Welcome to the New Media Lab Blog. Andrea’s already done a proper introduction, but I am going to chime in anyway. We’ve created a collaborative space here where we can share ideas with one another (and ideally, the world).
A lot of you have asked me about writing for the web or blogs and how it differs from general writing. In general, brevity and clarity is preferred. The Web is an active medium, users are looking to be informed. Contrast this to TV where users sit back to be entertained (source).
Make information easy to find/read. Nearly all users scan webpages before they read them; nearly all users are in denial about the fact that their web pages will be scanned before read (you’re probably scanning this right now, source).What you can do is use headings to differentiate sections of your work, if long, and don’t be afraid to boldface important concepts – sparingly of course.
There is a place on the web for long articles and in detailed text. This quote from Jakob Nielsen clearly describes the difference:
If you want many readers, focus on short and scannable content; If you want people who really need a solution, focus on comprehensive coverage. (source)
It takes time and patience to make a good blog: a combination of a long term approach with quality writing and consistent posting will yield a larger audience in the long term. Blogging is a lot like the video below:
Best of luck, and looking forward to reading about your work here!
PS, for those of you unfamiliar with WordPress, or how to use it, wordpress.tv has a great video on how to write/edit your post.