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Learning about Smart Brevity for writing

I was introduced to the idea of Axios’ Smart Brevity on the How I Built This podcast. Based on the reality that people don’t read much, the idea is writing that presents information as clearly and concisely as possible. Axios has pushed this model successfully with 200-400 word news stories that liberally use bulleted lists.

This was attractive to me, in part, because I find writing to be struggle. I want to be a good writer, but I think my voice pales in comparison to the writers that I admire. Rather than trying to match their wit or charm, perhaps I could provide value by being direct and informative.

I followed the podcast episode by watching Jim VandeHei’s TEDx talk on Smart Brevity. Here some some key points (loosely quoted):

About the author

Sean McPherson is a software engineer for Khan Academy who specializes in web development. He lives with his wife, sons, and dog in Pittsburgh, PA.