Re: Writing for online

Subject: Re: Writing for online
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- CYBERPASS -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 21:25:51 -0800

>If I were writing for a newspaper, I would have plenty of
>one-sentence paragraphs, but I abhor the very idea of a
>one-sentence paragraph.

I use lots of short paragraphs in email.

The display screen is a difficult medium to write for. Vertical spacing is
one of the few techniques we have to make it visually interesting.

Furthermore, online attention spans tend to be short. Attention spans have
been shrinking for a long time -- ever since the invention of the
telegraph. It helps to write concisely and in small chunks.

Yesterday I heard a rebroadcast of Terry Gross's 1992 interview with Gary
Wills, author of Lincoln at Gettysburg. Lincoln spent a lot of time in
telegraph offices reading dispatches from the front. Verbose generals made
him angry. He liked Grant, because Grant wrote concisely. ...RM

Richard Mateosian <srm -at- cyberpass -dot- net>
Review Editor, IEEE Micro Berkeley, CA

(C) Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.

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