In 2006 I was regularly blogging and podcasting. At some point in the twelve years that have followed I traded them in for 140 character posts and fixed dimension photos. For a while the future of content looked bite-sized, but is that how it’s actually playing out?
Like the unexpected resurgence of the vinyl record before it, long-form content appears to have returned from a brief moment on the bench. Ofcom reported last year on a rise in podcast listenership in the UK with approx 1 in 4 adults having listened to a show.
Perhaps the renewed interest in long-form is a reaction to the saturation of bite-size content. In my own experience it’s equal parts longing for substance and an overall change in media consumption, driven by new tech and better connectivity. When I switch on my TV at home I go first to my YouTube subscriptions feed. Very rarely do I make it to the VirginMedia channel guide. My Smartphone offers a similar content experience, with my Podcast feed offering a bottomless list of programming I’ve curated through the shows I subscribe to. It’s all so easy. Why would I bother with junk food reruns when I can listen to people whose opinions I value talking about the topics that interest me? (Star Wars, it’s 90% Star Wars talk).
You don’t have to look hard to find statistics on how short our attention spans have become (which is good news if those facts are true). I’m convinced that listening to podcasts on a daily basis has improved my attention span, I’ve read more books in the past 18 months than I’ve read in the last 18 years, I’m enjoying going to the cinema again. I know, I know, it’s naive to believe that my own tastes are representative of others, but it’s also unlikely that I’m alone in this. I know of at least 2 or 3 people who feel the same and that is more than enough validation for modern reporting.
I kept a regular blog from the beginning of 2005 until the end of 2013. In 2014 the time I once had to sit down and write was being taken up by running my own business. I always found writing and posting to be cathartic in a way that knee-jerk social media usage could never come close to being, with it’s instant post / immediate regret cycle. The Instagram nicotine patches have proven ineffective overtime in curing my need to create content. I can’t draw or paint, but writing has always been a creative outlet for me. I started making time to write again last year for my Beer Tours project. The positive feedback and personal satisfaction I’ve received has encouraged me to do more.
So, the 445 words you’ve just read are in fact a long-form welcome to my new home on the internet. I can’t promise any level of consistency on the subject matter, nor do I want to pigeon hole at this stage. This will be somewhat of a notepad and we’ll see where that takes us.
Post credits scene..
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