I’m watching CNN’s Headline News program, and in so doing, it dawned on me that USAToday influenced the format of the show, whether intentionally or not. I visited the makers of USAToday a few months back, and left with the impression that they’re doing some interesting things, and still offer perspective on what media can and will do in other formats.
If you squint, and remove your “purist” filter, USAToday looks like a microblog. The paper has little bite-sized media bits, easily consumable, with nuggets of data that are useful and fast to absorb. CNN Headline News does the same thing. They work the short form news format, with fast info, quick data dumps, and as they are trying out lots of personable interactions, it’s even turning a bit two-way. (Not that long form is bad, and there should definitely be a place for lengthier journalistic work, but as a consumer, I believe we’re trending more towards the short info.)
We think often about how the web is so amazing and how communication works online, but to really get a sense of dynamism, don’t forget to look at what’s going on offline. This makes me want to look at my blog differently. I wonder if Chris Pearson is up to the challenge of making a magazine formatted theme, or Thesis skin. Wouldn’t this blog be a lot more consumable if you could switch between smaller pieces and long form?
Thanks, USAToday, for what you’ve contributed to information consumption/display models.
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