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For 2023 (and 2024 ...) - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Copy writing - allowing for the cut

Act 1 is boring, and sets the scene. Act 2 fills in the plot. In act 3, all the pieces come together and the show was a rising climactic conclusion. And the audience leaves the theatre in a buzz, thrilled and remembering a great evening.

The model works well for training courses and presentations where the audience is largely captive too, but it doesn't work for written pieces where there's no commitment to stay.

Consider theses requests - fairly typical of what I might get from Lisa, from the press, and from others:

Write me an article on .... to fill [[this space]].

Can you give me something - about 100 to 200 words.

We want our web page to tell people about ...

With an audience uncommitted to stay around, the climax / point should be reached early, not late, so that the point has been made ... and it's not a huge loss if the reader doesn't go any further or the rest doesn't get printed.

Illustrative example. You can stop reading now if you wish - all I'm going to do hereafter is to fill in the detail!

Here's an example of this - a piece of text that I have written to include in a Chamber of Commerce advertorial for a presentation I'll be doing on 23rd June.

If your business relies on passing trade, then you have a dependency on other nearby businesses for your own success. But if you are a destination business, with customers who will make a special journey or diversion to reach you, then you can cut that dependency and succeed irrespective of how others about you are getting along.

Well House Consultants opened a training centre for specialised IT courses in Melksham in 2000 - a "destination business". In 2006, they added a hotel for their delegates - and also for other Melksham business visitors, and for leisure guests too. Graham Ellis, Director of Well House Consultants, will talk about how his company makes the hotel business a 'destination' one too, and how the company makes both of its businesses online destinations for remote selling.

You may stop reading here OR ....

"As President of the Melksham Chamber of Commerce, I have visited most of the shops in the Town Centre" says Graham "and I am struck by the difference between the businesses who are bright and bubbly, and those who are bemoaning the loss of trade since Woolworth left a hole in the High Street".

You have had the story better filled in by here

You can stop reading here too!

Editorial staff on newspapers don't have a huge amount of time, and it's very helpful to them to have articles provided in such a way that they can easily trim at any one of the possible cut-off points and still have a valid article ... providing your material in such as way gives you a better chance of getting it published, and published close to the format you would like. The use of a quote as a did above is, I am told, another excellent way of getting them to leave segments unaltered as the can't change what someone said.

From a web presence viewpoint, the 'top load' techniques works well too. Have you ever heard the term "above the fold", which means that your story should be visible, including its key point, before the user has to scroll.

You can stop reading here too!

Search engines / blog consolidators also precise the text by displaying on the first paragraph or two to give people a taster, so the point really needs to be made within that taster!

Here's some text - from my own recent blog entries - and I'll let you see just how much you get from the start of each article.

2191 - RT @brento - a valuable source for the twitter newbie
So I'm new(ish) on Twitter ... what do those @ symbols and things like RT and OT mean? Brent Ozar explains in his blog, and also tells us why people follow and why people don't follow. OK - I'm learning here; I know I'm doing some things that may discourage a proportion of followers. But then, I'm ....

2190 - How you are (re)presented at an exhibition
I congratulate Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce on their Business to Business event ... which I attended this morning. The Trowbridge Civic Centre packed with booths - a chance to re-make old acquaintances, network, and meet some new faces. And also a chance to look at how others present themselves, ....

2189 - Matching disparate referencing systems (MediaWiki, PHP, also Tcl)
Yes, we are Well House CONSULTANTS and do a bit of specialist coding ...

I have a requirement on my plate at present to write a piece of code for a customer that recognises cross reference codes within a document and turns them into links. And what makes the task quite difficult is that the referer ....

2188 - Camera to record where a picture was taken
Have you ever looked around your picture libraries for a picture of a particular place? I've just been doing so, and suggested to a delegate that cameras should have GPS systems on them. Apparently some do, so it's now just a question of getting the camera to use the latitude and longitude in the ....

2187 - Are we IITT (Institute of IT Training) members?
I'm a great believer in "Raising the standards of professionalism in training" - that's the byline of the Institute of IT Training - so when they approached us about becoming a certified member, I listened carefully.

Cynics will say that you "get nowt for nowt in this life" ... and indeed that see ....

2186 - An FAQ on the Apache httpd and Apache Tomcat web servers, and on using them together
Both Apache httpd and Apache Tomcat are popular web servers - and most people who use Tomcat 'front' it with httpd. We run an Apache httpd course (under Linux / Unix) and also a combined httpd and Tomcat course so we're very familiar with those "Frequently Asked Questions" that everyone wants to ha ....

2185 - Abstract Classes - Java
In Java you can write a class from scratch, or you can write one class based on another, using the 'extends' keyword and providing only the methods that change in the new class from the base class, plus any extras.

Let's say we're writing an accounts system, for example ... we have a base class tha ....

For readers STILL here, lets give some onward links and references, should we? If we're looking to generate maximum response, the onward contacts should go at the top. If we're looking to filter out to just the 'very interested indeed' good prospects, put 'em down here.

