March 19, 2002

Writing Tools

Writing for the web is not the same as blogging, which is why my site tends to be word-heavy. I am a writer first and foremost; my page-design knowhow is limited at best. That's why Blogger is such a wonderful tool -- it lets me focus on what I do well, and still get a decent-looking site for a minimum of layout effort on my part. When most people think of writing for the web, they envision the graphics-heavy crap of the kind most seen on "media" sites. The words are almost beside the point.

One of the great things about blogs is that they make the words important again. The content is the words, not the fancy graphics or video clips. And the linky writing style gives the pieces a whole new dimension and immediacy that's lacking in traditional print. (An unfortunate side-effect is that blogs get stale pretty quickly because the links start 404'ing after a few months or even days.)

The Web has always had this nature -- in fact, the the word-nature of the Web was why Tim Berners-Lee created it. It was a way to produce more efficiently-read words. It's just a shame that it took more than a decade for useful writer's tools to make an appearance.