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    © 2014, Joseph B. Wikert
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« Seth Godin Asks "Do Business Books Work?" | Main | Why Do Magazines Charge Existing Customers More? »

May 07, 2007


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» Talking to Ourselves from SharedBook: On Demand
One of the real dangers in running a high tech company is making decisions and setting priorities based on our own, very warped perspective of the world. Yes, we may know about the latest and the coolest, but how many [Read More]


Joel Fugazzotto

I think it's less about your attention span shrinking and more the fact you have choices when in front of the computer. The only interactivity the television offers is changing channels and adjusting the volume (though I hear the tint slider is a favorite of our friend Cecil), while the content is limited to what channels you receive. The computer on the other hand, has limitless content, you have control to follow the content that interests you at the moment, you can interact with the content to customize it to your needs, and you can even communicate with other audience members. So to me it's less about attention span and more about no longer being confined to the limitations of the passive TV and more about actively exploring and learning through the web. So I think you are right, Joe. The video that get the message across in the shortest time are most popular, since the control of the content is in the user's hands.

Joe Wikert

Hey Joel, I think you've hit the nail on the head. It's the difference between the "lean back" model for watching TV and the "lean forward" one for anything on a computer.

James Howlin

I have noticed that my attention span is shorter when viewing content on a computer, but I work around that by having multiple (three at the moment) screens on my desk. This way I can watch a video, have my emails open, and be doing something else, without having to choose one thing to focus on exclusively.

shel israel

You make a good point and I think three minutes is about my limit as well. But I suspect we are showing our age, and that it is our habit to do business and not be passive when we are in front of our computer screens.

I don't think the three-minute warning alarm goes off on young people, who use computers for communications and recreation. And as you know, they will be in front of the screen a lot longer than you or me.

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