Monday, May 11, 2009

Internet writing is important

A recent report on Writing, Teens and Technology found that 83% of parents of teens feel there is a greater need to write well today than there was 20 years ago. Eight six percent of teens ages 12-17 believe good writing is important to success in life -- some 56% describe it as essential and another 30% describe it as important.

Employers confirm the importance of writing on the job. Jason Fried, founder of 37 Signals, a leading software company lists five characteristics he looks for in a prospective employee:

  • have a positive outlook
  • be well rounded and flexible
  • be a quick learner
  • be trustworthy -- will find a solution to a problem
  • be a good writer
Fried considers being a good writer most important, stating "Probably the most important thing and probably one of the surprises is you have to work with people who are good writers."

Joel Spolsky, well known programmer and author on the importance of writing to a software developer is also looking for good writers. He says "Being able to write clearly, to write English clearly is more important to developing useful software than almost anything else and that's something you're more likely to learn in the English department than in the computer science department."

The Fried and Spolsky quotes are from talks they gave. You will find links to the talks here.

3 comments:

Eric Watanabe said...

The internet has made communication through writing very simple and accessible. With so many options such as email, instant messaging, Twitter, Blogs, and social websites like Myspace and Facebook, being able to write clearly is a necessity. To be able to use the internet communication successfully, one must be able to present their thoughts well in writing.

WesternDivision said...

I feel that today, the internet is a main source of communication that rivals phone calls and text messages. Whether people are communicating through e-mail or instant messengers, the way we write online is very important. I use the internet to stay in the know about several of my hobbies and interests such as motorcycle riding as well as hip hop. I am a part of several online forums and am witness to the importance of well-written material. People do not want to read a thread made up of sloppy grammar or misuse of CAPITAL LETTERS THROUGHOUT THE TOPIC. I have noticed that when I read a new post that is in ALL CAPS, I lose interest immediately and tend to skip reading through it, even when I know it may be potentially useful information. For me, capital letters create emphasis and if all the words are capitalized, that emphasis is lost. It is almost as useless as trying to study by highlighting all the words in a chapter or paragraph. Even other forum members will take notice and poke fun at those who misspell words or write as though they are sending a text message to a 1st grader. When ppl talk lyk dis, no one wants to read their thread and it just goes to show how important proper writing is on the internet.

WesternDivision said...

I feel that today, the Internet is a main source of communication that rivals phone calls and text messages. Whether people are communicating through e-mail or instant messengers, the way we write online is very important. I use the Internet to stay in the know about several of my hobbies and interests such as motorcycle riding as well as hip-hop. I am a part of several online forums and am witness to the importance of well-written material. People do not want to read a thread made up of sloppy grammar or misuse of CAPITAL LETTERS THROUGHOUT THE TOPIC. I have noticed that when I read a new post that is in ALL CAPS, I lose interest immediately and tend to skip reading through it, even when I know it may be potentially useful information. For me, capital letters create emphasis and if all the words are capitalized, that emphasis is lost. It is almost as useless as trying to study by highlighting all the words in a chapter or paragraph. Even other forum members will take notice and poke fun at those who misspell words or write as though they are sending a text message to a 1st grader. When ppl talk lyk dis, no one wants to read their thread and it just goes to show how important proper writing is on the Internet.

-Fabian Gonzalez