Feb 292024

I intentionally disappeared from blogging for most of 2023 to work on my special project. I am now past the creative / production / post-production edits phase and on to the ‘infernal little details’ phase that always takes more time than anyone plans or appreciates. I will have a ‘release party’ for my project in May 2024. Hit me up on the contact form if you would like an email announcing the premier.

The good news is that I am happily back to blogging on Optimisman.

In the last year, I could not help but notice that everyone’s attention spans are shorter than ever and getting still shorter all the time. I took a survey of friends and associates on how long of a video they would click on and watch, if it caught their interest on LinkedIn. The resounding answer was 7 minutes was the point where videos simply become “too long to consider” for a group of 35s, 45s, 55s Fortune 500 knowledge-worker types. Many said that their personal breaking point is now 5 minutes and in truth, they preferred 3 minutes.

I’ve always argued that being concise was important. I have now realized that it is crucial. If virtually no one hears your “complete” message that takes 30 minutes, what’s the point? The interesting reality is that most videos on LinkedIn are actually longer (often much longer) than 10 minutes.

A five minute maximum limit simply means most topics cannot be covered completely. That changes how we must think about production. It means that most knowledge transfer is now found in those out-of-context soundbites that professional politicians and the news media professionals build their careers on. Many of us have fought against this dumb-it-down-too-much tide for years, but we have lost. If you want to be heard, it is time to go with the flow and focus on brevity instead of completeness.

If there an opportunity for an optimist who is willing to change, try, learn, repeat? Of course there is.

I.M. Optimisman