Think about how much time members of generations X and Y spend reading.
Now, think about how much time they spend watching short videos on the internet, some of which are well-produced and elicit all types of emotion. It’s all about instant gratification.
I found this video on BuzzMachine, by Jeff Jarvis (it’s probably old news to quite a few people by now).
I’m going to digress for a moment for a short tale. You see, every October (or, as I like to call it, Halloween), I work for Busch Gardens as a Howl O Scream scare actor. And, every year the same point is driven home. Busch Gardens understands that the internet and horror movies have changed the way people process fear. We have a very short amount of time (under seven seconds) to make an impression and scare the living bejeesus out of someone. They also keep an innovative site up throughout the Halloween season filled with games, videos, and other ways to connect to the event. We should think in similar ways when we present the news.
If we’re going to continue to report the news, we have to grab our viewer’s attention, in under seven seconds. Written media usually doesn’t do that. Think about the last time your attention was grabbed by a hard news story; chances are a feature got under your skin a lot more easily. Sites like Web Urbanist and Cracked do a very good job at writing compelling content, but they don’t really give people the news they need to know.
It’s been proven time and time again that younger readers aren’t reading the paper from page to page any more. On the web, they’re bouncing from site to site looking for interesting content. Somehow, we have to translate the viewing experience from videos like the one above to our news sites.
There are many news sites that use compelling video and slideshows to attract viewers. However, it’s becoming more and more important to make EVERY piece of content on a site compelling and attractive. With layoffs and bad attitudes, we’re really falling behind.