Form abuse is NOT a victimless-crime…

I’ve been working on a specific consumer website over the past few months and there are submission forms on there that invite users to submit their information, which is a great idea on ANY website, regardless of product. However, there are some key things that users must remember when sending in their information to help ensure that they don’t look like idiots and to help save time for those administrators that will have to filter out the information.

First of all, chances are that most major websites will have the mechanisms in place to automate the content submission and post it up on the live site. However, for those websites that still have approval queues, then it becomes a big pain and stressful experience for the administrators. So before you decide to pour your whole soul and essay into an small little field that asks for a brief description, think about why you’re putting an entire essay for a description of what you’re submitting.

If you’re trying to promote a product or event on a forum or another website, is there a particular reason why you should not have everything be spelled and grammatically correct? We have hopefully not have become so lazy whereas we simply put whatever information we want online and hope that someone who is approving this information will automatically know what we’re talking about, have we? I have seen postings where websites are not displayed consistently or names are either in lower-case in one instance while upper-case in another. Formatting is a true sign of showing the world of your professionalism. You’re trying to promote your product so make sure that what it says is a reflection of your intellect.

Lastly, be sure to put as much information down in the forms if you’re promoting something or there’s a good chance no one will have the motivation to inquire more. If you put down the title and a one word description, what does that tell us? Absolutely nothing…so what was the point of putting something down in the first place? We didn’t know about your product in the FIRST place and now we only know that it exists, but nothing about it. Why should we exert so much work just to find out about something you want us to buy into?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."