Sunday, June 16, 2013


What do the following headlines have in common?

Money Magazine: 20 Hot Stocks To Own Now
Cosmopolitan: A Shocking Thing 68% of Chicks Do In Bed

Here's what they have in common: Neither will inform you of anything. And admit it: you'd click on the second article, right? Be honest.

These articles are product, not information. Both have optimized headlines containing every trick in the book to get you to click: numbers, calls to action, money, sex. Everything is there to tempt you, so you can have more product shoveled at you.

Be wary of tempting information. Do you really think you'll know more about investing after reading the Money Magazine article above? It's more likely you'll be less informed. That is, unless you're a sophisticated-enough consumer of investment news to see the article for what it really is: a list of stocks you should probably sell rather than buy.

How about the Cosmo article? Do you think it will inform you... of anything? You should know better, but you're still going to read it anyway, aren't you? This just shows how easy it is for media institutions to create information product that we can't resist.

So, considering all this, what's the true nature of your daily reading? Is it real information that informs you? Or product that uninforms you?