I have been thinking about this. I am not seeking for an official position or anything, but my writing skills could be improved. So I am organizing my thoughts and looking for advice here.
I am not the first to speak of this:
I gotta admit, the Wiki as it is doesn't really encourage community discussion. It has a bit of an encyclopedic tone, it might work better with a more informal tone, like tv tropes and, well, most good non-wikipedia wikis :)
Feel free to give the place more of a community vibe.
So we should be using an informal style. Don't take the long, dry, and boring way to explain something just because this is a wiki. Say it as it is, or at least say it how you would normaly. No need to use fake voice. This is the tone. I wish I could be more specific, but this is a bit unclear to me.
On the other hand, I want my writing to be written for the web. This is the style:
- Consise text. Fewer words are better words. Make every word count. (Strunk and White FTW!) Use half the word count (or less) of conventional writing. This could compete with the tone but if it makes the content easier to understand then all is well.
- Scannable layout. Use bulleted lists where they work, bold key phrases, and otherwise make it easy to find out what an article is about without actually reading it. This means
- highlighted keywords (hypertext links serve as one form of highlighting; typeface variations and color are others)
- meaningful sub-headings (not "clever" ones)
- bulleted lists
- one idea per paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not caught by the first few words in the paragraph)
- the inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion
- Objective language. Prefer neutral, descriptive language over subjective boasting. Marketese (aka doublespeak) causes mental friction, it slows down reading and sows distrust. Again this could compete with the tone but it shouldn't. The big point is to be honest and don't sound like you are selling something.
Anyway, this is my plan. Any thoughts?