Think about something good that happened to you recently. Something small, something significant, it doesn’t matter what. Can you remember exactly what occurred?
As the memory comes back to you, think about the nature of what you are actually remembering. Are you recalling the things that were said, and that you say to yourself about what happened? Or are you picturing it, and even visualising the concept of happiness? Or perhaps the memory brings up strong feelings that you can almost feel again right now in your body?
I’m working on content for an estate agent (that’s a realtor in the US). On their old site they have one of the worst metaphors that I’ve seen on a serious commercial web site. They have a basket.
That you can put houses in.
Think about that for a moment. As you browse through the site, looking for homes that fit your criteria, you can add ones that you like to a basket. Once they are in there, you click ‘View basket’ to see a list of homes you’ve chosen. There they are, snuggled at the bottom of the basket, waiting for you to – ‘click the register button to post off your details to the agent’. Whatever that means.
What have Millennials, Job Snobs, Echo Boomers, the Net Generation, First Digitals, Peter Pan generation, and Trophy kids all got in common?
They are all names thrown at Generation Y. Although you can never actually define a generation – these things will always be gross generalisations – people talk about a generation born between the late 1970’s and the mid 1990’s. Let’s say 1979–1994.
From my basic, generalised grasp of what Generation Y is about, we’re talking:
If I tell you that there is a debate over whether to split infinitives in writing you know what I mean, right?
Because most people don’t.
Worse, many think that they probably should know, and because they don’t, that I think they’re stupid. At that point they leave. No one wants to be made to feel stupid.
At Cambridge University one professor asked us regularly for 100 word summaries instead of the usual long essays. This appealed to our resourceful sides while, more importantly, going half way to giving us a skill actually useful in the real world: precis.
The ability to summarise an argument in as few words as possible forces you to understand the material in the first place so that you can make it clear to your audience. Who might actually read it for once.