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Connecting with Millennials et alia

I need to crowdsource this concern via my blog, and I’ll likely advertise it on FB and Twitter, too.

(Why, yes, there is a little irony there, not least because I really am going to do all that in just a minute.)

I’d like to know how a writer such as I can best communicate with my target audiences aged 18-35…you know, the people I’ve been teaching for 30 years…if I want to say something to them/you longer than 140 characters, or a Facebook update, or a blog post.

Heretofore (to use the lingo of precisely no contemporary communicator), I have resorted to writing books, with certain gratifying results. But if I have something less-than-book-length to say, I customarily have put it into an article in a relevant journal.

Alas, even smart, well-educated young people are, I am told by various smart, well-educated young people, no longer reading magazines. They do all such reading on-line.

What then, I ask, about longer pieces, so-called “long-form journalism”? Does anyone really sit at his desktop, hunch over her laptop, or thumb endlessly down his/her phone to read a piece of 2000, 3000, or 4000 words?

“Not likely,” comes the sardonic response.

But is that so? And if it is, what ought I to be doing (differently) to connect with such audiences when I have something more complicated and substantial?

Again, I’m not asking how I compete for attention with the Kardashians or the local sports team or the latest disaster. (Come to think of it, the Kardashians often qualify as “the latest disaster,” but I digress….) I’m asking how I can connect with the same people who tell me they follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my weblog or enjoy my speaking or read my books.

Crowd: Tell me, please.

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