When it comes to writing for the web, I’ve taken on the mindset of write it and forget it. Unlike writing for print publications, the web provides immediate and permanent feedback in the form of comments.
Just about every online newspaper, content site and blog (of course), allow readers to voice their opinion about what they’ve just read. Personally, unless it’s my own blog, I’m not too interested in reading comments on my work.
Let me see if I can clarify that so it doesn’t sound too harsh. Let’s take eHow for example. eHow allows readers to rate and comment on each article. Early on, I had the comment notification option enabled so I was notified of each and every comment (big mistake).
There were the obligatory “Great article” and “Thanks for sharing.” There were also the occasional (well not so occasional) spam and self promotional comments. Added to the mix, are the trolls that not only hate the articles but they do everything in their power to make their feelings known. Things like one star rating, argumentative posts and the occasional illiterate rant.
For the above reasons, I write it and forget it. If someone really wants to give constructive feedback, ask a question or (ahem) notify me of a typo, they usually find a way to contact me. The internet is overflowing with folks who enjoy tearing people down and I choose not to give them the opportunity to screw up my day.
The Occasional Look Back
Now that I’ve given my philosophy, I was goaded into making a comment. The recent USA Today article sparked a few comments that painted eHow writers as amateurs that are being taken advantage of such “writing mills.” Personally, I wouldn’t have known about any of the comments if it were not for my brother. He took offense when one of the comments referred to me as being an amateur writer.
I thought about leaving it alone, but then I realized that the USA Today article gave a wrong impression. The quote about earning $3,000 for 300 eHow articles is misleading. Folks who don’t understand that eHow earnings are 100% residual will get the impression that I spent my time writing 300 article for $10 each and will not earn more unless I write more. So, in all fairness to the commenters, I felt it necessary to clarify things.
Back to Forgetting It
Now that I’ve done that, I’m back to write it and forget it. You see, at my age, forgetting things is the easy part, it’s remembering that gets to be a little tough.