What Is Happening To Our Attention Span?

businessOver the last 12 months I have noticed a steady increase in the amount of articles and blogs covering my favorite topics.

I have also noticed a steady decrease in the quality of said articles and blogs.

Some contributions I have read lately contain pointless paragraphs of fluff and common sense statements that, after reading, leave me with a feeling of being cheated out of valuable time.

Why have we become authors of articles containing brief and pointless lists of “Top 10” this and “Top 5” that?

Reflecting back on the articles only containing lists of items such as “The Top 10 <insert topic here>” I cannot remember any main points. None gave me enough impact that they remained within my consciousness or that they simulated me enough to do something.

Its very easy to understand why the articles fail to provide an impact. In order for an article to be memorable it must provide positive value to the reader and in a very powerful way so the neurons connect thus forming memory.

Dumping now a list of bullet points does not provide me with any impact or thought provoking reflection.

So why do people create these pointless articles containing only a mere whiff of value?

My opinion is that the tools to create a blog/website/profile, publish the material and draw people to that material is next to zero in terms of monetary cost. Therefore the only cost is time spent by the author producing content. Because the content is so useless and does nothing to impress the visitor the author must blindly keep producing more crap in order to bring the next wave of visitor traffic to the site. In order to become a powerhouse of producing crap the author needs to spend less and less time creating the content and more time duping people to read the crap.

If we all just stop and think for a minute and ask ourselves what impact are we giving our visitors and are they coming back for more some authors would blush.

There is a simple rule that I have used for the 5 years I have been running Internet businesses and that is:

Provide something of value to a group of people that impacts them in a positive way and helps increase value to their own life or business.

That is how you get repeat traffic and form a “Tribe”. With a “Tribe” you can sell stuff and thus you can profit.

I cannot stand on my soapbox for too log either as I have created “Top 5 Business Articles” for the last few months. Though in defense the lists point to articles containing substantial value.

My goal from now on is to keep producing content that adds value to the reader and in-turn this should reward me with business which it has done for years now.

As a final note I would like to challenge you. Below is a link to an article written in 1924 that changed our entire staff hiring policy for the better. The article is a few pages long but if you are a business owner or manager charged with hiring people I truly believe this article will give you value.

Why I Never Hire Brilliant Men
Read here…

Update:
It seems that other people have been noticing this issue. One author who I respect greatly was highlighting the issue in 2007!

“The Attention Crash”
http://www.micropersuasion.com/2007/…tention_c.html

And a more recent article on how marketers are now trying to combat the “Attention Crash”

“Marketers Zero in on Utilities to Navigate the Attention Crash”
http://www.micropersuasion.com/2009/…on-crash-.html