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You don’t have to “surf” far on web before striking poor writing, bad spelling or just plain offensive copy.
To secure our future and prevent mass bastardisation of English language, writers must promote their skills now and not be intimidated by technology.
If you can use a word-processing program, you have enough technological know-how to write for web. The emphasis is on “information” not “technology”.
Writing for online reader requires more discipline than even journalism. The experts say people between 25% and 40% more slowly on screen as eyes tire more quickly than on paper.
Web users will not tolerate long-winded prose, unless it’s for a literary site or on a topic in which they are deeply interested.
Writing for web sites is not simply a matter of rehashing existing print material – web is already clogged with so-called “brochureware”.
Clean, concise, active, purpose-written copy is essential to development of this new medium and web writing profession as a whole.
If you haven’t yet taken your first dip in cybersurf, head to your local Internet café or library and take plunge.
Even if you don’t want to weave words for web, you’ll have a ball spinning yarns with other writers via chat rooms, newsgroups, web sites and email.
Like it or love it, future’s online.
Yvette Nielsen writes a popular weekly web site review column for Brisbane News magazine, has developed her own site at http://www.brizcomm.com.au, and conducts web content workshops on how to structure, write and promote sites. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter for free tips and site reviews at http://brizcomm.listbot.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org