Wall of Irrelevant Text (Less is More: Part Three)

9 Aug

Today’s topic is journalistic minimalism.  (I’m for it.)

I just clicked on an article (from Yahoo/New York Times) about a person who did something pretty interesting.  At least, that’s what I thought I clicked on.

What I found were two or three paragraphs on the interesting person, followed by 35 to 40 more paragraphs on a bunch of stuff I didn’t care about at all.

Moments of my life seeped away, as I scrolled and skimmed.

There were quotes and references from:

  • financial analysts
  • psychologists
  • professors, associate professors, and scholars
  • economic advisers
  • consulting groups
  • warehouse store spokespeople
  • industry professionals
  • retailers
  • researchers
  • magazine articles
  • more psychologists, more professors, and more analysts
  • a film maker
  • and… my personal favorite irrelevant commenter… a “home entertainment adviser”.

My scrolling paid off.  The end of the article returned briefly to the interesting person, with a link to her blog.

If you are interested:  Tammy Strobel is the interesting person, what she did was downsize her life to the extreme, and her blog is called rowdykittens.com.  I like her blog.  It has a lot to do with simplicity, and I’m all for that.

All I needed were the two or three paragraphs that were actually about her, and the blog link.  So why did I need to scroll through an endless stream of quotes and tangentially related information?

Sorry, Yahoo/New York Times…I’m not interested in what a warehouse store spokesperson, a consulting group, or a home entertainment adviser have to say about…well, about anything.

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