Charting a New Way of Writing for the Web

As we’ve been talking about, writing for the Web involves writing concisely, yet very conversationally. What if that conciseness is taken to the next level? What if information is posted in very digestable, visually driven pieces? For example, look at charticles. Journalists talk a lot about telling stories–what, if anything, is lost if information is expressed through charticles instead of narrative? Read this article on charticles and see what you think. Post at least one comment here and another comment based on one of your classmates’ comments.

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About Nancy Kaplan-Biegel

I am the journalism program coordinator at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA, as well as the adviser to The Skyline View.

7 thoughts on “Charting a New Way of Writing for the Web

  1. I can see the usefulness of charticles, but narratives should not be overlooked. In a charticle, like they say in the article about them, there is little room for emotion or story-building. A traditional news story still has relevance I think, even in today’s world of busy readers who usually prefer to see things at a glance.

  2. I see your point Blair, but I think as long as a charticle is used wisely, it can have a better impact for particular stories than a traditional article. That’s not to say I’m a big fan of charticles, but the reality is that a wall of text is no longer the best way to tell a story, especially if you want to engage the reader.

  3. I think charticles definitely have an appeal and I have no qualms about using them strategically to attract more readers. However, the traditionalist in me feels like it leads to lower quality reporting and writing. And while I do buy the argument that you need a better writer (in some ways) to write the charticle, I feel like the writer ends up being very constrained by the editorial direction. It’s almost as if it’s best for the editor involved to do the writing of the charticle they assigned.

    • I might make the argument you don’t necessarily have to be a better writer, just a different kind of writer to write a charticle. It’s a totally different style than one would find in a newspaper.

    • Yes, indeed, Helen–practice what you preach! But in this case, I was posting from my phone and even with my WordPress app (yup!), I could not hyperlink. I’ll likely go back and do it from my computer to pretty it up!

  4. Charticles are more concise, so it is likely that a whole story cannot be summed up with a picture and a few concisely written words. I’m a big fan of easily digestible information, but I feel that overusing charticles will overlook the value and construction of words to convey a story.

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