Did you know that mathbootcamps.com has been online since 2010? Wow! Some of the articles are now over 5 years old. No big deal right? Math hasn’t exactly changed in those 5 years…
The spirit of just do something has always been important to me. When I started the website, I didn’t really have any experience writing about math in that way. But, so what? – you gotta start somewhere and I could have waited and waited for some magical inspiration or simply started trying to write. I chose the latter.
In those 5 years, I went from just writing a bit on the website to working on all kinds of math writing projects for tons of different clients. I’ve had experience writing test prep material, textbooks, guides, and online lessons. I’ve even worked as an editor on a wide variety of projects. All of this has totally changed how I write and over time the articles on mathbootcamps reflect it. The newest ones have a more cohesive visual style and much clearer writing style. There is plenty of room for improvement but the changes are noticeable.
If you have been writing on a blog or website for a while now, I bet your writing has improved quite a bit too! If you have a lot of content that you think people will come back to over time, then I definitely recommend going through this review process like I did.
Bring on the review!
The first step to my review was to decide the post that I wanted to use as an “exemplar” standard in style and writing. I ended up choosing two:
These show exactly what I would like to see in most posts. They’re organized, they have an example that’s easy to follow, and the style with headings etc is nice.
After this, I set up a spreadsheet with the following headings:
- Category (my site is divided into several math categories by a menu up top)
- Post title
- Video (I wanted a yes or no as my plan is for each post to have a corresponding video)
- Contains at least one example (yes or no)
- Meets exemplar style (yes or no)
- Meets exemplar standard (yes or no)
- Comments (especially if there was some issue – I ended up having some typos I didn’t know about)
I ended up hiring someone else to go through and fill out the spreadsheet figuring that a different set of eyes would be really helpful. You could probably do this yourself but remember to be brutal in your evaluation!
So…much…work to do.
As I guessed, the older posts are just not meeting standards. Little did I realize that a while back I also had made posts which were just a video or short text – this is not the direction I want to take mathbootcamps now and so these need adjustment as well.
This was really worth it. Working alone, I’ve been so focused on getting new content up (whenever I have time) that it was easy to not even think about how the old content might look. But, if I want to have a useful math website, ALL the content needs to be good.
Anybody with a website that has been around a while would do well to go through this same process. Maybe the changes over time were subtle but I’m sure another set of eyes will catch where some content just isn’t up to standard anymore. Visitors running across these pages or articles will be happy for the change!