INFO SCIENCE: John Shirley, guest blogger at BoingBoing, posted this insightful piece about dense text vis-à-vis the modern media.
This blog might be too dense-looking to be successful. If I want it to be successful I have to break it up and make it like a bag of candy. Ideally the individual wrappers should be edible. As it is, it can be forbidding looking. The internet is about being like one of those birds that skims over the surface, dips its beak, comes up with a nourishing fish, flies away. The bird doesn't want to dive in. This exemplifies the contemporary media continuum. Thus those little news blips that go scrolling by, one sentence for this, one for that, beneath footage of something else entirely, on CNN and elsewhere. We can't absorb all that's on offer so we just skim the surface--and this is universally regarded as John Kerry's biggest campaign problem: he's not a skimmer, he's a diver. He dives in and explores, thinks about things. No good for present day culture. There are even those who refer to "ADD culture", Attention Deficit Disorder culture. In the crushing gravitational pull of that media gas-giant, can Kerry stand up and be noticed? Bush on the other hand... Wait a minute...stop!
The above text is still too dense for a blog.
He's right on too. I'm always cherry-picking the things I read online. The first thing I look for is anything graphical. The first things I read are bold text, quotes, bullets, etc. I almost always read quotes carefully in news articles, but quickly skip past names and titles. If I'm looking for something specific online, I usually use Google's Cached page because of the handy highlighting. If that is unavailable, I use Firefox's built in find feature by hitting "/". I don't see this so much as a problem as just being efficient with your time online.