Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Web Requires Better, Different Writing

The following sensible words come from "Writing That Works," an e-newsletter --

Attracting readers to narrative nonfiction online is even harder on the Web than in print, according to Iowa journalism professor Stephen Bloom.

Readers go online expecting to find information and move on. To hold their attention, we have to write even better than we do for print, and we have to be right on target. Web publications have niches, and they present opportunities for writers who can write for those niches.

Writers must make some adjustments, Bloom says. The tone must be much more informal, conversational, colloquial. Often we should write in the first person rather than the third person and provide links to additional information.

What you can't do is dump print online.

Other web tips (from writing guru Ann Wylie) --
  • Web headlines should communicate the big idea. Witty double meanings don't work the way they do in print.
  • Include "scannable content," such as summarizing blurbs or decks, subheads, lists and links.

No comments: