What types of online writing are there?

From LitWiki

Online writing is a type of writing that is written and viewed on a computer, tablet, or a smart phone. Writing for digital media transforms traditional writing by adopting characteristics associated with oral communication. Integral elements of online writing are connectivity, fluidity, interactivity, and value.[1]

Online writing is a unique form of writing which emphasizes interaction. Online media is not "static". This creates a unique experience to the user that differs from analog media.[2]

Types of Online Writing

There are various types of online writing that are used. Some of these types of online writing include:

  • Blogging
  • Publishing
  • Social Media and Microblogging
  • Wikis


Blogging is a type of online writing that either informs, or shares opinions. There are countless types of blogs ranging across options such as personal or informational.[3] Personal blogging can consist of writing about one's life or experiences. Informational Blogging allows people to receive unbiased information. Both Personal and information blogs can be used for "how to's". Being creative and innovative with your blog is important, as it is how a blog keeps current readers and entices new ones. Anybody is capable of blogging as long as they have Internet, and a device that can access a blogging platform.

Personal Blogging

Personal blogging is creating a weblog that is an ongoing commentary or diary written by an individual.[4] This type of blogging allows you to write about any topic you want to write about. Personal blogging is not limited, but it's a wide variety to the public. By using this kind of blog, you can choose your own style for your blog. People use personal blogs for online writing because they can communicate and relay their knowledge to the public. Some use personal blogging to see if they are comfortable with other types of blogging.[5]

Informational Blogging

Informational blogging is similar to personal blogging, although the primary purpose is to inform. Personal blogs tend to be biased, while informational blogging is used to relay an unbiased message. Many users who create informational blogs tend to focus on things such "how-to's", current news, and tech updates. In informational blogging, remaining professional and unbiased is crucial as you are trying to deliver straight facts. Citing trustable sources is a good way of doing this. [6]


Publishing refers to the act of making information available to the public. In regards to online writing, this would mean that information is published to an online source, such as a website or electronic publication. [7] When writing is published online it is referred to as electronic publishing, or e-publishing, in which information is published to an online source, such as an email rather than in a traditional print source. Information can also be published to a compact disc, or made available to an electronic reader, such as a Kindle. There are advantages and disadvantages to e-publishing. One advantage is that there is a faster turnaround time for writing to be published than with traditional printed works. While royalties tend to be higher when published electronically, a disadvantage is that electronically published works don't typically sell as many copies as traditional paper books.[8]

Social Media and Microblogging

There are various forms of online writing with social media and microblogging. Some of these include Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Social Media

Social media, as defined by Oxford dictionary, is "websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking." [9] Facebook and Twitter are two prime examples of social media. While both of these websites are perfect examples of social media, there are social media networks geared specifically towards writers such as Writers Network, Goodreads, and Writertopia. [10]

Facebook is an online forum referred to as a social media site which allows members to create pages about themselves such as their hobbies, interests, education and job information to share with other members of Facebook. It allows members to create a friends list of other members of Facebook as well as create a page dedicated to a particular event to invite their friends to. Users can also get on someone else's friend list and access information about people on their own friends list. It is an effective way to share thoughts, exciting events and stories with other members of the Facebook community.


Microblogging is a form of social media where posts are extremely short. Currently, the most popular microblogging platform is Twitter, although there are other options available such as Tumblr and Plurk. Some consider microblogging random "short bursts of text". However, it is better to think of it as a group of short conversations. Users are able to converse back and forth with one another, as well as grouping content by the use of hashtags.[11]


Wiki sites are web applications whose content is collaboratively added, deleted, updated, modified, and organized by its users.[12] Wikis promote a democratic use of the Web, encompass general knowledge, and produce a shared knowledge base. Wikis provide any user with access to the Internet an opportunity of author and editor privileges.[13] While wiki sites are established collaboratively by a community of users, no content is owned by the authors. Wiki writings have an objective style and use an impersonal, formal, and dispassionate tone.[14] One of the most commonly visited wiki pages is the encyclopedia project Wikipedia, but there are multiple sites running different types of wiki software. [15] Wikis support hyperlinks and have simple text syntax for producing new pages and crosslinks between internal pages.[16]


  1. Ferris, Sharmilla Pixy "Writing Electronically: The Effects of Computers on Traditional Writing." Journal of Electronic Publishing 8.1 (2002): 1. Journal of Electronic Publishing.Web. 9 July 2013.
  2. Carroll, Brian. Writing for digital media. New York, NY: Routledge, 2010. Print.
  3. http://www.newsbyblog.com/types-blogs-comprehensive-overview.html
  4. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2013/04/19/personal-blogs-tell-your-story/
  5. MacKenzie, Jacqui "Why Writers Should Have a Personal Blog." Social Media Today" (2012): Social Media Today. Web. 2013.
  6. http://www.johnchow.com/how-to-write-an-informative-blog-post-easily/
  7. What is publishing?, The National Archives, Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  8. What is E-Publishing?, Wise Geek, Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  9. Oxford Dictionary.
  10. Allen Taylor, 5 Social Networks for Writers, November 29, 2012, Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  11. Justin Herman, Microblogging, April 18, 2013, Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  12. "Easy Wiki Hosting, Scott Hanselman's blog, and Snagging Screens" Online. April 15, 2014.
  13. , "7 Things you Should Know About Wikis" Online. April 22, 2014.
  14. "Writing on a Wiki" Online. April 18, 2014.
  15. "Top Ten Wiki Engines" Online. April 18, 2014.
  16. , "What is Wiki?" Online. April 15, 2014.