Snacks vs. Gourmet Meals in Online Content

This Good Experience post discusses an article that hits the nail on the head. With Twitter and other bite-sized nuggets of information, the world is full of instant, immediate “experts” on any topic. Their information is worth the money you paid for them – nothing.

From Good Experience:

“Lots of the popular posts on Twitter, digg, etc. promise “7 ways to…” or “15 reasons you should…” or similar bite-sized snack-nuggets of infotainment. And that’s all fine. The world of bite-sized Internet content is quick and easy to consume, occasionally informative or very funny, and almost always free. No complaints there.

But what happens when we shift so far to the snacky items that there aren’t enough readers seeking the longer piece, written by a subject matter expert? (And by “expert” I mean someone who’s spent longer in the field than the Web has been around.)”

The reference is to Gourmet to All That (New York Times Op-Ed, October 7, 2009) by Christopher Kimball. One quote:

…in a click-or-die advertising marketplace, one ruled by a million instant pundits, where an anonymous Twitter comment might be seen to pack more resonance and useful content than an article that reflects a lifetime of experience, experts are not created from the top down but from the bottom up. They can no longer be coronated; their voices have to be deemed essential to the lives of their customers. …

To survive, those of us who believe that inexperience rarely leads to wisdom need to swim against the tide, better define our brands, prove our worth, ask to be paid for what we do, and refuse to climb aboard this ship of fools, the one where everyone has an equal voice. Google “broccoli casserole” and make the first recipe you find. I guarantee it will be disappointing. The world needs fewer opinions and more thoughtful expertise — the kind that comes from real experience, the hard-won blood-on-the-floor kind. I like my reporters, my pilots, my pundits, my doctors, my teachers and my cooking instructors to have graduated from the school of hard knocks.

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