But there is a new kid on the block: web writing. Web writing
is any writing designed to be posted on an intranet, extranet or internet.
Why is Web Writing Different?
Many people believe web writing is just another way to deliver a message.
They don't understand it's a new medium, where the old rules of writing, marketing and
social etiquette no longer apply.
Reading from a computer screen is difficult. It takes people 25% longer to
get the message. This is probably why 79% of cyber readers scan their messages instead of
reading word for word.
Four Challenges facing web writers
Appearance. What looks good on paper rarely looks good
on a computer screen.
Tone. Computer screens do not communicate voice
inflections or facial gestures. Readers use their own internal voices to understand a
message; they can easily misinterpret your tone.
Organization. People read with themselves in mind. If
you can't quickly deliver a reason for them to buy-in, you won't get read.
Correctness. It's even more important that spelling and
grammar be correct because your readers could potentially number in the thousands.
Seven tips for web writers
Highlight key words (color or hyperlinks will help)
Put key points in subheads
Use bulleted lists
Use the inverted-pyramid style of journalism writing
Remember to check spelling and grammar
Keep the tone warm; avoid pretentious words and phrases
Use only half the words you would use in hard copy writing
Like it or not, technology has given us a new writing form. If you are
buildingor adding content toa website, and you want a success story, you must
have online savvy.
About the Author
Jane Watson is dedicated to advancing business communications. She
is a consultant, author, keynoter and trainer and can be reached at www.jwatsonassociates.com