How people's attention flows on the web
07 August 2014
Attention is like weather.
These tweets from Mat Honan are completely true. To my eyes attention on the web is like a weather system. There are larger forces making it all work that while we can grasp the fundamental rules the subtleties of all this in effect lie just outside our ability to predict what might happen.
The thing about writing for the web is, you never know what's going to hit— mat honan (@mat) August 7, 2014
People say, "oh, you wrote that for the page views" or whatever. But honestly I can never tell what's going to be popular, and what isn't.— mat honan (@mat) August 7, 2014
And, like, you work your ass off on some story for months, and convince yourself It Is Your Best Work, and yet the breeze just blows— mat honan (@mat) August 7, 2014
And then you fart something else out, accidentally or on command, and it just completely starts a riot.— mat honan (@mat) August 7, 2014
This is why I rail against posts with titles like these I spot passing through my feed reader:
- 5 Content Marketing Strategies You Should Implement Today
- Ten Rules for Mythic Content Marketing
- 7 Ways to Generate Ideas for Shareable Content
The authors of these type of posts present a completely inaccurate perspective of how attention ‘works’ on the web; same goes for most people representing ‘content strategy’.