Why we no longer read long texts, and the best content today does not reach the reader and how to tell a story that will capture the attention of the super-power of the journalist talking Vsevolod Bullet and Marina Akhmedova.
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Cool to talk and when to stop
– Specialists in media is talking about the fact that long texts were no longer needed. You think so too?
– No. The Internet and social networks killed the interest in long texts. But people’s interest in long texts has always been quite low. Earlier there were few literate people, which in principle could read, and not so many educated people who were able to read it, be interested in him, to understand his thought and to develop this idea.
And now content has become too many different ways and different formats. Sites are counters. And these counters showed us a picture: most people long text is not needed. Or rather, can and need, but people do not know about this need. The Internet and social networks have just opened our eyes to the fact that long-form demand only a relatively small audience.
– Why all these years Russia was called literaturotsentrichna country and was famous for its love of its citizens to read?
– No other forms of entertainment. And now the story can be Packed in different forms – computer games, SFII signed, one tweet. All people love stories. I don’t think this is a feature only of our country. The inhabitants of any country will be happy to hear an interesting story, to remember her. But now this story can be in different formats.
– To make the story memorable, it must evoke emotion. You think a tweet is able to evoke emotion?
– Of course, Yes. Now it became fashionable, the word “storytelling”, it can be translated as “the skill of the storyteller.” But, in my opinion, the skill of the storyteller in 2018 is to tell their stories concisely and succinctly. Of its authors I am now trying to accustom to the fact that they are collecting a huge amount of material, even having gone to the library and sit there in the archives, all the same they cut off all the excess and wrapping the text in five thousand characters.
– A little…
But we look at the statistics. Only a small percentage of people willing to read long texts until the end. Therefore, if we want to convey the message, cause the same emotion, we must not only cool to tell… and not even just to brag about how we have a lot of information on the subject, but to be able to stop in time. Short texts to write is much harder than long.
And you think that in such a short text it is possible to completely reveal the theme?
– I think this question is impossible to answer without a specific example of the text. But I wouldn’t strongly tied to formats. Many talked about the fact that the Internet do not watch long videos. And then there’s Vice magazine, which was doing a long video stories with an interesting lead. And looking at them. But still the fact that modern media is now nothing to earn, and many of them are in the red. Many more struggle to find the money for their existence. And in order to survive, they need to gather around him a large audience. From a large audience more impressions, more clicks and more money from advertisers. And in order to attract, you need to be able to write short.
– A tweet is a short message. And if it is emotion, it is provocative. As a rule, in such tweet contains information, coming on the old sores, and explodes the negative accumulated due to some annoying significant social problem. This emotion – short, fast. And the emotions that we experience while absorbed in a long shape is stretched in time, they penetrate deeply and form the reader or viewer. And it’s different emotions. The first can be called unhealthy, and the second is useful. Agree?
– The influence of emotions long texts, I agree. But then we run into another: most of the publications, saying, “Our focus is long texts, and prolonged emotions that have value” – commercially unsuccessful. But the publication said: “we are all equal without regard to the interest of our readers we will do what we think is important!” But this idea fails to gather around him a number of readers sufficient to cover the existence of this publication.
We sell bad your content
– Do you think this denial of extended emotions happened recently because social networks or people they were not always really need?
– For two reasons. The first is the reluctance to delve into the issue. People have always been like that. The second greatly changed the consumption of media. If before the content – texts, movies, music – was in short supply and he was hunted down, copied the pirate ways, wrote the Bible on a bull-skin, now all the content himself hunts for the consumer. This is the competition between different media and between all forms of entertainment.
A man comes home and he has a choice – to read a really great story that will change his view of the problem of street children or homeless animals, or to watch a new episode of the series.
Even though I write stories myself, would have chosen the new episode of the series.
– Because the series will give a huge amount of emotion is different. Because the series are made by storytellers very masterful storytellers. By the way, they also run out of ideas, and the Hollywood writers comes a crisis of ideas. But the person chooses what is for him the most convenient in consumption, something that will not require it involvement. The book is a cold media, we read and in our head there are images. A book requires interpretation and guessing. And the movie – hot video. It requires no great guessing. And the brain chooses what is easier. That will give him more satisfaction.
