Don’t state your opinions as facts when in fact they aren’t

January 24th, 2017 by Bob Bly

Recently, I sent an e-mail marketing message to my list offering
one of my audio home study programs.

BP, a subscriber of mine whom I like and respect, was highly
critical of this offer.

In BP’s opinion, “An audio course is reminiscent of platform
shoes, the IBM Personal Computer, and when the Bee Gees were all
living” — implying that audio products are somehow old school and
antiquated.

A simple Google search would in an instant show BP that his
claim of audio being old hat is completely wrong.

According to the Audio Publishers Association (APA), audiobook
sales in 2015 totaled more than $1.77 billion, up nearly 21% over
2014.

Also in 2015, 9,630 more audiobook titles were published than in
the previous year — bringing the number of audiobooks published
in 2015 up to 35,574.

I can also speak a bit from personal experience, not just
third-party Google research.

In my tiny online business, CTC Publishing, we have grossed
hundreds of thousands of dollars selling how-to information on
audio.

The take-aways from BP’s brash, subjective, and uninformed claim
of audio information obsolescence:

1–Google makes it so quick and easy to do some research, you are
being foolish if you do not take a few minutes to get the facts
before writing or speaking on a topic.

2–Don’t give subjective opinions on topics that have factual and
undisputable answers. Want to debate with your friends about
whether Trump will be a good president? Feel free. Want to
convince me that TV psychic Theresa Caputo can speak to the dead?
That’s a tougher position to defend, given there is no scientific
evidence supporting the existence of the afterlife.

3–Don’t defend so many of your positions so rapidly and
vehemently. We are not always right. We are often wrong. That
includes me. And you.

In his best-selling Spencer novels, the late Robert B. Parker
said of Spencer’s sidekick Hawk: “Hawk always knows what he is
talking about. Not because he knows everything. But because he
only talks about things he knows.”

My version: Don’t proclaim your opinions to be facts unless your
certainty is 99.7% or higher. That purple is a color is a fact.
That purple rugs are beautiful is an opinion.

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1 response about “Don’t state your opinions as facts when in fact they aren’t”

  1. David Bley said:

    I am a fan of audio for general info. I like print if I am trying to do something. I only like video for entertainment.

    When I read your headline, I had another thought. How far back do we have to go before a fact becomes an opinion. Every fact is based on assumptions. The things we take for granted when we form a fact. Which facts are important. Purple may be purple in white light but what about red light?

    People that take debate are taught to argue either position. Maybe by selecting which information to present. There is too much information to present it all.

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