The rhythm of medium and delivery of content.

I love that feeling when you completely missed the arrival of a fantastic new TV Drama series, and you only hear about it when everyone on Facebook or Twitter are raving about the dramatic ending of a series. So you get the box set and sit in… for days.

I settled-in to do this when I discovered Luther. Except I realised something very quickly. Luther is so completely awesome and intense that I found I couldn’t watch more than two or three episodes without a break… I was physically exhausted! (which doesn’t take much, granted).

It got me thinking about the medium of TV, not just as a video/audio relay, but as a medium that spans time. The absorption, retention and dissipation of content from one episode to the next. ¬†And it got me thinking about the rhythm of delivery and the dosage of consumption. As humans, most of us are hoarding, opportunist gluttons that will happily take more than we need, or is good for us, but I believe that truly great content also considers the pace of its delivery… like a Hitchcock movie.

Watching episode after episode of Luther in a row was like drinking a pint of Whiskey

I’m a passionate photographer and often consider the difference between an online photo gallery and the physical turning of a photo book’s pages. Technically we could cram all photos into a single page, and pointlessly order them numerically by their filename. But there is more to be gained (if not a story to be told) from the forced chronology of order. One at a time and not necessarily distracted by what comes next. (If only FlickR understood that)

As far back as 2004 when BBC Mobile was turning xhtml, I was trying to caution people about the dangers of page-size anomalies. By that I’m referring to particular pages with functions that require significantly more data (or coding) than the average page of that service. I would stress the psychological importance of browsing rhythm and expected delivery.

If a services response times are erratic and unreliable, it will make all the difference to the user choosing to hit that link before they jump on that train.

The internet is full of designs conceived around “Lorem Ipsum…” like a suit sewn around a mannequin that doesn’t move.

It’s a common practice and a somewhat necessary fit for the way the world turns. I don’t know if this is because the content we have isn’t so hot (and may as well stay as Lorem Ipsum) or if we are grossly neglecting our stories and failing to consider more creative ways to deliver it.

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