Are you active or are you passive?
Unless you've done very little writing for print, you're going to bring all kinds of habits from the print medium. That's fine; much of what goes on your site will end up on paper anyway, and the basics of good writing are the same in any medium.
So, Kilian spends the majority of chapter 4 giving his readers a grammar and usage lesson. I'm not going to pretend to be interested in this chapter, because I really wasn't. He made me feel like I was back in my junior year of high school all over again, slaving over active voice.
I hate passive voice just as much as Kilian does. After being a copy editor and writing assistant for a year, passive voice seems to jump out at me on a page, and I hate it (my old teacher hated the words "it" and "thing" too....I still cringe when I use them). Passive voice bores readers, so no wonder Kilian ridicules the use of PV so much. I would too.
However, as much as I dislike passive voice, I won't claim that all passive voice is avoidable as most English teachers enforce. Sometimes, active voice makes a sentence seem awkward. What a dilemma. Passive voice or awkwardness? I opt for the former. Readers will still follow passive voice, but they might get confused if sentences seem to awkward.
Along with passive voice, Kilian reminds his readers to avoid quite a few other bad writing habits, including cliches and lack of sentence variety. As I said before, I feel like he's just trying to teach a brief lesson in English writing, but I guess these notations are important for those who didn't have such an intense AP English teacher as I did back in the day. Anyway, I agree with all of his points; I just feel like since I'm reading about writing for the web, I should be learning new material, rather than material that I've been studying since my freshman year of high school if not earlier than that.
So what do my classmates think?