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Writing for the Web - Essay Example

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Why is writing for the web different from writing for an actual newspaper or magazine? This is one of the questions a lot of aspiring journalists ask themselves so they are able to be effective at their profession. …
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Writing for the Web
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Jerry Ciacho September 23, Writing for the Web Why is writing for the web different from writing for an actual newspaper or magazine? This is one of the questions a lot of aspiring journalists ask themselves so they are able to be effective at their profession. Well, the fact that there has been an abrupt surge of people turning to online sources to get answers rather than relying on print medium says a lot about the change in people’s behavior and pattern when it comes to consuming news and information. With this in mind, writers should be able to adapt to these changes so their target audience would still have the appetite to ingest their content in a manner that would not result to content indigestion. There are a lot of trends that would give us the answer to this question. One of the most obvious reasons would be the fact that those people who are still relying on traditional medium of getting information such as print materials are those that are resistant to change, which is what online is all about (The Transition to Digital Journalism).With this said, there are a lot of factors one needs to consider in shaping their content with their audience as the market. One of which would be sentence structure. Understanding that online audiences are most likely in a less comfortable environment where they are sitting at a desk and staring at a screen as compared to offline audiences who are could be lying down on a couch or are seated comfortably, is key in structuring an effective sentence. This is because of the fact that there is a higher probability for offline audiences to be able to absorb long sentences and are more inclined to reread lines while online audiences would prefer catchy phrases that are direct to the point (Appleton, R.). Aside from that, the space of a journalist to be able to deliver a message in print differs with the online medium. In print, the amount of sentences you use would take up space that is measured in inches while when it comes to online, space is not a matter of the amount of words you show on the screen, instead it is measured on how deeper you are able to entice your audience to click further to your site (Print versus Web). With this in mind, the structure of sentence for print materials must be considered a finished product in itself or one that encompasses a whole idea in one page already. On the other hand, thriving online is all about structuring tiny bits of information delivered in such a way that still resonates with your audience. Long sentences usually are discouraged because it is usually off-putting for online audiences especially because they’re reading are driven by a lifestyle of getting instant answers presented in the most transparent yet creative way. The tone of the words used in a sentence will also vary. Print materials such as books already established a more professional tone rather than online. Thus, it is a bit trickier to appropriate words online and striking a balance between a serious and a casual tone because online is in itself an informal medium (Appleton, R.). An application of this would be the manner of advertising established brands compared to those that do not have a strong identity yet. Establishing the right tone for the former online is easier because the brand already has a certain image in the audience’ mind while the latter would succumb to many interpretations online influenced by the tone of the sentences used which may cause a disconnect with what the message the brand was hoping to convey strongly because of the nature of the medium used. With these factors that one need to consider differently in the two medium, another important element to think about is the kind of experience one allows each kind of audiences to have. The web or online is a medium that is interactive, where audiences need to click his or her way in to be able to read more. This also would entail the probability of an audience to be able to find a lot of other resources or related links that would answer what they are looking for, which is a another challenge for writers. On the other hand, print materials limit audiences to pages. Therefore, the use of the right cross-headers in the text is very important as it easily can make or break the impression of your readers that might affect the likelihood of them finishing your whole writing (Appleton, R.). This is more crucial in writing for print because of the fact that given only one page, you lump everything you have to say that emphasizing subject changes and or important points you want to highlight without confusing your audience is always difficult. Writing for online purposes is more lenient with the use of anchor points in your text because you can easily separate the important parts of your content through different links. Lastly, writing creatively, in a way that one would be able to engage the senses of the audience is a key for print articles or content to be a success as compared to writing for web content because of the fact that although print can include pictures, shapes, and texture of the material to heighten the imagination of readers towards the story, the web is a medium that allows moving art cards or objects and at the same time play music to establish a mood which lessens the burden of the writing to be as specific and descriptive as compared to that of print content. Works Cited Category. "Print versus Web - Graphic Design for Print Versus the Web." About Graphic Design - Graphic Design Tutorials, Tips and Career Advice from About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. . Appleton, Rebecca. "How To Write For an Online Audience | SMS." Search Marketing Standard Magazine | Covering Search Engine Marketing, How To SEO, SEM, PPC, Social Media Marketing and Much More!. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. . "Print and Broadcast News and the Internet | The Transition to Digital Journalism | kdmcBerkeley." kdmcBerkeley. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. . Read More
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