Can Seth Godin rework the nuggeting trend?

If you read this blog recently, you know that I liked the book Rework. One thing that troubles me, though, is the trend of nuggeting—in publishing and presentations.

Nuggeting – the act of breaking down information into small, easily digestible nuggets.

I recently attended a webinar given by Seth Godin, and I kind of hated it. Well, hate’s a strong word. I just didn’t like it.

I am a big fan of Seth’s blog and of his work in general, but I expected more from the presentation than nuggets. The whole thing was just tidbits from Seth’s head.

  • Post on weekdays because there are more readers.
  • Post on weekends because there are fewer new posts.
  • Don’t be boring.
  • Break news.

Really? I could’ve come up with the same things. But people were eating it up, as far as I could tell.

I was reading Rework the same week in which I attended Seth’s webinar. I loved the book, I didn’t like the webinar. Why?

Maybe I was just disappointed. Seth’s webinar was titled “57 Ways to Connect With Customers and Get Them to Spread Your Ideas for You.” I expected it to be more business and marketing oriented. Maybe if it was titled differently (like “A Bunch of Ways to Boost Your Blog”), I would’ve liked it more.

Also, the webinar was given through MarketingProfs—an organization that puts on fantastic webinars and offers up a ton of interesting and valuable content.

I think something else was bugging me, this sense that I get here and there, which maybe you feel too. So I have to ask:

Are you feeling cheated?

I know some readers didn’t like Rework because they felt they could find the same info on the authors’ blog Signal vs. Noise. Maybe I liked the book because I hadn’t read their blog.

An awful lot of people are selling books and webinars these days, especially some of the top names in marketing and social media. Many of these people seem to sneak by with a Twitter-like version of things.

Often I think this is due to demand and time constraints. But sometimes, I see something that makes me wonder, is that person thinking: People love me, they know I’m an expert. I can put out anything and they’ll buy it (both literally and figuratively).

In the Philadelphia area, there is this very successful businessman who talks about “charging like a rhino.” He’s very smart, well-respected and knows what he’s doing, so I ordered his book…ahem, booklet.

On the first page, he bragged that he wrote the book in 4 or 5 days. Red flag! Even if he hadn’t admitted that, I would’ve figured it out within the first 25 pages or so.

I do understand his intention. He started out writing things down to help his daughter, and decided more people could benefit from his advice. I totally respect that.

But, here’s where he went wrong: He could’ve written things for his daughter in 4 days, and that would’ve been fine. But if he or anyone wants to write for a larger audience, we really have to put more time into it than that.

Your audience deserves your very best. Period.

I don’t think nuggeting is wrong (because it definitely has its place). But put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Before you publish that book or give that presentation, ask yourself, are you giving them your very best? Are you giving them what they need?

Make sure you help them set up their expectations so that they expect exactly what you’re going to present. Don’t choose being clever over being authentic.

It’s worth saying again: Your audience deserves your very best.


Seth Godin is usually a fabulous presenter, and he deserves his stellar reputation. Here’s proof from the 99% conference—on lizard brains and thrashing.


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