June 13th, 2005 by Bob Bly
My theory is that the Internet has and will continue to diminish the importance of writing skills and the quality of writing over time.
The reason: Pre-Internet, documents were printed, with considerable expense invested in the design and reproduction.
Therefore, publishers and other content producers would take pains to ?get it right.?
After all, once the piece was printed, correcting a typo, grammatical error, or awkward sentence meant going back to press ? again at considerable expense.
In the Internet era, documents are increasingly electronic files posted on a Web site.
Making corrections is easy, and in fact a whole new category of software ? content management systems (CMS) ? has evolved to manage these changes.
Now that content producers realize mistakes are quick, easy, and inexpensive to correct, they are not as concerned with getting it right the first time.
As a result, they are not as particular about the quality of the writing, editing, and even thinking their organizations publish.
So it seems to me that, if anything, writing skills are less important in an age of technology, rather than more important.
Also, the Internet has sped up the pace of business and society.
Therefore, the primary attribute valued today in writing — or any other product or service — is speed, an attribute to which quality often takes a back seat.
Do you agree?
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