Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Someone came via inbox to express sincere appreciation for my multiple posts, which he found to be highly engaging, even though brief in content. And the impressions they make seem long lasting.

However, the person wanted me to make and post only one update per day, so that it can be better discussed, digested, comprehended and assimilated by persons reading them.

So I took the trouble to explain a few things thus;

I've done that before during my earlier Facebook (FB) days around 2009-2010, restricting my posts to just one update per day. But now I do Twitter as well as other social media stuffs and have linked my FB account to some of these.

So, what I post on Facebook now appears as a tweet on my Twitter handle, that way one compliments the other. Same happens with my Messenger and other links, thus one post ends up serving 2 or more social media platforms effectively.

Now while it is cool to pour out prose on FB, other social media demand that posts and updates be short and sharp, yet be rich and deep with reflective meanings. Thus account holders are subjected to limitations in number of alphabets or words they can use.

These limits became necessary due to a recent discovery that unless one is conducting a research, most texts and messages are no longer read in full. People now tend to read the first one or two lines of any note and thereafter move on.

It is like a bait to a fish. If it finds it attractive, it will first circle around it, then take a little bite off the edges, letting its taste buds sample it's palatability. If it passes the litmus test, the fish would then indulge in enjoying, getting hooked that is.

Subsequently, most readers some of whom can be CEOs will abandon the reading if it fails to catch their interest within 5 seconds. That time is all they are willing to sacrifice to be impressed, else they will ignore it.

Therefore if anyone fails to keep them interested in their submission within the first few seconds, then the writer is simply wasting their time. Armed with this realization, many communication drives now strive to deliver their message in this first 5 seconds.

And that is why these days you see a lot of recent posts coming to you like that.

On FB, there those who write their updates in prose with the aim of making such posts fully understood. They thereby detail their presentations and spare time to further engage their readers in an interactive session for hours on end.

Other media platforms do it differently. The approach is to encourage their users to provide followers with catchy headlines sort of a thing, followed by a brief introduction to the subject matter and thereafter attach a link for any interested person to read further details on a website.

Being a poet, and we all know how poetry can be highly economical with words, and quotes even more so, I find it very easy to create such memes in multiple bits and hits for my e-friends to reflect upon.

Reason for doing that? That is the new trend. People are being encouraged to write less, yet make more impact with the words, while at the same time create a visual impact using images in a media convergence delivery.

People now just want to deliver their message in as few letters or words as possible, often between 140 - 160 maximum letters. If creative enough would add an image to compliment the message as a single TKO "punch".

Besides, there is that trending posts with those color backgrounds on FB. Just like SMS texts on mobile phones with 160 letters, it only allows for about 150 characters I think, where Twitter uses only 140 alphabets, spaces inclusive.

So what is happening, one might ask? Well, communication is downsizing in its time engagement! Using less to achieve more. In fact media contents are currently being designed to flow along this new trend. Le Corbusier's "Less is more..." is back in full.

For those who noticed, Whatsapp videos are 16 MB max. Texts get truncated after a certain length and audios also have limits set beyond which one cannot cross. FB words on posts are 8000 max and so on across the social media.

Not forgetting that people nowadays barely read more than a few lines of most writings due to their very busy and very tight schedules. Corporate letters are best written to contain all vital information on the first page for quick absorption.

Of course advertising on radio also flows along that design. Thus there are jingles of 15, 30, 45 and 60 seconds, which is the maximum time allowed for that. Anything over and above this 1 minute time frame is regarded as a hype.

Therefore the unfolding trend is to deliver your messages in series of bullets, PowerPoint style, so that you don't miss being read or your intended message being delivered, heard or understood. Most especially if the audience do not have a good grasp of language of communication.

Again as ads professionals, which I happen to be one, I employ that knowledge to ensures that the reader gets "punched" with the message within that first 5 phenomenal seconds. Mind you, billboard messages are most effective if delivered in a few words as well, which can be read as a pedestrian, rider or even a fast driver passes by - 7 max.

So, now you know why I do what I do. It is based on all these foregoing information and much more. It's not just communicating and effectively too for that matter, but it is to done that way to maximally impact upon you with the communicated message.

When the message is short, it is easier to recall and remember. Therefore it is more effective and most impactious.

There is a huge difference between the two.

(c)2017 Tijjani M. M.
All Rights Reserved

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