With so many social media outlets constantly streaming through our consciousness it becomes increasingly important to take care in choosing your voice and volume. We can schedule tweets and blog posts and measure metrics, but as we find ways to quantify our impressions are we considering their quality?

Last week as the day came to a close I sat, relaxed and scrolled through Facebook. There was a lot of boring news and mundane updates. There were also a lot of ice bucket challenges and a near-constant outpouring of grief over the death of Robin Williams. To be clear I’m not commenting on public grief or the merits of the ice bucket challenge. I was, however, glad to come across a lovely looking article.

A beautiful woodsy image accompanied a lede that promised just the distraction and thoughtful sharing of information I sought when I pulled my iPad out in the first place.

I hit the link and re-read the lede before – BAM – a pop-up blocked my path.

The offending obstacle asked me to like the source on Facebook in order to continue. I fumbled for a moment, decided I did not want to link my online persona to a publication I knew little about and ultimately scrapped it, shutting the iPad for the remainder of the evening. I was looking forward to reading the article and was put off by the loud and pushy social media “attitude.”

This begged the question — isn’t the content enough?

Had I been allowed easy access to the content I might have found other articles I liked on the site. Not only that, but it appeared to be long-form journalism. I might have spent a satisfied hour combing thought their information. Instead, I was a bump to their bounce stat.

So, the moral of the story?

Let your content drive the numbers, invest in learning about SEO and feel confident that your numbers mean something – loyalty, quality, maybe even sales — if that’s your bottom line.

And the punch line?

The story that this “noisy” pop-up blocked was about a quiet sanctuary in a national park and the vitality of the quiet setting for the inter-communication and reproduction of wildlife.

The outlet?

I have no idea.

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