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 love that something can go viral and you can reach audiences that you would never reach if you were only in print. However, I don’t like being judged as a publication based on more quantifiable elements on the internet. What I mean is, being read by 50 people a day online is seen as an underachivement whereas having a circulation of 500 monthly for a print publication is acceptable. We need to support niche online publications and not underestimate their achievement of having 50 people come back consistently!
I pay attention to online publishing in a different way, because I’m an online publisher. I look at things thinking what’s working and what’s not. Print publishing is something I’m not planning to do myself, so it’s more about just reading. I don’t care about the details as much. There is always an assessment involved in reading online publishing.
In terms of my ego, the internet allows for a sense of false accomplishment. I enjoy the likes and comments that immediately come after publishing something. I find that most people don’t read the articles that I post on social media though, it’s mainly about the headline or the subject matter. I usually feel more accomplished when something gets published in print just because people’s responses seem to be more serious. I feel like this is shifting and I really care about being a part of this shift by doing serious online publishing, but whether I like it or not, something I write in print will be read more seriously than something I publish online.
I feel more liberated in terms of length when I’m writing online. I feel like the internet allows you to write as long as you want, as people are free to scroll or not. Whereas with print, there are so many other considerations and an article that is 10-pages long is somewhat of a turn-off. There is definitely a double standard there somehow! The breadth of research doesn’t change for me. As an online publisher, I feel like I’m very careful with images when I’m publishing online as you need to hit that sweet spot of writing and image balance and the article needs to make sense as a visual object.
References to online sources are much easier when you are publishing online and you can embed as many hyperlinks as you want, diversifying the reader’s experience. I like that a lot about online publishing. You can also direct people to films, video clips, sound recordings, it’s really good to create a multi-dimensional reading/publishing experience.
I don’t feel that my writing changes really. I also started writing on the Internet and then got published, so for me, it feels pretty much the same. I do think the editors’ attitude varies depending on whether it’s going to be online or not, but that’s a different story.