Lynda For example, at the end of chapter

Lynda Felder’s Writing for the Web: Creating Compelling Web Content Using Words,
Pictures, and Sound is an instructional text that enlightened me to a better
understanding of my audience to further enhance my writing. The book is well
organized which makes it easy to read and navigate through. Overall, the book
is divided into 14 chapters that focus on relevant topics such as Chapter 3:
Working with Images, Chapter 5: Adding Sound and Chapter 13: Re-vision (Felder,
vii). The book is also fun to read as it keeps the reader interested
throughout; with enticing subtexts, pictures and formatting. The chosen
examples and word choices make technical topics, such as adding sound or motion,
interesting. For example, one of my favourite quotes by Samuel Beckett, “Ever
tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better” (Felder, 47)
was included in the text among other motivational/humorous quotes. And further
on in Chapter 7: Writing Succinctly, it says “If any man wishes to write in a
clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first
possess a noble soul” (Fedler, 84) by Goethe. Moreover, the book is 180 pages
in size—small and affordable—which makes it the perfect size.

 

            The
purpose of this book it to cover the basics for web writing. Felder highlights
the basics for many different areas of web writing such as adding sound and
motion, using rhetoric, writing blogs and overall revision. Following Felder’s
methods is bound to better your writing. The book also encourages to try
different types of writing styles and it is formatted in such a way where the
reader can zoom in on the specific writing style or concern they have. With
that in mind, Felder encourages us to observe and practice beyond our horizons.

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At the end of each chapter, Felder has included writing prompts and exercises
for free writing and practice. For example, at the end of chapter 2: Best
Practices for Writing for the web, the writing challenge is to revise your favourite
author’s sentence. In other words, find a quote, and revise it so it follows
the best practices from the web (Felder, 30). This exercise is unique as it
allows the reader to search the internet for a quote and revise it themselves
to follow the practices they have learned. Moving on in the book, at the end of
Chapter 8: Writing with Good Style and Good Grammar, the challenge exercise includes
writing a passage about a specific grammar rule the reader finds difficult to
abide by (Fedler, 106).

 

            The
book is well thought out as it allows the reader to follow their instinct. The
manual is keen on teaching writers how to revise and better their writing to
further help their audience understand and relate to it better. For example,
Felder has included a table that compares an instructional writing with 29
words versus 6 words saying that “readers will resent hand-holding and
excessive instructions” (Felder, 85). However, my one complaint is that some
topics are repetitive and even though the basics are covered, keywords and
headlines are such topics that are covered in most web writing books, but were
missing from Felder’s.

 

            Web
writing is also more elaborative and creative as it is open to social
communication through the various mediums on the web such as Facebook, blogs,
and twitter where everyone can either subscribe to, leave a comment, complete a
survey or share. Web writing has made it easier for the writer to reach a
bigger and various audience level of all niches. Web writing also specifically
tailored to focus on user needs as it takes away the hassle of searching text
for keywords that the reader is interested in. With keyword search engines such
as Bing, Yahoo and Google, the reader is able to simply search for any writing
peace based on the information they are after. In Chapter 12: Writing blogs, Felder
outlines that “let your readers know that your welcome their comments…Make sure
you moderate all comments to ensure a safe, fair environment” also encourage
reader comments but also “ignore rants and flames” (Felder, 149) to avoid
getting caught up in drama. Also the readers browsing the web prefer shorter
paragraphs and brief information. Felder states in Chapter 5: Adding Sound that
“Dick Tracy Talk, information dumping
occurs when the speaker just dumps information on the listener that the speaker
would not actually say” (Felder, 65). With traditional writing, it is very easy
to get carried away and be repetitive and over explain or elaborate on
instructions to “babysit” the reader. With web writing, the writer can also set
certain character or word limits and allow multiple edits at a time for
ultimate feedback and revision to avoid the Dick
Tracy Talk as Felder puts it. Moreover, with traditional writing, writers
are restricted to text whereas, web writing allows the writer to expand areas
and use sounds, motions and illustrations. For example, in Felder’s Chapter 3:
Working with images she states that, “using an image to portray a concept helps
readers understand the idea or thought and can also deepen the experience”
(Felder, 39).

           

Felder also
emphasises a lot on knowing your audience and the targeting the ultimate
audience. Web audiences also differ significantly, since web users rely on
search engine optimization (SEO) which allows the reader to search using
keywords, which makes the article more visible to searchers. Felder also
emphasis about setting the appropriate tone to interact with the reader. The
media should serve a purpose and tell a story to build on content. Felder’s Writing for the Web relates to the
course content as it shines light on what has changed and how writing has
emerged from the past. Also it sheds light on the audience development and
interest changes as well. In chapter 4: Adding Motion, Felder says “its only
recent advantages in technologies that have given you the capability to easily
add animation and videos to your web content, and readers are wild about it” (Felder,
47).

 

To conclude,
Felder has narrowed down the basics for web writing with concise information
along with visuals. The reader can easily navigate the text with straight to
the point chapters that are compelling and concise with the information they
are looking for. Moreover, Felder outlined the text with tables, lists and
illustrations to outline the data without overwhelming the reader with too much
information. Reading the text has provided me with many guidelines that I will
keep in mind to incorporate in my writing to make it better—especially when
revising. 

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