She said she was a web writer and not a blogger. What’s the difference?, I asked.
- Web writing is structured. Has a start, middle, and end. Blogging is often snippets, fragments, and less formal.
- Web writing is part of a larger process. For example, she writes a series of online articles that will feed into a hardback publication that appears later in the year.
- Web writing has long-term goals. I think she meant evergreen type content, ie materials that will be of use in five, ten, or fifteen years. Blogging is of the moment, ie more reactive.
- Web writing is stricter, ie web writers know the rules of grammar and when to apply them. Many bloggers are more relaxed in their spelling, verb constructions, and knowledge of split infinitives 🙂
- Web writing has greater depth. Blogging is slightly superficial. There is less analysis, research, and statistics.
- Web writing is created by professionals. Bloggers are (mostly) amateurs. And those who succeed soon morph into mainstream publishers, eg writing books that sell in the high street.
Is this fair?
I know what she’s getting at. This is a woman who’s very educated, qualified, and dedicated her career to journalism. Blogging seems (or feels) to be undermining the publishing industry she’s grown up in.
Web Writing v Blogging
In some ways, she’s right.
Blogging is meant to be less formal, more in the moment, and social. You can’t have a blog post go through editorial reviews and get it online within minutes. It’s one or the other. Or is that an excuse?
The Daily Mail online is a good example of less format web publishing, generating oodles of content every day. Not all of it gets proofed or sanity checked. But the model seems to be working.
Do you see a difference in blogging and web writing or have the boundaries merged?
What would you suggest to someone who has ‘traditional’ writing skills (ie degree in English) and is now possibly under threat from waves of bloggers?
Should they stick or twist?