Here’s the not-so-pretty truth that I’m sure you already are starting to know.
- It’s NOT about whether your idea is new and innovative.
- It’s about how you communicate it,
- 2.1 how it looks, and
- 2.2 how it makes people feel
Now about #1, this is not just about the internet and social media etc. In the social sciences we do not have a functioning cumulative resource. Physics, math, and computer sciences have The Archive, where all researchers regardless of status post their latest work immediately. The journals can add their imprimatur and reprint as they will, but everything is in one place, regardless of where or when it was or will be published. The lack of such a resource makes social studies far less scientific than it ought to be, and means that relevant research is only known to our most diligent peers.
What social media has done is make knowledge and reflection more popular, and this is something we should applaud and learn to participate in. Doing so requires new skills, but the main barrier is the sense of overwhelm, not the actual difficulty of using some new tools.
About #2, when there is a lot to deal with, pieces that are easier to read, well typeset, and convenient to access will get more attention. We know this. The internet takes it a bit further. Websites make our work even more accessible and readable, and by more people. Keep track of websites whose style works for you and use these as a model for your own communication.
If we want people to take action on ideas, we need to pay attention to where people are and what will make them feel empowered to take action. Danielle LaPorte is a my favorite example of writing that creates relationship and action by giving something to the reader.
Message Map: Carmine Gallo, How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds
Online communication: “The internet is lying to you. It told you that making a good product, writing a great book, or starting a cool company was enough. They said that if you built it, people would come…” Ryan Halliday’s 3 Tactics for Free PR posted by Tim Ferriss (Under the part about American Apparel ads)
Writing that gives people something, my favorite example is Danielle LaPorte.