the list of links. You can focus on how important that your reader become aware of the information contained in your article. If, for example, your links are about computer security, tell your readers how important it is to ensure that your laptop is protected from the dangers that lurk around physically and in cyberspace.

Now transfer your text to your word processor and correct all grammatical and spelling mistakes in your document. Make all the links on the document point to the article on your website. To do this, use the hyperlink button on your OpenOffice program. Just copy and paste each URL on the Target space on the Hyperlink window, then click the Apply button and then click the Close button.

To make the document a little bit interesting, you can put a snapshot of your website on top of the page that you are creating. To do this, display your home page on your browser by typing its URL on the address bar of your browser. Maximize your browser and take a snapshot of your desktop. If you're using Vista, click on the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then Snipping Tool. Drag your mouse from the left hand corner of the image of your website to its bottom corner and release your mouse button. Save the picture on your hard disk and then double click it to open your Windows Photo Gallery. On the top right hand part of the window, click the Open button and then click Paint. On the Paint window, click on Image and then Resize/Skew. On the Resize and Skew widow, type 30 on both the horizontal and vertical spaces then click the OK button. Save the picture with a new name.

Don't put too many links on the document. I suggest that you limit your document to just one page. If you have more articles to promote, then make several documents containing links to article with similar or related categories. You don't want your readers to be overwhelmed by too many links. Save your work in the OpenOffice Document Writer and then make a PDF version of the document. Click on File and then Export as PDF and on the popup window, click on Export. Save the document for uploading to Google Docs.

Go to docs.google.com and upload your document there. If you are asked to share it, make the document publicly accessible. Logon to your favorite networking site and make a new share. To get the link to your document in Google Docs, simply highlight the document and then click on the share button on the top left hand portion of the Google Docs window. Copy the link and paste it in your new share at your social bookmarking site. Now you have a publicly available document containing links pointing to the articles in your website that you want to promote.

If you want to see an example of this, take a look at one of the documents that I have uploaded: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BwcdVZGRss3eMDkwNzFkZTUtZjRiZi00NjNhLWJmNWQtMzFhNGM2OTFiMGQ2. Post your share in as many social networking sites that you belong to and you will notice an increase in the traffic that your website would be experiencing. Aside from being able to promote your article, your document will become eligible for indexing by Google and will then find its way in the Google index. You then are accomplishing two things for your website: making your links document searchable in Google and promoting it to your friends and associates in the social media.

Read my other article on how to create office style documents without using Microsoft or open source software at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-create-office-documents-without.html.



December 8, 2011

Writing an Article for your Website is much Like Packaging a Gift for a Dear Friend

A dear friend is someone who is close to us. We are interested in her well-being. We would be happy if she is moving along in her chosen path. We would be sad if something bad happens to her. This is very much akin to how a writer should treat her readers. She is always on the lookout for something that could help her friend accomplish the goal that she has set for herself. Much like a writer who is in constant search for a topic that would be useful to her readers.

And so our gift-giver tries to put herself in the position of her friend and thinks what gift would be most useful to her. She asks what is the most challenging situation her friend is facing at the moment and decides on what gift would be most appropriate to give to her. It could be for example that her friend is on the brink of falling into a depression because of her personal problems. Thus, she decides to buy her an inspirational book that her friend could read to help her cope with her problems.

Based on what the writer knows about what's happening in the environment where her readers are living, she thinks of different topics that she could write on that would be most helpful to them as they struggle to cope with the challenges they are facing. Finally, she chooses one topic that she thinks addresses the main problem that her readers are facing now. This would be the central theme of the article that she would be writing about.

And so goes off our gift-giver on a search for the most appropriate inspirational book that would most likely help her dear friend deal with her present problems. At this stage in the writing process, the writer goes on a research phase, assembling ideas on which her article would be built. Soon, she would find the perfect inspirational book and buy it. By this time, the writer has gathered enough ideas to begin writing her article. She uses a tentative title to sort of guide her while she is writing her article.

When our gift-giver reaches home, she assembles a box on which she would place the book that she is giving to her friend. Here, we see the writer in the process of identifying her central idea and bolstering this idea with the supporting ideas that she has gathered from her research. The box on which the gift is placed serves to carry the gift and protect the gift from being damaged.

Back to our writer, she uses her supporting ideas to provide a framework that would help make her message clearer and more readable. The framework helps the writer in forming the conceptual structure of her write-up. The writer is guided on how the sentences in her article are to be formed and how the whole article will be structured into paragraphs. Finally, the gift-giver wraps the box in a suitable and attractive wrapper and possibly puts a ribbon on it. By this time, the writer has finished writing the article and now she is correcting grammatical mistakes and editing the article to make it easier to read and to sharpen the ideas that are included in the article.

The gift-giver then writes on the card for whom the gift is and who sent it. The writer returns to her tentative title and revises the title to make it more accurate and more appealing to her readers. The gift-giver then sends the gift to her friend using a delivery service that she has chosen. The article writer on the other hand posts the article to her website using the Internet as the publishing medium.

There is however some danger that may lurk ahead. The gift may experience problems during delivery and does not reach its destination in a timely manner. The write-up may have a good start but writer's block may prevent it from being developed into a full-fledged article. The writer may get stuck when there is no enough ideas with which to embellish the article that she is writing. The central theme may prove to be incapable of morphing into a complete article for various reasons.

The technique for making sure that the write-up will be completed as an article is to have enough ideas with which to build the article. There must be sufficient major points that can further be developed and serve as the building blocks of the article. Otherwise, the article would not have a sufficiently strong foundation to stand on.

So the lesson here seems to be to make sure that you have a clear and relevant central theme for your write-up and to have enough number of major support ideas that will be used to create a strongly-built article that could stand on its own and become useful to the reader.

The gift-giver has a purpose in going through the process of acquiring and packaging the gift. The writer is driven by a desire to be relevant to her readers and strives to write articles that have the power of touching their lives and being useful in facing off with the challenges they are having in their lives. Writing an article is very much like finding and packaging a suitable gift for a friend in need.

Read my other article on what and how to write an article for your personal website at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-and-how-to-write-article-for-your.html.

Read my other article on taking notes or outlining as mat be the cure for writer's block at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2012/01/taking-notes-or-outlining-may-be-cure.html

Read my other article on writing faster and controlling the length of your article phrase outlining at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2011/12/write-faster-and-control-length-of-your.html.