Learning to be more concise

GET TO THE POINT!

One thing that I grapple a lot with lately, is thinking about how to be more concise.  Often times I find myself wanting to share all the reading and ideas I have been doing lately, but a couple of short paragraphs doesn’t seem to cut it.

The big trade off is that the longer a message gets, the less likely the people who you want to read it, will. Or worse still, they’ll skim over it, and comment bringing up a point that was already in the original article, but buried in a middle paragraph.

I invite you to share some of the challenges you may have had with writing something that you wanted people to read.

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3 Things I Learned From Blogging Everyday for 1 Week

I took the last week off to take some time to review how I will be using this blog going forward.  I have taken a look at the stats to see what has been working and what hasn’t been working.

I set out to have a blog where there would be regular updates.  That first week of consistently updating taught me a lot of things that I will be using for this blog going forward.

First: Readers enjoy certain kinds of content over others

That first week the two most popular categories of posts were about Japan, whether it was language or moving there, and the other was photo focused posts.  I do think both of these things speak to what we want as people when we visit other’s blogs.  We want to read about adventure, and see pictures of adventure.  Its like watching tv shows about fabulous homes.  We like to consider the alternatives to what we are currently living.  Whether those alternatives are better or worse, will of course depend on what you as a person value.

Next: Photo posts get better reactions than long wordy essay posts

I know this post specifically ignores this.  But I do think a lot of our experience is visually driven.  That is why science shows with eccentric hosts do a lot better than sitting in a classroom reading about things from a teacher who needs to prepare 4 other lessons for the day.  I do think there is going to be a huge demand for things like SciShow, Crash Course, Vsauce, and the like on Youtube.  These shows do well because they respect the human attention span.  Photos and (short) videos respect that people don’t want to commit half an hour to an hour for you to explain something.

Third: You have only a moment to capture someone’s attention, then its gone.

I mainly announced blog posts through Twitter and Facebook right now. It is where my friends are, and where I can find people I already have some kind of rapport with. It is a lot harder to find strangers to share ideas and start conversation with. What I learned that first week is that you need to speak to what sits close to home for people, and quick.

I know I don’t like when someone takes a long time to get to the point.  I want to know what I need to know as soon as I can, without all the extra noise that comes with the package.

So here are the challenges I want to tackle as a blogger:

1. Be informative, and provide something valuable.

2. Try and provide that value with the least amount of noise as possible.

3. Leave the more wordy stuff to ebooks and mediums that people come to expecting to spend more time developing ideas and information.

Of course this plan will see some changes as this site develops and finds its niche subject. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts about challenges you face with sharing your ideas and thoughts with others, and how to do it in a way that they can follow, and not be bored, feel free to leave them in the comments below, or tweet me @ctriff on Twitter.

P.S. Feel free to subscribe to my blog.  If you are a wordpress member just click the +follow link up top.  If you wish to get updates via email to this blog, there is a link on the side navigation for you to do that as well.  Feel free to let me know in the comments if you use RSS feeds and I can look into getting that setup as well.

Thanks again for reading this post, and talk to you soon.

-Chris