The end of online writing in #highered?

September 6th, 2012 Karine Joly No Comments

My latest University Business column is now available in the September issue as well as online: “The End of Online Writing?”

Writing for the Web CourseIn this column, I present some of the disruptive digital trends currently at play:

  • The rise of the attention economy
  • Mobile first and foremost
  • Multiple connected devices
  • The visual Web

Over the past 3 years, there’s been a dramatic change in the way people “consume” the Web. It is crucial for institutions to adapt. THat’s why we’re launching this fall a 4-week online course on Writing for Social Media and The Web for higher ed, a course that includes best practices but also lots of written assignments you can use the next day at work (nothing like writing to learn how to write better :-)

In this UB article I also offer some recommendations for online writing in higher education:

Just-enough just-in-time content
The famous “Omit needless words” coined last century by William Strunk in The Elements of Style has never been more appropriate. Conciseness is the key. Your copy should be short enough to keep your reader’s attention while still making your point. In the sea of content, context and timing will also make or break your website, your Facebook page, your Twitter stream, or your emails.

Responsible content for responsive websites
In the world of multiple connected devices supporting a unified experience, online readers expect the moon. Blue, if possible. They want just enough of your web content on their smartphone, but all of what they might need and are used to getting from their PC. Yet, they also expect to be able to find extra content as well, if they search for it. With the multiplication of responsive websites in higher education comes the need for responsible content, written to adapt—as designs—to different devices via a set of rules. So, get ready to give your copy the necessary structure to implement these filters.

Writing visually
Our brains crave pictures, as they can be processed more quickly than text. In this digital attention economy, visuals are not optional anymore—unless you can limit your text to 140 characters on Twitter or in text messages. For maximum effects on social media platforms, the pictures complementing your copy should invoke emotions, what makes people share online.

Writing Course4-week online course: Writing for Social Media and the Web in Higher Ed
asynchronous with weekly lessons and written assignments
Only 10 seats per session