Early mornings on the Twittersphere never cease to amaze and inspire me. This morning, it was a post by Mitch Joel that flew by in my stream, retweeted by someone or another. I passed over it at first. Then something drew me back to it, and I clicked the link.
Now, anyone who knows Mitch Joel (personally or otherwise) or frequents his blog Six Pixels of Separation knows he is one smart guy. And a straight up writer. And the post I read today didn’t disappoint. Titled “9 Glorious Truths About Creating Great Content”, it lists important considerations like ‘You are not a machine’ – and my personal favourite – ‘Editing content is hard.’ But it was number 8 that really caught my eye – ‘Complex is bad.’
In a nutshell, the best content is not complex, it’s simple, real and honest. The reason this resonated so viscerally with me is because I’ve been chewing over this very thing lately. A lot. In fact, last week, while swimming in a fog of illness and antibiotics, I wrote a particularly scathing post about the issue. Thankfully I managed to surface just long enough to say “Self, shelve that until you are more clearheaded.” Yes, it was that nasty.
Buzzwords Kill Kittens
Jim Jones had nothing on the whole social media industry. We are the biggest group of Kool-Aid drinkers to have ever populated a public space. Before you start hollering “Off with her head!” let me assure you I’m right in there with the best of them! Glass houses and all that. And I get it, every industry has jargon and lingo and those twitch inducing buzzwords that make you sound really cool and smart but mean nothing at all to half the people you’re talking to at any given moment. But Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I think social media tops TV, Hollywood and even the sports world – all rolled into one – for jargonistic analogy and ‘say nothing’ phraseology.
I read a blog post last week – on a corporate blog – that was presumably put out to inform and inspire their current community, as well as draw in new customers. No exaggeration – I did not understand one single word. In fact, I kept reading only because I couldn’t believe how incomprehensible it was. I’m aware there are a core group of folks out there, smart scribes like Gini Dietrich at Spin Sucks and Erika Napoletano at RedheadWriting, who consistently write about cutting the crap and just getting down to business. In fact, if you Google social media and buzzwords, you’ll find thousands of articles disabusing the practice of regurgitating the same old same old – but it never stops.
Seven Nation Army
So, consider this my plea. In the words of the great Jack White, let’s build a seven nation army to stop social media speak. Use the odd bit of jargon, but don’t populate your entire post with it. It tells me that you don’t really have a clue what you’re trying to say. It isn’t the least bit interesting. And I’ve just left your site for someone else’s.
Note: Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes is a killer song. The video is even better. If you didn’t click the link, go back and do it NOW!
Thoughts? Do you get valuable information from jargon’y, buzzword filled content? Do you find it as frustrating as I do? Am I just stoopid…? (Maybe!) Would love to hear your comments and personal experiences.