Post #5 Linear or Non-Linear Reading

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When it comes to reading on the web, I am definitely a non-linear reader. I think this also applies to when I read dense material like text books for certain classes. However, I believe that I am a linear reader when I am reading something for fun. When I want to enjoy what I am reading I make sure to take the time to read it all. Unfortunately, most of the reading I have to do isn't for fun and is for school or learning purposes. With more and more reading being done on the web, it is easy to see how we are changing the way we are reading. The internet relies on speed and convenience, so being able to understand the main messages quickly and move on is crucial.

In Neilson's Reading on the Web it is discussed how people usually don't read every single word on the web page, but instead they scan the page for key words. I agree with this idea because it is definitely what I do in my own experience of viewing web pages. The faster I find what I am looking for, the better. I like when web pages are organized so that the most important information is located near the top, or easy to find. It is easy to get discouraged quickly and move on to a new site if you don't find any helpful information on the website in about the first thirty seconds. Neilson says close to the same thing in Information Foraging, when he states that web sites should support short visits. "Be a snack, not a meal."

1 Comment

That's right, the "information foraging" idea suggests that people are hunting for information on the web, not really reading to learn or for their enjoyment. I would agree that I too am a non-linear reader on the web, although every once in a while there is a site with information that I need to read closely. It's interesting to think of our different reading habits with different web site purposes.

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This page contains a single entry by aleck015 published on February 22, 2010 7:28 PM.

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