How do you teach HTML to a blogger?

There is a really interesting blog called “Strange Maps” that I syndicate on my RSS aggregator page. Unfortunately, while the content of the page is intelligent and interesting, the author evidently knows fuck all about the web. Recently, all his entries have been formatted using <h1> tags, then with <span style=…> tags to set the fonts back to something more reasonable. Since my aggregator strips formatting tags like <span> so it can impose its own format, this leads to some ugly results on my page. Another time, he made his entire post in red. When I try to explain what he’s doing wrong, he doesn’t seem to understand. I suspect he must be composing his posts in Word or something worse (if there is anything worse than Word) and pasting them into WordPress.

How can I get through to him to stop doing this?

5 thoughts on “How do you teach HTML to a blogger?”

  1. It may not even be that, as WordPress itself is quite happy to do your HTML for you if you let it, which doesn’t always results in the most clean HTML…

    The only thing you can do is to bring problems to their attention as it occurs and not worry about it too much yourself…

  2. Martin, you might not have noticed, but this blog also uses WordPress, so I know precisely how much effort it would take to put all that crap mark-up in WordPress’s own editor. No, he’s definitely editing it in something else and pasting it in.

  3. Short answer: you can’t. All you can control is whether you maintain the syndication. I’ve knocked people off my LJ friends list for posting photos that broke my layout enough that I didn’t like looking at them. But that’s my thing. If you’ve tried to explain to him that his stuff didn’t syndicate properly because of his broken HTML, you’ve done more than I would do. You just have to decide whether the content is worth it to you and whether there are other ways you can get it.

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