Writing Styles for Research and the Web

As anyone could see from previous posts, a style make-over would be helpful for me.  The idea was highlighted for me by a comment by Michael Hanley* about writing differently for blogs and for academics.  There are two goals in mind.  Write in a way that does not comprise academic / scholarly / research concepts, but leaves academic styles behind recognizing the nature of web readers need to scan information quickly.  Its like the idea that google is dumbing us down.  I believe that part of the answer is in nature of community (of practice?) and network formation.  How to communication complex ideas that leverage distributed cognition / networks.  Maybe it could be wiki-based so that people entering the network can get up to speed on and join the conversations that interest them.  The idea is also that, as a society, we need blog readers to up grade the complexity of the information that they can handle, while continuing to manage the amount of information coming at them from all sides.  More to follow.


2 thoughts on “Writing Styles for Research and the Web

  1. Kia ora Howard

    I have long been ware of the need to address the difference between printed text and text on the web. There’s a lot in this, from readability and the best font to use, to writing style and the target audience it’s written for.

    Tony Karrer’s post goes down a different philosphical path.

    My feeling on this topic is that, sure, the target audience has to be considered when writing for The Web. But isn’t it the same for any writing targeted at a particular group? And so it often comes down to prejudice of the reader and where their coming from.

    Many signwriters today, for instance, are making a science out of writing style – font – colour effects. ‘Twas ever thus.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  2. Ken;
    Thanks for pointing toward Tony’s Good writing and Writing for Skimming post. They’re good rubrics.
    In addition to targeting audiences, I think the web also strives for a responsiveness that’s more like conversation, where my next sentence is in response to your last thought, text shaped together. And, after considering all that, still having some sense of style; which might be called communicating beyond the words. I guess that’s where real talent and personality comes in.

    p.s. if anything looks weird above, its because I’m practicing my html linking

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