Is Too Much Enough?

Are you a skimmer? Do you ever open long, wordy emails and merely skim the text? Do you ever click on a long-winded blog post or other webpage and just give it a quick “gaze over” rather than a conscious reading? Have you ever skipped a newspaper or magazine article that looked interesting because you knew it would take too long to read the whole thing?

Have you ever changed stations from a radio or TV news report or interview because it ran too long? Ever walked out of a church sermon because the pastor droned on well beyond his anticipated run time? Or wanted to? Ever chosen not to watch a recommended Youtube video because it was 12 minutes long? Do you ever click “agree” on an internet “terms of agreement” page without taking a day off to read the whole thing?

Good communication is a factor of quality not quantity. Would Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan have been more effective if it were longer? Try these: “Just Get Up And Do It.” “Whatever It Is, Just Do It Everyday.” OR “Don’t Overthink Your Fitness Routine, Just Do It.”

Hey, let’s rewrite that “Got Milk?” slogan! Let’s go with “Did you remember to pick up milk on your way home from work?” Nope, bigger, in this case, is not better.

If you’ve skimmed down to here because those first two paragraphs looked longish, welcome. I realize that we all have certain holes to fill. TV sitcoms have 22 minutes of content. Most movies run about two hours. I shoot for around 300 words on each blog post. And, honestly, none of the posts I have written would’ve be better if they were twice as long.

Here’s the point: Sometimes you can say just as much in a 140-character tweet as you can in a lengthy article. Get to the point. Edit.










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3 thoughts on “Is Too Much Enough?

  1. Scott Simon says:

    However, if you post online, SEO highlights 300 word-plus items more than short clips. Twitter is a headline service, period. And SEO ranks video/photoswith text higher than text-only articles.

  2. […] bullet points and bold face print. Many of us are email skimmers (see 9/13/12 post “Is Too Much Enough?” ) who may not take 90 seconds to read all your copy. But we will note those two sentences in bold […]

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