Slate thinks readers aren’t interested in unfamiliar stories that will burden them, but journalism’s about discovery
This article will take you 3 minutes 45 seconds to read. (2 minutes 30 seconds celsius.) You will expend 60 calories and learn two new vocabulary words, including a synonym for “rebellious”. Approximately 30m of your cells will die. Enjoy!
Those helpful journometrics are brought to you by – or at least suggested by – the folks at slate.com, which has taken to including time estimates for consumption of its pieces. On Slate’s right rail recently were these items:
•What Would Happen if Ocean Water Was replaced With Deuterium Oxide? 6M TO READ
•How Do Female Republican Strategists Plan to Reach Women Voters? We Asked Them. 8M TO READ •It’s Time to Bring Back the Guillotine. 4M TO READ
•How Being in Grad School is Like Being in a Frat. 4M TO READ
The idea is to give a reader, before undertaking the effort and risk of clicking on a story, some notion of the burden he or she will have to endure. It’s like those disclaimers on the pharma commercials. If you want relief from depression’s pain, ask your doctor about Cymbalta, but be advised that your liver will probably explode. You wish to learn about the GOP’s “women strategy”? Fine, but prepare for the chrono-consequences.
Now, obviously, not every story clocks in at a ponderous eight minutes. Every now and then, when the executive-summary gods are with you, the right rail is a “reduced for quick sale” bin. Last Wednesday night was one such cornucopia of conciseness. Look at all these fantastic stories costing you only one minute each:
•Newt Gingrich Knows How to Fix Obamacare. 1M TO READ