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Not So Intelligent Content Conference


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#1 iamlost

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:23 PM

An interesting read from Rachel Medanic of PublishThis (a content curation and publishing platform solutions company... omg, baffle me with platitude) Lessons from the Intelligent Content Conference, Bruce Clay blog, 22-February-2013.
Note: remember - and never ever forget - to read each summary segment with the business agenda of the presenter in mind.

* Publishing is a privilege.
...
* Content is much more than just “King.”
...
* Content can educate (or re-educate your market).
...
* The Madison Avenue advertising era (the Don Draper world of command and control) is gone.
...
* Publishing is a tool for discovering new audiences and new dynamics of existing audiences.
...
* Future proof content should be able to stand up against the filters audiences will use to keep it out.
...




Note: My comments are based on the article's summation.

* publishing is NOT a privilege.
It used to be a privilege, with the internet, especially the web, particularly blog software, it has become pervasive and common. The vanity press is become us.

The hook (one of many, almost all misunderstood and misapplied or overlooked) of rely[ing] on the audience to unlock the complete context is a narrow solution in that context varies by audience segment. What may be obvious context to many/most National Football League fans may be a mystery even to other Americans and as for the rest of the world...

* Content is much more than just “King.”
I think EGOL and I both agree on this one: yes, content can be gold. However, it can also be fool's gold (pyrite). Content is as 'royal' or golden as the author makes it. And the audience receives and values it.
Is it best in class - or at least above average - at doing whatever for which it was written?
Can it be found by the intended audience?
Does that intended audience grant it the value (at least) the author set as goal?

* Content can educate (or re-educate your market).
Yes, it can. But only of those who are interested in being (re)educated.

* The Madison Avenue advertising era (the Don Draper world of command and control) is gone.
Nah.
That is a TV show aka fiction. However, even as channels proliferate the Don Draper mindset remains: most ad agencies market to themselves (and their corporate clients) as in their mind 'they' are the epitome of the consumer. Oops.

In reality the consumer has less control than ever. The big brands dominate now as never before. This is apparent in SE results, in traffic numbers, in just about any metric. Plus media - the online and offline stories are - and how they are told - are same same same. And the online mass venues are becoming fewer and fewer... and their money comes from... and they can follow and data mine then target consumer online movements and communications.

* Publishing is a tool for discovering new audiences and new dynamics of existing audiences.
Yes.
But.
One needs identify what to publish to attract that new audience. It probably is not what one has already been writing. One can write and see who comes OR one can see who one would like to come by and invite them.

* Future proof content should be able to stand up against the filters audiences will use to keep it out.
Yes... and no. :)

Web sites/pages are no more 'dead' than Brick&Mortar stores. That does not mean that using other methods of reaching/communicating with one's audience should not be investigated.
...content must be accessible, findable, agile, adaptable, nimble and responsive. Oh my, and the kitchen sink should have a stopper and water, soap, and dirty dishes as well. What a load of stock phrases.

There was enough revealed to tweak my interest and I did have fun discerning the various agendas at play... A nice blend of truisms, platitudes, and idiocies. 
 

#2 EGOL

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:36 PM

* Publishing is a privilege.

=====================================================

 

Thanks to Google, anybody, anywhere can publish content without investing a penny.

 

 

Thanks to ingenious people through history, man has progressed from the Stone Age, to the Bronze Age to the Iron Age.

 

Now, thanks to google again man has entered an entirely new age... the Age of BullSheet Content.

 

They will host your amazing content on blogger, blogspot and even on their own domain at sites.google.com

 

There you can publish all manner of stolen, spun and cobbled content and they will even pay you for doing it by allowing you to publish adsense ads on your site.

 

On top of that they will index your creations and spread them across the planet through the search engine that delivers billions of results per day. 

 

This is why you have to be careful of what you read on the internet.

 

Unfortunately the people who worked hard to create all of that content that has been stolen, spun and cobbled, now share their hard-earned income with the people who have taken it.

 

Google needs greater quality control on the sites that they allow into their hosting, adsense and search results.  Then they will be organizing the world's good information and avoiding the crap.  All they need to do to make major strides is to get a handle on one of these channels (hosting, monetizing, indexing)


Edited by EGOL, 22 February 2013 - 07:52 PM.


#3 DCrx

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:31 AM

Content is called content so it can be spun and cobbled -- with no concept of quality aside from Google's for uniqueness.

 

It's good content when it passes a Copyscape run.

 

This curation thing is another buzzword. And the sole purpose of writing on the web is to establish one buzzword after another, with zero ideas behind them. The article is the way it is because an author is merely a more sophisticated kind of article spinner.

 

Come up with a buzzword. Put up sites which supposedly embody this buzzword -- although none can say how or why. Manufacture a new buzzword requiring a new site be built. Content must be accessible, findable, agile, adaptable, nimble and responsive. Translation: Content should be buzzword compliant.

 

Because that's the only way the digiratti can figure out how to get a client to pay first world wages for the written word.

