India Uncut

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Blogs and short attention spans

In my essay about short attention spans, I'd written at one point: "One of the reasons that blogs are gaining in popularity along the world, in fact, is that they cater to the short attention span: the most popular typically have brief, pithy posts that efficiently encapsulate the subject they’re on about."

Well, reader Rajeev Sivaram writes in to give me a contrary point of view. He writes:
With regard to blogs in this context, somewhat ironically perhaps, at least from my perspective, I've found them causing in me the opposite phenomenon. Thanks to the pithy observations of bloggers such as yourself, I think I'm ending up reading a lot more interesting articles and essays in their entirety now than I would have if I depended exclusively on type gateways (which I used to rely almost exclusively on before). Machine extraction of article headlines falls way short of human precis in the information conveyed, and like a good blurb, that information in blogs serves to cause more reading from me than less. Not only that, with blogs I can now read good writers write in depth without the external editor-enforced brevity.
Good point. In a way, in fact, it reinforces my point about blogs being ideal for people with short attention spans, or not much time to spare. If you like to read a lot, but don't have the time or the patience to scour through the web for articles of interest every day, it is useful to find a blogger whose taste is similar to yours, and who'll pick out the best stuff for you, and that too for free. I began reading a lot more on the net after I discovered Instapundit, and blogs like Marginal Revolution and the outstanding Cafe Hayek have also, in indirect ways, expanded my reading. So go find your blogger, and let him serve you. Or become a blogger yourself.
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