I have an Atlantic Monthly problem, and it’s this: every time I see an Atlantic article that someone has posted on Facebook, I click it, read the first few paragraphs with great interest, and then remember that I don’t have time to finish a fifteen-page news story right now. I’m at work. I’m in the checkout line. I’m stopped at a red light.
When I get home, those groceries need to be unpacked. My guitar needs new strings. The lawn has to be mowed. Basically, ya know, life takes over and I never return to The Atlantic, despite the fact that I just KNOW the article is mind-blowingly well written and reported. I don’t read it. I don’t share it on Facebook. Heck, I don’t even like it — even though I’d probably LOVE it.
Oh, but that picture of my friend onstage at Merriweather Post Pavilion, or the Venn diagram about art, or a two-line inspirational quote about songwriting — sure, I’ll like and share those all day long. They’re short, easily digestible, easily… summarized.
So all you content creators out there, keep me in mind the next time you’re scratching your head over your next blog post, social media update, or YouTube video. Not every post needs to be hundreds or thousands of words long. Sometimes a simple picture of your band eating takeout in the studio does the trick. Not every video needs to be three minutes long. Sometimes a ten-second shot of you standing beneath your name on the marquee at the Apollo is enough.
As sharers of information and media, we get it: less is more. But as creators of media, we often forget the same lesson: the simplest way to keep your blog fresh, your social profiles updated, and your fans and followers engaged is to post smaller bits of content more often.
Don’t let three months go by and then have to spend hours trying to summarize in one long post everything that happened in the studio, on tour, or in your home life. Instead, stick to a schedule (whether your frequency of updates is twice a day or once a week) and share a smaller piece of content whenever you don’t have the energy or time to bring out the big guns.