In today’s world, people are writing online more than ever. Social networking, tweeting, and blogging has been increasing rapidly and being used by people all over the world. People are being exposed to a range of digital tools like Twitter that allows writers to share their ideas to the public in a matter of seconds. People from all over the world have the opportunity to share their thoughts in an easier and creative way to their audience. Digital writing is important because it allows individuals to share their ideas, develop critical thinking skills, and strategies for digital learning. As technology is increasing, we see digital writing growing more than ever.
Share ideas across the internet
Digital writing is important because it allows people to share their ideas across the internet. The internet has made it possible for anyone to post, share, and publish their work online and make it accessible for the public to read. People can share their work through online media like Twitter or personal publishing blogs like McMansion Hell. In the book, Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time, the author talks about different ways that Twitter (online writing tool) can be used to your advantage. Joel Comm says, “There’s a huge list of different strategies that Twitterers are using to build up followers, make new contacts, and keep in touch (17)”. Some of these strategies are building relationships with your audience. Which is similar to what we discuss in class about the importance of building a community where there’s a connection with the readers and writer. This shows how a digital tool can be advantage when trying to social network or connect with your audience. In the book, Because Digital Writing Matters, Daìnielle DeVoss talks about the tools of digital writing and how students are able to share ideas across the internet. She says, “Now students can participate in-or create their own community of writers. They are able to stay in touch through social media and emails (24)”. This shows how it digital writing is important for those who engage in it.
Develop critical thinking skills
Digital writing allows writers to develop critical thinking skills such as being able to communicate effectively to your audience. In the book, Writing for Digital Media, Brian Carroll explains the importance of writing clearly and precisely for your audience. The author says, “Writing should be clear and concise. Readers need little reason not to read further, and this is especially and painfully true online (7)”. This shows how it’s difficult to attract your audience if you’re writing is cluttered. Less is more, and being able to share your ideas in a concise way is great. For example, on Twitter there’s a limit on words which challenges writers to share their ideas in a precise way. Of course, there are other online writing tools where writers can write more, but I believe Twitter challenges the writer to be concise with their thoughts. Digital writing isn’t easy and sometimes it is hard to get your point across. Carroll does a really good job of explaining and guiding on how to get your thoughts and ideas into words before posting it online. Like any paper or essay, the writer must have a purpose or an argument that he/she is trying to prove based off research and interpretation. And sometimes brainstorming and free write can allow writers to map out their ideas. Carroll says, “Write down whatever might be related to the task, even if it seems irrelevant at the moment. There is no judgement in brainstorming, which, to use a sailing metaphor, is akin to producing your own wind (16)”. Basically, the best way to have a lot of ideas is to generate a lot of ideas. As simple as it seems, it’s very essential especially when you’re trying to determine your purpose.
Throughout the semester, we’ve talked about how a blog is basically a web page for regularly updated posts that are arranged in a specific order. Blogs allow writers to express their personal opinion while trying to reach a particular audience. Blog posts are a form of digital writing and is another example of where writers have to learn to write online and have strategies for digital learning. In class, we’ve learned about the importance of being able to attract your reader’s attention. There are many ways writers use layout and creative images to attract their audience. Colorful images and organized structure are key components to creating a well written post. In the article, Why We Love Beautiful Things, Lance Hosey explains how our brain is triggered when we see vibrant colors and images. While addressing to the reader, Hosey says, “Take color. Last year, German researchers found that just glancing at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation. It’s not hard to guess why: we associate verdant colors with food-bearing vegetation-hues that promise nourishment”, indicating that we are attracted to colors and images. We see examples of this all over media and online websites. For example, on our blog posts we are required to include images for our readers because it keeps them motivated to continue reading. Our mind is attractive to rectangular images and colorful patterns. Hosey mentions a research that was done in the 19th century to proves that readers prefer images in author’s writing. Hosey says, “A Duke University professor demonstrated that our eyes can scan an image fastest when its shape is a golden rectangle”. This is important part of digital writing that is talked about when writing blog posts. Being able to share your ideas while providing images that goes along with your reading is important because it keeps the reader’s attention. Certain patterns also have an appeal to the reader because a good design has dramatic effects. We can see an example of this on the blog website McMansion Hell where writers’ posts photos of huge suburban mansions and criticize it based off the architecture and image of the house.
