I’ve been doing some thinking in my classroom lately about what writing online looks like. I believe that writing online is distinctly different form writing offline on paper. While the two can be similar, online writing can and should be different; containing multimedia elements and a different organizational structure.
What else is different online is the depth of research and passion, even about the most obscure subjects, that can be pursued when writing online. The long tail being what it is, even the most obscure subjects can be meticulously researched and find an audience online.
I ran into this piece a few months ago. It is a single post written by a person who did a full tear down of an iPad charger along side of a counterfeit item. The author not only writes a long, detailed post that has 20 footnotes, but does a complete teardown and labeling of the charger’s components
but he also does an analysis of the power frequency spectrum output of each charger:
The author also has written a detailed post about the possibilities of mining bitcoins using a pencil and paper doing all of the math by hand….
Next up is a great recent post on line length and font when it comes to online reading comprehension. Once again, the author goes into great depth to outline the effect of line length on comprehension.
Long, in depth and detailed, this post is actually an interesting read when it comes to considering how these factors might affect the students in our classroom.
Finally, a computer programmer who is now a computational biologist has a blog where he looks at everything from the most popular post on reddit (month by month) to the efficiencies of different Clash of Clans troop types.
Many “experts” are saying that blogging is back (although I’m not sure where it ever went in the first place…). But the fact is that blogging and online writing are not the same as writing offline. These three spaces serve as ideas of the depth of research and micro topics that can find an audience online when people pursue their passions.