Just when we thought the saga of Krystal Kleen Karpet Kare's Web site and subsequent design contest was over, a reader pointed out some glaring errors in the text of the winning entry. Not only did Krystal Kleen CEO Mark McNutt miss them, but so did the second judge, Jim Sterne, who'd written the original story on the carpet-cleaning service's site (" Even a Child Can Do It," Inc. Technology, 1999, No. 2).
Cindy Wagner, founder and president of Editing Ink, a copyediting and proofreading service, caught several grammatical errors and stylistic inconsistencies in the site's copy. For instance, on the "About Us" page, the word Care was spelled with the traditional C rather than Krystal Kleen's more stylized K. And though the site sports a handsome photo of former California congresswoman Andrea Seastrand presenting McNutt with a "Best of Business" award from Strictly Business magazine, there was no caption identifying the two. When Wagner sent a copy of her suggestions to McNutt, she got a speedy reply. "Before I knew it, Mark had called me and asked if I would edit his entire site," she says. Instead of charging her usual fee of $35 an hour, Wagner accepted a mention of her services on Krystal Kleen's home page and a link from that site to her own (www.editingink.com).
This latest installment in the Krystal Kleen story got us thinking: Just how important is text editing for a Web site? Very, according to Nan Fritz, president of nSight, a media company in Cambridge, Mass., that provides editing as well as design and Internet services. The company, which Fritz founded in 1982 as Editorial Services of New England, moved into electronic media a few years ago to meet the need for Web-site editing. "Many companies are realizing that if they don't take time to evaluate how something is written, it's going to come back to haunt them because it's there on the screen," she says.