Strategy for Digital Writing
Another key strategy for digital learning is being able to write your ideas while allowing readers to see your references. It is easy to write about your ideas or argument but it has to be truthful. Plagiarism can be an issue in digital writing because writers are grabbing information from all sorts of websites and articles. Blogs posts are useful when it comes to references. In a blog post, writers can include references in their reading. In the book, Writing for Digital Media, Brian Carroll includes the evolution of digital media and techniques of writing/editing for online audience. He says, “Blog posts typically connect their readers with source materials that were used to write or that are referenced in the post, a connective tissue that also serves to provide layers of information and to build credibility (138)”. This allows readers to be able to track where the writer is getting his/her information while connecting with the writer. Some of these features may include hyperlinks, sidebars, and tags. If you go on Twitter, a writer will post their thoughts and include a hashtag that will allow readers to view that trend or topic. Or on Instagram where publishers can include links to other websites or articles that relate to what their writing. Even in blog posts, the writer may include a sidebar that has a link to other related articles with similar topics. This is an online writing strategy where writers can connect readers to other similar work of their product. It is also a great way for the writer to build communication and community in his writing. The blog should allow readers to interact and to share their opinions. This is important because it allows the readers to discuss about the topic and allow growth between the community. In the article, Organic Writing and Digital Media: Seeds and Organs, Pete Rorabaugh, explains how writing should connect and allow outside participation. He says, “Growth is determined by the encouragement and critique of the community”. Community is important because it allows the writer to get feedback and comments from readers. An online strategy that is very useful for many writers.
Digital writing relates to me in many ways because it allows me to develop writing skills that I would have never learned. Before the semester, the only experience I had with writing online was when I went on Twitter and I retweeted someone’s tweet that I thought was interesting. Or on Facebook, when I would share a post and include my thoughts above it. I believe being able to learn how to write online will benefit me in the long run especially when I’m looking for internships during the summer. Over the summer, I had an internship with Under Armour. It was a great experience but one thing I lacked when I applied was creating my cover letter. And it was always an issue when I applied for other jobs and internships. I had trouble trying to get my thoughts on paper and I lacked creativity. After reading sections of Writing for Digital Media, I learned ways where I could improve my writing skills for future purposes. I really liked the idea of brainstorming, clustering, and free writing your ideas because it will allow you to figure out your purpose. Which something I struggled because I always wanted to start writing my cover letter from the top. I never took the minute to just brainstorm and free write all my ideas on a piece of paper and re ordering them later.
This relates to my semester project because I will have to use the critical thinking skills and the strategies for digital writing to be able to share my ideas. I’m focusing on different study spots on campus where students can use to do work. Along with it, I will include study skills such as using the resources available there. Some of these resources may be the white boards or the library’s circulation desk. Each blog post I create, I must include images of these study areas because it will be useful for readers to visually see the place.
Digital writing relates to my major because as an International Business and Management major, I will be using technology a lot. I can use the skills I learn in this course such as being able to find ways to attract my clients in the business field. Also with a minor in Spanish, I plan to travel to Spanish speaking countries and create a blog that will allow me to share my experiences abroad.
People from all over the world have the opportunity to share their thoughts in an easier and creative way to their audience. Digital writing is important because it allows individuals to share their ideas, develop critical thinking skills, and strategies for digital learning. As technology is increasing, we see digital writing growing more than ever.
Carroll, Brian. Writing and Editing for Digital Media. Routledge, 2017.
Comm, Joel. Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time. Hoboken, NJ Wiley. 2009
Hosey, Lance. “Why We Love Beautiful Things”. The New York Times. 15 Feb. 2013. Web
Rorabaugh, Pete. “Organic Writing And Digital Media: Seeds and Organs”. Digital Pedagogy Lab. 21 June. 2012. Web
Vas, Daìnielle. Because Digital Writing Matters. Jossey-Bass, 2010.