I once got a freelancer in to review editorial on a youth focused website.
We’d developed it over time and wanted to get a second opinion on whether it was doing its job properly. An editor can get a little too comfortable after a while so I wanted to make sure we weren’t suffering from ‘beige creep’ (yes, a completely made up word).
Her CV was above average and her experience at a number of decent youth sites (MTV, BBC etc) convinced me that her £180 day rate was good value.
The anecdotal feedback and opinion on audience preferences for language and tone were sound, but when I asked about the basics, I got a shock.
“Best practice web copy says avoiding passive sentences, so keep an eye out for those,” I said.
“What’s a passive sentence?” came the reply…