“The more things change the more they remain the same”. “Everything old is new again”. These two old phrases kept rolling around in my mind as I read our most recent lesson and began preparing for this blog post.
Throughout our readings I found myself returning to lessons learned back when the earth was cooling and I was studying English literature. We would discuss the usual elements of stories such as character and plot but most important, we would try to discern what the writer was trying to say, what was the message they were trying to convey to the reader. Social media writers and readers still share the same dynamic. Although we may no longer rely on typeset and typewriters to convey our words, our stories, we still must follow the same time tested process of knowing what our message is and we must understand our audiences so that we can achieve the desired effect of the message we are presenting. Where once there were glyphs on cave walls or spoken words around the fire we now are able to share our message to vast audiences with the push of a button. But beware before you push that button, you need to prepare. Writers today need to understand the audience they are reaching and know exactly what they want to say lest their message be lost among a sea of competing articles, blogs and even spam. We must take the time to prepare our delivery so that we catch the attention of the reader and then, even we have that attention, we have to make certain that we present the information in such a way that the reader will remain engaged to the point that perhaps they will act or react as we want them to.
I recall the day when a 1000 or 4000 word essay was welcome because it meant that you didn’t have to be bang on with your point. You could wander a bit and still be able to structure your message in such a way that your reader could enjoy and stay engaged. Of course, most of the time your audience was a professor who had read it all before which presented some challenges on its own. Today, depending on the purpose of your piece, you must remember rules like:
1 Substitute short for long
2. write positively
3. avoid jargon
There are many more rules and guidelines to keep in mind and utilize. I wont bore you, my reader with all of them although I will recommend a great article that can help you understand the importance of writing preparation. Check out the article by Alan Martin from Inspired Mag. It’s a great little piece that I’m going to read and re-read in the hopes that it will help me fine tune my writing for social media and business. It will likely improve my writing overall. Perhaps you could suggest other on point articles or blogs that can help?
I see by my word count that I’ve gone over my suggested limit. Oh well, I guess I better keep reading and practicing!
Sources: Business Writing for the Web: 27 Ways to Write Better, Alan Martin, 08/29.201http://www.inspiredm.com/persuasive-writing/
Algonquin College, COMM 0014- W17: Digital Communication, Lesson 2