48 Hour Obsolescence

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Day eightIt’s Monday morning. You grab your coffee, sit down at your desk and flip through a few articles before you dive into the tasks ahead. As you skim your New York Times, your Wall Street Journal, your PRDaily, Mashable and the like, it catches your eye. The holy grail of Monday. The article you absolutely, positively have to tweet.

You login to your management console and along the way the phone rings, emails multiply, crises erupt and your Monday morning is gone before you know. And the article remains untweeted. You call it quits and hope for a better Tuesday, one where you can tweet that beloved article that you are certain your followers will love.

Wednesday comes and you are bound and determined to Tweet. That. Article.  But something stops you. What is it, you ask? Why it’s the fear of 48 Hour Obsolescence. This conundrum and I have become close friends. As I sip my Wednesday green tea, I wrestle with it wondering if the article is still relevant, overtweeted or, even worse, obsolete.

While social media gives us access to more information, it also gives news a shorter life cycle. Sure, it lasts longer online than it ever did in print, but it can be trumped by better coverage of the same topic or something new in a matter of seconds, never mind a couple of days.  So how do we combat 48 hour obsolescence while sharing the knowledge we attained a few days prior but didn’t have the time to share then?

Make Relevant Connections: Perhaps you find Monday’s news about Facebook more compelling than Wednesday’s. Simply acknowledge the most recent while still touting the old and highlighting its value.

Be Transparent: Fess up to the truth. Tell people you meant to tweet the news two days ago. Even better, make it witty and offer your followers a mid-week laugh.

Let It Go: Accept the fact that you can’t tweet everything and let it go. Maybe it really was better left untweeted. (Note: this is your last resort.)

Go Subtle: Sometimes you don’t even see news until a couple of days after it happens. In these circumstances, ‘I can’t believe I missed this’ will do the trick.

While news does eventually become obsolete, I’m convinced it doesn’t happen in the 17 seconds that some allege it does. Come to think of it, I still remember the day someone told me not to tweet anything older than 17 seconds and how I laughed in shock and horror. Anyways, if the news still has value to you a couple of days after it broke, it remains worth sharing. You aren’t the only one juggling your thirst for knowledge with a need for productivity. Nor are you, likely, the only one who is a couple of days behind.

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