Here is the synopsis for this particular presentation that will be taking place at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference.
Next step is to dig into this presenter’s personal site and get more intel.
fyi – the ‘last mile’ — The “last mile” or “last kilometer” is a phrase used by the telecommunications and cable television and internet industries to refer to the final leg of the telecommunications networks delivering communications connectivity to retail customers; the part that actually reaches the customer.
Right, so the case of content delivery – I see the last mile as that jump from the page to the eye to the brain.
I think my basic ideas around all of this are quite similar – but more than anything I take discovering this as a main presentation at a major conference as evidence that this is a topic of concern, and an area that requires some evolution.
From Eye to Brain: Content Design & the “Last Mile” Problem
Admit it: even word lovers think twice before plowing through a massive wall of text. Triaging tweet lists, browsing article summaries, skimming short-form content: it’s all training us to read at a higher velocity. Why aren’t writers and publishers rethinking how they compose content? It’s time to experiment with new ways to make an author’s thoughts compelling, comprehensible, efficient, and memorable.
Design ideas this session will explore include:
- Multi-sized versions. Different sized servings can satisfy different reader needs. Think, from short to long: executive summary, full article, deep dive into raw sources.
- Key point extraction. Body text has served writers well for centuries, but its blocky bulk—its wall of type—sometimes slows readers from quickly accessing an author’s big ideas. Why not pose takeaways before a reader starts, giving her a way to decide prior to committing her time.
- Layout innovation. Are there ways to use page composition and typography to convey meaning? Back in the 1950’s so-called Concrete Poetry did lots of artful experiments; we’ll look at ways the digital canvas lets authors explore 21st century versions of this idea.
- Picture/prose integration. Our writing tools tend to rigidly separate image and text. The result is a sequential scroll in which the two media types rarely work together. This feels like a missed opportunity. We’ll consider some innovators who have demonstrated the compelling payoff to integrating word and image.
- Better writing and editing. Calling Strunk & White! Why does it seem that book publishing conferences never discuss the raw material at the heart of our business? We’ll consider—briefly—a tech-free way to improve a publication’s power: sharper, shorter writing.
Filed by Michele Buchanan at January 22nd, 2013 under Uncategorized