Monday, September 25, 2006

Incessant chatter



Blather is blather whether you talk it or write it. I try not to engage in it. I prefer these Blizkrieg-like posts where I get you in and send you packing in under two minutes. If a post requires most people to scroll past one screen, I've pretty much lost them.

Unfortunately that is the way I am when I read things on the Web. Put it on a printed page and I can read Moby Dick (but not necessarily like or understand it). Put it on a computer screen and my attention span becomes gnatlike and I become a good candidate for ritalin.

Putting images in your online text helps. Make them animated and I will stare at them like my beloved lava lamp and ooh and ahhh like I'm watching Fourth of July fireworks. But make me scroll and read long blocks of text that aren't even broken into bite sized paragraphs and I'll soon be tapdancing like a chicken on a hotplate.

It's not that I don't appreciate well-written prose or profound insights into life. I'm just like the millions of other attention deficit time-impaired people who need to multi-task while they skateboard down that information highway. Most of the time I'm also watching television or reading something else while I'm surfing the Web. Give me a fast lane, not a detour with speed bumps. Say what you want to say, don't get too poetical and keep it within one or two screen scrolls.

It's a new medium we are creating out here. Call it junk journalism or minute essays, but if you want to get your message across, do it quickly and concisely. Make it interesting. Make it shocking. But don't make it drone on forever.

None of us are getting any younger.

5 comments:

The Michael said...

Damn, I just suffered the worst case of carpel-scroll syndrome just getting thru this post! Why'd you take so long to make the point? My whole life passed before my eyes before I got to the punch line! And that pic....my god.....I had to read the post several times, it was freaking me out so much! How am I going to enjoy your genious with all these distractions? And another thing.......oh....wait....never mind......I'm reaching scroll territory, so I have to stop now. Maybe I can finish this comment up on a three page post with pic

Lights in the wake said...

I used to know a guy who was getting younger. At least he said he was. It always sounded fishy to me, but I didn't want to get into an argument about it. I mean, how do you prove someone isn't getting any younger short of sitting around for a couple years and watching them get wrinkly? Who has time for that? Besides, maybe he was right.

Anyway, good points. I'd hate to have to read the sites you visited just before you wrote that.

kristy said...

None of us IS getting any younger.

Free grammar advice.
It's a service.
You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Lights, is Frank the guy who claims to be getting younger? That guy creeps me out. I tell ya, he's gonna come into our office with a shotgun one of these days. Mark my words.

Tim, I totally get ya. I will read a post that passes the length limit as long as it is interesting. But... interesting or not, I just can't tolerate one long paragraph. Spelling and grammar mistakes don't bother me much either... cos I tend to have them myself. But... paragraphs? I need paragraphs!

Tim ID said...

michael, only god can make a tree.

Lights, this post wasn't really aimed at any site. I just liked the photo and it seemed to fit the topic.

Kristy, You are right. You are getting older.

Shandi, Don't even get me started on paragraph length. First thing they taught us in Journalism school was break up the text with smaller paragraphs.