CNET Builder.com - Web Business - Why Web Content Is Different - 9/10/99
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 CNET : Web Building : E-business : The Big Picture
 
Fredric Paul: The Big Picture Fredric Paul: The Big Picture
 
Why Web Content Is Different
(9/10/99)

In many ways, the Web is similar to other media, from newspapers and magazines to TV and even direct-mail advertising. In other ways, of course, the Web is unique. The trick, as usual, is figuring out which is which.

As a technology-magazine veteran who stopped killing trees almost four years ago, I have some expertise on both sides of this issue. I spent years learning how to create compelling magazine content, and then I spent more years learning that everything I knew about content didn't necessarily hold true online.

To be successful online, content developers have to take advantage of the Web's special strengths and do what they can to minimize the Web's still-very-real weaknesses. Ignoring the realities of the medium is a Web builder's recipe for sure disaster. I know; I've done it.

Of course, there's always an exception if your content is good enough. If the topic is intriguing enough and if the writing is compelling enough, sometimes you can get away with not paying attention to doing it the Web Way. I've done that, too.

Just don't bank on everyone else thinking your stuff is as awesome as you think it is. I've made that mistake, as well. Smart Web builders will hedge their bets by making the Web work with your content, not against it.

So, how is the Web different?

Fredric Paul is a contributing editor to CNET Builder.com and editorial director of AllBusiness.com, which provides solutions for growing businesses.

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More Resources
Content Is No Longer King
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How People Read on the Web
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