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.
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