The hand soap I use at home is Softsoap Coconut Warm Ginger. Really. I'm not kidding. In fact, I discovered there's dozens of "flavors" of hand soap on the market. Do we really need all these different soap flavors? Of course not. They just squelch our purchasing decisions with noise that has nothing to do with our needs.
The same holds for content on the Internet.
In the never-ending quest to thrust more content onto the limitless digital canvas, there's a lot of ephemera that's eating up our time. Of course, the consumers of this ephemera are just as guilty. Myself included. A recent example of this was an article on fastcompany.com entitled "How To Complete Your Creative Masterpiece Without Quitting Your Day Job". The thesis: Do your non-work stuff before or after work. Yep. That's it. Brilliant, eh? Seriously, though, I read the whole piece and digested much of it. Time I'll never get back to learn something I had already obviously known. And it's not just this article. I - and many like me - end up reading a dozen or so of these snippets of insignificance daily. It's a pandemic of pablum consumption!
In fairness to the author of this particular piece that I singled out - which looks a lot like 95 percent of the Internet's "content" - the piece was well done from a classical standpoint. She talked to experts. Wrote with flair. And, quite frankly, held me to the end. She's a great writer. The fault isn't with her, or even Fast Company for that matter. The fault is the culture we've embraced where we just want to consume with no regard for quality and all the emphasis on quantity. Her publisher is feeding the beast, and she's doing her job. I just wish there was a way to re-educate the beast.
Imagine if folks didn't have to crank out these pieces on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis to keep up with the status quo. Imagine they could spent instead a few weeks on one piece that really examined something important, original and interesting to a wide audience and presented it in a fashion that made us think. Wouldn't that have more value than the mass-produced (even if well-written) blog entries that have little to lend in the way of enlightenment?
What is "warm ginger" anyway?