Greg Sterling over at his Screenwerk blog recently posted an entry entitled “Is Crap the Future of Online Content?“
I’m not a big fan of sloppy grammar and punctuation, bloated writing, or “junk” blog content targeting search engines.
But now that publishing is inexpensive, it isn’t controlled by a limited number of publishers (newspapers, magazines, broadcasters). Barriers to entry are lower and competition higher. We are closer than ever to experiencing a free and competitive market for writing, including both “reporting” and “editorial” content.
And while professional journalists may have been better writers on the whole, besides being relatively few in number they were largely bound by their publishers’ economic and political agendas, and their biases and lapses (as occasionally must arise) were largely hidden from our view under a veneer of ‘neutrality’ or authority.
If it’s true that an open market for writing now exists, then we might conclude that grammar and style aren’t as important to us readers as search engine optimization, “viral” taglines/ graphics, and distinct topical niches curated by energetic subject matter experts, a.k.a. bloggers — at least for now.