Web Writing Features
• You are forced to be specific, knowing that readers have the choice to leave your site instantly, searching for knowledge elsewhere. Unlike print writing, there is no need to over-write to "fatten up" books, taking advantage of the reader's inability or reluctance to return a book they have just bought or borrowed. Overly long writing is a waste of time and intellect, of writer and reader.
• An online work can be limitlessly shared: instantly, freely, effortlessly, by any number of readers, in any number of copies. No need to print/mail/email works to anyone, since they are all available on line. No worries about work length, publishing cost, ink and paper used, trees cut off, environment harmed, etc.
• It can be instantly updated, making any necessary changes: addition, deletion, correction, etc. This is better than print writing where a work is out for public once and for all, even with irrevocable mistakes making the author change the same work across several editions, or write whole new works contradicting or repeating ideas in old works, causing boredom, confusion and loss of credibility with readers.
• There is more freedom of topics to write about: no publishing house/magazine/academia dictating what to write. However, you are constrained by market need, which doesn't necessarily reflect quality; and you shouldn't sacrifice quality, even when writing low-quality works gets you more readers. Thus, you should basically write to yourself, whether you publish your work or not, sharing it with the public, specific readers, a circle of friends, or no one. Use others' constructive criticism and your own self-criticism, to avoid low-quality writing.
• You get feedback by readers, if a comment section or a contact link is available. You get feedback by web statistics too, to know how your site is doing. This is important for publishing motivation.
• You can make money from ads, pay-services, donations, etc., which requires first developing reader's trust and knowledge about what you offer.
• People know you by what you write: they know your views, likes, dislikes, etc. Your works become your ID, CV, and home: people visit your "virtual home" to know whether you are alive and breathing (by the new works you keep/stop posting). Even better (than a real home), they can get into your mind. Those who benefit from your works may want to cooperate with you.
• Your work pays off most by the fact that you change the world, even though partly and indirectly (as in voting, or any bottom-up collective work, where you also partly and indirectly own and rule your country). You make the world a better place by writing, as long as you make yourself a better person first: charity begins at home.
• Better learning experience for readers than in print writing, thanks to the abundant space and tools available:
• Dependence on technology and artificial intelligence, which are not always available or intelligent enough.
• Abusing non-writing skills to influence readers, publishers, directories and search engines:
All such skills may help in getting readers, but not keeping them. The time you waste on all the above is better spent on improving the quality of work itself. Any unethical trick will gradually be discovered and banned by technology itself, as "good technology" evolves faster than evil one, because the former serves more people and higher purposes.
• Higher risk of copyright infringement.
• Rushing to publish a work before it's finished can harm credibility with readers. Instead, you either wait, or state "it's only a draft." The availability and ubiquity of the internet cause more harm than good if a bad work is irrevocably scattered over the web. Only distribute/syndicate a work when it's finished, else keep it on a site you own or one where editing is allowed.
Syndication has no future, as technology gradually replaces the role of publisher, ignoring repeated content or even treating it as a spam. Over-copying a work is time-wasting to both reader and writer.
• Over-simplicity: You may write too simply to be understood by maximum readers as well as automated directories and search engines. However, you can still target quality readers only, if you want, who, though fewer in number, have greater impact on society. Yet, writing to the "elite" may cause you the loss of some popularity, that you may need too; besides, it's technologically difficult to know the quality of your readers.
Thus, you should know how much popularity you need (enough for your work to be known, effective, and lucrative sometimes), without losing quality. If you love fame and money for their own sake, you definitely have no quality. On the other hand, don't be too vague, confusing quality with vagueness. Rather, understand your own work first; then try to see it with others' eyes, if you want them to understand it too.
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Technology has changed the way we learn and teach, read and write. If you write on line, you should know that you are only part of a web, a cell in humanity's bigger body. You shouldn't merely enjoy trapping readers into your own "web"; rather, your objective is to help them learn, by you or others, not to hear their applause. You don't write to boost your ego; you do to be useful to yourself and others.
In the past, writers inadvertently repeated the same ideas others wrote about, from other eras, countries and languages. The benefit of the internet is allowing us to see our similarities and differences, before rushing to repeat our similarities or clash with others' differences. It allows us to stop and search for something different to get or offer. If there is nothing, one can go off line and retire to themselves, till they find something, or nothing. It's a good opportunity to learn—rather than teach—and to be in readers' shoes.