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The Secret Sauce for Dealing with the Internet

I might have found the “secret sauce” for success in the Internet marketing space. Curious? Well, I am not sure if I am going to share it, because if I do, it actually requires me to not use the secret sauce! Confused? Good, because that means that you have had too much. You want to make sense of everything that is said written or recorded on the Internet, and you want to have a witty comeback for everything (even if it stays in your head). But reading, watching and absorbing is not the answer.

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What’s the answer? Stop trying to absorb everything. Stop trying to take everything in and taking it to heart all at once. I have found that since there is SO much information online through search and social media, that I am working too hard to take it all in and assimilate it all. Why do I do this to myself? I don’t have a clue. I will say, though, that it is crippling at times and almost never worth the effort. I am finally realizing also that most of what is laid out there as expert advice is pure drivel, aside from some people I have watched, followed and learned to trust.
So here is the secret, finally. It’s just listening. It’s not absorbing–it’s listening. Absorbing everything is too much to ask. Ever read the paper and just skim it? Instead of reading every last word and trying to ingest a ridiculously large amount of data, you skip through and look at the headlines. You then look at a few points in an article that interested you. When it’s all said and done, you know a little about a lot, and you might have picked a few places that you want to dig further, so you do.
Same goes for online. Sure, it’s tempting to keep clicking through to the next Web site with the latest and greatest whatever. Sure, it’s tempting to reply to every silly argument and point made by the endless parade of experts that you can choose from every day. I suggest you take a day or two and just listen. Just observe. Just take in the data that you can and put the rest away for later or not at all.
Why am I saying this? Why would I be saying this at a time when we are supposed to be our most social and therefore most vocal than any other time in human history? Well, for me at least, enough is enough. There is a band called Switchfoot and one of their songs’ lyrics says it well by stating
If we’re adding to the noise
turn off this song.
If we’re adding to the noise
turn off your stereo, radio, video…
Well, I fear that I might be adding to the noise. I also am being inundated with A LOT of noise that is mostly innocuous, but can be at times over the top. Over the top? What’s that? Pick from one or all of the following: loud, obnoxious, repetitive, pointless, poorly communicated–and the list goes on.
When I feel like I must communicate and respond to the social world that we have created online, it’s time to step away. Step away and listen. Treat the Internet like that newspaper. Take the time to look over the headlines and not read everything to the end. Don’t be afraid that something will be missed. Even if you maintain radio silence for the biggest event in online marketing, it won’t be the last big event. There may even be another one that afternoon!
So I hope you got something from reading through this. If you didn’t, then I apologize for adding to your noise. Have a nice Friday and weekend. Take a walk and do some nature-watching for a change of pace. Now that’s being informed.

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