Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
February 4, 2010 9:49 PM

Just Grazing

Many people felt that the advent of television was going to kill everyone's attention span. Many feel the same way about the Internet.

Just today, the same question/mantra came out in a meeting: "when do people have the time to go through all of this content online?" It's a fair question, but it's a bit of a non-issue. The reality is that most individuals are perfectly amazing at editing and aggregating their content intake. It's not a question of how many Blogs any one individual reads, follows and comments on, it's about what they retain. Some individuals can read one piece of content and retain nothing, while others can sift through hundreds of Blogs and retain almost all of that content. Beyond that, we're all perfectly capable of making the time for the things that are important to us.

Then, there are the grazers.

It's also probable that the majority of people online no longer spend a lot of time diving deep into one, specific piece of content, and that in a world where a 140 characters published millions of time every single day is real content, and our media inputs are everything from SMS text messages and emails to YouTube videos and Facebook status updates, we're becoming less about consuming every bit and bite and more about grazing lots of content, everywhere and always.

It's probably one of the main reasons that this Blog is not more popular.

Some of my Blogger peers have commented that my Blog needs more lists, shorter posts, pictures, punchier Blog post titles and more. Why? Because most people won't take the time to read 400-600 words of pure text content every single day any more. They just want to graze. They want to peruse, glance, speed read, etc... Proof of this was further validated today in the news item from CBC titled, Blogging falls out of favour with young people: "The proportion of U.S. teen and young adult internet users who blog regularly has plummeted to about 14 per cent from 28 per cent in 2006, according to a survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center." What's really happening is that there are more choices and quicker/easier options. For young people (and the older ones too), it's much easier to update your Facebook status or tweet than it is to formulate a Blog post and get it published.

Is your content primed for the grazers?

Because whether we like it or not, that's exactly what the majority of online content consumers are doing. With so many choices, platforms and options, they're changing their own consuming habits to adapt to the vastness of this content.

It's something to think about... So, what do you think?

By Mitch Joel


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