FYI – Covering Content Is Often Counterproductive

Despite common claims to the contrary, “content” is NOT king, queen, or even a royal pain. More important than conTENT is conTEXT – and how the content is used. Content can be anything – of any quantity or quality – yet even the “ideal” amount of the “best” content only really “matters” or has “value” (at all) in regard to circumstance and application. This is especially true when the content is information (to be communicated).

Information (alone) is NOT power. Simply “having” or “knowing” (no matter what it may be) is not enough. The same is true regarding “potential”. Most “information” isn’t even really information; it’s just data. Information should not be confused with wisdom, action, or results, nor any of them with power.

Information is literally “in formation” and often changes – especially in how it is interpreted, understood, and acted upon. Some information is considered “timeless”. Other information is “time sensitive” and only relevant or useful for a particular period – after which it could actually be better NOT knowing.

The urge to seek, acquire, or share new, additional, or better information is constant – but not necessarily urgent. An “emergency” is “emergent”. What “emerges” depends upon what people do or do not do. So much information is “available” that many people suffer from “information overload”. Just as who knows you may matter more than who or what you know, what you do with what you know usually matters more than what or how much you know.

Although information is NOT really either a “currency” or a “commodity”, it is often “packaged” and sold (like a product and or service). The actual “cost”, “benefit”, and/or “worth” of information has no correlation with the monetary “value” it is exchanged for. Those selling information often arbitrarily change how much they ask for or will accept – and treat information independently from its use. It is NOT information people want (or pay for); it is what (they think) the information will do – when it is used (for them or against another).

It is often claimed that words are only 7% of communication – yet the words we use (especially when talking to ourselves) affect how we think, feel, act, and react. Sometimes simply changing words can change what we perceive – and thus what we (can and will) receive. Some antics are more than merely semantics, but the meaning of words matters – and can affect both behavior and the benefit (or lack thereof) we and/or others may achieve as a result.

Many people are not content to merely share (informational) “content” – and want to “cover” it (all). To cover means to hide, conceal, and protect. Rather than allowing (full) access, “covering” anything actually does the opposite. To dis-cover reveals, exposes, and makes content(s) available – allowing those shared with to find their own meanings, uses, benefits, and values in context.

That’s my perspective. What’s yours?

Please share some informational content below – allowing others to discover something they did not know (about you, themselves, or something I wrote).

© 2011 – 2012, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

Oren Pardes

Oren Pardes has written 73 post in this blog.

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2 responses to FYI – Covering Content Is Often Counterproductive

  1. Sonia

    This was amazing! I had to go back and read it again. What a great post and thought-provoker. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

    This post reminds me slightly of a book I am reading from Dr. Frank Luntz called, “Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear”. In it, he goes on to explain how a person delivers their message can be the difference of them being taking seriously or not.

    I am not finished reading it, but he shows different scenarios where the words used was the deciding factor in popularity down to being voted to win an election. Words and content are powerful considering how it’s presented.

    To me presentation is everything because you only get one chance to get it right. You will either win or lose.
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  2. Oren Pardes

    HOW something or someone is presented often does SEEM to matter more (in how it is received and perceived, viewed and valued, accepted and appreciated) than WHAT is said, shown, or shared, BUT quality, content, and character should never be ignored, overlooked, or deemed “secondary” – nor the substance, worth, or meaning of a message be confused with either it’s messenger or delivery.

    What is seen, heard, or felt by others is not always what was intended or expected – and how others interpret things is often beyond our control or even understanding. Written words can be particularly problematic (and easily misunderstood) and are often read into more than just read (or misread) – since they lack the 93% of (meta-)communication that we tend to rely on for context and clarity.

    Each of us also speaks our own private language. Mine is Orenese – even when I use what may seem like the same words in similar ways as others. We each hear, think, and understand in our own way. The meaning and importance of words often differs from person to person. We not only have different perspectives, but also different preferences for how we perceive, process, and present “information”.

    Clarity can create comprehension, compassion, and cooperation – alleviating apprehension, anxiety, and any antagonism. While “artful” articulation can often “enhance” reception, a conscious effort to NOT “cover” content is highly recommended – as is defining terms, elaborating with examples, checking for understanding (independent of expectations of agreement), and rephrasing and repeating what is meant, intended, and desired more than once.
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