Web readers are fidgety, so writers have to serve up the goods fast, Michael Agger writes in Slate. For example:
- Online readers are “selfish, lazy, and ruthless,” according to theorist Jakob Nielsen.
- They are informavores hunting for information at all costs.
- They like text short, scannable, and occasionally bold.
- And especially love lists.
Still there? Bless you. Let’s risk a long paragraph: The web isn’t conducive to lucid reading—that is, engrossing, pleasurable reading. Books immerse you in a trance; online, you read between IMs. So one-idea paragraphs are best. Other tips for online writers:
- Links look authoritative.
- Frequent, explanatory subheads are also good.
- Slice your word count in half.
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