– Whether this brain to evolve over the next two hundred years if people will continue to choose forms easier?
But the brain always chose what is easier. Rather, the brain and our subconscious. How to understand a person’s motivation? Why he did so, not so? Why trump made such a decision? Why Putin – is? Why your friend took this decision? Because it comes from the benefits for themselves. The brain chooses what gives him the opportunity to get the action without spending a lot of effort.
– What is, in your opinion, people who choose long texts? They are special?
– I think it’s a preference for long texts depends on the genes and some training.
But maybe they can be counted among some elitist circles?
– I don’t think.
– Sorry, you broke my hope that readers will read your response – “Yes!” and because of vanity want to join the elite, begin to read long texts.
– Then the question arises – how your manipulation to sell. Suppose we want to create a new media for people to read long texts, experienced prolonged emotions, and so raised their cultural level. And in order to sell it to the media, we need to trick the brain of the reader. Tell him: “Yes, it’s a long text. Yes, you will have to spend a lot of effort to finish it to the end. But instead, you get a sense of commitment to elite club.” This message may be true and may be false. But it’s marketing. Here is it the journalists are still bad.
We sell bad your content. At all professional conferences, we insist: “Good content can find your own way to the reader!”
But in 2018 we should have to admit – even the best content in the world is not able to find the way to the reader.
– What prevents him?
The gatekeepers. The GKS. In the way of content to the audience there are gates. At the gates – the gatekeepers. And the key to these gates they have. Previously, these gatekeepers were the newspaper editors, CEOs of TV channels. And then the gates opened, and everyone could start a blog on YouTube. Then social networks themselves become these gatekeepers. Before any plumber could run a blog and talk about yourself more interesting than it would charge him a journalist. But social networks have changed the algorithms and give preference to authenticated users. The threshold is increased. Like, here it is the audience – great! But to access it is not so easy.
At each edition, as humans, should be the mission
– Do you believe that people are composed of stories?
– I never thought. What do you mean?
– I mean those stories that we from childhood observed in our circle of family and friends, read in books, see in movies. And when in our life there are situations similar to those stories we already know how it will end. Because of living relatives, in movies and in the movie she was here such a certain outcome. Accordingly, we programmed the outcome of the stories that have accumulated in us.
– With this promise I agree. Yes, we are biased. We all have that in English is called the bias – prejudice. I recently watched a video about a guy who decided to learn to ride a bike with the structural feature – the bike wheel turned to the right when the steering wheel spun to the left, and Vice versa. This man it took about a year to learn to ride it. And he made a thesis – “our brains are built certain neural connections, which are then very difficult to rebuild”. The brain is sure that if the wheel to turn right, the wheel should rotate in the same direction. Because the brain is so accustomed to. To convince him, you have to challenge him, but he resisted. That’s why the whole world lives on stereotypes and prejudices. We all have our own baggage – it’s history, our view of the world.
Recently I read a book of Hemingway’s “For whom the bell tolls”. Started to read it seven years ago, but realized that this story is going to make me relive painful emotions. My brain resisted, and for seven years was left lying open at the page where I finished reading. Now, when I regain strength, I read, I believe that this book became my personal Luggage, and it’s reading anywhere from me will not go away. I think I got better. But tweets, computer games can’t be the Luggage. And what will become of us when we stop to read long texts and we will be without Luggage?
– I would not be here to make such a clear division – that the people playing the game, will not read texts. But at the moment employed tactics of storytelling looks like – you have three types of audiences: the core readers who know you and like you they are gaining in the browser, go for your products in the booth, or follow you, returning is not the most loyal fans, but a couple of times a year you buy it or come to your site once a month; casual audience is new people. And we have to harmoniously work with all three.
