Sind Weblogs Monster? | Are Weblogs Monsters? - Part 21

posted by usha on 2006/04/07 18:45

[ Sind Weblogs Monster? | Are Weblogs Monsters? ]

"In online writing, little things mean a lot" - this is the headline of one Amy's recent entries in her Blog "Contentious" on Social Software, esp. Weblogs and women journalists/bloggers.

She gives a guideline for "microcontent" that sounds familiar to anyone who had to deal with writing theses, papers, essays. Amy is dealing with common requirements of informative texts: headlines, explanatory content, straight argumentation, the use of highlighting important microcontent, etc.

This would be even more important for web-based texts, since

  • Web users tend to scan pages, rather than read them.
  • A user can arrive at virtually any page in your site from just about anywhere on the web.
  • Web users tend to be impatient and fickle. If they can’t figure out a site or page in a few seconds, they’ll probably move on.
Though, Amy is certainly right about a special 'attention deficit' of Web users (information shall be gathered as fast as possible), academics are generally used to the habit of browsing through texts. Though, I know very well of the necessity of inserting "eye-catchers" and bundling information, though, there are times, I think that is too easy and that a text is a text with its value in itself and its language and rhetoric, and therefore any readers should take a chance to encounter the text and to enjoy its linguistic and rhetorical ramifications.

In sum, I really like the hints Amy is offering for this special kind of writing and presenting information. Yet, on the other hand, I think nothing is wrong with insisting on style that can be intricate, too.


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