Creating a New Article on LitWiki

Creating a New Article on LitWiki
Photo by Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

My technical writing class is tasked with creating a LitWiki article named "Technical Writing in the Digital Age". During the writing process, I learned a lot about how to edit source code information. Navigating this aspect of digital writing was new to me. My experience with writing the LitWiki article was good but it came with some caveats. There was no direction on who contributes to which section. When everyone can contribute to everything, it presents a challenge for me. We are all academics, and I did not want to re-do someone else’s work. I was also unsure where to add more content. After reviewing the article, I just chose a section that I felt needed more information and I added to that.

Characteristics of Digital Documentation

I feel my edits to the article were valuable because I wanted to expand on established information. In the Digital Documentation section of the LitWiki article, I added content under Characteristics of Digital Documents. There were a few characteristics listed already but I added the following details from Dr. Lucas’ textbook, Technical Writing in the Digital Age: A Coursebook, from a section on the characteristics of digital documents. When I add more characteristics, it should provide more insight for the reader and further help them identify what digital documents are. The details are as follows:

Electronic Format - Digital documents exist in electronic formats, which means they are stored and transmitted as binary data. This format allows for efficient storage, retrieval, and transmission of information via electronic devices.

Non-Tangible - Unlike paper documents, digital documents lack physical presence. They are intangible and exist as electronic files, residing on devices or in the cloud.

Security Measures - Digital documents can be protected with encryption, passwords, and access controls to safeguard sensitive information. These security measures enhance data protection and privacy.

Environmental Impact - Digital documents have a smaller environmental footprint compared to paper documents, as they reduce the need for paper production, printing, and transportation. 

Dynamic Updates - Online digital documents can be updated dynamically, ensuring that users always have access to the most current information. This is particularly valuable in fast-changing fields.

Global Accessibility - Digital documents can be shared globally, transcending geographical boundaries and time zones. They support international collaboration and the dissemination of knowledge on a global scale.

Data Integration - In business and research settings, digital documents can integrate with databases and data analysis tools. This integration streamlines data collection, analysis, and reporting processes.

Data Analytics - Digital documents can be subjected to data analytics techniques, allowing organizations to extract valuable insights from large volumes of textual data, which can inform decision-making and strategy.

User Perspective of SEO

I also added content to the SEO section re-stating information from The Art of SEO by Eric Enge et al. I felt it pertinent to add why a targeted SEO strategy will benefit the user experience because this factor matters in digital writing. The search engine is a staple for most technology users. A solid SEO strategy will improve an article’s visibility. My contribution is as follows:

Goals of Searching: The User’s Perspective

A user of search engines formulates queries by using keywords or posing questions. One of the most important elements of building an SEO strategy for a website is developing a thorough understanding of the psychology of your target audience, and how they use words and concepts to obtain information about the services and/or products you provide. Once you understand how the average search engine user—and, more specifically, your target audience—utilizes query-based search engines, you can more effectively reach and keep those users.

Final Remarks

Compared to earlier versions of the article, it is now more engaging and is well-documented. I am new to digital writing, so contributing to the LitWiki page has been very enlightening. Editing the source code was difficult to understand. It was a foreign language for me. So, when I was finally successful in adding a bibliography entry and used the shortened footnote, I vocalized my triumph. Writing digitally requires substantial effort to provide well-informed content. Wiki pages that enlighten readers on the multi-facets of technical writing in the digital age will improve public understanding by acquainting them with the terminology and providing digestible expert knowledge. I think these kinds of articles will garner an appreciation for the field.

Jessica Steverson

I am a retired Air Force veteran. I have a bachelor's degree in Sociology and I received my master's in English. I love to read and watch movies. My professional goal is to become a technical writer.
Ludowici, GA