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Take Back the Internet

 internet

It does look nice and neat, the bulleted or numbered list, but I fail to see the radical effect claimed by many of the – How to Write Killer Content – articles found all over the ‘net these days. Similar to button-pushing headlines, I read again and again how “attention is riveted” by such things.

The eye is drawn, that much is true. And the appearance is orderly, neat and tidy – attractive, appealing, even. But I’m looking for information, answers to questions, directions, explanations, or new angles to consider. Pretty, fluffy content pieces are the last thing I want to wade through. Block format or indented, with jazzy headings or not, uses lists or doesn’t, with or without info graphics – none of this matters to me. It’s about how much pertinent, useful, and/or though-provoking, information is found on the page, isn’t it?

 

The Secret of Fiction Writing

 

Sure, long articles are nicer to read if there’s white space, some headings, pictures, or illustrations. The eye-ball savers are appreciated, and if they contribute to understanding, so much the better. But just think about all the fiction writing in existence. We could probably fill the flipping ocean with it. Now think about the quantities of it devoured in plain old paper back – and these days, plain old EBook – formats. Nothing fancy here, folks.

It seems there’s a deep contradiction with the most popular how-to claims. Enduring works of fiction share the same secret – the immersive quality of the writing. No amount of prettiness will substitute. And non fiction that delivers well explained, carefully checked, information has always been, and still is, the ticket to reader engagement.

So what’s the point of all the empty, but eye-catching, content? Well, when I thought about reverse engineering this question, one thing came first and plainly to mind –  the complaints I’ve heard about how hard it is to find something “real” to read on the ‘net. Sifting through pages of fluff sucks. But it’s clear that getting readers to click takes a far precedence over quality. I subscribe to some aggregators, attempting to save time finding what’s new, but lately, the pickings are extremely thin. And hitting the search engines brings me the same old click-bait, time after time.

So what are internet writers to do if they’re aiming to provide quality – but can’t make it to page 300 in a Google Search?

High-Fiving the Content

I know it’s long been the intention behind share buttons to allow readers to promote the gems they’ve found, but there’s lots of room to make more use of the system. And …I think the day has come for a vote with your click revolution.
Just do this if you haven’t alreadymake sure you put share buttons on your writings. Ask readers to use them and tell them why you’re asking them to. And if what you’re reading is worth while, share, share, share! The more everyone does it, the more good stuff comes up first everywhere, not just in the search engines.

How much of a ‘net share for quality can we can take back? There’s only one way to find out. Another thing to consider: since it’s become almost standard practice to lean more towards – um, well, click-bait-style writing, just for the sake of ranking – the extra sharing could have a secondary effect. The more often great content gets first place, the less incentive there is to write solely for maybe getting noticed. More, better, content generating more, better, content? I’d love to see that day come, real soon – how about you?

Please use the share buttons to take back the ‘net! TY!

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