The Last Paragraph

September 23, 2012

After watching Memento the other day, I started – just for fun – to read blog posts from the bottom to the top, paragraph by paragraph. And now, weeks later, I think this is actually a better way to consume information fast.

Usually, blog posts are structured like a story that consists of an introduction, a plot, and a conclusion. That’s probably because most people are good story-tellers. So reading a blog posts is very similar to reading a mystery story, in which the grand finale explains everything.

But the difference to many blog post is that you may know the finale or large parts of the plot.

It works like the following:

Reading a blog post backwards resembles the way you meet new people. You don’t want to ask them about their biography at first. Instead you want to know what they’ve done recently and specific details of which you think makes that person distinct.

If you read a complete blog post this way, it is harder, and often you will find yourself stop reading after one or two paragraphs. It feels more like reengineering information, it requires more work, more concentration, but it may also strengthen your skill to ask the right questions and pick out the important bits.