Writing for the web is different from writing for a magazine. People read magazine because they bought it, when they bought it, they trust it overtime. Unlike the internet pages where there are millions of internet websites to choose from, the reader tend to be critical when reading the pages…
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Additionally, logging in to websites requires a connection to the ISP (Internet Service Providers) which does not come for free. So people read web pages as fast as they could to absorb the contents of the web pages. Studies showed that web users spend one-minute per page-even less if the web site copy isn't written to convey information quickly and clearly. 79 percent of web users don't read rather they skim the pages. No matter how compelling the message is the typical web user will not read word-for-word what you've written (Association).
Writing for the web is entirely different from writing for a magazine. In print, the document forms a whole and the user is focused on the entire set of information. On the web, the document had to be split into multiple hyperlinked pages since users are not willing to read long pages. Users can enter a site at any page and move between pages as they chose, so page are independent and explain its topic without assumptions about the previous page seen by the user.
The word count for the online version of a given topic is about half the word count used when writing for print. The word count under is limited only to 500 to 1000 words. Words are carefully chosen so as not to write unnecessary things. It is generally painful to read too much text on screens, and users read about 25 percent more slowly from screens than from paper. Most web users are impatient and critical. Users don't like to scroll through masses of text, so the most important informations are usually placed on at top. Credibility is important on the Web where users connect to unknown servers at remote locations. Therefore websites have to earn the user's trust (Difference).
Some common features of web pages in contrary to pages in magazine are (Tips on Content Writing):
1. The words are bold and direct up to some point that some readers get offended.
2. Active verb tense are commonly used. Active verbs describe the subject committing an action and influencing its environment ("Jim drove his car"); while passive verb clauses dislocate the subject so that it becomes secondary to the predicate clause ("The car was driven by Jim"). Typically any verb clause in the "to be" family ("has been", "is being", etc.) is a passive clause.
3. Passive verbs are not used since they express impersonal events rather than committed actions, and they create distance with the reader. They avoid a sense of personal accountability. Active verbs draw the reader closer and fix responsibility.
4. Web pages are more optimistic and positive in tone even if circumstances around the article are bad news (Tips on Content Writing).
The CNN (Cable News Network) website is one the best example for capturing the needs of web users. The CNN web pages use concise text to convey its clear message written on a clear message. The word counts on the pages are almost half of what should be written on print magazine. Important points are either placed on the first sentences or the first paragraphs supported by an informational headlines (Association). Since web users spend less than a minute pre page, they usually skim the pages rather than read it.
The CNN web pages are mostly skimmable. CNN web pages make use of subheadings, short paragraphs, and bulleted lists. Hyperlinks provide the readers the direction on where to go next in the site. The hyperlinks also
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Jerry Ciacho September 23, 2012 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.
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