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Short writing is the future of writing

Hieu Nguyen — February 02, 2021

As our reading habits changed. We need a better format to diggest information

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Many claimed longer content rank higher [1] in search results. It should be changed soon. Either be less biased about short writing, or make the length criteria less important.

Because many of us need the right information, not long content.

Let’s start with the 2 main target users who search for things.

The first target enjoys reading. It’s like enjoy a video game, a movie, or a song. They enjoy a good experience, a type of content that opens their imagination. Then sail them through any details the author intended. Those types of content use descriptive paragraphs, transitions, with fancy words. It makes readers feel great.

The second target is in need to search for a piece of information. They prefer a straightforward and simple answer. Which means minimal, concise sentences, with no fancy words.

I used to enjoy and have no problem reading long content. But recently, I'd spend 5 seconds scanning relevant headings. Then another minute to find the information, or go back and look for another search result.

To me, this is a horrible reading habit. I realized my attention span getting shorter.

As our reading habits changed. We need a better format to diggest information. For example, video content is getting more popular. It required less effort to diggest.

3 common examples are:

  • Medium (a blogging platform) rolled out a new model for short content. They found [2] that readers spend more time on good and short content
  • Seth Godin, well-known for finding out what's next for marketing. His daily posts are in between 50 to > 300 words.
  • Successful products that provide sumarize service: Blinklist (sumarize books service) or TrendsVC (a newsletter summarize recent trend in many categories), or I Lazy To Read (summarize any article into 5-sentences)

That goes with the search results. When someone needs an answer, it should be minimal, concise, and straightforward. It's easier to generate short content anyway.


[cover photo] credit Priscilla Du Preez

[1] i.e Search engine ranking, or SEO Content Length

[2] How will shorter pieces perform in this new model?

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Hieu Nguyen

I'm a developer, hobbyist photographer. Building Inverr — a NoCode Site Builder

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