Saturday, September 20, 2008

Reading and Writing on the Web

Online Literacy Is a Lesser Kind
Slow reading counterbalances Web skimming

Yes, absolutely. I find myself reading the same material that appears in print and on a Web site completely differently. The Web stuff is a race, with concentration on the content less thorough than on paper. This report would seem to simultaneously argue against complex but rich headlines, nothing new, and for using print materials if you really want to learn something or you simply enjoy the act of reading.

From this report:
...In the eye-tracking test, only one in six subjects read Web pages linearly, sentence by sentence. The rest jumped around chasing keywords, bullet points, visuals, and color and typeface variations. In another experiment on how people read e-newsletters, informational e-mail messages, and news feeds, Nielsen exclaimed, "'Reading' is not even the right word." The subjects usually read only the first two words in headlines, and they ignored the introductory sections. They wanted the "nut" and nothing else. ...

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