We know it from Biblical sources as well as from our own experience; there’s a time for everything under the sun. That is, sometimes, or even most of the time, a specific action will be appropriate and productive, and at other times precisely the same action will be inappropriate and destructive.
A time to work and a time to play or rest, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to speak up and a time to remain silent, a time to make peace and yes, even a time to fight. And many other examples you can think of for yourself.
And…oh yes, for writers, a time to write and a time to refrain from writing.
Throughout history, people with the urge to write – except for an especially gifted or privileged minority – have been lonely folk. Creating a piece of literature – or to use current terminology, producing content – was one thing, but searching, often in vain, for some means to get it seen by a decent number of eyeballs was something else entirely.
And now? Now the wheel has turned full circle. The big dilemma is not struggling to find the tools for publication, but since the tools are so so readily accessible at such low cost and at the press of a button, now that I have them, how do I make full use of them?
The question is not “how do I find an audience for my creations?” but “how do I find creations for my audience?” I don’t think there’s a need to labor the point.
Given the current environment, it’s no surprise to see the appearance of a new automated service designed to serve “blog owners who want fresh, on-topic content but don’t have the time to search online everyday” for it. This is done by providing “hot-off-the-press, on-topic (human-reviewed) content based on the categories and/or keywords that are most important to you.” Any blogger who so desires merely has to install a small piece of software for syndicated material to appear on their blog everyday.
All, of course, without having to lift a finger.
Significantly, the content is supplied by authors who actually pay for the privilege of submitting their work, and who are provided with a “powerful tool to make it easy” for them to submit several versions of the same article, so that each subscribing blogger will receive “more unique content” (Can something be “more unique” than “unique”?)
I don’t want to enter into a detailed discussion on the merits or demerits of plastering the same information – in a world of consumers suffering terribly from information overload – on a million places all over the Web. Here at Hodu.com we do publish so-called “duplicate content” (on a much more limited basis now than in the past), but only when we believe our own typical site visitor might not find it easily elsewhere.
The bottom line must always be this: As a publisher, am I helping to bring clarity to the lives of my readers, or am I (gasp!) only creating confusion through extraneous background noise? Am I facilitating communication, or setting up communication barriers? Am I aiding the free flow of information, or am I actually hindering it?
An important article on our site deals with a common human failing: particularly when we feel uncomfortable in a work or social situation, we have a tendency to speak up for the sake of speaking up. We often see this at meetings. The author explains the benefits of resisting temptation and remaining silence at times, as opposed to the dangers of putting in your two and a half cents worth in the hope of appearing intelligent.
Would that writers, site or blog owners, “content producers” or whatever you want to call them, exercise the same restraint!
Perhaps…is it just remotely possible… that the Internet would be a better place?
Your comments please!
Azriel Winnett is the author of the highly acclaimed, eye-opening book How to Build Relationships That Stick. An enhanced edition is now available as a paperback.