Unit 7: Communicating on the Internet
As the Internet rapidly expands, so too does the opportunity for businesses to share information and reach audiences online. Technical Writers are increasing called upon to craft communications to reach the broad online audience. The unit explores the ways in which the Internet is used to communicate and how to apply the foundations of technical writing effectively to reach online audiences.
Reading from the Internet, and therefore writing for the Internet, presents certain challenges that the printed word doesn’t. The largest concern is the shortened attention span of Internet-based readers and the reduction in reading comprehension. Given the scrolling feature and the ease of clicking away, savvy writers for the Internet tailor their communications with headings, short paragraphs, clear and engaging visuals, and links for further development.
Additional points to consider when writing for the Internet are how to use social media as a tool for both communications and marketing. Given how easy it is to share communication online, the technical writer should be well versed in the social media tools and the common practices for writing on each of interfaces. For example, what works on a blog post would not work in Tweet. The technical writer must learn how to translate the same idea for several different types of social media and in a way that reaches the intended audience.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 12 hours.
7.1: "New Media" and Generating Content for the Web
7.3: Social Media for Businesses
7.3.1: Getting Started with Social Media
7.3.2: Online Markets
7.3.3: Using Social Media Tools
7.3.4: Using Social Media Effectively
7.4: Discussion Forums
7.6: Concerns for Online Writing
Unit 7 Assessment