Shorter, faster, smaller

Chris Anderson: "The rise of shorter, smaller content is actually a trend that's affecting all media and entertainment, reflecting not just the taste of a quick-change generation but also an increasing variety and flexibility in the ways we can consume media."

Chris gives several examples of this from different media. I would add blog posts (vs. "pages" or news articles) to this list and, as the medium figures itself out, I suspect podcasts will go the same way. I was talking with Steven Levy about this the other day, and he seemed a little disturbed by the notion. Maybe I was reading into it, but he perhaps didn't like the implication, because shorter could easily mean a lack of depth. To which, I say, true. But then, perhaps people (who choose) will still take time for the depth—the good book—but the trend toward brevity will force out the filler and there'll be more meat for every given minute. Certainly, a chunk of traditional media that had to conform to traditional chunks of time/space have, on occasion, had to stretch in a way that didn't necessarily benefit the reader/listener/watcher.

As Mark Twain said:
To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas—the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.
Oh wait, perhaps Franklin Delano Roosevelt put it better:
Be sincere; be brief; hit post