Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bernstein Reading

Mark Bernstein's 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web exposes the differences between his conceptualization of writing for the web and my experiences in writing for other mediums. Bernstein begins his article by focusing on the audience of web writing. While I have written many papers and essays during my college career, the audience for my writings has been limited. Instead of professors or other students, my writing on the web can be read by a variety of people. It is necessary to gear writing on the living web to something that people will want to read. The body of work is not something that is easily finished, I cannot hand it in and forget about it until the grade comes back. There is a sense of responsibility that comes with web writing that is not there in my experience with other mediums. My writing becomes permanent on the web, not easily erased or forgotten. Yet, there are some similarities to other types of writing. I will still want my work to be interesting and succinct. I want to get my opinion out and provide a strong argument on any topic.

Bernstein would not agree with claims that weblogs are little more than glorified diaries. A weblog could be a diary or it could be so much more. Bernstein speaks out for ways to improve weblogs in effort to get away these claims. Weblogs can provide an audience with ideas, stories, truth, and fiction. In order for a weblog to achieve an audience, it cannot rely on only a little thought or effort. It must have style, originality, and a quality that attracts visitors.

While I did not agree with all of Bernstein's tips, I found that most offered sound advice for both those familiar and unfamiliar with web writing. I agree with his tip that it is definitely a priority of any writer to have a reason for writing, an opinion or a goal. Writing on the web should be focused, similar to any other type of media. However, I do not agree with Bernstein's tip that correct grammar is not completely necessary. I believe that it is necessary for web writing to be considered a serious form of writing, it must be written in a more formal style.

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