While it doesn’t sound like much of a big deal, the New York Times has updated its style guide and it could be the place to go to find out if you are minding your online ‘p’s and q’s”.
Does it sound petty and ridiculous? On the surface a little but what it really is an indication of the continuing maturity of the online space. It may sound overdone but the more formal the web gets it could indicate a more controlled approach to the traditionally wild west approach.
The Atlantic Wire has a roundup of changes to the style guide that were tweeted by various Times writers and editors. Among the most notable are the shift from “e-mail” to “email,” dropping the dated “Web site” for the commonly used “website,” and the open-armed embrace of “tweet” as a verb — although as political correspondent Amy Chozick mentions, Times writers are still instructed to stay away from using “friending” or “googling” in the same manner.
This is subtle to some but to content marketers this could actually mean something. If you are using unacceptable or antiquated language you run the risk of being seen as a company that could be out of step.
A stretch? Maybe. But wouldn’t it be smart to simply play along with the simple rules and then maybe blaze some new trails of your own? Just thinking out loud here. What do you think?