If you want to look at more thought provoking, effective marketing of this sort, why not come along to the Chamber of Commerce lunch on 23rd June 2009 where I will be talking on a related subject (£10.00 for Chamber of Commerce members, £15.00 for guests - 12 midday at The Refa Balti House, Melksham. Price includes lunch). Book or let me know via our ask the tutor page (email for other opportunities - graham@wellho.net. And if you want to learn more in general on copy writing, I have found some very interesting sources including this blog.
(written 2009-05-21)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G905 - Well House Consultants - Blogging and Blog Administration
  [1] First Jottings - (2004-08-05)
  [6] Blog v Forum - (2004-08-07)
  [18] Wanted: More hours in the day - (2004-08-18)
  [141] Too technical? - (2004-12-05)
  [145] A comment on comments - (2004-12-09)
  [177] Blogs come of age - (2005-01-14)
  [185] Who am I? - (2005-01-21)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [245] I'm not blogging it - (2005-03-14)
  [359] Chicken soup without the religion - (2005-06-26)
  [390] Moderating wiki, blog, and forum contributions - (2005-07-26)
  [405] Horse's Mouth is a year old - (2005-08-07)
  [410] Reading a news or blog feed (RSS) in your PHP page - (2005-08-12)
  [425] Caching an XML feed - (2005-08-26)
  [508] Comment, please! - (2005-11-28)
  [671] Both ends of the animal - (2006-04-05)
  [876] Making pages clearer - easy Disability Discrimination Act Compliance - (2006-09-23)
  [1000] One Thousand Posts and still going strong - (2006-12-18)
  [1077] In answer to 'am I glad I started a blog' ... - (2007-02-12)
  [1203] A Fresh horse - (2007-05-24)
  [1978] From spam to mod_alias - finding resources - (2009-01-05)
  [2000] 2000th article - Remember the background and basics - (2009-01-18)
  [2449] Four aspects - Chamber, Transport, Courses and Hotel - (2009-10-11)
  [2517] Blogging accuracy - open invitation for any corrections - (2009-11-29)
  [2564] Microblogging services - Plurk, Twitter, Jaiku and more - (2010-01-05)
  [2751] Going off at a tangent, for a ramble - (2010-05-04)
  [2823] Where have all the bloggers gone? - (2010-06-24)
  [3016] The legal considerations of your web presence - revisited - (2010-10-26)
  [3163] Twitter - the special use of @ # and http: in tweets - (2011-02-09)
  [3186] How to add a customised twitter feed to your site - (2011-02-27)
  [3208] Links for social media, microblogs and business networking - (2011-03-20)
  [3514] Microblogging - what I should have tweeted in the last 48 hours - (2011-11-10)
  [3759] The five oldest blogs and the horses mouth - (2012-06-09)
  [4000] 9 years, and 4000 articles on - (2013-02-09)
  [4121] Has your Twitter feed stopped working? Switching to their new API - (2013-06-23)
  [4292] The Horse is back! - (2014-09-15)
  [4568] Moderation - and the tendency to over-moderate - (2015-11-02)
  [4714] The technical article feed continues - personal updates more proactive on Facebook now! - (2016-10-30)

G504 - Well House Consultants - Writing Notes
  [4] Seeing the wood for the trees. - (2004-08-06)
  [7] Writing on a Sunday - (2004-08-08)
  [9] Study room - the Oxford train - (2004-08-10)
  [394] A year on - should we offer certified PHP courses - (2005-07-28)
  [398] Training course material - why we write our own - (2005-07-30)
  [407] Theft of training material - (2005-08-09)
  [797] Writing up new C / C++ notes. - (2006-07-09)
  [979] Empty seats, Nodding Donkeys and buses - (2006-12-11)
  [982] Notes from the white board - (2006-12-14)
  [1950] Copyright of Training Notes and Web Site - (2008-12-18)
  [2010] How long should a training module be? - (2009-01-27)
  [2414] Hello World - a good traditional start to a Java course - (2009-09-22)
  [2481] Sample code with errors in it on our web site - (2009-10-29)
  [2812] What is Perl? - (2010-06-15)
  [2828] Sharing our programs - easy. Sharing our data - harder. - (2010-06-26)
  [3152] Jargon busting - (2011-01-30)
  [4009] Clear, concise examples - Ruby classes and objects. - (2013-02-17)
  [4031] Showing what programming errors look like - web site pitfall - (2013-03-06)

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RT @brento - a valuable source for the twitter newbie
Previous and next
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Excellent product, excruciating customer service. 3 Mobile Broadband
Some other Articles
New Example - cacheing results in PHP for faster loading
A two day gap - first time in five years?
Melksham Business Map - Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Information and Town Council
Excellent product, excruciating customer service. 3 Mobile Broadband
Copy writing - allowing for the cut
RT @brento - a valuable source for the twitter newbie
How you are (re)presented at an exhibition
Matching disparate referencing systems (MediaWiki, PHP, also Tcl)
Camera to record where a picture was taken
Are we IITT (Institute of IT Training) members?
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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