Video: The Age of Shallow Knowledge

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On this episode of Culture Vulture Live we’re talking about the age of shallow knowledge.  As the amount of daily content increases, our ability to read, watch and listen to everything we want to gets harder.  At the same time, the pressure to know what is going on continues to increase.  One-third of Americans agree with this statement:  “I feel a pressure to stay up to date, but I don’t have time to read all the articles I want, never mind click through all of the notifications on my phone."

To cope, we skim the surface.  For example, we’ll read a headline and the first couple of paragraphs of a story, then move on.  Fifty-nine percent of links shared on social media have never actually been clicked -- so people are sharing stories without even reading them!

We pick relevant pieces of information from Facebook, Twitter or emailed news alerts and then regurgitate them.  Daily newsletters like The Skimm make it easy.  As the New York Times points out, “It’s never been so easy to pretend to know so much without actually knowing anything.”

Moving from news over to sports, the NBA is testing a new streaming option that allows viewers to watch the final quarter of a game for just 99 cents. This is a departure from requiring customers to purchase a package that gives them access to an entire season, or all games featuring one team.  ESPN reporter Darren Rovell predicts that the NBA could turn micro-transactions into a “significant revenue stream” for fans who want to catch the pivotal ending moments of a game.

In this age of shallow knowledge, brands must remember to keep things to the point.  Never bury the lede; give topline information first whenever possible to retain the attention and loyalty of your customers.  Because a small misconception can make a big difference in the end.

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