I’m actually doing my first bit of party reporting tonight! I’d never do it for an offline source, to be honest, but for the web I can deal with it because I think people will be more focused on the pictures than my intro.

Weirdly enough, a coworker said to me recently that she doesn’t know a lot of people who actually have blogs anymore and write criticism. I would tend to agree. Personal statements are becoming aphoristic in length and circulating on social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter. I’d say a lot of online writing still has a bloggy tone, though — sidenotes about opinions, tangents, personal info (mentioning what you ate in a review of an exhibition, for example), use of the first person.

The listicle is also a form that seems made for the web. It works well with the slideshow format and allows the eye to digest a similar amount of text and image at the same time. The form also seems ideal for scrolling on a device (smartphone, iPad).

Lists for sure. Don’t work with them but I do enjoy them from time to time: who doesn’t love a Buzzfeed list comprising of red panda GIFs?! Saying that, I think there is something to be learned from the blog form, although I still do prefer the rigorousness of an online publication that acts like one, and as such has (read: employs) a stable of editors that ensure facts are correct, and text is proofed.

I don’t know if I have anything great to add here. I think there are forms, like lists, that are more popular online because they are quick to read and easy to respond to. You can ignore them in print and skip to the more substantial stuff. You can do that online, too, but generally don’t. It’s a good way to kill a minute or two, and/or start a conversation online by sharing it.

I do think there’s value in writing that can be revisited, amended, responded to outside of traditional publishing structures.

I don’t know if I have anything great to add here. I think there are forms, like lists, that are more popular online because they are quick to read and easy to respond to. You can ignore them in print and skip to the more substantial stuff. You can do that online, too, but generally don’t. It’s a good way to kill a minute or two, and/or start a conversation online by sharing it.

I do think there’s value in writing that can be revisited, amended, responded to outside of traditional publishing structures.

I don’t attribute value to list culture, I love making lists, and writing lists (I find it fun), but not digesting them as a reader because they can often be incredibly reductive and lack context; I do love the diary format, but to be frank, I see the diary format as something intrinsically tied to print culture. I love writing diaries – for print.

My initial reaction is to say that certain types of coding are the only inherent writing forms native to the internet. All other types I feel could be traced back to traditional, offline/print publication formats. For instance, one could view the Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa as a kind of “blog” or “social diary” or else look at the newspaper reporting of Félix Fénéon as a proto-list/blog format. Though these formats excel on the internet, I don’t think they are inherent or native to that platform. I don’t try to work too much in these forms, I used to keep a blog, but sometimes I don’t know if it’s helpful. Sometimes I think of Hyperjunk as being a kind of social diary, but I don’t really contribute to it enough to keep it constant (much to my dismay). I suppose if I had more time I would explore a format that was more constant, or else spoke to some of the inherent qualities of the internet more directly.

I like using images and moving image/sound as part of an article. I think that’s something very specific and valuable on the internet.

I find blogs and lists useful online, though I think the list might be dying somewhat? I try not to work through those forms, though ‘blog’ is a slippery term. The essay is always the best unit of writing, IMO.

I think there is a “voice” of the internet that is largely spun out by blogs and social media. I’m thinking of Gawker, The Awl, Today in Tabs, The Toast, etc., and on the more writerly side of things, authors like Tao Lin and Marie Calloway. The common denominators here are a self-referentiality, a slangy, quick-witted style of writing, and an attention to a broader conversation. I do follow some sites and authors that deploy this “voice,” and I definitely think they’re valuable in terms of advancing an internet vernacular that can integrate the conventions of social media (hashtag, character limits and so on) without sacrificing meaning or intelligence.

 

I definitely think that blogs are inherent to the internet. People often assume that social diaries and lists are, too, but they have existed widely within literature for centuries. (Though possibly published only posthumously). I certainly think that the proliferate number of these, as well as their uninteresting content and lack of editing is inherent to the internet. However, they can all be interesting or valuable if done well. (Realistically, I’m not sure how often they are – but again, as admitted, my knowledge is not extensive). Tumblr is an interesting one – and I always notice when someone has done something unusual, with images, writing, layout, etc. I guess I’m most interested in how people make writing online different than in print, and if it’s not, I lose attention pretty quickly and pick up a book! It doesn’t even have to be that unusual. For instance – I read this online v. in print, and thought it was great (https://nplusonemag.com/issue-18/essays/from-my-diaries/).

Personally I am quite fond of lists, but only in an abstract sense, or as a literary convention. I don’t often go online regularly to read lists, and NEVER read social diaries – however, ‘End of Year’s are definitely favourites and something I will spend a lot of time on, looking at the opinions of people whose work or minds I admire.

Personally, I find them fascinating. As a writer, my favorite thing is to refine and condense things to an aphoristic state. I have a food blog on Facebook, for example, where I have tried to distill the form as much as possible, almost making it abstract.

As an editor, too, I enjoy taking up these various forms, mostly because their true potential remains, in most cases, depressingly untapped.