How Perceptions Alter The Message

One thing that always interests me is how two different people can interpret the same piece of writing in two completely different ways. We all bring with us our own history and biases and we approach everything new with our own set of perceptions. Our perceptions as much as anything are what determines what each of us consider true and help shape our own unique realities. My reality is different from your reality, which is different from his or her reality. And we can each draw completely different conclusions from the same information.

It’s easy to see in two people from different political parties with different philosophies and how each will decide what needs to be done in response to a political event. It’s easy to see in different interpretations of the same passage from any religious book. And it’s easy to see when someone writes a blog post commenting on one of your own.

Case in point is this post from BusinessAnalyst.com which asks Is AdSense Real Or Just A Scam?. The post references a post of mine from a month back entitled My AdSense Revenue Sucks, Must Be Google’s Fault. I’ll let you read both posts if you want and wait till you’re done before continuing. You should probably read my post first since the other one is based in part on its interpretation of my post.

Go ahead and read. I have a few things to do while you are and I’ll be back when you’re done.

Ok. Now that we’re both back I hope it’s clear that my post was meant to be tongue in cheek and my main point in writing it was to say that if you do nothing but place the ads on your site don’t expect to make a lot. In the days prior to writing the post I had seen one too many people on forums complaining how the they weren’t making more than a few dollars a month and how AdSense was just a scam.

I realize the attempt at sarcasm and mocking humor in my post have the potential of being lost as both can be difficult to get across in writing, but I gave it a shot and still think most people will interpret the post as I meant it. At least those that read forums with comments about AdSense. I may not know everyone who reads here, but I expect that many would fall into the forum reading category.

And if you read as far as the comments you can see that I explicitly say it was an attempt at humor. Matt certainly understood my intent in his comment.

Fast forward a month to a few days ago and the BusinessAnalyst post seems to think I seriously believe Google is somehow responsible for everyone’s lack of AdSense revenue and that I consider the whole program to be a possible scam.

Interesting to me how two completely different interpretations could come from the same post. One, Matt, who followed along with my attempted humor and in doing so understood the advice within. And another, the writer behind BusinessAnalyst, who took my words as serious and came to the conclusion I was blaming Google for anyone’s lack of AdSense revenue. Each took something very different from the words I wrote.

It makes me wonder if that writer simply doesn’t share the same sense of humor as I do or if my original post simply wasn’t funny. (Nah, couldn’t be that). It is very possible that the sarcasm didn’t come across since it can be difficult to get across in writing, though I will continue to try. Matt may have gotten the post, but we both are members of the very same forum that gave me the impetus to write what I did. He was in the same threads I was in and probably came to the post with the understanding of what I was saying prior to reading my first words.

The BusinessAnalyst writer would not know me as well and would likely not know my humor as well. He may have simply interpreted my thoughts in a way I never intended or perhaps have come to the post with some preconceived ideas, which led him to interpret my post the way he did. I can’t possibly know, but I’ve always though the way you interpret something says much more about you than it does about the something you were interpreting.

I really don’t mind being misinterpreted. It’s happened before and I’m sure it will happen again. And while I still plan on trying to inject some humor here, eevn if it risks losing someone to my point. I will try harder to get my point across and understood. I take it as a challenge to make my writing better.

And just to be clear for the record I don’t blame Google for any lack of AdSense revenue. If all I ever made was a nickel from the program it’s a nickel that Google made possible for me to earn. Their system is hardly perfect, but it’s not at all a scam.

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