A Quick Read

I’m going to be brief, since most of this won’t be read anyway.

I’m betting that most people will probably skip right over this part to check out the list at the bottom.

Steve Jobs says this is because people simply don’t read anymore. While there may be a grain of truth to that, the success of e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle prove that people still read, and the market is stronger than Jobs anticipated.

The real reason that this won’t be read is because it is being published on the Web. Web readers don’t want prose, they want easy-to-scan text. They want the information quickly and easily digestible.

Part of it comes down to the fact that a screen can be physically difficult to read in comparison to the printed page (or even displays using E Ink). The other part could simply be a shorter attention span.

Either way, Web users are reading in a different way and writers should cater to the change if they want to be read.

To make sure the Web reader finds all the important—or the most interesting—information, consider the following:

  • Write in lists (like this one)
  • Highlight keywords
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Use clear, descriptive subheadings
  • Summarize
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