Attention Economy: At 140 characters the price is right
As Joe McCormack the author of Brief observes, our attention spans are shrinking — from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2014. Is it any wonder that most professionals stop reading an email after 30 seconds?
Curious, but out of time: stories for infosnackers
In their 2014 Things to Watch report JWTIntelligence identified the “minute to read it” trend. No longer is it good enough for marketing and media producers to distribute mobile-optimized content. Today they must also demonstrate value in 8 seconds or less, if they want to convince smartphone users to trade that most precious of commodities — time, for information and entertainment.
As a result, more digital publications (such as Huffington Post, Mashable, and Slate) and eReader content (such as Amazon’s Kindle Singles or Byliner Originals) are purpose-built to attract time-poor audiences. In our attention economy, that means explicitly stating the time investment required to consume an article, podcast, or book chapter — up front and down to the minute.
On-the-move: Media and the glance economy
For your smartphone, lunch-break, commute, Starbucks or Timmies queue, here is a shortlist of microcontent, minute-to-read-ready:
Too Long, Read it Later: Web bookmarking
What about all those TL;DR articles? Read-it-later apps Evernote, Instapaper, Feedly, and Pocket help busy content grazers bookmark articles to read sometime, when there is more time. These “DVR-for-the-web” type Internet bookmarking services reassure the most time-starved among us that all the webpages you were too busy to read today will be stored in the cloud, waiting patiently for you to double back and dive in tomorrow.
Of course archived must-read lists of links compete for attention with a daily torrent of fresh microcontent.
So much interestingness, so little time.