No Click Here

Here’s a periodic reminder of my favorite content writing guidance on the internet. It was written (by Aaron Swartz) back in 2001 and is still as relevant as ever.

When calling the user to action, use brief but meaningful link text that:

  • provides some information when read out of context
  • explains what the link offers
  • doesn’t talk about mechanics
  • is not a verb phrase

So, for instance, instead of saying:

To learn more about swimming at the YMCA, click here.

you could instead say:

The YMCA offers swimming opportunities for folks of all ages.

Making links like this is:

  • more accessible (screen readers will speak more relevant text),
  • more actionable (linking more words means a larger target for clicks/taps), and
  • more relevant (so you don’t have a bunch of the same words on a page).

</This ends your PSA. Carry on.>

We completed the December release of YMCA Website Services this morning and it’s another doozy. Quarterly releases mean it’s a big haul to the finish line, but demos like this morning’s where we can show it all off are worth it.

I had a wonderful #OpenSource moment yesterday...

Our team at YMCA of the USA was midway through pushing updates to 150 sites on our Drupal PaaS offering when another Open Y partner agency’s team shared in Slack that they’d discovered a major issue with the code we were in the middle of deploying! 🙀 Even worse, when I started looking at the issue, it turned out to be a bug that I’d helped to introduce into the codebase. 🙀🙀

Over the course of yesterday, teams from around the world collaborated to push not one, but four fixes that we’d discovered. This was all made possible because the Open Y community has decided to work collectively, even as agencies competing for the same customers, in order to extend the YMCA mission into digital spaces.

Thanks to everyone who helped make these fixes possible. Our sites are better together!

If you DM a person...

I shared some advice in our work chat today:

If you DM a person you have one person helping you. If you ask in a group chat, you have the whole team collaborating.

If you give an answer in DM, you help one person. If you give an answer in a group chat, you help the whole team.

This isn’t a 💬 (quote), but a reflection of my own experiences working on highly collaborative teams and open-source projects.