Writing for the web versus writing for print
“For many users of social media, the usual rules of writing are suspended. A tweet caps out at 140 characters, not exactly allowing for much nuance or depth, and a Facebook conversation might be reduced to a sentence or two, accompanied by a link to a YouTube video of cats playing the piano.
But to the professional, for whom social media and blogging can be powerful communication and promotional tools, ‘Good writing still counts,’ says Mo Krochmal, who teaches the craft of writing for the web.
‘Writing is much more informal in the digital world, but it’s still important: storytelling, being grammatically correct. Your headlines have to be enticing. But you have to be more concise and get to the point because you’re competing for people’s attention. Fifteen seconds is basically what you have; people will go to something else,’ says Krochmal, executive editor and founder of the consultancy/strategy firm Social Media News NY and an instructor at Gotham Writers Workshop.
Krochmal himself came out of old-school journalism, starting as a sportswriter for small newspapers in North Carolina. He attended the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and, in the early ‘90s, became interested in computers and digital photography.
He eventually found himself working as a technology journalist.
‘I decided that’s where my future lay,’ he says. When social media began to take off following the turn of the century, Krochmal stayed on top of developments and decided to teach other writers how to utilize these new digital tools to their advantage.
‘It’s a marriage of text and media,’ he says about creating content for today’s electronic devices.”