Learn to write online, an introduction

February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

By Callum Smith: https://sites.google.com/site/callumsmithwebsitecopywriting/

Writing and writing and writing does not make a good writer, at least not a good digital wordsmith. Writing teachers often say that to be a good writer, one must write a lot. They’ll say go home and write; write about anything; but just write. If you practice a bad habit over and over again, the bad habit, your newly developed bad habit, will be a part of you. You then should become a natural at displaying your bad habit, your awful nature. Recognizing and ridding your bad habit, consequently, may be stressful. Practicing digital writing should be a study of good digital writing, first.

To learn to communicate well with digitized words, a long, fun, and intelligent approach should do the trick. Good writing is a bag of tricks. Studying these tricks etc (1), studying basic human sociology in an online environment etc (2), and studying how digital screens per se affect human behavior etc (3), should promote proper web writing.

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You may even then recognize that “writer” does not apply well, that “communicating with words” better describes this process. “Writing” might connote long lines; but “communicating with digital words,” or “digital wordsmithing,” etc, might better connote carefully selected objects, specifically placed, and for a specific purpose.

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There is no place for pomp in an online environment. It’s not about the writer, their style, and a captive audience. Communicating with digitized words requires a tremendous feel for your readers, a freed public who knows they are in charge, who demands respect. Give your online tribe, those who follow your communicating, not what you want them to know, but what they really desire, for their plan-of-things.

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It is difficult to trap people when they have choices. In a digital environment, you may see how “writer” could be replaced with something like “one who communicates with words, etc.”

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References:

On Writing Well, William Zinsser, 1976

The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr., 1918

Why your Web Content Must Adapt, Callum Smith, 2011

The Public and its Problems, John Dewey, 1927 (was available for free online at http://www.archive.org until recently, as it has mysteriously become unavailable. Book described how to ((in our now digitized era)) flatten our hierarchical government).

Violence and Identity, Lance Strate, 2011

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