Tag Archives: web writing

Embedding is the new linking

Every web journalist knows that linking is one of the most fundamental qualities of online journalism: a web article without links is like TV without moving images.

But in the last couple of years something else has become equally important: I’m talking about the embed.

Two years ago I noted how publishers were finally getting to grips with linking – and how embedding was a major factor in that.

As material from social media has become increasingly central to news stories, content management systems have finally been adapted to allow journalists to embed the very elements they were talking about: that controversial tweet; the Facebook reaction; the damning Instagram snap; the viral YouTube video.

Now, one report has noted that almost a quarter of 1 million news articles in a study included embedded media. Continue reading

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The Scarcity Principle: writing online headlines which ‘click’

Increasingly, when journalists now write headlines for the web or for social media, they specify the medium or format involved. They shout VIDEO and AUDIO in caps at the start of the tweet or post; MAPPED or INFOGRAPHIC; INTERVIEW or LIVEBLOG.

Sometimes the medium or format is implied more subtly, with a call to action: we urge users to ‘Watch’, ‘See’ and ‘Listen’. But we also invite them to ‘Join’, ‘Meet’ and ‘Find out’.

Users choose the medium as well as the message

Why do we do this? Part of it is that we recognise that the medium is something special; that users often make a choice based on the medium itself.

But I think putting the medium/format front and centre is about more than just user preference: it’s about abundance and scarcity. Continue reading

8 common mistakes when writing for the web – and what to do about them {now 9}

Image of post it notes by Anselm23 on Flickr

Image of post it notes by Anselm23 on Flickr

Here is a checklist covering 8 mistakes made repeatedly by first-time web writers, which I’ve put together for one of my classes. The idea is simple: if you answer ‘No’ to any of these, carry on to the accompanying guidance that follows underneath.

Checklist: are you doing the following? Continue reading

8 common mistakes when writing for the web – and what to do about them

Image of post it notes by Anselm23 on Flickr

Image by Anselm23 on Flickr

Here is a checklist covering 8 mistakes made repeatedly by first-time web writers, which I’ve put together for one of my classes. The idea is simple: if you answer ‘No’ to any of these, carry on to the accompanying guidance that follows underneath. Continue reading

Writing/producing for the web: BASIC principles of online journalism (Online journalism lesson #3)

Here’s the 3rd in my series of classes in online journalism. Having already set up an RSS readers and Delicious account, a Twitter account and a blog, this week they start the news website, and learn about writing and producing for the web: