Thursday, June 18, 2009

event recap: what you need to know about being a web editor

Thanks to everyone who turned out at the Ed2010 Toronto web editor's panel discussion last night — we had a great turnout. (From right to left) Bryan Borzykowski from, Jen O'Brien from, Jennifer Villamere of, and Sharon Donaldson from and shared how they got into online editing and what's involved in the job. (That's Ed2010 Toronto event manager Ann Brown on the left.)

Here are a few points from our panellists that stood out for me:

• Being a web editor is not the same thing as being a print editor. The type of writing and style of articles are different, and your duties as an editor will be different. Only a fraction of your time will be spent assigning stories and working with writers.

• If you're looking for a job as a web editor, you'd better be into the web. Have Facebook and Twitter accounts, post videos that you've shot and edited to YouTube, write a blog, purchase your own domain and build your own website. If you don't do all that — if you're not spending time online — the person doing the hiring is going to wonder why the hell you want to be a web editor.

• Don't look as web editing as a way into the print side. They are different departments and require different skills.

If you attended, post your comments on what you thought were the most interesting points made by our panellists. And let us know what you thought of the event.


victoria said...


Unfortunately, I missed this meeting and the opportunity to ask this question: As an online writer, do you need HTML skills for search engine optimization?

Working as an online writer, I am aware of the benefits of tag clouds, keyword density, hyperlinks, and social bookmarking to increase an e-zine's circulation (ie. make it more search-friendly).

But do you really need an indepth knowledge of HTML to clean up tags as an online writer?

I mean, is there a line between online writer and web designer?

I'm willing to take a course in SEO and possibly web design. I'm just not willing to spend hard-earned freelance money on something I don't need.

Thank you,

Corinna vanGerwen said...

This question was asked at the talk, and I believe the consensus was that as an editor, you don't need to know html inside and out, but you do need the basics. Knowledge of SEO is key too. For writers, I don't know the answer to that. Anyone else care to chime in?