Topics in ‘writing’

Burn your intros: my editing rule of thumb

If there was one universal criticism of tech writing, it’s: Your intro sucks. Here’s an example I just put to paper, for the Year of Hustle course (now sold out!): On HackerNews, sub-Reddits and a million startup blogs, you’ll find people talking about “monetization.” This godawful malformation of a word means “to find a way […]

How to Write Your Sales Page

It’s Time to Redesign The Sales Page! Part 2 (Part 1) So, last time on “It’s Time to Redesign The Sales Page!” we talked about why I decided the Freckle Time Tracking sales page had to be totally redone. Namely: We weren’t proud of the design, so we didn’t promote it We didn’t believe it […]

Screw Interface Patterns

Allow me to begin by saying that this is an opinion piece. I’m not doing research into the matter, but rather boiling down trends—the good and bad—as I see ‘em. And they’re mostly bad. Otherwise it’d be boring. A Pattern Language Pattern obsession has come to user interface design by way of software architecture, by […]

10 things I learned from screwing up my first ebook launch

… The Short Version. I promised short, and dammit, I’m gonna deliver. Very Brief Backstory JavaScript Performance Rocks! is my first ebook, written by me and my husband, Mr. Scriptaculous (legal alias: Thomas Fuchs). We launched the beta at the end of January, and the final version is going to drop in the next few […]


But some other writers seem to know that it takes more than [blamelessness] for a sentence to cohere and flourish as a work of art. They seem to know that the words inside the sentence must behave as if they were destined to belong together—as if their separation from each other would deprive the parent […]

Do "interesting details" really hurt learning?

Overcoming Bias has a little post that, for the most part, quotes the findings of a study on how “interesting details” affect learning. The researchers found that “interesting details” decreased the student’s understanding (transfer), while not affecting the student’s memory (retention) of what they read/watched. Case 1 was video trying to teach about how a […]

Women in technology?

A while back, Tatiana Apandi—my long-suffering editor at O’Reilly—asked if I’d be interested in writing an essay about women in technology for a project she was working on. I was a little skeptical at first, being naturally suspicious of things that put the focus on sex rather than, oh, I dunno, how a person thinks […]

Evolution of a Sentence

I haven’t had a lot of time to write the past week or two because of Things Going On, although I am in the middle of no less than three articles on varying topics (tech, writing, design). As I sat there last night, evolving a sentence in my upcoming JavaScript book, I thought I might […]

Quick Glimpse: Evolution of Humor

You may think I’ve forgotten about the article I promised about tech writing, but I’m still chugging away. I spent quite a bit of time on it today, actually. It just keeps getting bigger. I’ve decided I have to split it into two parts: what’s wrong and why for part 1, and specific ideas for […]

Hey, why not get a shiny
Freckle Time Tracking