Marketing god Seth Godin has an excellent post up on the state of modern media.It’s so short, we’re going to bring it to you in its entirely (and then add a link to another cool Seth Godin post):
You’re going to hear that more and more often.
The movie, the book, the meeting, the memo… few people will tell you that they ran short.
(Shorter, though, doesn’t mean less responsibility, less insight or less power. It means less fluff and less hiding.)
Seth’s right, of course.
With some exceptions, stuff that’s super-long is just ineffective in today’s world.
This is why blogs are disrupting newspapers. It’s why short web videos get watched, and long web videos generally don’t. It’s why people like Twitter and Facebook. It’s why magazine articles aren’t “better” than newspapers, even though they’re longer. It’s why sites that are image-driven as opposed to word-driven are now taking over the world.
One simple example:
Every day, publishers send me new books to look at.
All the books have cool-looking covers. Most of the books usually have interesting-looking titles. I usually read the titles while transferring the books from the envelope they arrived in to the bookshelf behind my desk, where they sit forever, unread.
Sometimes, if the title of the book seems really interesting, I will wish that the publisher had also sent along a bullet-point synopsis of what the book says, so I could learn from it. Because I certainly don’t have the time to read it. And nor, I suspect, does anyone else.
I also wonder why the book’s author bothered to take a year out of his or her life to research and write something that no one has time to read. Why not just make the points quickly and efficiently, in blog posts or slide decks? That way, so many more people could benefit from them.
Yes, of course, once in a while a book comes along that deserves book-length treatment. But rarely.
Most books are just too long.
And so, as Seth says, are many other forms of media, especially traditional media.
They were made for a world in which people had time to kill, not way too little time…
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