Revising the Web

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Overall, I thought Crawford Kilian's Writing for the Web 3.0 was very helpful.  I am a novice web writer but fairly experienced in writing traditional print documents (as a student), so I liked how Kilian spoke of Web text in relation to traditional text; the comparisons, contrasts and examples used from this point of view were helpful.

The introduction and first few chapters of the book were the ones that impacted me the most; the information in chapter one and chapter two was the most vital to me as someone who knew next to nothing about web design.  From my student perspective, the chapters on blogging and online portfolios were also very helpful; they pertained probably the most directly to my life.  And as society moves more toward the social networking online communication and the role they can play and the influence they can have in the corporate world, it could be helpful to elaborate on such points in a later edition of the text.

Some of the other areas of the book, however, didn't hold my attention so well.  As the book moved into its middle chapters it became increasingly dry and slightly tedious to read, particularly, chapter four and chapter five, on writing web text and editing web text, respectively.  The extent to which Kilian discussed style guidelines and grammar points seemed to be overkill for writers or students who've learned these rules before.  They are important subjects to understand however, so I would suggest either cutting some of the information out and referencing another text or source to consult if readers had more questions or finding a more engaging way to review these points.

As someone who is planning on doing more writing than designing (if any at all) in her career as a communication professional, I found myself a little lost at how to put the skills of Web 3.0 in the context of a role I might be playing in the future.  This book speaks as if whoever is writing the text is also designing the web site for it, but I don't think that is what I'll be doing.  The final question in the FAQ section, which is about how web writers and graphic designers can work together, deals a little with this situation, but it would be even more helpful for people in my situation, I think, If this context was brought up is passing throughout the rest of the text.  It wouldn't have to be something detailed or even dedicated to its own section, just a few sentences on "What if you're not writing and designing..."  For example, I've read the text and understand the basic design principles for effective web writing and web communication, now how do I use that information if I'm not in a position to actually change any of the design elements?

I realize the primary audience for this book is those who are doing just that, designing and writing, so it makes sense that the book does not discuss other situations at great length.  And again, the book as a whole was extremely useful for an inexperienced web writer, and its tips and principles will provide a sound base for further web writing education.


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