Naomi Baron’s Words Onscreen The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, gives a fascinating look at the way we read online vs. on paper.
She takes us through time, giving us instances from every era where an audience desired and received a shortened version of content, such as abridgments and anthologies.
I’ve always assumed, from what the internet and others tell me, that our ever-shrinking attention span is due to the recent takeover of the internet and mobile phones/technology.
Realizing that shortened reading material has always been something readers crave, has somewhat changed my purview on the issue.
Naomi states that as of January 2013, the average time spent viewing a webpage in the US was 1 minute and 12 seconds. And that an earlier study found that nearly 50% of viewers visited a page for less than 12 seconds.
This information is critical for today’s marketers. It means we need to get our message across clearly, provide our readers with the information they’re seeking, and entice them into reading more, all in the first 12 seconds of their visit.
This is no small task and this year we’ll be exploring the many ways we, as marketing artists, can develop our skills to the high standards set before us.