September 18, 2012

The Future of Online Content

Wow. That’s a really broad topic to headline a post with. What is the future of online content? Where is it going? As a copywriter, this is of particular importance to me because if I want to ensure an ongoing career, I have to be thinking about this. If I stick to old ways of writing internet content, I will find myself out of a job and passed over by the trade I love.

Technology Changes Us

As technology advances, it alters the way we do a lot of things. Some that come to mind are:

  • Technology changes how we interact with each other
  • Technology changes how we consume information
  • Technology changes how we learn, relax and entertain
  • Technology changes how we think

It was Bill Gates who famously said, “We’re changing the world with technology.”

So, technology is changing content. Mobile phone screens are pretty small, which takes the idea of an economy of language to a whole new level. Oddly, having more information at your fingertips seems to result in less patience for reading that information, so long form copy is for the most part, dead, especially online.

Do Infographics and Twitter Give us a Clue?

Infographics are the latest shift from scannable, bulleted copy to something that readers can glean for information even more quickly. There’s a reason Twitter has become the world’s default newsfeed and why it’s so preferred by businesses over Facebook.

I’d answer my own question by saying that the future of content is driven by technology, which in turn influences consumer demand. Content will be shorter and more interactive. Less focused on words and more on images and experience. However, as a writer I must believe that we still need words. That there will always be a place for powerful words, however few, in online content, whatever form it takes.

What about you? What is the future of online content? Where do you think it’s going? Whether you are a writer, designer, developer or reader, I’d love to hear from you.

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