Keep it short & simple

A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, cognitive scientist said Herbert Simon said more than 30 years ago. That concept forces editors to make short, sharp and strong their watchwords in presenting ideas. A Poynter Institute commentary drives home that point, passing on tips that University of Missouri journalism professor Don Ranly said applied equally to online and print: “You put a lot of effort into crafting long stories. What makes you think people really have the time to read all that?”

Among the specifics Ranly mentioned: “Divide content into shorter chunks with prominent and engaging microcontent (subheads, captions, graphics, etc.) for easier scanning, and get writers involved in crafting microcontent.”

RSS advertising: I’m afraid I don’t understand this well enough to summarize much less opine but ClickZ reports on click-thru rates for RSS ads. I parked the link so I could find the info later when I have the means to better put it into context. Meanwhile here is what I think is the article’s takeaway concept:

“The report findings may surprise those in the online publishing world who have debated which is best: distributing complete RSS feed content or a brief summary or introduction. On average, it was discovered, summary feeds got a median CTR of 8 percent, while full feeds garnered a 10 percent median rate. The truth is most RSS subscribers, 90 percent, read feed content in their news aggregator interfaces regardless of whether full or partial posts are published there.”

Is the Future of Music Now? That is the title of a Cybersalon that will be held in Berkeley this Sunday night. I hope to attend but some family duties may interfere. In a similar vein UC Berkeley’s New Media department kicks off a series of free lectures Sunday evening and these will be webcast for those who cannot attend in person.