Stuff I learned

Building a better take

Building a take for the Internet is never easy but you have to start somewhere.

I’ve been thinking about this post from Dan Shanoff off and on for the last month. In it he discusses taking back the take and what it means to be smart in a not-so-smart world.

Actually, I can’t stop thinking about it.

All of this came to a head after the Ryder Cup when I was writing what I write after all rounds of a big tournament or game: 10 thoughts on what I just watched.

Each of these thoughts is a take, of course, and when melded together they form a Big Take on the entire day. The problem? The post usually goes 1,000+ words which is a lot for a one-day event on golf.

What I realized, though, on Sunday during the Ryder Cup is that each of those thoughts — a paragraph or two (usually about 100 words) — is my wheelhouse.

I can go smaller on the thought for Twitter or bigger for a 400-word column but building around takes (or thoughts or whatever you want to call them) like these is ideal for me.

So let’s start there from now on — 100 intelligent words on something that happened or something it reminded us of — and either strip away or build upon.

But let’s be smart about it because as Matthew Ingram wrote here, all that matters is how good you are:

It doesn’t matter what it says on your masthead, or how many centuries you have been publishing, or how many industry accolades your columnist has. All that matters is whether people want to read it or not — and that force is as mercurial a mistress as any newspaper editor ever was, and then some.