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.
Some of this maybe was addressed above with regard to measurable circulation, but I think there is more at stake in online writing because there is generally more crap to sift through. Print generally has a better editorial process of weeding out content that is either irrelevant or ill considered. For me at least, I feel that online writing has to contend with a lot more…trolling(?). Or let me put it this way: what’s at stake with online writing is that it can stack up against a print publication with a long standing reputation of high quality. In order to compete with those publications, the writing must stand up (or stand apart) against the backdrop of a print legacy. This is a lot to contend with, and as a result I think of tis as being one of my responsibilities as an online arts writer.
This is a tricky two part question! I do think I pay equal attention to both on and offline content I read. Though when I’m really wanting to read something online I tend to print it out at work for the subway/bus. That’s where I get most of my reading done, so I like to have a variety of different kinds of material to draw from when I’m in transit. But, when it comes to attention, I generally think I balance that pretty well between on and offline content. In other words, I have just as many tabs that need reading as I do magazines/books that I haven’t opened (though I’m proud to be relatively up to date on my New Yorkers).
In terms of personal experience to online publications affecting my writing I’d say absolutely. But again, I think this happens more on an editorial side than on my own persona writing side. Some personal experiences tend not to go very well with particular kinds of publications. I think I have a pretty particular way of writing/researching/thinking but sometimes that style doesn’t fit the context I’m publishing in. So, although my personal experience affects my writing, I don’t know always know if this comes through after the editorial process. Mostly it does, but occasionally it doesn’t. I think a lot of times I’m writing in a style that comes from particular kinds of writers that I admire, especially depending on the kind of piece I am writing. For instance, when I’m writing something more fiction based, I write with particular people (or voices) in mind. When I’m writing critically those people (or voices) change. That personal experience then definitely informs the way I’m writing.
I’m in a phase right now with my writing of adamantly not checking distribution metrics and outreach, so this question is somewhat hard to answer (since I think that a sense of one’s public often depends – or leans on – the desire to find value in a work’s spread/reach). I think talking to people face to face is the best way that I gage my readership/public. Most of the time, I won’t get very many points of feedback from articles and essays I publish online. But then often when I see people face to face they’ll tell me how much they enjoyed something, or how much something made them think, etc. I’m always surprised by this, but I enjoy that feedback immensely and get way more out of it than the flicking/limited attention of social media. That being said, the internet has exposed me to readers that I wouldn’t know existed if it wasn’t for their feedback through whatever social media. Rarely do I find that anything that I publish online have any kind of resurgence of attention after the first couple of hours, though. But again, I have no way of knowing this since I tend to avoid paying attention to that kind of thing (at least right now).
Usually I won’t be asked to write anything in print unless it is a more substantial piece (in length, breadth of research, and references). That being said, I tend to focus a lot on research, interviews, and correctly sourcing bibliography for digital publications a bit more. Print usually has specific kinds of deadlines for me that usually don’t have the affordance of lingering or delving into something in unexpected ways. With online writing/research I can hold onto an idea for a long time before ever setting out to put thoughts to text. In this way, the research for online pieces tends to be more ongoing, where the research for print pieces tends to be very immediate. I guess it depends though, because sometimes for print I’ll be asked to write something more critical and the editorial staff will ask for some substantiation that I think might not be necessary with a digital publication. But that kind of thing varies from context to context (or publication to publication).
No, not really. I think more about the editorial process. Usually when I write for something in print, it’s a bit more loose because I am used to going through a more rigorous editorial process with the publisher. In other words, I depend on that kind of editing more from print publications. I’ve come to not expect that kind of rigorous reading from online editors (unfortunately). That being said, editorial ppl for online work tend to focus more rigorously on content than print (in my experience thus far).