Experimental post about how writing should evolve to fit the modern web surfer.
Why New Styles are Needed
Articles should be swifter for the web.
People want to read less as they have more to read.
Top ten lists and bullet-point articles make it easier to get through.
You can skip around between parts, pick up where you left off.
How Did We Write?
Old writing was based on a longer attention span.
It had deeper stylistic integrity that the form afforded.
Structures of sections of paragraphs of sentences of words.
The New Style, Evolved from the Old
Headings of bullets of sentences of words.
Pictures to anchor each part (not shown here).
Barer sentences, with less complexity.
Like a powerpoint put through a wringer.
The Old Style Lives On
Books and periodicals, along with some traditionalist sites.
Nice for articles you want to go deeper into.
Side-by-side old and new allows for reader choice.
Benefits of the New Style
Students learn outline forms more easily.
Reading comprehension goes up for the new form.
Discussion is simplified through easily-referenced sentences?
Improves collaborative editing and creation.
Downsides of the New Style
Students dislike the old style even more than they already did.
Comprehension of the old style diminishes further.
Discussions are based on less nuance (Fox Newsier discussions prevail).
I’m curious whether this sort of writing style should become more dominant.
I think it has some benefits for the way people use the modern web.
Easier to read casually.
Possibly more accessible to AI.
Less opportunity for verbosity.
So I wrote this in a version of what the new style may be, to see what it’s like.
Oy vey. I’m hoping that there can be some balance. I do think language and writing styles need to evolve to fit the needs of readers, and long-winded writing can be a pain to read (especially as the number of things to read grows), but let’s hope it won’t be a bullet-point-riddled future.
One promising alternative is that AI will allow for real-time reorganization/editing of long texts to elicit the parts the reader is most interested in.