Don’t confuse the audience

I am currently reading the book “Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization” by Lester R. Brown (free download available). I will probably finish the last 10 of a total of 287 pages today (this is excluding the very abundant Notes section). The book describes several strategies on how to reduce carbon emission and climate change using today’s available technologies, including a detailed cost and action plan for both individuals as well as companies, national governments, and international forums. The first part of the book explains the current state of the earth (and left me quite depressed), while the second part is totally dedicated to pointing out the strategies needed to overcome the challenges posed by the CO2 increase and subsequent climate change.

I was impressed by the book. So many facts and figures. A thoughtful yet passionate argumentation. And so many new insights which I would love to see wider disseminated. But… People seem to have stopped reading well-researched and extensive stuff. Or perhaps I am nerdier than the average person in my surroundings, and a little more dedicated to green ideas? And then I read Seth Godin’s post on the danger of too much data. He says that the problem of too much data is that those who belief already, won’t be much surprised, and those who don’t belief in the cause won’t be inclined to belief your data anyway. The more important thing is the emotional connection instead of proofing everything.

I wonder if this is a lesson that those marketing green technologies and solutions still have to learn. Find the important connections with your target group and omit all those facts that are interesting, but won’t make a difference. Perhaps you can still make these facts available somewhere if necessary.

Now I am thinking about doing a series on what I learned through the book. Chapter per chapter one short summary which can be consumed in your 4-min-waiting-for-the-bus-break. And those who still want to get the details can still go back to the book to munch the numbers.

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