Roger von Oech

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      Randy

      I agree with #3. Studies show that people skim web sites, and I find myself doing the same. I can also start and stop a story in a newspaper, especially page 1 stories, picking up the story after viewing other articles. No online paper has yet to do that. (All though subscribing to the RSS feed is getting closer - think WSJ left column).

      Cam Beck

      I like the ready access to competing points of view being online while I'm reading the news affords me.

      While it's true that people skim websites, this isn't as true when dealing with in-depth articles, when the users come across an article that they want to read. People scan newspapers in the same way, but the Web has the potential to make this process more efficient.

      That could be good or bad, depending on the intrinsic value of accidental discovery and the ability of newsprint to deliver it well. With the ability to deliver personalized content becoming more affordable, I suspect the Web will have an advantage here.

      On the other hand, newspapers are still easier to read, and I will always love the smell of a pressroom. :)

      Cam Beck

      By "easier to read," I mean "easier on the eyes." The Web still has advantages in the way it allows users to increase the size of type (when this feature is made available), and otherwise access content in spite of eyesight difficulties.

      Roger von Oech

      Randy: You're probably right. Perhaps my perceived faster reading on-line is due to "more efficient" reading, i.e., more skimming.

      Cam: I'll take time to read an in-depth story on-line if it's really important to me. But if I see a long story in the NYT or WSJ, I'm more likely to read the print version.

      Also, I prefer -- if I have time -- to read the Op-Ed sections of the NYT and WSJ in print, because I like to chew the ideas over more. Although, truth be told, I only read the "Op" part of the NYT Op-Ed section because their editorials often seem incomprehensible to me. The Editorial page of the WSJ is a national treasure.

      Roy Blumenthal

      Hiya Roger...

      I'm wondering if our reading habits and patterns are the result of habits?

      To my mind, things are in flux regarding how we interface with technology.

      Print (on paper) is just another technology. It's transparent to us nowadays, because we're so used to it. We don't have to think about it.

      At some point, electronic text might become just as transparent. Habitual.

      Right now, however, I suspect the analysis you've presented is spot-on.

      However, I wonder if that might not be changeable through an act of will? In other words, if I DECIDE or CHOOSE to read more efficiently online, isn't it possible that I'll be able to accomplish that?

      Blue skies
      love
      Roy

      Roy Blumenthal

      (I suspect my answer above is an example of not necessarily stopping at the first right answer.)

      David Blanar

      It would be impossible for a single printed source to cover the diversity in my feed stream - the economics just don't work.

      Saying that, many days I still purchase a paper, enjoying the experience of lingering over lunch with news sheet and cool drink in hand is one of life's innocent joys I'm happy to pay for.

      Of course the biggest limitation of printed material is the fact it's a one-way communication medium. For the reason alone, the format (as we know it) is earmarked for inevitable extinction, which is a good thing.

      Maria Helm

      I rarely buy print anymore:
      No pressure to read as much of it as possible.
      No waste of money and paper resources.
      No cluttering my desk.
      No guilt over not getting to it.
      No wasting time because I feel like I need to read the whole thing.
      No cutting out articles and forgetting to give them to someone.

      Like others, I like to double-check viewpoints when on line.

      I'm even reading some books on my PDA, too. The only print I'll buy anymore is a good book that I know I'll read and pass along.

      Jody

      Print on the way to extinction?

      I think not. I can never read in-depth new stories online.....they are better absorbed when read on paper.

      coleman yee

      Nice comparison there.

      In addition to those points you've made, I'm likely to take a longer glance at more articles, and thus end up reading more articles on a newspaper. Online, it depends a lot on the article's title, as well as the blurb.

      Roger von Oech

      Roy: Yeah, I agree with you: we pretty much do what we set out in our minds to do, and I guess our reading patterns is part of that. Blue skies love 2 U too!

      David: Good point you make about the 2-way flow of on-line reading (especially evident in what we're doing here: blogging). So much more satisfying than writing a letter to the editor.

      Maria: Quite admirable. But don't you miss curling up with a newspaper every now and then?

      Jody: I'm getting better at reading in-depth stories on-line -- especially if I'm forced to, i.e., I don't have ready axis to it in print.

      Coleman: Good points. It's also interesting how the "random" works in each medium. In newspapers, I'm more likely to glance (and perhaps read) at an unrelated story nearby. On-line, you're never more than a link away from something really different.

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      Of course the biggest limitation of printed material is the fact it's a one-way communication medium.The newspaper feels, like a self-contained entity that I can go through leisurely in 15 minutes.

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      Coleman: Good points. It's also interesting how the "random" works in each medium. In newspapers, I'm more likely to glance (and perhaps read) at an unrelated story nearby. On-line, you're never more than a link away from something really different.

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