10 tips on Writing the Living Web

I’m summing up the pointers by Mark Bernstein for my own benefits

1. Write for a reason
– Don’t tell us what happened; tell us why it matter
– Don’t tell us your opinion; tell us why the question is important
– If you don’t care, don’t write
– Write honestly
– Write with passion

2. Write Often
– Write short but write often
– If can’t write for a time, give reason for your absence
– Carry a notebook to store topics, ideas, news items for slow times

3. Write tight
– Omit unnecessary words
– Use a visual design to fit your voice, and stick with it
– Read and revise the writing
– Question: can you do without that word?

4. Make good friends
– Read widely and acknowledge other’s writing
– Exchange links by contributing great ideas
– Be generous with links
– Be generous with your time and effort

5. Find good enemies
– Disagreement is exciting
– Choose enemies carefully
– Begin a debate with a plan in mind to end it

6. Let the story unfold
– Use foreshadowing and provides surprise
– Be real – personal challenges, obstacles that leads to successes
– Vary pacing and tone
– Change subject

7. Stand up and Speak out
– know your facts and speak it clearly
– If seeking information, ask
– Never lie

8. Be sexy
– The more the writer put themselves into their writing, the more human and engaging their work will be
– Trajectory of the writer’s relationship with the reader, the gradual growth of intimacy and knowledge between them

9. Use your archives
– Ensure the links on your websites are up-to-date
– Write topical summaries and overviews of essential archives
– Self introduction on every page

10. Relax
– Don’t worry too much about correctness
– Write simply and clearly
– Enjoying the writing and the audience will find you
– Don’t take yourself too seriously

Web writing vs Paper writing

5 ways Web Writing is different from Paper writing:

·         Web writing is not permanent while paper writing is permanent

·         Web writing is harder to monitor while paper writing is easier

·         Web writing is dynamic (has the benefits of interactive graphics to complement the content) while paper writing is static (mostly one dimensional)

·         Web writing is readily to be read by everyone on the web while paper writing usually have very specific target audience

·         Easier to read a piece of long writing on paper then on the web

Making Notes

The course is about web writing. I have to make brief notes on websites I visited:

·         What I like and dislike about the sites

·         Focus on the content of the site


Writing Journal

I've created this blog to record my writing progress for my web writing course.