Three Reasons to Keep it Simple

Tonight I returned from ASAE’s 2010 Tech Conference in Washington, D.C.  with a brain filled with all sorts of  ideas and agenda items. Among other things the conference offered valuable sessions on social media and content  strategy, the importance of curating content and the convergence of marketing  and IT departments and philosophies.

It was well worth the two days spent away from the office and for the most part left me inspired. However, a funny thing happened to me as I stepped off the train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and it was, perhaps, the most enlightening moment of my trip. As I ascended up the stairway and made my way through a back hallway I stumbled across this chalkboard which  stopped me dead in my tracks.

Train Schedule on Wheels

There’s no way of knowing exactly what this particular schedule is used for but it’s not the schedule that appears in the main lobby (pictured below),  or the small digital screens hanging in other areas of the depot. However, in its simplicity lie lessons that can be applied to anyone involved in content, technologies, social media and marketing.

Lesson #1 –  Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. It serves the same purpose as the other schedules, even without the flashing lights and sounds.

Lesson #2 – It  accomplishes the same goal as the other schedules – it communicates specific and relevant information to those that need it.

Lesson #3 – It’s accessible.  It doesn’t over complicate the message.

These three rules can be applied to just about any form of communication including those used in social spaces. Too often we get lost in the “noise” around us or distracted by the flashy tools available at our fingertips.  Because of this  we tend to forget all about the value in simplicity and how, if applied properly, can actually advance our goals easier and faster.

Flashy Schedule Image Credit - http://www.trainweb.org

 

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