“Why do the Yankees always win? The other team can’t stop looking at the pinstripes.” Frank William Abagnale.
‘Catch Me If You Can’ is one of my favourite movies of all time. You’ve probably seen it – but if not, rent it on Amazon. It’s a must.
It follows Frank William Abagnale Jr. who successfully forged millions in cheques, and impersonated an airline pilot, doctor and lawyer from the ages of 15 to 21.
After watching the movie for the fifth time, it struck me that there are some interesting ideas at work for content providers, especially as we are constantly encouraged to “fake it till you make it ”, to reverse engineer content success.
Here’s are three ideas after watching the movie:
Content forgery is real. Well, I should say ‘idea’ forgery. I see this all the time. Concepts and premises scraped and rehashed into other markets. On the surface, this seems reasonable, but all too often I see blatant copycat articles that don’t offer any additional value or insight.
Much like Frank’s impersonations of an airline pilot, it’s never been easier to pretend to be someone you aren’t online. I see the onslaught of ‘headline readers’ all following the top lines of their RSS feeds without ever reading an article or even a book on the subject. God forbid offering insight from actual experience.
Forging content can and will hurt you. It’s hollow. You know it, your audience can feel it. The lack of authenticity can ruin your credibility long term.
That said, I do believe in finding credible content and using it as a starting point of your own response. It can act as a springboard or a spark to pivot your counter opinion from.
So I say this…
No more forgery.
No more fakery.
And definitely no more fools.