Below is a fascinating email I just got from Perry Marshall about long form content & “going off topic”. (shared below)
It had me thinking about the way I’ve been primarily focused on Facebook for almost a decade now…
(There are times when I feel I’m going the wrong direction with my “rants” and the 1,000’s of “long Facebook lives” that I’ve done. But it’s wisdom like Perry shares here that brings HOPE to me in a world filled primarily with people chasing instant gratification and microwave insta-meal millions.)
So I will continue to be the rebel and my (ir)regularly scheduled LONG FORM content will stay right on it’s perfectly timed destiny.
Three-hour podcasts, binging entire seasons of TV shows.
For many years, everything seemed to be trending toward short, clickbait-y, zero-attention-span inanity. Two-minute smash-edited YouTube videos.
It took me a while to notice that writing talent had shifted from movies to long-form TV (this is why movies are declining in quality, in case you hadn’t noticed).
What I hadn’t seen was that the trend was going to filter down to the rest of us.
Binge watching an entire season of a TV show is like binge listening to a few three-plus-hour podcast conversations in a row.
And it gives me some hope for the future.
Because podcast content would never fly on Facebook. Think about it. How does Facebook work?
You scroll with your thumb until something catches your eye. You read it. You click “like.” You keep rolling. Rarely do you stop to actually read anything more than a couple of sentences long. Facebook is built for the meme. The smallest, most simplistic iota of content.
Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” Of course, that’s not entirely true. But more true than you think. The medium absolutely shapes the message.
David Byrne in his excellent book How Music Works says people think art is this mystical sacred thing that just springs pure from the artist’s heart.
No, he says, art is a response to the environment. It’s the result of many repeated interactions with the environment. It seldom tumbles perfectly out of the artist’s brain.
Ancient cathedrals with vast, reverberating arches produce echoes 4-5 seconds long. The slow chants and swelling organ music were a response to that environment.
Byrne’s band Talking Heads and others played punchy, loud, staccato rock with shouted vocals… in response to the hard walls and claustrophobic environments of the lower east side clubs, like CBGB, where they cut their teeth. Punk rock and clubs like CBGB co-evolved together.
I was very encouraged when I saw long-form trend picking up steam. I am so thankful that social media has not turned EVERYBODY into tsetse flies with five-second attention spans.
People will pay attention to deep, lengthy content…if it’s provocative, fascinating and thoughtful.
And the ones who will pay attention for three hours while you go off on rabbit trails…those are your rabid fans. Hyper-responsive customers.
Some of your audience will follow you almost anywhere you go. And they’ll follow you for a long time. And, you do not necessarily have to stay on topic. In fact, many of them show up specifically to hear you go “off topic.”
There are a handful of people who come to most of my City Tour meetings. They don’t come to hear the “advertised content,” the stuff that I promise to talk about in the promotional emails. No, they’re there for the “off topic” stuff. And that’s the most valuable.
They’re coming for the VIP breakfast, for the dinner afterward, for the late-night convos at the bar. The heartbeat of Planet Perry. The meeting after the meeting after the meeting.
Is your content attracting your best customers?
Seize the day,
and while I’ve been primarily operating on the Book of Faces since around 2014… (I didn’t plan it that way… it’s just the way “my career fell together”)
My intuition has been telling me to get back into VIDEO and YouTube in a BIG way…
and my intuition has never failed me.
PS – I will absolutely still be doing Facebook lives. I’ve had some big realizations these past few weeks while launching my course: The AI Experience.
But I’m not going to continue to give Facebook all of my best content, especially when FB gets it natively, and is not at all rewarding the wisdom & value I’m pouring out there.
(because it’s not the right platform for the way I deliver value. But it IS still important, the majority of people I know are here. I even LOVE being on Facebook with so many friends & colleagues! (especially since cleaning up my feed the past few years)
But FB is only 1 piece of the puzzle. So no worries as I’ll be there until YOU leave Facebook… but I’m not staying only there as my primary residence. I have way too big of a vision & mission with my limited time here on planet earth.
Huge love & gratitude to the few paying attention.
I appreciate YOU!
and I BELIEVE in you!
Love, Light, Gratitude – Jason Cardamone