As a self-confessed-guilty-as-charged-blame-it-on-the-parents ‘scanner’ of any online content that I encounter, you’d hope that, as an online copywriter, I make my copy as concise and engaging as possible, right?
Well, that’s my intention anyhow. To be honest, I don’t actually blame my parents at all. Not once do I recall a moment when they forced me to use the internet as a child; in fact, they were unequivocal in their stance for me to read in a more traditional way – books.
I didn’t get a mobile phone until I was about 16, which is at least 10 years older than the average kid I see carrying a handheld in the streets today. Damn, I’m now sounding like my parents, but my point is that I believe mobiles are partly to blame for why the next generation and subsequent will have a short attention span when they read online; not to mention how they choose to execute these words in texts.
For example: “Soz we cldn’t meet lst nite. I cn meet 2nite tho?” does make me want to grab their phone and give them a crash course on elementary English, but I’d probably get beaten up, or worse.
And, as much as Twitter has made micro blogging accessible and convenient for even the busiest of busy folk, it has affected the way we read and write, and joins a growing community of social media platforms that dictate how content is now greeted by us.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an advocate for all things quick and easy, but somehow I feel Twitter has deprived us all of an attention span, and replaced it with efficiency and impatience. But, may be this is how things are to be for the foreseeable future…
What sparked my minor rant was a fantastic post I saw recently by Rajesh Setty on the Lateral Action blog, where he’d cleverly (and worryingly?) created a ‘response scale’ that displays the various stages of content versus return.
If you’ve struggled to even read this with maximum concentration, then I recommend you consult your GP immediately. Not online though…
As a copywriter, there is nothing more demoralising than your content being ignored, condemned or generally not reaching its desired destination – so what do I do? Well, I either make sure that every recipient reads my copy with vigour and enthusiasm by sitting next to them on its arrival; then ask them to tell everybody they know how brilliant it is. Unfortunately, this is highly unfeasible (and absurd), so my only option is to distribute great content that compels and inspires the online reader. No pressure then.
Read the full post by Rajesh to work out how your online content is potentially being received and 9 realistic ways your audience could respond to it.