Suppose we say: the mission of our publication – the anti-corruption investigation. But they will only read the core. Because these investigations are not very well Packed, not colored pictures, jokes, memes. To attract a new audience, we need to Repack large complex materials. For example, you wrote a great big text. Give him a short narration. Edition now spread two materials: one large – for fans, the second – a brief retelling for those in a hurry.
Maybe someone will read this first paraphrase and say, “Wow! What a cool story, want to know the details!” and I’m going to read a long text. Either the person decides that he already knows all the facts, and that’s enough for him. But this way you have attracted different people – and people who just want the facts, to discuss them with a colleague at the water cooler, and those who need extended emotions. But we have to do something else – for a new audience. To create jokes, memes, videos. At some point they will want to retrain in returning, and then – in the kernel.
– The ultimate purpose of their involvement?
– Expansion of the audience to earn on it money.
– To raise the cultural level of the audience. Every publication, like every company, like every person, should be the mission. The mission should be formulated. For example, in Russia Beyond the Headlines we formulate the mission so we make Russia understandable for foreigners. Each piece of our content, each tweet needs to be on this mission to play. Offer in your mission must be unique.
– And you think, there are still unique suggestions?
I’m sure you can always find them.
Too much time to be aware of
– What do you think, what would Hemingway?
– I would write books. Would be a journalist. Maybe he’s feeling the response from his audience, I’ve been experimenting with other forms. That is, I think that modern people doing the content have to learn how to promote this content to work with the audience. If you’re a journalist or a writer and can only write lyrics or movies, you need an accomplice marketer who will work with packaging and distribution. Otherwise, your content won’t notice.
– The book “For whom the bell tolls” made me experience truly painful emotions. But in the end they transformed into something bright. This is not to say that I haven’t seen something of what the author says. Death saw the murder saw the violence seen feat seen. But the emotions from what I have seen and read – very different. First with a minus sign, second with a plus sign. Why do you think so?
– Because it’s talent. I really admire journalists and writers who work in great shape and know how to tell the story so that it keeps the phone screen. Given that the modern reader is very easy to distract. It’s a gift.
– Do you believe in the gift?
– I believe in genes. People are genetically different. Someone better hands get to work, someone- head. To us in edition the interns are coming, and already on the first text seen, who would have to work for a long time in order to something intelligible came out, and who sparks run through the text. And what is it? Training? But he is a novice. No, it is an innate ability.
– You believe that people who can tell stories, still necessary to mankind?
– Of course. And now the need for them is just going wild. Everyone needs stories! Any coffee shop need stories about herself that will lead the people there. The US government need stories that will tell that USA is the best country in the world. Russia need stories that will tell you what happens in it that isn’t about politics and interference in the elections. The Bank need history. All companies become media and are looking for stories that tie people to them.
– You say that you all need a history, and at the same time say that history can’t find a way to the reader. Discrepancy.
– One – a direct consequence of the other. Stories too much. They are everywhere. You used the morning to buy a newspaper and read about what happened yesterday. In the evening came home, turned on the TV and watched what happened during the day. And now you are bombarded from all sides by pieces of information, titles. You don’t have time to read everything.
I found myself on the phone service pocket if you don’t have time to read the article, then click on the button and save it. I have in the pocket for a couple of years hanging articles that I saved, but never found time to read. Sometimes I go in here and remove a very outdated article. I don’t have time to read all these stories.
And ever the outcome of this bombing?
– I was recently at one of the competitions held for the different teams of regional journalists. They invented the concept of the media of the future.
I have the most points gave the team that came up with that the news will be downloaded into our brains while we sleep. And here we Wake up and we’ll be all day exempt from the need to check social networks in search of something new.
We can spend that time creating something and work on yourself. I have a need to be aware of, and I spend way too much time to be aware of. I think this need have to shrink and free up time for something uplifting.
– And if you’re not aware, it will change something in your life?
– Of course, nothing! Most likely, nothing. Although in a professional sense, of course, will change. I’m not going to understand what to write articles. But for a person not professionally associated with the media – nothing. Five years ago I read in the Guardian newspaper article in which the author urged them to “Stop reading the news!” He appealed to the readers here remember at least one news over the past few years, which would have directly influenced your life. Such news are very few. Therefore, maybe we don’t want people to read the news. Let them read the stories of Hemingway, watching great movies. Only the creators of this powerful content a little.
