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?


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.


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.


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

2) Doug Smith’s top live blogging tips.


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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