Spinning my Own Web on What it Means to Write for the Internet in 2020
It has been a long, odd semester for me at the University of Georgia. This is the first semester I have felt incredibly challenged by my courses, and at the same time empowered to be a better writer on a personal and professional level. One of the largest things I can attribute this growth to is my time in Writing for the Web with Professor Davis. I have never had a professor hold me to such a caliber in my time at the University of Georgia, but because of that I can wholeheartedly say that this class has shaped the way I view my online presence and my potential to contribute to writing for the web in this generation. Through class readings and my own research, I have developed my personal perspective on what it means to write for the web, significant problems facing the web, and how I as a writer want to raise awareness for these issues. So follow along with me as I attempt to explain these things through my personal reflection and of course, various memes.
I first would like to comment on my personal writing style that I have tried to maintain during this class. Before this course, I always thought writing for the web had to be a sort of impersonal, disconnected journalism. So in my earliest blog posts I really focused on only personal matters because I didn’t want to be an impersonal writer. But through the Blog as Literary Genre reading, I learned that a blog can playfully “move between personal diary entry and sophisticated essay with ease”. This was really essential for me as a writer to maintain my personality and vulnerability while discussing major digital issues. I wouldn’t feel as if I was being myself if I didn’t have the space to be funny, sarcastic, deep, and serious all at the same time.
So designing content and writing texts for me at this point means that: being myself. I’ve found a really great balance of breaking up serious blog posts with memes or personal stories in an effort to bridge the gap between information and entertainment. I don’t have a ton of knowledge about web design, but I’ve used my love for photos, the essential skill of hyperlinks, and a casual writing style to still engage with my audience and develop a cohesive presence on the web. This reading from class and this article I found through my own research specifically showed me we should write the way we talk.
Every writer should focus on staying up to date with web issues take advantage of basic website design essentials such as multimedia, hyperlinks, graphic templates, and varied web pages (FAQ, Blog, Homepage, etc).
But at the end of the day, I think what is most important is staying true to yourself with a cohesive style that you maintain, and finding ways to constantly engage your readers. That varies from writer to writer, but I will always be a big proponent of basic multimedia and minimalist design.
Therefore, my own experience as has led me to a blogger that implements humor, memes, sarcasm, minimalist design, personal writing, and serious conversations on my website. It has taken me a while to become comfortable with this style and execution, but I am confident I have made significant progress because of this course.
Okay, okay bear me with me here. I know I am getting wordy, but this stuff is really important! Here’s a 50 second break if you need one:
Throughout my time in this class I have educated on a lot of issues about the web. Some of the major issues with the web that have stuck out to me are privacy, defamation, and digital wellbeing.
Because of readings like Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, privacy has been the major issue I have focused on. I was really troubled by the amount of data collection of users being gathered and marketed by major companies.
Privacy is an issue that I thought would limit my ability to be vulnerable with my audience, but I have simply made the change on my personal website to stop sharing detailed information about myself, and I still a lot of freedom to talk about my life without giving too personal of information. Also, on my About Page I purposefully left it very abstract because I knew how important it was to protect my own privacy. These are some proactive ways I am fighting to implement a reality of privacy in my own writing.
Other issues that I felt really drawn to were defamation and digital wellbeing. I wrote articles on my blog about both of these issues because I feel like they are very applicable to the way my generation interacts with the Internet and social media. I am a big advocate of mental health, so the idea of pushing too far on emotional/mental limits with social media and protecting the reputation of online users was really important for me to address.
The ways that I implement my knowledge about defamation and digital wellbeing are raising awareness for these things through blog posts, setting screen time limits on my personal digital devices, sharing tips and inviting comments/suggestions from my audience about proactive ways to fight for digital wellbeing, and being a positive activist against defamation of others on my personal social media accounts.
To wrap it up, I have learned so much from this course. I feel like my blog honestly speaks for itself about how challenging this process has been for me, but I have persevered and done my best to become a better writer. Thank you for caring about my progress, and stay tuned because who knows– I might have a little more up my sleeve!