Lack of opinions in opinion articles


Mark Ballard of CRN has send round an amusing, but pertinent email with regard to submissions for the magazine’s Opinion column – he is bemoaning the fact that most of the pieces they receive really aren’t any use – mainly because they fail to have the one thing that would-be Opinion column authors  ought to have – namely Opinions (there is a clue there somewhere).

Mark’s full rant on the subject below:

Regurgitated corporate rhetoric. There’s this message that’s drafted in the
corner office of some corporate campus outside of San Francisco. It’s
communicted down the official channels and faithfully reproduced in the
minds of country lieutenants and their subordinates in turn.

I appreciate that if you sit these people down and ask them about hubs and
switches or whatever it is they sell, much of what they say will follow the
company line, and quite rightly so. So do the press releases, the channel
marketing communications, the conference speaches… there are plenty of
avenues by which these messages get across. The CRN comment page is not one
of them.

I’m afraid too many of the Viewpoint articles we have in the bank are so
dry and unimaginative, the content so predictable, the language so tortured
that it is impossible to read them without your eyes glazing over.

Your average company director does usually feel passionate about the
business in which he is working. But I’m afraid that passion isn’t coming
across in the articles we are receiving. Granted the subject matter can
appear a little dry, but the copy doesn’t have to be: there are passionate
debates to be had about the technology as well as the business.

It appears the passion and the true opinion is being checked by the
pressure of writing an ‘article’ so that the result is too often something
like an encyclopedia entry. The voice of the writer is also usually lost
under a confusion of hackneyed marketing terms and empty industry-speak.

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