It feels like it’s been a long time since I wrote in this blog. I’m beginning to catch up with my work–which feels fantastic the week before a chaotic holiday–but it kind of puts me in a time warp as I deal with questions I should have finished a while back. So my sense of time is off, I guess.
As I was grading assignments from a while back that I just finished, I read a whole bunch of responses to my question about how writing changes between social media marketing and traditional marketing. My students did a great job of looking at the big issues of audience analysis and such, but only one mentioned what I was looking for: how a person’s writing changes–the process, the style, the voice or personality exhibited through one’s words.
As a person who teaches writing, I know that what I just called the “big issues” are, indeed, part of a person’s writing. But as I’m finding out, writing for social media like this blog or my students’ forums is somehow different. Maybe for me it’s the shift from research-intensive academic writing to what a friend once called “thought pieces.” Maybe it’s the feeling that social media doesn’t feel polished, though for marketing purposes it really should be. It’s like bringing others into the invention or draft stage of creating, which is a lot less risky in some ways. But this is a blog, which is often more about thinking than about professional production–at least, my blog is.
I do think there is a difference in voice between my blog as I’ve envisioned it and the academic and professional writing I do. There’s a layer of formality that comes off, and a layer of, er, writerishness that comes on. It’s a difference in tone and a much greater consciousness of how I’m using the tools of language: rhythm, word choice, sentence length, imagery. I find myself wishing I didn’t have to look up what asyndeton is, even when I think I just did it.
If I were a marketer contributing to an organizational voice, what would I do differently with my writing style? Readers, if you do social media marketing for all or part of your living, what do you do differently in the act of writing for these media?