Be selective in what is read

New acquisitions at the used bookstore.

Have you ever wondered how fast you read? A stack of reading material on the nightstand begged for my attention. I considered how long it would take me to get through it.

Reading speed test.

Curious, I took an online test to find out.[1] I selected a blog post from a published poet/essayist and took the reading test. The results disappointed me. It took me less than two minutes to read a blog post with more than 300 words. According to a Forbes article, the average adult reads 300 words a minute.[2]

Test two. I selected the nut graph of a Slate.com article. Again, below average reading speed. Test three. Selected another blog post. This time from a professional blogger. I received an above average reading speed. Test four (and five). Two different New Yorker articles selected. I read the opening paragraphs. Two different writers. One wrote a news piece. One a literary critique. The results varied. The critique results were below average and the news piece was above average.

Content readability.

I turned my attention to the text read. Using an online app I graded the passages read.[3] The Slate.com article received a good readability rating. The professional blogger article earned an okay readability score. The literary critique received a poor readability grade. The news piece received a score worse than the literary critique.

The app rates the difficulty of a text. The readability grade based upon passive voice, adverbs, phrases with simpler alternatives, and sentences that are hard or very hard to read. In other words, difficult sentences that included compound or compound/complex sentence structures.

Observation.

What I have noticed is that numbers (and analysis), abstract ideas and foreign words slow me down. There is so much I desire to read, but time limitations prevent the volume of literature I seek to explore. So, I have to be selective in my reading habits. And this reminds me of something Annie Dillard wrote:

“He is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write. He is careful of what he learns, for that is what he will know.”

NOTES:


[1] ReadTime, accessed January 11, 2017.
http://readtime.eu/

[2] Brett Nelson, “Do You Read Fast Enough To Be Successful?,” Forbes, June 4, 2012 @ 09:09 AM, accessed January 11, 2017.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/brettnelson/2012/06/04/do-you-read-fast-enough-to-be-successful/#436dc4dc58f7

[3] Hemingway App, accessed January 11, 2017.
http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

 

Pornographers don’t sell pornography

AdPulp provides this:

“42.7% of consumer time online is spent with content sites, 28.6% is with communication sites, 16.1% with commerce sites and 5% on search sites.” Link

(For more detailed analysis visit OPA Link)

While a lot of content provider sites (i.e. news and entertainment sites) feel pressure to offer their content for free (and some have already removed their firewalls—i.e. TNYT and WSJ) the question remains—how does an organization provide “free” content without going bankrupt?

Jake McKee’s post—You’re selling the wrong thing—sited the McGuire HuffingtonPost Porn Knows What It’s For—Do You? as an answer to that question. To excerpt some notable quote from McGuire’s article:

“Pornographers… don’t seem to care much about how they do it—they’ll just find ways to give people the orgasms however people want them given… magazines… online photos, online videos… why are newspapers… having such a hard time?… they have a fundamental misunderstanding of what they do.

“The value of a newspaper is not that it gives me information; the value of a newspaper is how it selects information…”

And here’s a necessary mainstream-media-sucks, blogs-rule rant from McGuire:

“Blogs are excellent selectors of information, while newspapers are pretty clunky at it—because for the past 300 years they existed in an ecosystem where information was scarce. Now information (and access to it) is abundant.”

McGuire misses the point in the steam of his own blog-rant.

Blogs survive as scavengers of info. Blogs select and repackage recycled information. Blogs—with the exception of maybe 50 techno-intelligentsia sites—rarely provide original content. The mainstream media behemoths still provide the bulk of online content. Here’s were McGuire is correct: pornographers don’t care about how or by what vehicle they deliver the content—online or offline. Pornographers bank on three basic actions: consumption, evangelism, purchase (and repeat).

Or to put it another way: “delivering anticipated, personal and relevant [content] to people who actually want” it. (Source). Do people still consume news? Yes. Do the majority of people want to pay for it? No. How does a news/entertainment organization earn revenue online? IMHO, online advertising + products = revenue. Translation: offer ad rates (dictated by web traffic) plus and an online store with shopping cart for souvenirs related to the content the consumers want.