Writing for Web

 

REPORT

 

 

 

 

Content

Introduction

Research

Disadvantages

Advantages

Conclusion

 

 

 

The Brief

The aim to this Writing for Web project was to analyse the characteristics and requirements of each of the bottom products, and compare and contrast examples and provide a conclusion.

We were going to find 2 example of:

–     Blogs

–     Journals

–     Forums

–     Websites

–     Narratives Journalism

–     Digital derivatives of traditional forms of writing (e.g epistolary novels)

 

Research

First I went through what these words meant and how formal and chatty each one of them was. I began by looking at the examples listed which included blogs by Stephen Fry, Richard Herring and news websites such as guardian.co.uk, bbc.co.uk. Then I started researching and analysing online example like Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow’s Snowblog. I started critically analysing how the blog was used. I looked at layout language and significant of comments. I listed all these to use in the presentation.

I also found a CNN blog written by Dr. Mike Dow which was attached to a show called Larry King Live. Again I looked at layout language and significant of comments. Below are the results of my assessment.

 

 

 

 

 

Channel 4 Blog:

  • Presenter’s blog already has an onscreen personality
  • Written in the third person for the most
  • All content is news related
  • Minimal use of slang
  • Comments in first person
  • Links to original news stories within channel 4 news site
  • Personal contacts revealed resulting in insider information
  • Comments on topic and comments relating to previous post in designated place within comment space.

 

CNN Blog;

 

  • Variety of blogs on CNN
  • Programme blog but not presenter Larry King’s
  • Dr Mike Dow is the author someone commentating on content discussed on the show.
  • Language is chatty uses first person
  • No links within the main body of text
  • Comments on topic again chatty language.

 

Then I started planning on a piece of paper about the sliding scale with the examples spaced out along a line each clearly marked. I wanted to put the most formal first then coming down to the chatty. I discussed with Michele and came to a decision that most formal is news website then the others :

 

–     Blogs

–     Narrative journalism

–     Journal

–     Forums

–     Epistolary novel

 

So we put them in order.  I moved on and got the idea of making a green triangle scale.  I researched further on News Website, Narrative Journalism, Journals and Epistolary Novel to find our two examples.

On News Websites I chose BBC and Guardian as my two examples because one site is connected with the print medium and the other is connected to broadcast media.

 

BBC

  • Broadcast media
  • Uses formal language
  • Uses the 4 ws approach
  • Contains related features and analysis
  • Links to related BBC stories
  • Text and images and video. One image is a word cloud generated from an rss feed off the chancellors speech
  • More links to further detailed content
  • Written in third person.
  • Contains quotes within the text
  • Page contains pull outs with extra information
  • Text broken up with mini-titles
  • Sentences spaced like separate paragraphs almost throughout.
  • Comments facility appears in different part of site after monitoring called Have Your Say
  • Contains Input box to type in your comment to be included on the Have Your Say section of the site.

 

Guardian

  • It is a print and online media
  • Uses formal language
  • Written in third person quotes included within body of text
  • Uses 4 Ws approach
  • Text and images and video on page.
  • Sentences spaced like separate paragraphs
  • Some stories are broken up using mini-titles
  • Comments section below the main body of text
  • Comments are in chronological order
  • Suggests the comments are moderated but abusive language suggests this process is not as thorough as it should be or that they don’t constrain their readers quite so much as other sites.
  • Links go to outside sites as well as internal pages

 

After that I looked at narrative journalism. Narrative journalism is a storytelling form that suggests joining a story at its beginning and following it to some conclusion. But not necessarily a fixed framework where the author has a clear idea as to how the piece will end, rather it is led by the subject and the author goes on the same journey as the reader eventually will. This approach could be argued to be the most honest because of this unknown element. Narrative journalism may use elements of photographic journalism as well as stills and audio along with the text. It allows for self-expression from the author, use of metaphor and more florid language.

 

Project 50

  • Written in third person with question and answer interviews within main body of text
  • Links to internal article search pages
  • No real story arc though following subjects chronologically the narrative feels very broken up possibly due to the time frame the piece spans.
  • Contains comments section which whilst being on topic for the most part attack the journalist personally and the journalistic process
  • Interestingly the comments question whether it was an ethical study and whether proper permissions sought and given.

