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  1. #26
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    What you have been saying is correct. It is just completely irrelevant and off topic in relation to what is being discussed.
    okay, let's get back on topic and discuss this ...
    Using second person to write an article is rarely done because doing so implies that you are the intended reader as then all of the "you" references in what you are writing are references to yourself rather than to the person reading it.
    that's incorrect, felgall

    all of the "you" references in an article written in second person are references to the reader

    and please don't tell me that my contributions to this thread are "completely irrelevant and offtopic"

    i've told you at least a thousand times, stop using hyperbole
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  2. #27
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    all of the "you" references in an article written in second person are references to the reader
    All of the 'you' references in an article written in first or third person are references to the reader.

    An article written from a second person viewpoint is written as if the author is the reader so that the 'you' references refer to the reader/author.

    Anyway it is rare to find anything written from a second person viewpoint and rare to have any reason to do so. Almost all articles, books, novels etc are written using either a first person viewpoint or a third person viewpoint.

    Certainly second person viewpoint can be ignored when you are writing articles for a web site (the few exceptional situations would be such that anyone writing in that particular field would already be aware that second person viewpoint would be an option - assuming that they have the necessary very high writing skills to be able to do it as well as sufficient knowledge of the reader since getting second person viewpoint even slightly wrong could create problems).

    Since the OP didn't even ask about second person but was sensibly asking how to choose between first and third person, there is no reason for any discussion of second person viewpoint in this thread beyond mentioning that it exists and that is not the same as the statement that grammatically 'you' refers to second person as that is true regardless of which of the three viewpoints is used.

    Using a second person viewpoint is rare even in fiction where the viewpoint refers to how you reference the protagonist. I have never come across a single instance of it being used in non-fiction.
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  3. #28
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    An article written from a second person viewpoint is written as if the author is the reader so that the 'you' references refer to the reader/author.
    you're just making it up as you go along!

    please, felgall, bear in mind the #1 rule of holes -- if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging

    "An article written from a second person viewpoint is written as if the author is the reader"

    this is patently absurd
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  4. #29
    SitePoint Zealot McStompin's Avatar
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    Alright, THAT'S IT! EVERYBODY FREEEEEEZE!

    You're all being arrested by the grammar police. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in the court of grammar and in front of the grammar judge and the grammar jury. Until then, keep your linguistics where I can see them and everything will go smooth(or smoothly?(I don't know))!
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  5. #30
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McStompin View Post
    [IMG]

    Alright, THAT'S IT! EVERYBODY FREEEEEEZE!

    You're all being arrested by the grammar police.
    Here's the thing -- it isn't a discussion about grammar. It's a discussion about Point of View that has gotten off track.

    The question was, "Is first or third person better for web content."

    The real answer is, "Second person Point of View is really the best if you want to gain your prospective customer's attention."

    However, you do need a point of view for your company as well. Which works best? First or third person?

    In my opinion, you can use either as long as you make sure you give an honest representation of your business in your content.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  6. #31
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    finally, some sanity

    (i plead no contest, eh)

    thank you, linda

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  7. #32
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    blindacoustic, when writing a website, and in this situation, you always write in the first person.

    For many readers, reading it in the third person is a bit ridiculous. We all know that YOU wrote the site, so....

    Also, if I am looking for someone, I want to know about...YOU! Tell me about yourself.

    Write as if you are talking to me in person.


    Always be personal, a bit casual and likeable in your writing, while at the same time showing that you know your stuff. Throw in free tips and samples along the way.

    You want to come across as a likeable BUT knowledgable guy.

    The more they like you, the higher your odds go up in getting more money.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Zealot Spartinman's Avatar
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    Stay way from "I" or "me" of anything that would point YOU -single out in the article. That is what I have been told by writing for one of my clients at the law office I use to work in.

  9. #34
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    Using a second person viewpoint is rare even in fiction where the viewpoint refers to how you reference the protagonist. I have never come across a single instance of it being used in non-fiction.
    First point, when asking for help on which foot to shoot yourself, perhaps help is best rendered by pointing out you needn't shoot yourself ...at all.

    Non fiction use of second person is often found in successful sales letters. And for the one reason: It's also used in personal letters. (At least, you, your, you're and yours had a certain popularity in correspondence before the "Me" generation got through with it)

    When the goal is sales -- you will forgive me for imposing purpose on anything web -- you can test I against you, and see for yourself which pulls a superior response. But second person has one heck of a track record against talking to yourself, about yourself, like a street person.

    Because, while not always the case, that is the tendency with first person. Third person is the favored perspective where technology simply exists, free of users, pupose, or humans in general. Third person is geek nirvana. Sales ...not so much nirvana. And a purgatory for users, customers, and the fleeting visitor to a web site so afflicted. Third person is where Google becomes an anthromophized entity you can write for ...forth person as writing for search engines ...anyone?

    First rule of sales: You are not the customer. First rule of web usability: You are not the user. There is only one reason for this rule: To force you to put everything into the perspective of Who You Are Writing For.

    Let us examine some examples:

    First person: Features. Second person: Benefits. Corporate loves the royal "we," because they can talk about themselves without seeming conceited and disinterested. First person doesn't conjure the frame of mind necessary for translating what's in the product into "what's in it for the customer."

    "It's not a bug, it's a feature" is decidedly first person in perspective, no matter the grammatical construct. When you're thinking second person, you think differently.

    First person is the perspective of technology-only solutions to a problem nobody has.

    So, while you can make a strong argument marketing is fiction, your marketing goals are better achieved by replacing I with you. However second person perspective is not as simple as word replacement. Writing from the second person perspective means you understand your customer well enough to write to their interest, to grab their attention and hold it.

    And that might be what makes second person so unpopular for web writing.


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