Writing Style for Print vs. Web
I've spent many columns explicating the differences between the Web and television, which can be summarized as lean-forward vs. lean-back:
- On the Web, users are engaged and want to go places and get things done. The Web is an active medium.
- While watching TV, viewers want to be entertained. They are in relaxation mode and vegging out; they don't want to make choices. TV is a passive medium.
This doesn't mean that you can't have entertaining websites or informative TV shows. But it does mean that the two media's contrasting styles require different approaches to entertainment and education.
The differences between print and the Web may not seem as strong, but to achieve optimal results, each requires a distinct content style.