Wednesday, January 14, 2009

unlimited information - only 24 hours in a day

There are only 24 hours in a day. The Internet and TV offer up effectively unlimited information. Alas, people would be lucky to have 1-2 hours in a day to gather and consume it.

I find the influx of video as well as audio based information is being created with the intent to inform but rather than compete against each other which is a winnable fight, the fight is against an undefeatable opponent - time.

Why anyone or any organization would focus primarily on video as a medium to get their message/content out befuddles me. I'm not talking about entertainment. YouTubes are competing with TV. That's a whole different topic. I'm talking about news, opinions - information.

I am an avid rss feed readers. A river of information comes to me in (my preferred feed reader) from a multi-tude of sources. Some feed items are summaries, others are snippets and others are links. I link out from my feed reader if and when I want more details.

I can scan my subset of the internet in minutes to an hour or so each day depending on how much new information has been created and how much time I have. This is a highly effective method of gathering and scanning information.

Video and audio try to lock in my attention for the duration of the clip. A 20 minute scoble video clip from takes 20 minutes of my attention. I might spend the time if I was interested in the topic. I won't spend 1 hour of my available time and only get three clips of information.

I want to scan, browse, learn and most importantly skip information.

The image below shows the grouping of summary and duration attention information. It doesn't read too well as a small image, double click on it to get a readable version. It tries to show that information gets lost inside it's container if there isn't enough attention time available to look at it.

The worst possible thing one can do is misread their audience. Their content needs to be matched to their intended audience. Why we are using a medium that is a mismatch with the intended audience makes no sense to me.

Get their attention, deliver the message, make the value proposition, complete the pitch.

Get the attention - if they are there, you have their attention
Deliver the message - easy if the message is short and concise and readily available (or right there as part of the attention getter)
Make the value proposition - either in the message or through follow on information (could be video, text, audio)
Complete the pitch - either in the message or in the follow on

The pitch is the purpose of putting the information out there if you have a determined audience your are pitching to. It could be to inform, it could be to reduce energy, it could be to sell - it has a purpose. The value proposition could be straight forward and might even be non-existent in a diary type of blog.

I wonder if I am missing out on information because I don't have enough attention time to give to it.

I'll never know for sure.

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