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2 posts from December 2022

How to create content UNLIKE a robot

If you're a content marketer (like me), ChatGPT should feel threatening. However, Michael Katz has a few suggestions on how to stand out and survive.

The Likeable Expert Gazette: I *NOT* Robot, 2022-Dec-16 by Michael Katz

...what does this [ChatGPT] type of technology mean for small firms and independents like us who create content as a way to demonstrate our expertise and stand out from the crowd? I have three recommendations for keeping the robots at bay:

#1. Write from your personal experience.

Generic information – on any topic – hasn’t been hard to come by for at least a decade. How do I change a tire? How do mortgage payments work? Where did this rash come from (asking for a friend)? Questions like these have been asked and answered over and over again and are easily googled.

Your personal stories and experiences, on the other hand, are unique to you. So while your readers, podcast listeners, presentation attendees, etc., don’t particularly care about your life, when you wrap those around the useful information, you’ve done what no robot can.

Plus, the more you share about who you are, the more people feel like they know, like, and trust you...



Winning the time crunch with subtraction

I resolve to not add another project or item to my to-do list until something comes off. And start pruning monthly. I'm putting a recurrent 'pruning day' on my calendar.

Times Higher Education: Our to-do lists can’t grow forever. It’s time to try subtraction, 2202-Mar-24 by Leidy Klotz and Robert Sutton

This “addition sickness” has roots in our basic cognition. Research published in Nature last year – which one of us co-authored – documents that the default mode of human problem-solving is to add rather than subtract complexity. Across 18 studies, whether people were creating Lego models, planning travel or, yes, trying to improve a university, people systematically overlooked subtractive changes....

Subtractive change will always be uncomfortable. But here are some ways to start. First, serve as a subtraction role-model: reduce the number and length of meetings, write fewer and shorter emails, and limit your speaking time. Those studies in Nature show that people use addition as a substitute for thinking....

It is also important to tell your colleagues what you didn’t do. Subtraction is the path of greater resistance. This isn’t because people are evil or foolish. It is, in part, because it was adaptive for our ancestors to collect extra resources during good times, so they could survive the lean times. Many needless additions have become sources of comfort and identity. We need to bend over backwards to reward people who subtract – and that means giving them opportunities to speak up about their subtractions....

Third, we can put in place other rules and nudges that prevent us slipping back into the default addition mode. Every new initiative could include a default phase-out plan....

Finally, we need to shift focus from what is lost to what is gained from subtraction....

One path is to enlist more administrators to create more rules, call more meetings, send more emails and buy more technologies to “support” us. The other path is to save ourselves from ourselves.