While many things about the communication era has made being an editor easier (E-mail! Digital photography! Skype! Instant publication on the world wide web!) there’s one two simple words that explain why the job is as hard as ever: Information overload. In the day and age of information overload, how do you separate good content from bad? Maybe you don’t have to. With the endless scope of the internet, there’s always a home for something, somewhere. There’s a couple thing you’ve got to remember about the internet: Comedy is the language of the wired world, and even the terrible can become sublime.
Even in the most niche categories, there’s twitter feeds, blog updates, press releases, Facebook statuses, and, you know, actual real stories. Get out of the niche and into the mainstream, and, well… errr, maybe I’ll just go get some coffee and waste some time on Gawker.
And that little problem – information overload – has created another problem. Your audience is constantly hungry for new content, and you have to keep your brand constantly consumed. Exhausting!
The great meritocracy of the internet has at least done us this favor: It’s full of shit. Terrible writing. Useless blogs. Facebook photo albums of fuzzy pictures. In fact, for everything we DO spend time with on the internet, there’s probably ten things we just simply ignore. What does this mean for you? It means people are used to reading everything you publish. Not interested? They’ll ignore it and move on. Sure – you need enough great content to keep them coming back. But – every story doesn’t have to resonate with all of your readers. The meritocracy still works – the best stories will get shared – blogged, emailed, tweeted and retweeted. Content is still king – it’s just the prince and the pauper, too.