The main difference I’ve noticed between printed content and online content is that online articles are so much shorter. This actually surprised me. I always figured that you would use the same article you had for print and just adapt it to online, for example by adding multimedia content and more cross headings to break up the text. Something else that surprised me is that you treat the language differently as well; when writing for online you use shorter sentences and simpler words. However it does make sense when I think about it, since people are more easily distracted when reading online.
Web users simply scan content, more than actually read it. Instead of reading the page from top to bottom, they use it as they use social media: scroll quickly and look for something to catch their interest. That is why we need to adapt our content to online: we need to add pictures, break up paragraphs and try to add as many elements as possible that will catch the readers interest while scanning and make them stay and read.
It does leave me with a question: if more and more people get their news from online sources, and journalists adapting their writing to online publishing – will the “traditional” way of writing completely cease to exist?