C H A P T E R 1
Why Write for the Web?
When you write for the web, you write for every web-connected device
on the planet. No other digital format is so widely accessible, with the
possible exception of email. But email has nowhere near the expressive
range for content and design that the web does. Web pages written ac-
cording to the proper standards and best techniques are equally acces-
sible on the latest-model smartphone and a 15-year-old computer, and
all imaginable devices in between. The web provides incredible reach
and the promise of equal access, even to people with disabilities.
Whether you are building a website for yourself, or for a business or
organization, there is no more important reason to write for the web
than to build a stable, custom online identity that you control. It is no
secret that many web platforms, including popular social media sites,
exist to make money. If they cease to make money, they cease to exist.
Your identity should not evaporate with them.
It is also no secret that schools and employers search the web for
their applicants’ names as part of their admissions or hiring process.
And yet for many people, the results that show up in Google and other
search engines fail to convey an accurate, well-rounded identity.
Do a Google search for your name right now. Be sure and try varia-
tions on your name, too. If your name is Jennifer, for example, but you
sometimes go by Jenny, search for both along with your last name. You
might even want to search for alternate spellings of your name: in
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