Getting the name right

Governments around the world are doing everything they can to rename swine flu. They will not succeed and will end up misinforming the public. 

Gerry McGovern’s latest “New Thinking” newsletter is about Governments’ attempts to rename swine flu. He focuses on the disconnect between government and international agencies’ concerns: national pride, religious sensibilities, business interests; and the concerns of “ordinary” people – in this case, their health. But since Gerry is a web-writing and usability specialist, his article is also about using the right words in web copy. If users are Googling for “swine flu” and your web site refers to “H1N1 virus”, then you’re not going to find each other. The moral of the tale being – when you’re writing for the web, you need to keep your users’ perspective in mind. Otherwise you’re a voice crying in the wilderness.

Read Gerry’s article in full here.

By Marian Dougan

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