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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Copywriting

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Writing Workshop with @BettyDraper: Saying It Short

    by Helen Klein Ross

    In this age of attention deficit and time deprivation, brevity is critical to successful communication. Rules of writing succinctly are essential learning for storytellers of all persuasions: advertisers, marketers, PR practitioners and fictionistas. Learn from Shorty award winning voice of @BettyDraper how to create memorable communication in abbreviated space. Glean expertise from masters of the short form, both commercial and literary--including Hemingway, who wrote a story in a mere six words: "For sale: baby shoes. Never worn."

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 11th March

    In Creekside, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage slide deck

  • The Accidental Writer: Great Web Copy for Everyone

    by Melanie Seibert

    Great copy is critical to the effectiveness of nearly every website. Yet often, a business owner, designer, or developer, perhaps pressured by budget and time limitations, will write the copy him- or herself. This session will tell you when that's a good idea, and when it's not. For those times when it's okay to be the "accidental writer," you'll learn quick tips for crafting effective web copy. For those times when you really need to bring in a pro, you'll learn how to work with a web writer to get the best copy for your website, as quickly and cheaply as possible.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Creekside, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Babelfish

    by Tim Holden

    Will 2011 be the year of the Universal Translator? As this science fiction dream teeters over the horizon, what can and should we do now to prepare for a time when the translation robot, not the search engine, becomes the single most important audience for your site? Will SEO give way to TEO? Does language need its own subtext markup? And when on Earth is Microsoft Word going to replace its 'Bold' button with a 'Strong' one? Lay aside your Google Goggles and iLingual apps (just for 60 minutes or so), and enjoy a session that's packed full of accessible translation theory, insight into the working processes of web copywriters, and more than the occasional riff on Douglas Adams.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol A-D, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Sunday 13th March 2011

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • Your Caption Here: How-to Manipulate Images Without Photoshop

    by Jessica Hagy, Austin Kleon, Drew Dernavich, Ross Nover and Maris Kreizman

    We all know how easy it is to doctor an image with Photoshop, but there's an even easier and low-tech way to alter an image's meaning: just change the caption. It turns out that pictures can say whatever we want them to say, provided we use the right words. In this session, we'll get the lowdown from a panel of bloggers and cartoonists who have elevated captioning to a brilliant, often hilarious art form. We'll learn why the old writing adage "Show don't tell" is useless, and how a picture might be worth a thousand words, but when it's paired with a caption that deepens, expands, or redefines its meaning, it can be worth a million.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In TX Ballroom 5-7, Hyatt Regency Austin