Monday, July 09, 2007

Can I Post on Jakob Nielsen's Advice Not to Post?

Usability Guru Jakob Nielsen makes a cogent case for slowing the pace of discourse. He favors writing serious, well-researched articles rather than snappy blog posts. (Scoble, Winer, Israel, et al. not withstanding.) Whether your aim is to promote yourself as an individual expert or to promote your business, Nielson argues for quality and substance over quantity. (My favorite blogger who embodies this philosophy: Guy Kawasaki)

Nielsen may be right. But it doesn't matter any more. Our brains are hopelessly scrambled and scrunged. After a decade of blogs, two decades of PowerPoint and SMS, six decades of TV—both programming and advertising—and a century of research and development in how to by-pass logical discourse that runs from from Hopkins to Bernays to Goebbels to Luntz, it's just too late. If people don't get it in a quick emotion-charged hit, they're on to the next thing. We're always reaching for the clicker—whether it's the remote or the mouse.

Jakob is standing athwart history. The game was over before it began. The late Neil Postman nailed it in his 1985 classic, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Showbusiness. We've moved on to the age of the sound bite embodied by Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce. (If they merged, they'd have a great name. But is it for a law firm? ad agency? or do they do repo for auto loan companies?)

Update: Scoble fires back at Nielsen. (But did Nielsen actually fire at Scoble?)

Mickeleh's Take: It's the age of the dot-com meets the dot-dot-dots. Walter Winchell, Herb Caen, you left too soon.