Disclaimer: This post is part of this blog’s That Tiny Tirade series. It can (and likely will) contain harsh language, scenes and storylines not suitable for children, and some content that may be unacceptable to other readers. This post may also contain strobe lighting effects.
Concise (adj.) – Expressing much in few words; clear and succinct
Substandard (adj.) – Of, relating to, or indicating a pattern of linguistic usage that does not conform to that of the prestige group in a speech community or to that of the standard language
When you see the definitions above, what comes to your mind? For me, if I’m presented with the word concise, I think of someone who is able to make their point quickly and effectively. By the same token, I find that substandard verbal (or writing) skills are often identified by those who are incapable of being concise. That’s not to say the two concepts are mutually exclusive, nor should they be.
The problem with the blogging community as a whole is that a well-reasoned, adequately explained argument is going to take a backseat to someone who posts a picture of what they wore today.
Every. Single. Time.
Growing up in an extended family where multiple members suffer(ed) from ADD or ADHD caused me to have a pretty thorough understanding of how a short attention span can impact an individual’s communication and learning skills. Many educational philosophies integrate concepts that allow educators to accommodate for individuals with attention deficits, often times playing to the lowest common denominator rather than addressing each student’s individual strengths, needs, and weaknesses.
As bloggers, we too are often guilty of that same fallacy. We write to the masses, using the analytics that we have at our disposal to make our blog more appealing to a larger audience. In doing so, often times we change the way we write — we change the very basis of how we communicate — in order to pander to the approval, the intellect, or the attention span of others.
The capability to be concise in an argument is a talent that should not go unnoticed. The problem with the blogging community as a whole is that unless you are concise, or unless you put pictures between every other paragraph in order to break up text, you’re considered to be a substandard writer.
I choose to write with an artists flair, I choose to write expressively and with length, I choose to paint a picture with my words, and I choose to tell my stories in a manner that exemplifies an eloquent and complex literary style. Sadly, that makes my work substandard in the eyes of the common reader. That fact, in and of itself, is likely why it took me nearly three years to get to 50,000 visitors1Yes. I really did have this level of traffic on one of my blogs. It was the 2008-2009 blog, but still. on my old site — even though I’ve watched other bloggers hit that mark in six months or less posting nothing but shoe pictures.
I could post pictures of my outfit each day to drive up traffic. You’d see my $15 dress shoes I’ve worn for three years, along with my Wal-Mart jeans, and my Target or thrift store dress shirts. Even the days I wear a suit, you’re getting an outfit that was purchased for less money than a dinner for two at Applebee’s (provided you’re not ordering off the specials menu…but even then, it’s close). Posting any of that would be doing a disservice to you, to me, and to anyone who comes to this blog looking for a specific quality of posts.
I find it to be far more than a mild insult that in order to increase my readership I need to dumb down my content. The concept of changing the wording with which one writes is nearly the same as being forced to change who you are to make someone love you. It’s an excruciatingly painful process that only leads to the harboring of resentment…a resentment that’s nearly always on the side of the one who changes what they say or do.
If writing thorough blog posts causes me to be viewed as a substandard writer — one whose talents are not nearly as popular as someone whose posts are much shorter because of my verbose language — then so be it. It’s a shame if that’s the case though, particularly if your unwillingness to read causes you to hit the back button on your browser. Before you do though, consider the definition of the word writing, and see if you define what you read as writing or as something else entirely.
Writing (n.) – Meaningful letters or characters that constitute readable matter.
All definitions courtesy of The Free Dictionary. This post is the recipient of 20 Something Bloggers’ 2013 Best Rant Speakeasy Award. To learn more about 20 Something Bloggers, go to their website found here.