Typos happen. Sometimes they’re dumb, a miss-stroke of the finger, and sometimes they’re downright blatant. You wonder how anyone could have made such a glaring error. I make them too. Sure they’re mindless and embarrassing, us writers are supposed to have our crap together, after all. That’s what we get paid to do. But the thing about editing your own work is that your brain eliminates typos. You know what you meant so you skim over what’s missing or what’s wrong without even realizing everything is not as it should be. It’s also how I talk.
Then, once these typos are posted, emails start pouring in (or texts or comments or phone calls), letting you know what error was made. Depending on how big your readership and how many errors you introduce on any given day, a varied number of people are going to let you know about it.
But there’s an alternative to this method. One that’s more efficient and also more appropriate: the report-a-typo tab. A specific link and form that allows readers to point out what they see, and to submit in a medium that was meant just for them. It also compiles this information and sends it directly to the writer/blog manager in a single format. Genius, right?
Should You “Need” This Tab?
No one wants to have typos; they’re accidents and ideally, take place as infrequently as possible. But they still happen, there’s no way to completely avoid them, minimize, yes, but eliminating is wishful thinking. The tab is embracing the inevitable and finding a better way to channel what you can’t control.
It’s also a way of acknowledging that yes, mistakes are a reality. And showing you’re willing to do something about them. It’s a move that’s idea for those with large readerships and who post multiple articles per day. (With that size of volume output and urgency with which everything is posted these days, it’s hard to keep up with copy editing.)
Why the Readers Love It
As well as the typo typee, I’ve also been the typo readee. I’ve noticed something that wasn’t as it should be, and wasn’t sure what to do about it. Maybe the writer had already received notice. Did they have hundreds of better things to do than read my email? Leaving a comment seems too pretentious (even if you’re right it comes off as passive aggressive.) Sending social media notice is even worse, and a phone call is just too over the top. It’s not exactly an emergency, after all. But with a tab that’s specifically designed to do what you need – to notify someone about a mistake – the stress is immediately eliminated. (What else are we supposed to do? Ignore it? Chheah right.)