Off late, I have been having wondering about the volumes of content floating around – newsletters, RSS feeds, social media updates and what not. How much of this content is actually read and used? Taking my personal example, I wondered what made me select content to read and mercilessly delete the rest? Here is my list – please add what you think works for you as well.
- Catchy headlines – by this I don’t mean the fluffy ones- but something like this catches my attention and makes me click on the link provided. Example: Today’s headline in Economic Times “Struggling to keep pace, Infosys faces a tough time ahead” or from a newsletter I have subscribed to – “6 Steps to Getting Started With Google+”. These headlines succinctly captured the essence of the content and I did not have to spend time going through the article to figure out what it was all about. Takeaway – convey the meaning crisply and in simple terms.
- Keywords in the summary of the content – if I come across keywords that am interested in, it definitely makes me want to read more. A high-level or vague summary discourages you from exploring it further.
- Timing of the content – I found that during the middle of the work day, am not inclined to check out what updates are being published. What works for me is catching up either early in the morning before the rush starts or probably just before wrapping up for the day. So, maybe we should look at what time these updates are published?
- Nature of the content – I have found that the more serious updates and announcements work well during the week – probably got to do with the frame of the mind. Over the weekend, I do not mind trivia and lighter content. Again, trivia interspersed with the serious stuff is welcome during the week too – good to take a break!
- Content quality – if the content is laid out well with enough substantiation, I find it lot more worthwhile to spend my time on it rather than take part in a guessing game. Take this article for example in today’s Mint – this was a good one I thought – http://www.livemint.com/2012/01/22222627/Wipro-is-getting-back-on-track.html. Notice the url too – gives you a good idea of what the article is all about.
These were some quick thoughts on what makes me pick and choose from the tonnes of the online content available. Let me know how you pick your content.
P.S Also – what did you think about the title?