Helpful Sites

Photo: Katy TomasuloBy Katy Tomasulo
ASBPE Washington, DC Chapter President

I'm cheating a bit for my blog post today. At a loss for something insightful or witty to say, I’m tapping into my Bookmarks for some helpful sites to share. I'm curious what sites you depend on to get through your day. It varies, I'm sure, depending on what level you're at. As a deputy editor, I find myself somewhere in the middle…reading industry blogs every day is important, but so is having the dictionary a click away.

Here's a list of a few of the sites I frequent regularly. Many of these I didn't discover on my own, so credit is due to my colleagues and to the sites themselves for providing their own lists of links.

What are your daily hits? Share them with others in the comments section.

BLOGS
Aside from this one, of course, here are a few more media and B2B blogs that can keep you up on the industry and/or make you think about our business and daily life:

Folio: blog
Experts from the magazine industry weigh in on breaking news as well as design, editorial, and pressing issues.

Paul Conley
The B2B publishing industry's preeminent blogger.

The minsider Blog
Industry news and economics

Mag Grab Bag
Former min’s editor Jeremy Greenfield continues his blogging with this new site, which includes industry economics as well as his opinions on magazines, design, etc.

Trade Pressed
Relatively new, this blog from an anonymous insider discusses the highs and woes of trade life that most of us can relate to.

COPYEDITING HELPERS
Merriam-Webster Online
I haven't opened my 6-inch-thick dictionary in years thanks to this site. Not only is it faster than leafing through pages, it suggests words if you misspell the one you’re looking for. The unabridged version requires a subscription, but on those rare occasions you can simply dig out the print copy.

Visual Thesaurus
You can use Merriam-Webster.com for a thesaurus, but Visual Thesaurus is a word-lover's visual fantasy. The interactive tool breaks synonyms down into word maps, graphically displaying the results by meaning and relationships, and providing related words and antonyms far beyond what the dictionary does. (Free trial for a few words; annual subscription required after that.)

Acronym Finder
Stumped by SEOs and HREFs? This site deciphers abbreviations PDQ.

Online Conversion
When you absolutely must know how many meters are in a league.

GRAMMAR NUTS
Bill Walsh's Blogslot
Style and grammar from The Washington Post's copy chief

Common Errors in English
Find mistakes you never knew you were making.

Testy Copy Editors
The title speaks for itself.

American Copy Editors Society Blogroll
The society compiles items from a variety of copyediting blogs around the Web into one convenient spot.

Newsroom 101
Test your editing knowledge with nearly 2,000 quizzes on grammar and AP style.

American Copy Editors Society Quizzes
More tests.

OTHER HELPERS
Cliche and Phrase Finders
Struggling for a headline? These two sites give you a leg up on wordplay. Cliche Finder isn't quite as comprehensive, but it's free. The Phrase Finder is much more thorough, but requires a subscription.

Poynter
Journalism commentary, training, jobs, and more.

NewsU
Poynter’s online training arm, chock full of helpful courses.

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Comments:
Thanks for the great info Katy. I've added several great feeds to my RSS feed reader.

Incidentally, would anyone hazard a guess as what percentage of b2b editors actually read blogs? I also wonder what percentage use or know what an RSS feed reader is.

I've grown to really like blogs. My RSS feed reader is sort of like my online smorgasboard, which caters to my personal tastes.

Does anyone have a good story about how blogs helped them with their job?

Steve Roll
President, ASBPE
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : May 1, 2008 at 1:15 PM
 
Do you use a web-based or desktop RSS reader? I was using Bloglines but didn't really like it, so now I mainly only regularly read blogs that allow me to subscribe via email. I'm thinking a desktop widget would be a better way to go than a web-based RSS reader. The web-based ones like Bloglines are just too slow.

Also, how do you deal with RSS overload? I know having a feed of your favorite web sites is supposed to prevent information overload, but sometimes I felt overwhelmed by all the feeds.
# posted by Blogger Martha Spizziri : May 7, 2008 at 9:01 PM
 
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