But the gatekeepers are creating another problem – they attract a large audience to any subject, regardless of the quality of the item. As a result, people spend their time and attention on stuff.
For example, just read in Facebook a story about an experiment on Finnish television. It was carried out twenty years ago. However, do not vouch for the accuracy of this information. For now, do not understand – which is fake and where fake. The experiment was live showed just the chair sitting in the center. Then it moved two centimeters. People began to write letters to the TV, call: “Why the chair moved?!” But with this chair, nothing was eccentric, he did not affect people’s lives. However, it through the gatekeepers have access to a large audience and caused her interest to him.
Great stuff – is first and foremost about himself
– Are you his personal mission formulated?
– I have formulated their professional mission. I want modern media professionals have learned a little better to understand your audience.
– For what?
– Today’s journalists have a big problem. Many of them work for the sake of their ambitions, for the sake of solving their own potential. I communicate with journalists in the regions and countries of the CIS and see the craze longride. They not only text, but images, videos, something else. They just caught the buzz from that can make great stuff, to tell a long story. But it’s all in the first place about himself – that’s how cool I know how to tell stories. And only on the margins they hold the thought about the audience, its interest and that you can change her mind. And in all this is a lot of narcissism.
And they tell some really cool stories?
You know, there’s this effect – “dashboard Indian taxi driver.” She crammed all some figures, draped in pennants. It is now very easy to get carried away by shape, graphics, a moving picture, but to lose the history. This often happens with students of Gorbachov.
– Then what, in your opinion, is the real story?
Is the plot in which you have the character and the event. Is there any morality – it is at the discretion of the author. But the hero or heroes doing something.
– Did you formulate your professional mission. And its human mission?
– I asked this question… Yes, I threw you a phrase that everyone needs to be on a mission. It must have been from my side of few hypocritical.
Because I still had not formulated his personal mission. But I was interested in doing his job. In this I see the meaning for yourself.
– What is the meaning of life?
Great… to get pleasure from what you’re doing.
– Yes? In this context, we can assume that the majority of our fellow citizens are meaningless, because they don’t get that pleasure.
– The pleasure you feel when you do good for other people. It’s like in a relationship – much is being done selflessly towards his wife or girlfriend. You may be going for some victims but enjoy it because pleased with the other person. I think the meaning of life is no retreat… No! It’s too bombastic words…
– Why are you afraid of big words?
– Well, because I too believe in such language.
– That is, you are going to say that I don’t believe in?
But I didn’t say… I just want to articulate better. No, the point is not the pleasure and satisfaction from what you did, maybe made mistakes, but eventually came to the conclusion that brings you feedback and it is good communication.
– Good emotions?
Yes. Because people are emotional.
– What do you dream?
Different. I dream about events that could never happen to me or friends me people. Sometimes I have cool stories, and this is the most awesome. And I almost never remember my dreams.
But remember the emotion?
Yes. Waking up, I think: “Wow! Here is the story I got!” Sometimes you want to go back to sleep, so the story continued.
And you’re ready to exchange these stories to boot to your head the news?
– I hope I don’t have to choose. I hope that the download will be a complement to my dreams.
– So, for news you are willing to sacrifice their own dreams that come from your own subconscious? Still not ready to change them on a news feed created by other people, and maybe even robots, not capable of emotion.
– I think robots will be able to give us emotion. Emotions can be programmed. In many movies the story of robotics are based on the fact that robots are not capable of experiencing emotions. But I think this is only an interim step. Each item can be assigned to emotions.
– As the chair?
And this object can give you emotion in response. Today I watched a video about the robot, similar to crabby. On its upper carapace is a plant. Crab runs around the house so that the plant gets plenty of light, and carries him into the shade, so it is not burned. You look at him, and it seems you are very nice. Can you come up to him, and he, indeed, as a living creature, put legs on a palm of the person.
