NCWN Board president and Webmistress Extraordinaire sent me the following link to an interesting article about the differences between effective writing for print and effective writing online:
Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox for June 9 is now online.
Linear vs. non-linear.
Author-driven vs. reader-driven.
Storytelling vs. ruthless pursuit of actionable content.
Anecdotal examples vs. comprehensive data.
Sentences vs. fragments.
I can’t argue with his theses, but they make me sad. I only recently came around to the utility of text messaging (I have a teenage son), but I refuse to use the cutesy abbreviations so popular with “the kids today.” I insist on using complete sentences and proper punctuation, even if it takes forever, makes my thumb cramp, and makes me somewhat of a dork. Call me stodgy, call me a snob, but I think most grammar rules developed for a reason and are necessary for clear communication. I think there’s something almost holy about a well-crafted sentence, whether it’s one of Hemingwayesque brevity or Faulknerian excess. I think that even the web has a place for fine, full writing.