There is a debate of sorts going on right now in the writing community. This debate has to do with the great divide between print writing and Internet writing. The Internet has affected the writing community in ways that, just 20 years ago, could not have been foretold. Specifically, the Internet has affected the writing community in the areas of publishing, marketing and even style.
In terms of publishing, there is a significant difference between work published on the Internet and work published through traditional print publishers. Work published in a print magazine, for example, goes through a longer process before it every sees the light of day. The work has to be written, submitted, approved, edited, revised, and then sent to the printer on a weekly or monthly schedule. It can be months between the time something is written and the time it is published. Internet writing, on the other hand, can be written and published immediately. The Internet has affected the writing community in that it provides real-time publishing opportunities.
The Internet has affected the way that writing is marketed. Today, a writer can promote his or her work via a web page or an email campaign. A writer can also create an online portfolio, so as to avoid the need to keep track, make copies and organize various clips of published work. The Internet allows writers to interact with one another and with publishers via message boards, email and blogs. Writing is marketed in a very different way today than it was before the Internet.
Finally, the Internet has affected writing style. Writing on the Internet tends, by its nature, to be less formal. Internet writing tends to use a casual voice, especially on blogs and other sorts of personal web sites. In some cases, this has caused writers to become lax about grammar, formatting and punctuation. This is especially troublesome when you consider that the editing function may or may not be in the hands of that same writer. This is the area in which the writing community needs to stand firm and be diligent, promoting quality writing standards.
This debate between print writing and Internet writing is, in some ways, a microcosm of a larger debate. Many older published writers shy away from the Internet, either believing it to be beneath them or believing it to be a threat. Many new writers avoid print publications altogether, thereby missing a potential audience. This great divide will one day resolve, but for now it is still a part of the writing community.