This Blog Post Isn’t Interesting

Photo by M.J.S. on Flickr.com, (cc) some rights reserved.“‘Interesting’ isn’t,” I admonished my class of strategic communications students this spring.

In fact, the overused word has become downright insidious—a lazy shorthand for attaching links, often for the sake of looking informed, rather than being genuinely insightful.

Just read this interesting article in [insert media source here]. You should check it out! Hope your summer is going great!!

My point: We’re all inundated with too much information. Give me a reason to read whatever you’ve sent to me. Make me better, whether I click on the link or not.

Jennifer Kahn’s profile of Jaron Lanier (yes, the dreadlocked daddy of virtual reality) in a recent issue of The New Yorker has helped me put a sharper point on that thought.

Lanier, now a consultant at Microsoft Research, is no fan of the Internet as an information firehose. The most poignant quote for me: “If you are only a reflector of information, are you really there?”

Stop saying “interesting” and be interesting. Delight me; entertain me; tease me; persuade me; move me; change me. Don’t merely reflect information; radiate your own light. 

Answer Lanier’s challenge: Are you really there?