6 May 2010 Main Posts Meanland extract – An argument for long form Jacinda Woodhead Long form: long-form journalism, long form online; you may have heard the term bandied about but a definition will prove elusive. ‘Long form’ makes me think of p-books1. In the same way we have e-books and p-books, we now have the short essay, the blog post and lately, the long-form essay. The fact that we can’t reach a consensus on the territory the long-form essay claims suggests that is it not an established term, and scrutiny may result in fraying around the edges. When researching reading online, one is bound to come across the following ideas: long form onscreen is hard on the mind and the eye; it’s taxing and the reader is easily distracted; it is not suited to the digital medium. It is hard to say what will become of the long form, it is implied, when we cross the great divide into the wholly digital textual world. Long form, I propose, means ‘essay’. It can include but is not limited to technology essays, academic essays, New Yorker essays. It is a term created to describe a form established and practiced pre-Internet. Many internet audiences have come to accept that blog posts are short. Which is true, up until a point – but it depends what you’re selling and who your audience is. And audience is pivotal to this argument. (Again.) Long form, suggests the New Yorker, ‘is something you want to sit with and not be distracted by. I don’t mean this in a spiritual way, but it’s a meditative experience. The Web is fundamentally a distracted experience’. Read the rest of the post over at Meanland. Jacinda Woodhead Jacinda Woodhead is a former editor of Overland and current law student. More by Jacinda Woodhead Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 11 November 202211 November 2022 Main Posts On the last day of Subscriberthon, our amazing online editor gives you one last (very good) reason to subscribe Editorial team What's in store for the last day of Subscriberthon? First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202210 November 2022 Main Posts On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, our favourite editor-duo give you reason #1002 to subscribe to Overland Editorial team What's in store for the second-last day of Subscriberthon?