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?

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.

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

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).

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

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).