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Webzine Articles

A good Webzine article deliberately provokes questions and discussion, raises the reader's temperature, connects to sites around the world, and ends in an exclamation point because a webzine is different from a paper magazine. Compared to paper magazines:

  • Webzines act faster. Users expect comment on current events within 12-24 hours. Editors respond by return e-mail. Readers post questions and discussion points within minutes of publication.

  • The lag time between delivery of a piece and publication is a lot less, averaging about a week or two, compared with two to six months.

  • Every chunk is shorter: paragraphs, sentences, headings.

  • The pieces are shorter, overall: 250 words is a respectable length for an article, 500-750 words are stretching it, and 1,000 words or more will only fly if broken up into shorter sections. Very few articles run the length of a Harper's piece—2,500 to 3,000 words.

  • Instead of sidebars, you have links to related resources.

  • As the writer, you are now responsible for creating or finding audio clips to supplement the piece. (Sometimes you also have to locate video.)

  • As the writer, you are responsible for finding, capturing, and editing art.

  • You must develop even more of a personal voice than you might use on paper.

  • You are paid to provoke discussion. Your article is a cue to readers to send in their thoughts, which are what they really like reading. You launch a conversation, rather than capping it.

  • And yes, you have to do a little HTML. But most sites provide templates you have to follow, so you rarely have to write any complex code.



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