Tuesday, 7 September 2004
"Shut up and write." "Shut up and write."
I've idly contemplated doing some spoken audio bits for this site here and there, but not
as weblog entries. Here's a fine explanation as to why ("Thanks, LazyWeb!"):
by Maciej Ceglowski (via Flutterby
At first blush, audioblogging sounds like a natural extension of online writing. What better way to convey your own ideas than through your own words, spoken in your own voice?
...But before you jump on the audioblogging bandwagon, remember this - the
power of the Web is the power to choose. You make your own trails, and your own links. You read what you like and skip the boring bits. And audioblogging takes that power of choice away. Your listeners become a
passive audience - they have no power to skim, they can't skip the
boring parts, they can't link or excerpt your post effectively. Your
post becomes invisible to Google and other search engines. And anyone who has a hearing problem, or a dialup account, or doesn't speak your
language too well, anyone who is trying to surf your site from the office,
or from an Internet cafe - well, they're just plain out of luck.
Consider also this - the average person speaks at one hundred, perhaps
one hundred fifty words per minute. Meanwhile, an accomplished reader
can read ten times faster ... You're forcing people to listen
to you at a speed that's barely faster than the speed at which they can
type. Why are you wasting their time? Is your voice really that
From the invention of the alphabet, to movable metal type, to the advent of
cheap paper, universal mandatory public education, universal literacy,
the Internet - the modern world has built on the back of text! This is
not by accident! This is not a mistake!
...For the first time in human history, you can have anything you write read by millions of people, whether within days or within hours, and all it takes is talent, imagination and the discipline to put up something worth
reading. There are no obstacles anymore - so why must we create new
ones? Just because you're going to be able to ... does that mean you should? Does that mean it belongs on your website? This is not the legacy we want to leave! So stop the ridiculous self indulgence, and shut up and write.
The power to skim at speed is a reminder that in the speed stakes nothing is faster than the image. Photography in particular has the additional advantage of having evidential status.
You really think that people don't want to hear my long and borning speaches :)
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