On the Future of Text

Immediate understanding – that could be a fair description of a goal behind many texts. Actually, if we look at the textual part of Internet, not mentioning structured markup and functional elements, we will notice interesting facts. For example, now we are more and more convinced that attentional span is constantly decreasing, and we are adapting to this – there exist now guidelines for writing immediately understandable texts. I can name a couple: write less; make text easy to scan. Supporting evidence can be found in blogoscoped or problogger or bloggingtips.

It stands to reason that there are many different factors that justify efficiency of simplistic writing. But anyway typical text is being gradually simplified (yet sometimes we have nothing to say even in 140 characters).

So my point about this situation is following. Immediately understandable text is one we will never return to. Indeed, how many times do you return to a twitter message you have read a week (or an hour) ago? A text understood completely is one that already stands in the past, one that has no place for future.

Own experience tells me to seek people who tries to avoid writing texts that will be immediately understood and immediately thrown away. I should clarify that poorly written texts are not what I am looking for, instead I look for texts that leave some indetermination, texts that therefore leave a place for the future to come.

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