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Media Snacks II

(November 06, 2007) Here's an example of a media snack. Essentially, the New York Times is using Twitter to make a river of news...headlines that are really useful on your cell phone. They look like appetizers on a tray. Hence the notion of a media snack.

The whole idea of Media Snacking is an oversimplification of the fact that there are platform specific characteristics of language. Many factors, besides some backwoods definition of the King's English, determine what is the most effective form of communication, given the platform.

This is something we all instinctively know. For example, no one really thinks that photos are a good place to write anything. Even though Douglas Gayeton makes it work, it will never be a common day occurrence.

Dave Winer is experimenting with a twitter - short stack information approach that you can expect will have real influence. It's a Web 2.0 improvement on the hyperlink to speed the browsing of blogs. The story is folded under the headline in order to improve the speed of information access.

Twitter is having an impact. The 15 to 25 year old set (in which the young ones see the older ones as technological old folks) uses cell phone messaging and similarly intimate, small sized text or IM tools. The content and size of the actual messages are somewhat limited by the very platform.

In the past 20 years, the range of platforms has expanded from purely paper to:

  1. Paper
  2. Spreadsheet
  3. Powerpoint
  4. Email
  5. IM
  6. SMS

Each text communications platform has separate requirements for language and form. The Media Snack discussion is simply the beginning of a style guide with a platform foundation.

 John Sumser © 2007 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA
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