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Writing for the Web

  • Writing for the Web
    • Creating content
      • Writing for an audience
      • Credibility
      • Language mastery
      • Inverted pyramid
        • Satisfies Web’s demand for speed & efficiency
        • Must balance organization’s needs with readers'
      • Conciseness
        • Readers even more fickle on the Web
        • Websites need to be sticky, hyper-efficient

    • Links
      • Web’s most important original attribute
      • Words or images that lead reader to more information on the page, the website or WWW
      • Default is underlined and blue; often in lists
      • Inline links are links contained within the text.
      • Transparent links don’t call attention to themselves.
        • Not transparent: Click here to see my favorite pet Peg.
        • Transparent: My favorite pet is Peg.

      • Enable readers to navigate a package of information
        • To select what information they believe is important and interesting

      • Web writers must understand HTML (hypertext markup language) to put links in their copy

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  • Microcontent
    • Words, phrases and sentences that lead visitors into a website.
      • Labels
      • Headlines
      • Summaries
      • Subheads
      • Cutlines
      • Introductions

    • Labels
      • One- or two-word monikers that indicate overall organization of the website
        • Navigation bar, list of links on index, or home, page

    • Headlines
      • Important for news websites, often links to story
      • Two types: label and sentence headlines

        • Label headlines: 2 to 4 words, an indication of topic

        • Sentence headlines
          • Like newspaper headlines
            • Subject & verb, but non-essential words dropped
              • Most articles (a, an, the) dropped
              • Comma for conjunction
            • Present tense
            • Brief but specific
            • Should not mimic lead
            • No ending period



    • Summaries
      • Cndensed form of story
      • Commonly on front page or section pages
      • Should not just repeat lead
        • Shorter version of main story
        • Called briefs in print newspapers
  • Social Media
    • You’re probably a participant
      • Staying in touch with friends and family
    • Soon may be a professional using social media
      • Building an audience
      • A means of keeping up with professional interests
      • Professional networking sites
  • Writing for Social Media
    • All the techniques already covered
      • Concise, information-rich words, sentences and paragraphs

  • Twitter
    • Combines micro-blogging and social networking
    • An entry can be no longer than 140 characters,
      • Including hashtags and URL if you point to Web
    • Major means of communicating among media professionals
    • Preferred in crises, emergencies among media professionals

    • #hashtags
      • Used to mark key words or topics
      • Clicking a hashtagged word in a tweet shows all other tweets marked with that word
      • Can appear anywhere: beginning, middle, end
      • Not case sensitive
      • Used to search for tweets with common topic

    • Tweeting Guidelines
      • What’s the point? (have a goal in mind)
      • Information is better than opinion
      • One or two points, max
      • Complete thoughts: subject, verb (if not sentences)
      • Emphasize verbs: active, descriptive
      • Drop articles, as in headline writing
        • Unless needed for clarity
      • Punctuate for clarity
      • No more than two hashtags per tweet
      • Use abbreviations only if widely understood
      • Well-formed questions will attract responses
      • Respect the language, your audience and yourself
      • Strive for honesty, courtesy, modesty and civility
      • Maintain a sense of professionalism

  • Assignment 6: due Nov. 19
    • Link, headline, article & tweet
      • Write a short summary of your AEC/CALS story
        • Answer 5 W’s and H
        • Underline a phrase in the article/announcement that can serve as an inline, transparent link.
          • At the bottom of the page, write the link’s URL.
      • Write a sentence headline for your summary.
        • Follow the guidelines given in lecture.
      • Write a tweet summarizing the article’s topic
        • Use at least one hashtag, no more than two
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