Faithful Writing

sat19aug2006—33w231d63%— 09h31m00s—0utc

My final discovery of A List Apart — a magazine “for people who make websites” — has been late coming, but as the article I’m about to talk about explains, relationships in the web are just difficult to establish (they require “an exorbitant amount of synergy”, why-the-lucky-stiff would say). I’ve been visiting them fairly frequently along the past couple of years and almost always I’ve learned something valuable. It is not only top-notch content, the attention to detail is painstaking too, though it takes you several visits to start noticing it: from the spot-on illustrations (most by the very talented Kevin Cornell), to the helpful snapshot feature at the right, to the issue-number stamp, to the tasteful ads, to the impeccable atmosphere they maintain throughout, to Zeldman‘s and Kissane’s careful editing — it’s not a print wannabe, it’s the first web-only alreadyam.

The cover article of issue 221 (as of this moment, the latest) is a gem and the reason I started writing this post. By Amber Simmons, it is wonderfully titled “Gentle Reader, Stay Awhile; I Will Be Faithful” and deals with how to write (particularly, with how to write for the web) by introducing the never-before-better-named idea of a faithful writer — a writer who thinks of her reader, who anticipates her questions and curiosities; a loyal writer, respectful of her reader’s time and intelligence; a writer who delivers. Truly great advice — I know I’ll never write the same again.

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