Wordstock 2010: Writing for the ‘web’

Wordstock — the annual one-day journalism conference at Ryerson University Oct. 2, is getting back to basics this year: Writing. I’m doing an hour-long session on writing for the web. (You can register for the conference here.)

Seems simple enough. Except, it’s a huge topic.

So below is where I am so far in breaking this topic, but I’d love your input.

What do you think young/aspiring journalists need to know about writing for the web? Should I focus on SEO, twitter, liveblogging?

WRITING FOR THE WEB

1) Search engine optimization: just the basics. Keywords, where they need to be & why. Importance of link text being relevant.

2) Style. Why it matters online.

TWITTER

1) What words to use/not use. Research on what words do/don’t get retweeted (marketers are all over this topic). How to use hashtags.

2) Breaking news: Famous examples and writerly examples. Rules of the road, ethics to consider.

LIVE BLOGGING

1) Examples  (breaking news, sports events, watching tweets).

2) Doug Smith’s top live blogging tips.

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One response to “Wordstock 2010: Writing for the ‘web’

  1. File early. File often. — For the web, it’s important to remember your story can update as often as it needs to be. So make sure to file a quick hit early (whether it’s breaking news or not) and then file updates as your story develops (e.g. to add in quotes, context, etc.). This is a great way to get a leg up on your competition. (Just make sure you do file an update so there’s not a story sitting on your website that says something happened and more details will come and then two days later, there’s still no updated story).

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