diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 15, 2011

This is how news used to be.

Newspaper pages, TV news broadcasts, blog posts.
Headline first, everything else to follow.
One story after the other, in sequence.
Simple, linear presentation.
This is how news used to be.

This is the way news is going.

Newspaper websites, mobile news apps, web magazines.
Index first, everything else hidden.
Top-level summaries to click on, work your way down.
Complex, branching presentation.
This is the way news is going.

I'm not sure I like the way news is going.
I ought to enjoy the choice, because choice should be good.
I ought to enjoy the freedom to explore the news my way.
But, it turns out, selective viewing isn't always what I want.

Because clicking down is inefficient.
Clicking down needs extra work to find things.
Clicking down means loading, waiting, loading, waiting.
Clicking down means I miss things, because I get bored clicking.

Linear allows a broad overview, scanning everything.
But branching encourages selective viewing, a blinkered diet.
I don't like tiny chunks, because they restrict my intake.
I want to remain fully informed, and branching makes that inefficient.

The future of news presentation is small-screen friendly.
Snippets on your mobile, paragraphs on your tablet, curate-it-youself.
Forget aggregated content, forget depth, forget balanced coverage.
The future of news is what you want to read, not what you ought to read.

Complex branching is the way information is going.
But simply linear is how this blog is staying.

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