Carefully Crafted on April 01

Fighting Back Against the Absurd

This is a guest post from my friend Dan Farkas. Follow Dan on Twitter at @danfarkas.

My college education cost tens of thousands of dollars.
My eyes read thousands of pages.
My work schedule dwarfs 40 hours a week.

And this is what I’m competing against…

More than 72 million people have wasted some or all of 3:48 looking at this … art. Sure.

Speaking of art, Snooki from MTV’s Jersey Shore just received $32,000 to speak at Rutgers about her book. Yes, Snooki wrote a book. Yes, she got more to speak from Rutgers than Toni Morrison.

Who need a book when you have Twitter? America’s most well known snake, the Bronx Zoo Cobra, now has more than 220,000 Twitter followers. It has a Klout score of 73. Ohio’s Governor has a Klout score of 65.

Funny? Maybe. But an average singer, WrestleMania performer and freaky looking snake are all making local, regional and national headlines, filling the same content hole you’re trying to get for clients. Maybe it’s not so funny anymore. At least you can learn a few things to fight back.

The Key To Good Writing Is Brevity:
We overwrite. Be thorough. But be concise. Dump your passive voice, and watch your copy improve. If it works for a snake, it can work for you.

Capture The Moment:
Great stories are about moments. We spend so much time trying to manufacture something special that we often forget to just let it happen.

Do these military reunion stories ever not get to you? Think about how you can try and create a natural opportunity. Then get out of the way and let your subjects tell the story. The results will surprise you.

Have Realistic Expectations:
For every Rebecca Black, there are millions of videos that never go viral. Your client doesn’t need fifteen minutes of fame. Just ask Ted Williams. Your clients do need sustained relationships. You build that through time. A lot more time than 3:48.

How do we fight back against the absurd to benefit worthy people doing worthy work? I welcome any ideas, just after I watch this video with the twin babies talking about the Bronx Zoo Cobra.

Dan Farkas teaches at Ohio University, owns Dan Farkas Interactive and plays a mean game of Peakaboo with his daughter Leah. You can contact him on Twitter at @danfarkas.

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