What is your why for publishing on the Web? Is it traffic, engagement, visibility?
Mine is data interoperability. I want to publish texts the data behind can be seamlessly combined with other data and “speaks” to computer programs in a way they can understand.
To cut the geeky talk, my why for publishing on the Web has to do with the (Semantic) Web and its magnificence as a writing medium.
The Semantic Web: Content Writing’s New Home
As a wordsmith, to see clearly I often close my eyes. And with eyes wide closed, when I look at the Semantic Web I see a gigantic corpus of interlinked, machine-readable texts. This gigantic corpus of texts is humanity’s knowledge treasure trove and algorithms are the ways we access and use its riches.
The Semantic Web, or you might also hear the concept referred to as Web 3.0, Linked Data, Web of Data etc is nothing new. It is a layer of the Web, envisioned by Sir Tim Berners-Lee since the birth of the World Wide Web.
The Semantic Web is a web of data, in some ways like a global database […] a Web in which machine reasoning will be ubiquitous and devastatingly powerful.
Excerpt from: Semantic Web roadmap.
While it’s true that the above took and still take take a lot of technical decisions, compromise, agreement and work, it is also true that ultimately the Semantic Web is about a machine-readable Web that will forge human collaboration and creativity.
When talking about the Semantic Web my favourite quote is:
“I have a dream for the Web … and it has two parts.
In the first part, the Web becomes a much more powerful means for collaboration between people.
In the second part of the dream, collaborations extend to computers. Machines become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A ‘Semantic Web’, which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines.
(cit. Weaving the Web, p. 185)
This dream is coming true, bit by bit. There are many hurdles, lots of things to be done and agreed upon, but still the ever more transparent and interconnected home of text is slowly and steadily taking shape. Now. The transformation is two-fold: we, as readers, writers and web explorers, are as influenced by the new medium as it is from us and the way we use it.
That said, content writing is to be approached with at leaast three understandings in mind:
In a Web where “readers” are algorithms and users are networked on an unprecedented scale,
there’s a need for entirely new way of framing the communication between individuals, communities, businesses and organizations.
Think of content writing as sowing seeds of collaboration, of business, of exchange.Think of text that communicate messages and values in a conversational, ready to engage in a dialogue way. Think of data as one of your best friends, think Vision vs Data.
We are defined by our relationships on different levels: things, people, topics. Our presence on the Semantic Web is to these connections. We are to embrace the constant dynamics of relationships, open systems, new contexts, connections and meanings.
The beauty of this expanding interconnectedness is that we are its creators. We are the poets of networks, communities, hubs of shared values and interests.
Do you add value with your content writing and do you really communicate and exchange or your simply broadcast and put words on a blog to meet your marketing target?
The Web of Trust is the final stage of a fully evolved web. The Web of Trust is the Web which good content writing acknowledges as an transparent environment. Writing for the Web with the integrity of your digital presence in mind of uttermost importance.
Take Five (Content Writing Tips)
On the Semantic Web, “web writing” takes adopting a different perspective to text.
Communicating through the written word in a networked environment requires us to think, ideate and create texts as multidimensional portals to knowledge and shared experience.
In practical terms, writing on the Semantic Web means at least five things*:
- Your texts should be related conceptually
- The words you use should relate (and be linked) to other bits of your digital presence
- Your texts should use words that are part of your niche’s language and the overall conversation going in your field
- Your texts should be grouped into topical hubs
- Your texts need internal and external linking that is semantically appropriate to your content and business goals
*yes, I meant Take Five as a soundtrack to these tips
Whatever your “Why?” for publishing on the Web, what matters more and more is your creativity and the mindset of interconnectedness: on one hand, links to pages and data pieces for algorithms to make sense and on the other hand, connections and associations to make people’s lives better, more informed, ultimately more meaningful.