New to the Series? Start with Part One
Blogosphere: A series
Part Forty-Three: How to Put Your Readers to Sleep
Why should we worry about boring our readers? We write, they read. Isn’t that the way it should be?
Erm… yeah. Just don’t count on it. See, the world has changed, and it happened when you weren’t watching.
Look around. LISTEN around. What do you see and hear? Short, concise messages everywhere. From TV to Magazines, from Radio to the Internet, short, and concise. Actually, you’ll also see and hear short messages which are not concise. And so it goes.
Why? Because, like it or not, we have all fallen prey to a sort of Adult ADD/ADHD. No, it’s not a joke. This is just how the world looks, thinks, acts and feels these days. Most of it—the parts hooked up to the Internet, the parts plugged into 3G networks, the part with its nose glued to the TV screen—anyway. We need our information in sound bytes, we want everything now, and if we don’t get it quickly we grow fuzzy with boredom and our automated sound-byte hungry brains go off to another topic.
Yes, we force bring our minds in line. We can read whole novels, or stories with long sentences and paragraphs. But, for the most part, I think, we will go for the short bursts if information first. It fits our lifestyles, the way we think.
There are of course people who will claim to be free of it, people who aren’t addicted to web browsing, but for the most part they won’t be reading this post. We are anxious, impatient, and demanding. We are also confused, easily distracted, and out of touch with our own heritage.
Even if this doesn’t describe you—but I’m betting it does to some degree—we must accept that most of the rest of the linked in, hooked up, on-line world has fallen prey.
We can rail against it, fists clenched, or we can recognize that a new way to communicate is upon us, and learn how to make use of short passages to capture and hold (if that is the word) our readers.
What does this mean for a Blogger? It depends upon your audience. If you are writing to a limited, specialized audience you may be able to do long, drawn-out posts, but if you want to reach a wider group, take note of how they read and interact.
Does this mean you cannot write something long and complex pieces and have them assimilated by the average reader? Not at all. Just break it down into pieces of 200 to 400 words, and make a series out of it. Do this and you’ll hold your reader, and get your whole message across.
By the way, this piece is about 491 words long. Sorry.