Defeat, reading and politics

by / Filed under Web

The notion of tethering content delivery to a particular proprietary platform or hardware device is admitting defeat Arc 90

This is a great read, by the way, and tops off an interesting few days in the online reading world. We’ve had Safari 5’s reader, Today’s Guardian and Arc 90’s post.

But it’s not just admitting defeat, is it? In the same way that it’s not just the publishers and advertisers’ fault that online texts are so difficult to read. Designers are complicit too, both in their enthusiasm to design for closed, proprietary and downright expensive formats and in their willingness to create pages that are chock full of noise and hard to scan content.

I like the fact that Arc 90 and Phil Gyford have made open, web texts more readable, rather than concentrate on, say, the iPad. There’s a political element to this: Information – and its proper presentation – shouldn’t just be the reserve of those who can afford to spend a few hundred quid on what’s essentially a toy. Websites remain the most accessible, democratic medium.