How many of you read this simply because it had a picture? Keep that in mind.
I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s series Zero Punctuation. If you’ve never seen it before, click the link and watch any video, it doesn’t matter which. Then come back, sit down, and shut up, I got shit to say.
Now that you’ve seen one, you probably picked up on a few things.
A: It’s funny.
B: He talks quickly and with a lot of emotion.
C: There’s a lot of animated pictures moving around to the story.
Here’s the funny part: I’ve recently started reading the text counterpart called Extra Punctuation that Yahtzee produces, and they aren’t as good as ZP. Which is odd, seeing that the quality of writing for both is pretty much even. This confused me at first, but then I realized: People don’t like it just for the jokes, they like the pictures, the music, the sounds, the voices. Yes, I realize that ZP is more intended for humor than review compared to EP, but it’s a comparatively minor point and the example still stands. Quiet, I’m trying to make a point
It’s also a much more passive system, which people seem to prefer. Another example of this is the forums at the Escapist (I’m going to reference the Escapist a lot, I frequent it and so should you. Look for me, Catalyst6). You make a forum topic like any other, but you also have the option to make a poll. This causes the thread to show up in the listings with a little icon on the left indicating that there is a poll. This is kind of standard, I suppose.
The odd thing is that these threads with polls, without fail, will get a massive number of views compared to normal, non-polling threads. I am guilty of this myself, I sometimes find that I am clicking on threads simply because they have the little rising bar icon. I think it’s because you can read the top post, voice your opinion in half a second, and move on. There’s some rule somewhere (if anyone knows the exact number let me know) that says that 1/6 of the people who read a thread will contribute to it. But when there’s really no effort involved in it, then there’s a much higher turnout.
Like I said before, it’s a much more passive exercise. Yes, I know that people have called the internet “passive” since the dawn of the millennium, especially with Youtube and the like, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Those sweet nothings use media instead of substance. I’m talking about things that are almost the same in terms of material, but we think are bettered by the fact that they are movies, music, etc.
Or, for example, take my site (I refuse to say that word, *cough*blog*cough*. Sounds like a venereal disease.) or any other text-only site. I will bet you that their traffic is nothing compared to asinine things like FailBlog, even if the material is miles better. Why? Because there’s no funny pictures, no half-second entertainment. It looks boring, so it is boring.
I am not trying to soapbox a point here, mostly because it would make me a hypocrite. I’m just stating something that I noticed. Food for the brain, yes? Maybe you’ll actually start reading those blogs, heh.