Musings —10.15.2012 07:58 AM—
Debatable: must-read Mitch Potter column
I’ll have my own take in the Sun tomorrow. But, for what it’s worth, his expert’s assessment (voters are “six-week-old puppies”) is extremely condescending.
As anyone who has read my books will know, I live by these truisms about the new media age:
- People indeed have an attention span of about seven minutes.
- However, that’s not because they’re dumb as “puppies.” It’s because they are busy – busier than any humans have been since humans were invented. Sleep-deprived, stressed, working all the time, and simply too busy to pay attention to politicians yammering on about themselves. Or the media, who are overly-preoccupied with things real people consider irrelevant.
- Finally, David Shenk’s memorable phrase – data smog. Humans are bombarded by more words and more images, every single minute, than at any time in recorded history. So they tune out the data smog. It’s the only way to keep sane, sometimes.
My point? Simple. The guy or gal who “wins” in the new media environment is the one who uses repetition, simplicity and VOLUME.
That’s why Mitt Romney won the first debate, and why Barack Obama lost. Romney repeated his messages over and over, he kept his language accessible, and he talked over the president (and the moderator). Even though he’s a good-for-nothing, bald-faced liar and a loathsome corporate scumbag, he won.
It won’t happen in the second one. Obama will be back, just watch.
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After about 30 years of teaching young adults in professional schools, I can say that I finally learned that “repetition, simplicity and volume” is also important in bringing home a message in a classroom! Warren is correct (again)…..but I would add that this is valuable only when truth is also a component. it is a skill to simplify truth without making it a false motto.