Thursday, September 11, 2003

In praise of text

The MTV generation was a society of sound-bite/video-bite junkies, who couldn't focus for more than 15 seconds on anything without needing a distraction. A visual image wouldn't keep our attention unless it moved dramatically, constantly. Contrast the jump-cut editing of music videos or advertising with the style of Igmar Bergman.

Still with me?

Now the Internet generation is a society of text-bite junkies. Text is making a come-back. Instant messaging, SMS, chat-room style communication, ticker-style news highlights on TV. All text. If u hve smthg 2 say, it takes 2 long to create a pic. It takes too long to download an animation.

I see it in e-learning. The "rich media" stuff of a couple of years ago is often simply irritating to learners online. Why wait 5 seconds for 10 seconds of gratification, when an instant burst of well-crafted text lets you move on at Web speed. Give e-learners the option of turning off streaming media and animation, and the majority seems to opt for speed over decor.

People online are intensely conscious of time. Oh, I seem to have lost you already..........

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