The Idea Dude


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Making your blog memorable - step 3

People love stories because stories stick. They are tangible and the details are concrete.

A 5 year old can tell you how many pieces of candy he has left because he gave 2 to his friend and dropped 3 during his Halloween trick or treating. But he couldn't probably remember the mathematical equations that support his logic.

Urban legends are novel and unexpected but invariably they happen to people just like you or me and the events no matter how far-fetched are real.

We remember fables and parables because they are a) stories and b) contain real objects and people.

Even though someone may love your blog post, it may not be memorable enough to repeat it. Notice how viral stories are always simple. The Mentos experiment for example. Everyone knows what a Mentos mint is and what Coke is too. If it were about mad scientists sprouting chemical formulae, regardless of how wonderful the effect was, the story would not carried because the message bearers would simply forget the details.

Step 3 is a natural progression of the earlier two steps I talked about, keep our messages simple, unexpected and now in Step 3 concrete.

Experts have a hard time convincing the masses unless they are talking to peers because they have transcended the concrete. For them, the interesting part is how to take a thousand concrete events and predict them with one abstract theory. Unfortunately, the rest of us on the other side of the fence can't make the mental leap to their level of abstraction because we neither have the experience, knowledge or perhaps we really don't get excited about the same things as they do.

Next time we blog, we should ask ourselves are we explaining our experiences or conveying our message with Mentos and Coke or using complex scientific formulae that may make us look smart but at the end of the day far less memorable.


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