I recently finished Trust me I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday. One of the big takeaways he discussed is that in the media world today, information, more than anything, is all about the speed and not about the value. So much so, information doesn’t even need to be the truth, it just needs to be circulated as quickly as humanly possible. This was troubling to hear at first… but sadly, it happens to be true.
We are coming dangerously close to the point where we will overdose on information and the quantity will overpower the quality to the point that no one will know how to separate the good from the bad. The more information that is created, the more is diluted and the more the quality content gets hidden.
For example, a few years ago Amazon opened up the doors to self-publishing. While this was great in many ways as it allowed unpublished authors to publish their own works, it has also increased the amount of books by such a tremendous multiple that it is now nearly impossible to differentiate the good content… from the fluff.
So how this this information addiction going to affect us in the future?
I think this addiction to quantity over quality is going to make a mess of our content. I also believe we need to get a handle on some other things that are contributing to the problem… like new innovations and new platforms.
New Innovations And New Platforms
I believe we are chasing new platforms as opposed to investing in a few that we can get really good at. The speed in which people jump to new platforms and new mediums to promote content is mind-boggling. Ditch Digg for Reddit. Ditch Reddit for Stumble Upon. Ditch Facebook for Twitter. Ditch Twitter for Google Plus.
For lack of a better example, it is like the new drug syndrome. Before one antibiotic gets a chance to prove itself, there is a new and improved drug that everyone jumps ship and starts taking. The same thing for new fad diets, new vitamins, new ways to make money, you name it people will dump one thing for the next quicker than the speed of light. One article in Tech Crunch will have you dropping what you’ve been working on for the last two years and playing with the newest and shiniest object people are talking about.
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The Good & The Bad Of Innovation & Disruption
Don’t get me wrong. Innovation and disruptive technology is great and it is vital to keeping companies on their toes and preventing them from being complacent. Innovation can, on the other hand, be detrimental, as people who start working on one platform and then switch to another, often times lose all the momentum they have gained from using the platform they have spent so much time learning and getting good at.
Jack Of All Trades… Master Of None
Back to social media for a moment…First there was Facebook, then Twitter, then Google Plus. When most people added Twitter to the mix their Facebook time went down. When they added Google Plus, they diluted their time even more. Personally, I don’t have the time to operate on all three platforms, nor do I want to. I generally stay on Twitter to promote content and I try to perfect myself as much as possible in one area…
Naturally, people came up with the answer to everyone’s problems… AUTOMATE!
When people stopped having the time to sit around all day and post their content manually, naturally a solution was created. Enter Tweetdeck, Buffer, Hootesuite and a number of other tools, which enabled people to put out their content at alarming speed and what’s more, bounce the same information across all the platforms at one time.
At the end of the day, there is a lot more coverage, but the fact is it’s automated… it’s all quantitative, and has nothing to do with enhancing quality. If we were focused on quality we would actually handpick what was right for each platform.
If you read N2ITIV, you know I very rarely talk about social media and I am not really doing so here either. I am simply using social media platforms as an example of how quantity is starting to kill the quality of content. It is how media works in general.
As Ryan Holiday states repeatedly in Trust Me I’m Lying, quality and accuracy are not important anymore, just the speed in which the information hits the media. Personally, I think this is a tragedy as too many people believe what they hear. For this reason, too many people are drinking really bad Kool-Aide… and they don’t even know it!
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Pick Your Niche
I strongly suggest we slow things down a bit and focus on the quality of our content.
People need to find their own niche and stick with what they are good at. Some people can rock a great Vine. Some are Kings and Queens of Instagram. Guy Kawasaki is rocking G+. Gary Vaynerchuck is killing it on video. Mari Smith and Amy Porterfield are great on Facebook. Lewis Howes on Linked In. Neil Patel kills it in the technical articles he writes on his blog.
Pick what you are good at, find your lane and stay in it and gain the traction you deserve!
Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Humble!