This week’s discussion is something that I actually remember thinking about in the past.

Although I can’t recall specifically, I believe that the first time I heard of this discussion was in another writing course, which was again, for the purposes of teaching us about proper design of documents – because it’s something that content creators are aware of, but most of us don’t realize.

At the end of the day, people are human. People can get tired or distracted, and certainly there isn’t always an incentive for people to read word for word. In a sense, it’s almost understandable, since most people are able to get a good idea of a piece by using certain shortcuts, and any method that can save time people are bound to do it.

For example, I wasn’t overly surprised to learn in lecture that we apparently only spend 10 seconds scanning the title and the headline, because I can certainly see myself doing that. Before I even begin reading an article, I skim through the entire thing quickly just to get a sense of what it’s about. The reason is obvious: you don’t want to invest a ton of time on something that may more may not pique your interest.

However, I’ll admit that sometimes I miss out on good content/commentary, simply because the site was not designed in a way that is intuitive or gave a good indication of what it’s about.

Another interesting thing that Suzanne mentioned was the F reading pattern, particularly how people may read in a spotted pattern. That describes when people skip over big chunks of text, as though they’re looking for something specific.

Again, this is something that I often do, especially if I don’t have enough time to go over something. My eyes might skip over certain words that I feel are fluff, so that I can get a general sense of what something is about.

This heatmap is pretty clear at showing that people don’t read entire pieces consistently. I’ve definitely thought about design a little more now, although sometimes it’s difficult. Although I want to make sure to cater to readers using “shortcuts”, at the same time, I don’t want to cut out content that I want to include, just for that purpose.

Multiple Media

In a related discussion, we highlighted the importance of integrating other forms of media into my site. This is something that I’ve definitely been thinking about over the past few weeks as the infrastructure and content of the site became more settled.

In terms of what channel I would focus on, I think a video-based source, like YouTube, would be a good compliment to my blog. I’ve considered social media like Instagram, but I find that it’s more helpful for spotlighting certain things over others. For example, if this blog was more about my personal life, or something more related to my hobbies, then I feel that platform would be ideal. It’s a great way to share photos and short stories to keep readers up to date about you.

However, for what I’m producing, which focuses more on in-depth reviews of content, I think that a video medium would be most helpful. It can let me explore methods that I’m not currently able to do in a 2 dimensional platform, and also allow me to add more commentary than I normally would be able to (for the sake of keeping things relatively concise).

Part of why I want to integrate multiple platforms is demonstrated through the readings this week. Although my blog/platform is unlikely to get the same level of attention as Pokémon, the level of integration is certainly something that I would like to aspire to. It almost “locks in” visitors to your ecosystem of media, which encourages them to further engage and share the content that you produce.

Therefore, this is definitely one channel that I would like to include, particularly in my spare time even after the end of the semester.

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