Shown a typewriter and asked what it is, a kid responded:
it helps you send messages to other people,
leaving me wordless and a magic formula richer, when it comes to writing.
Below are my notes, the major things I wanted to share from my experience as a content writer and my fascination as a Semantic Web explorer in the webinar How to Plan and Organize Your Web Writing With Verve. Of course, as you will see in the embedded video below, it all went wildly different and that’s beautiful, yet the plan might be useful for those who need some inspiration, information or just spark to weave their next brave new text.
The message I want to send with this post on web writing with verve is a thank you message for all the people who took part in the webinar.
Weaving Words on the Web: Plan, Organize, Write with Verve
Tasked with writing for the web, I believe a great burden can be lifted from your pen if you approach written content creation with these two seemingly distant perspectives in mind:
a. the perspective of the kid: Typewriters are used to send messages to other people
b. the perspective of a group of designers: Design is to be used for creating time-respectful products.
That said, let’s unweave the headline of this paragraph. Each unweaving will start with a conceptual basis, continue with a “What to do?” part and finish with a funny section, I called “Get off your metaphysical cloud and just write”.
Concept: You write in a transparent, hyperconnected environment.
Number one thing when approaching writing is plan, come up with a conceptual framework for your publishing activities: to give a good thought about the whys and whats of your texts. There are so many types of web text out there, however, a universal thing brings all the good ones together. This universal thing is the realization that writing on the web, a you are entering a dialogue and a never-ending exchange.
Implementation: Cross boundaries. Expand your thinking. Read and link
In a transparent, ever-changing Web your writing is to be interesting, flexible, intertextual. Understanding intertextuality (texts flow from and into each other) will help you let the writer and explorer in you create, cross boundaries. When planning expand your thinking, read a lot, think a lot, plan to make your text the result of an exciting journey. Communicate with people, weave things, thoughts, ideas bravely. This is engaging. This is transforming. Be a solution. Be a spark. Be food for thought.
Get off the metaphysical cloud and just write: Connect dots wildly and unexpectedly
When planning dig into forums, approach the subject from unexpected ends, try to think outside the product or the service. Find a curious, exciting way to write about it. Examine it from the perspective of it’s interconnection with other things, things that are close to your audience’s life. For example, recently I was searching for swimming pools for babies and bang, I stumbled upon storage boxes transformed into such pools for home use. Why not? Left me feel like I learned something new, I was enriched, I was given another perspective.
Concept: You write on the Web of Data and being web-like is substantial
When you’ve figured out the whys and whats of your writing, you are ready to start organizing. The conceptual basis here is: we live and work in the web of data, meaning, all technicalities aside, in an ever more connected information space which grows bigger, deeper and more traceable. The good news here is that words and concepts can tremendously help you design the breadcrumbs which you want to leave, forming your digital footprint.
The good question here is are you webby and open enough to thrive in a hyperconnected world?
Implementation: Build bridges. Translate from domain into domain.
When organizing your writing you should make your audience the axis around which texts revolve. Include them (in ways you feel comfortable with) in your writing. Inform them, amuse them. Make them think. Better – make the grow. Build bridges between the domain you are writing about and their world. Explain in human way, make the complex simple. Find what your readers need, listen to their words on social media, in the inquiries they send to the company you are writing for. Ask questions. Seek answers. Seek to collaborate, to cooperate. To become the best answer you want to see on the web.
Get off the metaphysical cloud and just write: Mind your library card
Think library cards when faced with the blank sheet of paper. Although the web:library parallel is a bit outdated, as currently search engines are evolving into answer engines, your writing will benefit from having an anchor. Start with creating a library card about your post. What is the main subject you are addressing (category), what are the related subsubjects (tags), what would be a findable and informative headline, what is your post about in few words (metadescription).
Before we get to the Verve part: Q&A about writing in the semantic web
What processes to set as to write topical and relevant content?
Read. Read. Read. Feel for your reader*. (this last one sparked thanks to a beautiful question from Bob Strassel of A Little Branding)
How to create authentic reading experiences across the web?
Be curious. Send mindful message. Respect your audience, be there for your texts.
Respect search engines and the way they can (they do give their best) “understand” us at this moment of their development. They are our digital librarians. Help them with some basic digital literacy applied to your texts.
Why the Semantic Web matters for your texts?
Because it makes our environments more transparent. It fosters a brave new world, where your texts should be brave new.
It is the unfolding Semantic Web that will turn the web into the space for intense and fruitful collaboration, cooperation and communication, Sir Tim Berners-Lee envisioned when inventing it. This means your texts are to be sincere, helpful, transforming.
How to use writing for creating a findable digital footprint?
The way you would use a pebble to create ripples in a pond. [A living example of these ripples are the beautiful follow up posts after the webinar: Web writing: plan and organize with verve (by Zara Altair), Teodora Petkova & Her Version Of Waters Of March (by Gina Fiedel),My Take Away From Writing With Verve (by Nina Trankova)]
Concept: Excitement and curiosity are connective tissue
Lose not hope that you will create a beautiful writing that will transfer meaning. Don’t give up the “Wow!” part of your writing (thinking), seek it till you find it. It will connect you to the “Wow!” part in your reader’s mind.
Implementation: Live your texts. Bear with them, with all the ugly drafts you have.
Get off the metaphysical cloud and just write: Actually here you write from the cloud.
Surprise, here there’s no getting off the cloud. At this point you stay on the cloud. You follow your intuition, you dance in your writing. You open up, take a deep breath and you change the world, making it a better text.