 

Golden Boy

  • Written in third person and unusually occasionally in the second person, a hard thing to accomplish within the same piece.
  • Contains a definite story arc
  • Contains no links within body of text
  • Interestingly uses literary devices such as changing time scale jumping from present back into past to add power and pathos.
  • Sections almost like chapter titles
  • Uses short story devices whilst being an account of actual happenings – true.
  • It has no comments section

 

I also looked at Journals with Michele which was impossible to find. The two examples we found were:

 

Journal of a Photographer

  • Made up of pictures and text
  • Contains external links within text
  • Written in the first person
  • The language is informal
  • Subject matter is personal and discusses things that relate to his role as a photographer
  • The journal contains a star rating an RSS feeds and social media widgets

 

Magicians Desk

  • Text and pictures
  • Contains external links
  • Written in first person
  • Written in informal conversational language
  • Subject matter on topic of art i.e. their craft or business
  • The entries are listed on the page in small ad form with a click through to reveal full entry.
  • Contains comments facility and links to related blogs
  • Comments are chatty but on topic.

 

Victoria took the responsibility to research the two examples of Forums.

 

The last one I researched was Epistolary Novel and it completely amazed me because I never used it before and I didn’t know what it was. Modern day epistolary novels can include emails, letters, newspaper reports and images to add to the sense of realism. Epistolary novels play around with the idea of control. You the reader are used to being in control of your reading you can choose to read as much or as little of the text.

The two examples I chose to look at were Intimacies by Eric Brown and Daughters of Freya by Michael Betcherman & David Diamond

 

Intimacies breaks from the format in that it can be downloaded from the site all at once and because this costs I was unable to see much of the written text. The first few seemed to be written in chatty language.

Daughters of Freya sticks more to the rules in that it is a real time mystery so receive the emails over a number of weeks in the same time frame as the events unfold for the characters. One single message also may sometimes contain messages from other characters and the familiar news reports and image links to add realism.

After all the researched done I started putting everything together in a PowerPoint. I learned how to make links on a PowerPoint. We wrote a conclusion as a group at the end. We rehearsed presenting our presentation and we decided that Michele will start and Victoria will take over and I will do the conclusion.

 

Disadvantages

  • One of the major disadvantage was Michelle took way to long to explain the different examples.
  • The internet decided not work in the middle of our presentation
  • We didn’t have enough rehearsing time.
  • We didn’t give any sheets out to the audience.

 

Advantages

We were working in a team. We could choose our font, typeface, colour, background, and diagram and graphs your-self. We asked questions in the middle of our presentation. We kept it simple no animation. The idea of the green triangle scale on the PowerPoint worked well with the brilliant idea of using links.

We chose to use PowerPoint because they are good ways to effectively get across short bullet points of information. They’re good base points for a presentation to remind you of what you need to say. They look good visually; can be easily read if you have a big enough projector. If you used leaflets in a presentation you’d be wasting paper and ink, PowerPoint’s, although they use electricity are more of an environmentally friendly way of presenting things. Also, they’re useful because you can add sound and videos to them which will captivate the viewer’s attention. Plus, they’re quick to make and you have as much information on them as you want because you can add lots of slides. They’re convenient and easy to transport because you can put them onto a memory stick and then onto your chosen computer.

 

Conclusion

In my conclusion I want to conclude that you have to be aware of your audience. Always keep in mind who you are writing for and their ‘house style’. Be professional, even when writing on forums and journalism blogs.  Avoid at all costs emoticons and text language. Back up your argument with references and well thought out research.

 

Links :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11585941

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/20/spending-review-2010-key-points

http://larrykinglive.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/13/what-we-can-do-about-bullying/

http://blogs.channel4.com/snowblog/

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-homeless-project50,0,4610742.htmlstory

http://www.atlantamagazine.com/june2010/flustory.aspx

http://www.journalofaphotographer.com/

http://www.pmstudio.co.uk/news/2010/05/06/magical-adventures 

http://www.greatamericannovel.com/

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