Nearly two years ago, my boss suggested that I turn myself into a story. I was halfway through a grueling round of experimental treatment for hepatitis C, a potentially fatal liver disease I contracted as an infant. My experience had all the trappings of compelling journalism.
Not long ago, a controversial story might result in a few phone calls or letters to the editor. Now readers send in angry comments by the dozens with just a click-and that has some popular U.S. news sites changing the rules.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: Write and edit with online readers' needs and habits in mind. Web usability studies show that readers tend to skim over sites rather than read them intently. They also tend to be more proactive than print readers or TV viewers, hunting for information rather than passively taking in what you present to them.
Jonathan Dube, CyberJournalist.net | August 13, 2008