Are there any forms of writing that you feel are inherent to the internet (as in blogs, social diaries, lists)? Do you try and work through these forms? Do you find them valuable?

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.

Do you think the internet allows for a better sense of your public (because of social networks, discussion forums, etc.?) or do the few hours of flickering online attention following publication not c

This is a complicated question, in a way. As ‘audience’, ‘public’, and ‘publicity’ have come to possess incredibly different meanings in different spheres, for better or for worse. My first inclination was to say yes, because it is easier to see who is engaging with your work online, on a purely practical level. But as we know, hits, retweets, reblogs, etc. can mean a wide variety of things – it is impossible to know how someone actually engaged with something. Did they even read it? Is this kind of attention what we expect now, because some people will still read the whole thing, and other forms of attention / public are simply a different incarnation that nonetheless generates popularity (or its opposite) that are no less significant or real in terms of their effect in particular arenas. Arguably, this happens with print as well. People read book reviews of books they don’t read, but perhaps pass the information along, or recommend writers as though they have. I think, too, that print attention is flickering – who reads an article more than once or twice? Perhaps it simply feels materially as though it has more longevity.

I have gone off track here, I think, or maybe not answered the question…. But in short, YES, I do think it constitutes an audience. Albeit a reconfigured, far more various one than we currently understand or have a model for.

Does publishing online change your approach to any of the following: length of piece, breadth of research, images you include, references to online sources?

I think that exclusively the online element wouldn’t determine my approach to any of these things, so much as the context – i.e. the site, or publication, etc. – for which I was writing, and the guidelines they work within. Which are often, though not necessarily, different from those in print. Given free-reign, say a neutral (ha!) platform to write however I wanted – I would probably be inclined to change very little, though might assume it would be appropriate to cut down on length and breadth, as these are the things I struggle with – re: attention – when reading online.