False metrics are everywhere in our media. There’s a TV commercial from QBE insurance that asks,
“What's the chance of this young woman getting a great deal on car insurance? Maybe five per cent? Ten per cent? Actually it’s one-hundred per cent, because we know she’s a safe driver.”
The beloved bloodsucker from True Blood (beloved, at least, by my missus Jess) has nothing to do with this post, but it was Jess who gave the thought its life, so here's a picture of Bill.
After fielding yet another annoying marketing call Jess observed that we should have a government bill that says, as is the case with vampires, telemarketers can only come into our home if we invite them.
This is a post I wrote for Sprout Labs, an elearning specialist I work with, regarding 'handbooks', a resource we build to accompany online learning programs.
The larger and more complex the subject matter, the harder it is to develop meaningful learning experiences. Without a clear idea of the big picture there's a risk of concentrating too heavily on some learning points while skipping others entirely. It becomes easy to get lost in the information wilderness. More pertinent still is that when you're dealing with complicated or technical topics there's a very real risk of misinterpretation (or just plain getting it wrong), particularly if you as the designer are not well versed in the subject at hand.
I can see them now, a bunch of smug content-marketing ‘experts’ patting themselves on the back for coming up with such a deviously cunning strategy.
People are afraid of missing out, you see. They won’t be able to NOT click on the green button, because the red one represents a clearly negative statement about oneself, and who wants that?
"The fucking comms team's done it again."
So exclaimed the guy I’m sharing office space with at the moment. He'd slammed the phone down and seemed to be appealing to me for some sympathy, because, once again, they'd shot off on their own tangent and published something on the organisation's Facebook page that wasn't just misleading, it was wrong.
Let me tell you a tale. [Please note the Freelance Generalist's warning.]
Serious stories about communication
told in a silly voice.
I dig a little deeper than most comms folk. From science at university, to a cold-and-wet career as a commercial diver, to working underground, and for the past 15 years as a communicator-at-large, I've had my fair share of weird experiences in all sorts of situations. It's given me a fair-to-middling grounding in all things explanatory.