A recent New York Time article reports that young people are less interested in (long-form) content on blogs and are more interested in (short-form) content on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. A colleague of mine, Mark Evans, writes a great post as to why he still sees value in blogging and the additional benefits he gets through his blog. For those of you that know me, you’ve probably heard me say MANY times, that I really do not like writing (which is why there are so few blog posts on my blog :-) ). That said, I do find this discussion around long-form versus short-form content quite interesting!
Over the weekend, I had an exchange with another colleague of mine about a great online video that was an hour long (for those of you interested, it’s about How and Why Ideas Spread in Social Media). My colleague mentioned that the video would be much more “viral” if it were shorter and better edited.
I did not disagree, but also argued that SOMETIMES, if something is important to you/your career, you need to invest the time and the effort to learn about complex insights and wisdom. And, in fact, it is perhaps those who do take the time to watch and listen, who may come out ahead.
Now, I’m the CEO of a publishing technology company, BookRiff, and I teach Social Media Strategy & Marketing and Social Media Monetization at the University of British Columbia. I firmly believe that BOTH long-form and short-form content have their places. That said, I am always surprised at the expectations of many people who believe they can quickly become “experts” or “gurus” because they can get bite-sized pieces of information quickly and efficiently.
Perhaps I am just an “Old Fart”, who has spent many, many hours reading, listening, watching, and networking. Maybe I’m missing something in the “New School Way of Learning”. But, I do believe that sometimes we simply have to put in the time and effort. For some, it will be spending hours using the new tools and coming to their own conclusions. For others, it will be spending the time reading others’ summaries and lessons learned. In either case, I do believe that there are few short-cuts to climbing the mountain. The paths may be different, but in the end, they all require a certain investment of time, money, and effort. Whether you choose to spend your time, money and/or effort is purely a personal choice. But, thinking that everything can be internalized and distilled down to 140 characters is probably not the answer either!
What do you think?! Am I just an “Old Fart” who’s hoping experience, thought, and analysis still count for something or am I simply missing something in the “New School Way” of communicating, building relationships, and learning? I’d love to hear your thoughts!