jump to navigation

A Writing Renaissance January 7, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Essays, Trends.

The Web has started a text revolution. Never before have so many people read and written so much. Fifteen years ago, who would have thought millions of young people would be happily writing shorthand (texting), and that millions more would have taken up diary writing (blogging)?

The Web is a basic thing, founded on simple, shared standards. And 15 years of the Web is about 15 years of an explosion of text. The written word has never before played such a crucial role in how we live, work and play. The Web is evolving, sure, but its foundation stone is the written word.

Gerry McGovern, New Thinking

Video arrived on the Web with the YouTube phenomenon. But remember, you navigate around YouTube with words. You search YouTube with words. You select video to watch by reading a description.

Google is an essential part of web life. And how does Google make its money? With text ads. Advertisers have made billions for Google by buying 15 words of text. They create hundreds of variations of their 15-word Google ads, searching for the optimal combination with maximum impact.

Short bursts of text is the new management style. Busy executives navigate around their worlds, with one eye on what’s ahead and one eye on their Blackberries. They’re reading emails and thumbing replies.

Organizations have never produced so much content. The big story is not the growth of organization content but the Big Bang of customer content. Customers, citizens, juniors and seniors, have all found their voice on the Web-and they love it.

The Web is a vast laboratory of words. It is changing how we write and read and the words that we use. It is also changing our ability to understand language, and the impact that various words have.

Take the word, “satnav.” It means satellite navigation. According to Google Trends, satnav only began to be used as a word in late 2004, but from then on has shown rapid growth. The use of satnav was not driven by a major advertising campaign, or regular usage in the media.

Satnav just happened. People first looked at the words “satellite navigation,” and decided those words took too long to type. They started using “sat nav” instead. And then those two shortened words came together to make “satnav.”

In 2007, we witness the basic word at the height of its power.


1. Doing The Write Thing « Thing Shed - June 24, 2008

[…] joined the writing renaissance. I am a writer by virtue of one action: I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: