Online, readers can compose their own beginnings, middles and ends


For those of you who don’t know Lynette Webb, the insights manager at Google – you can read the previous posts here and here. For those of you who do, here’s another doozy:

“The idea for this slide came from a recent article in the NYT about how the internet is impacting literacy:
“Clearly, reading in print and on the Internet are different. On paper, text has a predetermined beginning, middle and end, where readers focus for a sustained period on one author’s vision. On the Internet, readers skate through cyberspace at will and, in effect, compose their own beginnings, middles and ends. Young people “aren’t as troubled as some of us older folks are by reading that doesn’t go in a line,” said Rand J. Spiro, a professor of educational psychology at Michigan State University who is studying reading practices on the Internet. “That’s a good thing because the world doesn’t go in a line, and the world isn’t organized into separate compartments or chapters.”

It’s a nice thought. When you think about how you read, surf, scan, think and communicate online . . it’s anything but linear. In fact,  there’s a sense in which much of the activity that happens online is about joining the dots and redrawing them, than it is reaching some tangible end or defined goal. I like Lynette’s pics because they also pick a poignant point and sum it up perfectly with a great quote and an emotive image. She’s a great resource for inspiration stimulus if you want to get people thinking differently, especially about the impact of the net.

Check out the live link here


A curious design-focused human with an insatiable appetite for learning driven by the endless desire to make things.

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