For my second blog post in the online course, “Digital Communication,” in Algonquin College’s Social Media Certificate part-time online program, the assigned topic is to describe what I’ve learned this week about storytelling, communication styles, and encouraging interaction with my audience as a digital storyteller.
What have I learned about digital storytelling this week?
#1: One of the most effective ways of retaining an online audience is through the clarity and conciseness of Web style writing. As defined by Wikipedia, a description of the difference between writing for online and print content:
“Writing online is very different from composing and constructing content for printed materials. Web users tend to scan text instead of reading it closely, skipping what they perceive to be unnecessary information, and hunting for what they regard as most relevant. It is estimated that seventy-nine percent of users scan web content. It is also reported that it takes twenty-five percent more time to scan content online compared to print content. Web content writers must have the skills to insert paragraphs and headlines containing keywords for search engine optimization, as well as to make sure their composition is clear, so that they will be able to reach their target market.”
#2: Grammar, spelling, and punctuation affect credibility and professionalism. There are a number of great resources available online to assist grammar and punctuation issues, my favourite is Grammarly because the standard version is free, accurate, and it works well inside of Microsoft Word®, Outlook™, WordPress, and online via an Internet browser extension.
What have I learned about communication styles and encouraging interaction with my audience?
#1: An active voice in web style writing is more effective than a passive voice because the writing is easier to understand, the detail keeps the reader absorbed, and the content is more precise.
Passive Voice: “We were invited by the Photographer to attend her art exhibition.”
Active Voice: “The Photographer invited us to attend her art exhibition.”
#2: Practice makes perfect. As Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.”
#3: Consider the experience you’d like to project to your audience. Are you entertaining readers? Inspiring? Educating? What action do you want readers to take? Is there an opportunity for a two way social media conversation by asking readers a question?
In conclusion, what I’ve learned this week about storytelling, communication styles, and encouraging interaction with my audience as a digital storyteller is to continue to read as much as possible online, to learn from the experts in the field.