Content Strategy – Coursera MOOC

I recently enrolled in a Content Strategy MOOC course with other members of my new team NerdWallet. (I got this new gig 2 months ago!) While content strategy doesn’t quite jump-start my thinking engines, I thought to myself, I work with so many writers and editors on a daily basis; I should be able to chime in every once in a while and give knowledgeable feedback or input. A large number of my team is enrolling in the certificate program, and I did so, too.

I aim to take notes from the lecture videos and discussions we have and include them here on my WordPress. Perhaps this will help some of you out there who are managing your own online content and would like some tips on best practices.

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Chapter 10: HTML Forms

HTML forms are the primary way in which online commerce occurs. Without forms for customer input (mailing address, credit card information, etc.), there will not be such a bustling online industry. The HTML form is the interface in which readers enter data, but this is only the input. The data needs to be processed on the web server using applications or in the Common Gateway Interface (CGI). The CGI is the “communication bridge” between the web server and the internet. The CGI collects data sent by the user through HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the web browser, basically), using computer programs called scripts. It then transfers the data to a variety of data-processing programs that are running on the server. It can work on the data and then send back confirmation (or any other type of information) to the CGI that in turns sends it to the original sender.

JavaScript is a client-side scripting language, which means it runs on the user’s computer and not the server. JavaScript can enhance your site’s usability with beneficial programming functions, such as checking to ensure all entries are accurate before submitting. This language is the most commonly used scripting language for HTML forms.

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This Is Your Brain on Silence – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus

“Silence is a resource,” it said. It could be marketed just like clean water or wild mushrooms. “In the future, people will be prepared to pay for the experience of silence.”

Finland has begun a campaign to rebrand their country for tourism’s sake. The idea? SILENCE as a valuable commodity. It cannot be found everywhere, and it is by this definition that makes silence worth acquiring.

Stop and think about this. We are surrounded by noise 24/7, and yes, even at home. Silence is intangible and limitless. New hip meditation “shops” sell silence to help folks relax. Noise cancelling headphones sell for god-knows-too-much.

The article then turns to talk a little about the underlying physiological explanation for why our brains are always on alert to detect sound in our environments. Even when it is silent, our brains are noisy and in search for external stimuli. This article was a great read.

“Yet to her great surprise, Kirste found that two hours of silence per day prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory, involving the senses. This was deeply puzzling: The total absence of input was having a more pronounced effect than any sort of input tested.”

Source: This Is Your Brain on Silence – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus.