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Writing words for idle browsers

Last Saturday night I was sitting in the living room with my wife. We had music playing, wine glasses filled, and I had the laptop to one side, where I could follow, pitch by pitch, a baseball game in Colorado. I could have gone downstairs and watched the game on a large flatscreen TV. I could have clicked to watch a video feed on the computer. But I chose the drip-drip feed, single bytes at a time. This kept baseball as a niche activity in my evening (though the story those bytes delivered drove me into despondancy).

My question is this: Do today’s thriving magazines appeal to the drip-drip attention of multi-taskers? I look at the fat magazines at the newstand. The fashion mags, Vanity Fair. I can imaging paging through them idly while listening to music, conversing, etc.

Then I think about BusinessWeek. Should we do more to appeal to that group? Are we already doing it? How many people want to sit down with a magazine (online or off), turn off the music, block out the housemates, and read a longish article? If you feel like answering that question, I’d love to hear about long articles you’ve enjoyed.

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