This morning I went to my neighborhood mega-corp coffee shop (they get enough press the way it is, so I’ll give you three guesses to figure out who I’m talking about…and the first two don’t count.) I was having a nice relaxing coffee with my wife and our dog, when all of a sudden my coffee cup started talking to me!
I thought that what is had to say was important enough and relevant enough that I wanted to share it with you. Here is what my coffee cup said to me:
The Way I See It #225 (…figured it out yet?)
“People don’t read enough. And what reading we do is cursory, without absorbing the subtleties and nuances that lie deep within — Wow, you’ve stopped paying attention, haven’t you? People can’t even read a coffee cup without drifting off.”-David Shore
Creator and executive producer of the television drama House.
I find this relevant because I have spent the past 6 months in deeper exploration and participation of the blogosphere…man do I hate that term…the world of self-published content. What I find so interesting about this world is the same thing that most professional journalists originally complained about: the lack of depth within the majority of content.
How many blogs have you gone to where the majority of the postings are just a few sentences that refer you to another posting. Recycled content with no added value. There is nothing wrong with pointing your readers to something that you find interesting, but explain what and why you find it interesting, don’t just say “this was cool…” and provide a link. I don’t even bother looking at, let alone reading or even scanning, blogs like that. That’s the quickest way to get me to unsubscribe from their feed.
This makes me think of a new social phenomenon that I have seen mentioned a lot lately…Twitter. Think of it as a micro-blogging service where you are forced to do short content with the goal of explaining what you are doing right now. Interesting social experiment, but I find it difficult to finding adequate time to write up the items that I really find interesting for here. I also am finding it harder and harder to have large blocks of concentration time to work on items. The last think I need is to break my time up into smaller chucks so I can tell the world what I just did (or didn’t do). Again, what is the value in snippets of thought or meaningless comments about “having lunch with my Grandma”? (Yes, that last one was pulled right from the Twitter website as I write this).
The English language is a wonderful tool that is full of subtleties and nuances that seem to have gotten lost in today’s world. I agree with the Professional Organization of English Majors that we are facing a shortage in this world. Did you see the nuance and subtle reference in that last sentence? As an English Minor, I put it there on purpose. I know that my co-worker would have caught it. The joy of working with him is the nuance and subtleties that he weaves into our every day interaction with clients and co-workers. Granted, being a film major I don’t always catch all the obscure references..but I appreciate knowing that their there. It’s one of the joys of the job. Something akin to the way Gail Wynand would write a world changing editorial on the fly.
I have seen comments in the technology trade rags stating that blogging will start to decline. That we have hit a wall on volume of self-publishing content. I sure hope not. I see self-publishing as a great way to leverage the true spirit and potential of the internet. The challenge that we all face is to not fall into the trap of condensing everything down so it can be easily consumed, turning it into just another puff of air into the hype balloon, and using it to drive readership for an increase in advertising revenue. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem in monetizing your self-publishing to help you pay the bills, I’m a firm believer in needing multiple streams of income in today’s world. But don’t minimize the value in your self-publishing for this return.
I hope to see us use the self-publishing infrastructure to unlock the creativity and greatness that we all have locked inside of us. As I had mentioned in a previous posting, just keep your critical thinking cap on so you can see the true greatness through the rhetoric and propaganda.
That is, unless you’ve already drifted off…