The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.

I’ve come to hate the word authentic. My animosity has grown through eight years of helping companies adopt social media/content marketing. I cringe whenever I hear it, because it’s frequently used with a qualifier such as:

  • “We need to seem authentic…”
  • “We need to be more authentic…”

Just writing those two fragments increases my already heightened blood pressure.

Authenticity is like a poisoned well; it is or it isn’t. You can’t be more or less authentic. And although you can make the well seem less poisoned, the very act requires deception–which by definition isn’t authentic at all.

True storytelling must come from authenticity. It can’t be added later. If your company wants to use the power of storytelling, rather that trying to be authentic, start there instead. It’s easier.

Oh, and if you wanna elevate my blood pressure to stroke levels, just add the word “viral” to the same sentence as “authentic.”

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