Whether you're writing a telegram, sonnet, or malicious comment, the style changes to fit the form. So how has the Internet--where length is unconstrained by column width but is radically clipped by attention spans--changed writing? Kevin Kelleher of GigaOm considers the conflicting pressures of online writing, and concludes that it's made writing "more concise" and more flexible:

Instant messaging invited a breezy, fast-thinking tone; blog comments (again, the thoughtful ones) sharpened our debate skills; Twitter enforced even more economy onto our words. In all of these, we were nudged toward something all writers aspire to: a strong, distinct voice.
Has the Web helped sharpen writing?