Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How Web is different from print

Text type is different for the web ...

"Of all the things that make the Web different from print, linking is the most important.

Are we tool-making animals or are we animals made by tools? It's an old question. How much did the quill shape our minds and worlds? We invented the printing press which then invented a new society, a new way of thinking.

"Scribal culture could not sustain the patenting of inventions or the copyrighting of literary compositions," Elizabeth Eisenstein writes in her book, The Printing Revolution In Early Modern Europe. "It worked against the concept of intellectual property rights. It did not lend itself to preserving traces of personal idiosyncrasies, to the public airing of private thoughts, or to any of the forms of private publicity that have shaped consciousness of self during the past five centuries."

And what of the Web? We invented the Web. How is the Web re-inventing us? What makes the Web different from print?

We need to carefully answer this last question because otherwise we are in danger of approaching the Web with our print-thinking and print-techniques. We are in danger of saying: 'This is what quality writing is,' when really what we are saying is: 'This is what quality print writing is.'

Here are some of the ways the Web is different from print:
The Web is about links
The Web is about tasks
The Web is about finding
The Web is about permanence
The Web is a process
The Web is about the customer"    (Continued via Gerry McGovern, Usability News)    [Usability Resources]

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