Multiple Attention Span Publishing

The Problem: As a society we are reading fewer books, in fact, we are reading less in general. As more of our time is spent absorbing small packets of information, it has been argued that we are becoming less inclined to devote continuous attention to longer form content. However, even in a world where people read fewer, shorter texts information still needs to be transferred, perhaps more than ever before.

The Concept: Writers and publishers should begin to see their role as content creators rather than book producers. As content creators, they should package their ideas in multiple ways for different audiences. Instead of one 300 page book, a content package might contain the book, a series of infographics, the “cliff notes” version of the text (laid out in blog-sized snippets) and a short video explaining the major concepts.

The package might also contain a mobile phone application or an audiobook depending on the material. Consumers would be able to select the channel that they would prefer to receive information, so that someone with a “short” attention span might take the blog posts and infographics while someone who wants deeper insights might take the full text. This is not simply publishing across multiple channels (transmedia publishing), it’s publishing for different cognitive styles.

Similar Ideas: Transmedia Requires Need Breed Of Writers, Publishers