The depressing truth

Many of you might have noticed a change in tone on the blog lately. My co-worker Jacob had this idea that controversial content gets noticed. Worse yet, rude and abrasive content is the best of breed. Not one to shy away from interesting experiences, I set him loose to create some less than appropriate content. Meanwhile, I went down the path of creating what seemed to be useful and productive content.

After a few posts and several weeks of downtime a few things stand out:

  1. Both types of content pulled in our normal readers
  2. Both types of content drew in new readers
  3. Jacob’s flavor of content had far more shares and reach

In a world where social shares equals curation, the idea that basic rants and absurdities are made more prominent than productive content both frightens and depresses me. It’s not that I find Jacob’s passion for railing against what he finds annoying, wrong. I simply question if his shock jock approach is really the best way to create a conversation. Is this the content we want our friends, family and co-workers to base decisions on?

Anyway, in reality I guess it’s just sour grapes. Jacob’s tone works because it’s entertaining. It’s unexpected and in some ways refreshing in its honesty. Perhaps that’s the difference in news and information. Even more, perhaps it’s the general attitude of content where we rely on the reader to add context?

The lesson in all this for me? Don’t stop taking risks. I most likely won’t have the ability to match Jacob’s tone and annoyance with products, but I won’t be stifling him either. Much like the radio, if you don’t like it then you don’t have to read it. If you do, then enjoy.

Do you want to hear more rants from Jacob? Let us know in the comment section below.

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One Response

  1. I believe that if you lead by example and create quality material that remains accessible then its value will overshadow the absurd, sensational, controversial, or nonsensical especially in the long run. If you want to incite you may garner attention but will that be substantive is the question and would you be content to produce that which you know has little value.

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