Let's face it, visual researchers don't want to spend their time reading fluffy write-ups about ‘what' the world is made of. They want to experience the result that ‘knowing offers' – not the details – those stuck in ‘the matrix' don't have the time or the energy to read and study – they don't see the ‘value'.
Digital media delivers ‘total access', ‘on demand', or ‘always on' – the quick fix is a bad habit that claims the lives and fortunes of the masses, they want fixes now! How often do people think about doing things but never get around to actually doing (actioning) them? Or how about promises that fade and die without having been followed through and forgotten?
This made me think about the way we write – and all the observational point of views that we can express through language. But what about writing that influences the reader in a positive way – and stimulates an understanding that is truly beneficial and of value?
An observation by a blogger named Ash is spot on. ‘Agency' in writing is the observation that the writing describes what the writer is doing – has done – or recommends the reader does so that a specific problem can be solved or a specific result obtained.
To put it in another way: the meaning of agency is the character of the writing acting something out as a result of making a decision. Remember that the hardest thing to do is making a decision and we usually do that based on a few choices that might be available to you.
It appears that a digital audience wants to know that the coder is a real human being – machine learning doesn't help the trust factor – in fact, they ARE just like you WERE and that you are ok, so they can follow your guidance. They want to know what you have faced, as long it's something relevant to what they are facing now.
Other examples are: What choices did you have? What did you decide to do then? What must they know from you and follow through on?
Tell your reader what's next and try to identify some options.
Ash sums it up beautifully:
People want to read stories about people doing things. Not things that happen to them. ~ Ash Ambirge
According to Ash, people struggle to say it plainly and talk about themselves ‘taking action', i.e. toot their own horn. Read her post here. Digital users are searching the depths of collective memory on the information superhighway trying to learn what to do in a shifting reality – the world is riddled with desires in the form of unwanted problems and yearned for results.
A University of Toronto professor – Jordan Peterson mentioned that when it comes to the interest in visual research, people aren't interested so much in what the world is made up of but more in what they need to be doing i.e. how should they act.
The masses are fixated on screens, attention all over the place – minds digitally illuminated. Show them what to do next because if you don't, Pokemon will. Digital is spiritual in nature and people are fixated on the screen to know something new – to find a solution to that problem and to discover how to create a result.
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