Digital Publishing: Having a Powerful Impact on the Next Generation

A recent three-part series about the impact of digital screens on our youth was published in the Deseret News National. In it was one statement that made me take notice. The comment was from a psychologist named Jim Taylor who said, “A child’s brain is very malleable and they will adapt to whatever kind of stimulation they’re exposed to. If they’re exposed to, for example, little bits of information, that’s the way they will learn to predominantly process information.”

This got me thinking. When publishing moved from print into our currently digital world, our stories moved from long-form to a variety of lengths based on the ingestion point. And with popularity of Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, we have migrated even further from long stories to short blurbs to 140 characters and even extending to photos to pins. As wearables launch and gain popularity, this will change/shrink content even further. What does this mean for the way the new generations will learn to learn? Are we building a beast we will not be able to control by shortening content bursts?

It’s an interesting question that is frequently debated by content marketing experts around the globe. Some of the most educated minds around actually recommend creating content in a variety of sizes and formats in order to achieve the desired results in the most seamless manner.

Arnie Kuenn, president of Vertical Measures, has specific standards for the various sizes and lengths of content, based on where it is published. You can read his opinion here.

Neil Patel of Quick Sprout busts content length myths and even brings Seth Godin’s style into the mix in his data-driven article.

And even Salma Jafri, president of WordPL shares a take on this. Her opinions are shaped by SEO opportunities and Google’s support. This is an interesting take on the subject.

In the end, you will need to make up your mind on the length of your content, and your distribution strategies. But remember, within five years, the decisions you make today could have a significant impact on how you are training the brains of the future for content consumption tomorrow.

Image via Shutterstock.

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