I just downloaded the Longform app and I’m expecting to love it. Dedicated solely to sharing long-form journalism on mobile devices, it’s the antithesis of the GIFs and listicles that have dominated my feed for the past few years. I’m ready for a long read.
This flies in the face of web writing basics and even what’s healthy for vision. Best practices and common sense require chunking of content, use of bullets and graphics, and judicious use of columns and other devices to separate contents. When I train others to write for the web, I use Microstyle as my bible. In the food analogy, it’s advocated that we provide a snack rather than a meal.
But personally, I’m ready for a meal. I’m a reader by nature, and I’m within months of transitioning my reading and research skills to a profession. I still subscribe to magazines and have a few books going at any one time.
My mobile device of choice is my phone, and it is not ideal for long-form reading. There is no way around it. But the advantages of web writing–access to publishing and ability to update quickly–are undeniable, and I personally welcome anything that provides more access to in-depth, well-researched writing.