Words on a weblog live a very different life than those born to the printed page.
My weblog and I have a voice that is different than if I wrote a daily tech column for the local paper. Sure, my writing style would be the same, but my voice would be interpreted differently by my readers. When my words show up on this website my voice as a writer is influenced by more factors than just the words used.
Words printed onto a physical page are tactile. They can be held, dog-eared, and stuffed into your jacket pocket or backpack. But they are always on that piece of paper.
Whereas the words published onto a weblog are dynamic and living in a way all their own. There is always stuff moving and shifting around those words. Today there will be a different advertisement sitting next to them than there was yesterday. Tomorrow there will be a new post hanging out above them. Sometimes they’ll be read on a large display and sometimes on a cell phone.
Print is physical and tactile; digital is dynamic and moving. It’s one of the juxtapositions of publishing.
It’s fascinating how websites are, in their own way, living and breathing things. They’re dynamic, with a life and personality all their own. And this is why, on a website, it is more than just the text that contributes to the voice of the writer. There is also the structure of the articles and link posts; the topics written about; the items linked to; and even the author’s sense of entitlement to their work. All of these things add up to form the whole of what is a distinct and unique voice.
And so when you consider your design, consider also your voice. When you consider the structure of your links and articles, consider also your voice. When you consider your topics, consider also your voice. Let the design and the structure and the dynamics of your website underpin the words and style of your writing. Because all of it adds up to form the voice of you and your weblog.
If anything on your website is important then everything is.