Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Red Pen

I'm an incurable proofreader. I grew up in a household that published a magazine, and now it's second nature to spot typos, improper homonyms, punctuation issues, etc., wherever they may be. Even when I find a typo on someone's website, sometimes I'm compelled to let them know. I figure it's the virtual equivalent of telling someone they've got broccoli in their teeth… a little embarrassing perhaps, but it saves them from greater embarrassment down the road.

What I (and all the other incurable proofreaders of the world) need is an easy way to inform the website owner, so bit by bit we can collectively clean up the writing on the Web!

Here's one possible design: A “red pen” bookmarklet sits in your browser, awaiting the moment you find some text that needs fixing. When that moment arrives, as it inevitably will, you select the offending text and hit the bookmarklet. Up pops a dialog box with the text, an opportunity for you to describe the correction, and a big friendly “send” button. Hitting the button e-mails your note, along with the URL of the page, to the best address we can find (if nothing else, the technical contact listed for that domain's WHOIS record). If this thing becomes popular enough, people will even register their websites with the service, to streamline the process.

What do you think? Is this the gadget you've been waiting for, or should we all just keep our writing critiques to ourselves?



I'd Love it!
Now someone just needs to make the thing!
Whoever makes it should hook it up to the Import Public URLs + Editor Flow features of Draft: http://ninjasandrobots.com/draft-announcements-job-board-draft-sites-editor-flow-and-more#editor-flow
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