– And meet the emotional need of the person in a living being. And people not having this need, I will not go to the shelter and take a homeless animal from there. Enough to have ships in which there is an element of the living plant on the shell. And he even puts a paw on your palm! But somewhere the cat is alive with a beating heart, born of the light and endowed with the ability to suffer will remain without human attention and warmth.
– I do not live at home robots. In my house lives a cat taken from a shelter my wife. She cares a lot about homeless animals and helping them. But we can’t build a perfect world in which everyone is homeless can find a place. In which money will be distributed to all and each will be rewarded according to their deeds. In which there will be no injustice.
And generally, how to describe good and evil? I don’t think crabs have a major impact on the problem of homeless animals. Now in the world of robotics there are many processes and cannot be influenced. They will be developing.
Now, many editors are upset due to the fact that printed Newspapers disappear. Yes, you can sit and cry in each other’s arms: “why?! All my life I put on something that people read Newspapers! And they are bastards, do not read them. A must! Well, well, well… I’ll write to them on the website. But then I pay for it! You pay me for it! But the Internet is free information. But you owe me! For what I was trained to be a journalist! Because all his life he worked as a journalist. And now you freaks are, I dare you to watch TV shows and GIF and read Twitter instead of having to read my great article!” And I believe that this position will lead nowhere.
Journalists still have super-strength, but to use it harder
– How do you formulate for yourself what is good and what is evil?
Only at the level of sensations.
– On the level of feelings is as difficult as writing the Bible on a bull-skin. Bullish on rough calloused skin.
And I really like ethical puzzles. They show the grey area of all these definitions of good and evil. Any definition is divided on the ethical paradox. For example, a mother stole from a store a stick of sausage to feed a starving son. She has committed a criminal offence. It is evil? Evil. But she fed the son, who would have died from hunger. It? This is good. Yes, genocide is inherently bad. And the fact that we are saving animals from a shelter is good. But crabby is not evil and not good. He is and all.
– Let’s take the story of a mother who stole a sausage, divide it into two parts. In one theft – evil in the other life, the son is good. Let’s weigh these parts. What emotions outweigh? Second. And that’s the way it would a jury. The world is ruled by emotions. Good what emotion outweighed.
– The emotion or the law?! And let the speculation this story further. She stole a stick of sausage, overlooked guard. The store Manager fined him, but it was his last money. He went out and hanged himself. In the end, the mother rescued her child, but she killed the guard. She launched a chain of these events. She violated the law. She did what destroys the principle on which to build our society – she stole.
But after the story we will tell. So we decide good and evil. We can assign negative character of the store Manager – he asked about the circumstances of the life of his guard. He is to blame.
– I agree. Here is an opportunity for manipulation. And this is the whole history of journalism. And the whole history of the entertainment industry.
Yes, journalists still have this super-power, but it became more and more difficult to use. Because the world has changed.
Because in the world there are gatekeepers. Because people are not ready to read. Yes, we will appoint in his article guilty of store Manager, but who will read it? And if they read it, who will demand action against the Director?
– The public.
– Might be. It might not be. But anyway, we used his super-strength. And it would be great if it worked more often. I like what happened with coffee shops and restaurants. Before you walked in the only dumplings, you rude, but you came back because there was no choice. And now have ratings. Put all the institutions of the stars. That would have also worked with officials. Put the guilty one star. And hundreds of people gave him one star. This means that officials have to do something.
– You said that now even in Hollywood, the crisis of ideas. People want new stories?
– People are spoilt for choice. I have read this assumption – a modern resident of Moscow on the way home from work sees more people than the farmer who lived in the nineteenth century, seen in my life. We are faced with too many stories.
But we have learned not to raise their heads. Not to take persons from gadgets. We do not see those who are near.
And in the end it shapes us. And then you begin to revise the old movies, TV, reread old books that you liked five years ago, and they already seem primitive to you. But they seem to be powerful as long as you do not meet modern mediaproduct.
But this does not apply to books by Hemingway?
– I don’t. Because there are eternal values.