When we have a message to convey, our efforts to be both concise and thorough can often get in our way. It’s challenging to know just how far back we should reach when trying to provide proper context. So where do we start? In an age often plagued with the dizzying effects of over-consumption and sensory overload, I believe the answer to be brilliant in its simplicity: we start with small, digestible bites.
Nobody’s trying to ‘supersize’ anything anymore. As consumers, we have realized that if too much is piled onto our plates, we taste none of it. What’s more, we’ve become increasingly sophisticated and are ready to assert control over what we consume. No longer content with being force fed, we’re finally asking the question that spans every situation: what do I actually need?
A growing number of news aggregators are picking up on this trend. Consider the popular YouTube channel SourceFed, which hosts the daily show “20 Minutes or Less.” The show breaks down the day’s headlines into several short videos. Content producer Philip Defranco told Business Insider that: “News spreads in 140 characters, that’s our 2-3 minutes in video.” Since its January launch, the channel has gained half a million subscribers. Defranco’s plan to present news “as it happens [and] in consumable pieces” seems to be a winning recipe.
Like many others, Defranco understands the importance of digestibility. “The [SourceFed videos] don’t go into lots of depth, but encourage viewers to follow links to the longer news stories that inspired the videos,” writes blogger Robert Snow. Visitors choose which news items are most relevant to them, and delve further into those stories – through posted links and annotations – at their own convenience. All the info, none of the bloat.
There is an important distinction to make, though: ‘Less’ is not ‘more,’ in and of itself. Less is only more when what is there actually resonates – when content lends perspective because it has been selected judiciously. News pieces, then, are presented like items on a menu: “Which would you like?” we ask. And no matter what your answer, our response will always be the same: “We’ll be right back with your order.”
This article was originally published on ShiftCentral, now part of LAC Group.