Over the past many months the difference between writing internet content (information shared with others) and news (facts and details of actual events) has come up in conversation a lot. I’m roughly cognizant in both writing styles, but I do more content writing than news writing. The point being, I understand the difference.
But what difference does it make?
As a business owner, I write informative content for my readers to know more about my products, services, and the solutions I offer them as business owners. It’s relevant content to what they do every day for work, whether it is news related or not… My objective is to offer solutions my readers might need to run their business, or to live. In reviews, out of necessity, I often include my opinion.
As a news writer, I write facts and details about actual events and disclose those in my information so my readers can make decisions, and form opinions on current events. In writing news, my opinion doesn’t matter, but actual facts and details do. I’m writing so my readers can form opinions.
Social Media Influence
The cross we bear as writers comes through loud and clear on social media. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone shares their opinion. And every opinion has the power to influence the outcome of current events, business development, or any other item being discussed. Twitter feeds can change the formation of communities, or start a world war. Facebook discussions end friendships, ruin lives, and create broken relationships. Linked in can make an unpopular person famous. No matter what social media you choose to use, your influence can become great.
The cost of instant information
In a matter of moments, a discussion in our home this morning went from an innocent question from an eight year old, to an eruption of opinions among the adults, to various fact citations on a wide variety of media to support different opinions. None of them in all reality were an actual answer to the question, but all were based in fact. Sometimes… The answer is found in common sense.
Whether you’re writing information content for the internet, cited and relevant to products you sell, services you provide, or solutions you offer in some other way, or you’re a news writer, stating facts and details, the outcome matters. People will read and use, and often ARGUE your point of view. Be right.
The topic isn’t nearly as important as the outcome of the discussion. If we, as information providers on the internet, are providing information that is wrong, or misinformed, we lead people to wrong conclusions, and ultimately to damage relationships. Our purpose should be to calm the storms, not start the wars.
Common sense isn’t always common.
If you’re a writer, reading this and thinking you have all the answers… I have news for you. You don’t even have ALL the questions. There’s more to this world than any one person can know. It’s important to learn the facts about what you do know, and make sure they’re right. It’s JUST as important to know the source of your facts. If the facts you’re sharing are wrong, or misleading, or written by someone with intent to damage, ignite disruption, and create wrong results… then you’re continuing their message. If you’re sharing actual facts, details, and good information, you’re promoting good information, and encouraging good opinions.
Know your message!
What is YOUR message? In writing your words of informative content, offering solutions, or adding the facts and details of a current event, are you sharing your message? Are you influencing your reader with the message you want to be remembered?
Bobby Kennedy once said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
If you ask almost anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you that I probably didn’t agree with anything Bobby Kennedy ever said or did in whole, but in part… He had a lot of things right.
This quote is significant because it’s the one thing with which I can totally agree. We may not individually be able to change the world – alone. But by bringing together many who share our message, who desire the same outcome, and working toward that outcome in every segment of our lives, our small acts will write the history of our generation.
Are you espousing YOUR message in the words you write? If not… Do you need to change your message? Or change what you write?
Do your part. Know your message. Share your message in everything you do. Influence the world with your words.