 

And then you have a conference about it. Where the name is the opposite of what's going on. The web has made public access cable look like the BBC in comparison. Bizarro world.


Edited by DCrx, 23 February 2013 - 05:17 AM.


#4 iamlost

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

The dynamic of Google on the world is truly immense with perhaps the worst being the financial reinforcement of content as commodity. The exponential growth of inane content can not be laid at their door, that is a function of technology easing the threshold of publishing and accompanying societal change that permits, even lauds, the increasingly public dissemination of what was previously held as private. What Google has done, and continues to do, by their (1) inability to directly value or compare content and (2) the simplicity and low oversight of their ad programs, is to directly drive the commoditisation of web content and indirectly the debasing of knowledge.

But...

Given all that what can a webdev do vis-à-vis content in such a content wasteland?

Remember that in this content wasteland quality (by many definitions) is low and largely undifferentiated between sites, customers are increasingly price rather than value sensitive (there being such little value differentiation), and what difference there is is one of brand.

1. Decide who is NOT your audience.
There is little point in increasing traffic if it is unlikely to convert (by whatever your definitions are). Profitability far out weighs market share in importance.

2. decide who IS your audience and cater specifically to them. Don't try to appeal to everyone, that is the recipe for appealing to no one.

3. determine the tools that will allow you with your business goals to increase efficiency and scalability. Do NOT allow technology to determine nor constrain goals, strategies, or tactics. Set the metrics then find the best tools, NOT get the tools then set metrics by their capabilities.

4. Innovate. Be different. But not so much that it diminishes comprehension or increases confusion. What can work well is content written for various experience or knowledge levels and interlinked as required.

5. Identify various audience needs/wants/desires, list them in order of importance (define as you will), and create content that meets - better, slightly exceeds - why they have come, that entices them to remain on site, provides reasons to return and recommend... and build layered revenue streams to offer varied calls to action that meet business requirements.

In all the content generation advice that swirls about the 'advice' circuit, as DCrx noted, serving Google has replaced serving the audience and the business. TILT!

6. Identify where your audience congregates and how to best market in those venues. Yes, that does include SEs BUT only as a default general traffic source. Get your head out of Google's posterior and go after your audience directly. NOT to overtly sell; rather to inform, encourage, direct, and otherwise be your site's ambassador. Covert selling. Social. Networking. And don't be afraid to innovate, to try something just for the fun of it. The only real no-noes are being rude, crude, or obnoxious (yes, they can work but rarely over the long haul); know the rules and when to bend them and when to walk away.

Note: all this is content too, simply off site. Maintain the quality!

There are other points but believe me when I say that the above will occupy you for quite some time.

Be a revolutionary! Put non-SE values into content.

Be a reactionary! Edit before publication.



#5 glyn

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

Content is a block of text.

Block of text strategy.

I will steal all your content and esrn adsense from it.

Google will love me then chuck me when they fwn earn from remarketing and control the whole cycle.

The problem is that noone gives a "number 2" and anyone that could chooses not to.

Maybe Italy will kickstart a new worlf order in the next days because we all need to get humanity back on track!

#6 jonbey

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

"Thanks to Google, anybody, anywhere can publish content without investing a penny."

 

I think Twitter nailed this, they certainly won over more people worth listening to (than say blogspotters).

 

I sometimes worry what the future of the Internet holds. I am building my business on a very traditional format - words and pictures. But then I think, there will always be people who want to read some text. Yes, weird, flashy content that goes ping will become more commonplace as the Internet speeds up, but a lot of people like to read words. So I will focus on them still.



#7 iamlost

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:32 AM

Web content has increased the number of formats available but they are not all equal; each has it's strengths and weaknesses, what works best varies by audience segment and niche.

And what is 'best' varies by purpose. And available resources - although, as mentioned, both entry and professional levels have and continue to decline as various technologies develop. Often, as for the lonely Chelmsfordian webdev working away in his garret, available time is the greatest constraint. :)

While Google giveth and Google taketh away revenue, recognition, and reputation with their content behaviours a growing (for several years now) concern to some webdevs (would be to many but they are unaware) are the stripper (my term) applications such as Readability, Instapaper, Pocket née 'Read It Later' that strip away everything except content text and (usually) content images for reading in place or later. Think of it as toggling 'no page style' with a vengeance. Often great for the user; even worse for the site than ad blockers.

There are three methods I've found to mitigate the consequences:
1. make your site content highly readable - don't lose the content in noisy surroundings, don't use small text, etc. - to minimise readability need for such an application.

2. offer (within your site/app) your own bare bones version for downloading (not just for printing) - and emphasise it's existence - to minimise need for such an application for read later or export to eReader.

3. include attribution (site, author, etc.) in the content body, use absolute path URLs so links will resolve, etc. to minimise loss of citation, subsequent clicks, etc. when such applications are used.

 'Tis a weird and wild web world out there...



#8 jonbey

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

Yeah. I guess Pinterest is a good example of that. For all the people talking about how it sends them new traffic, there must be a lot of sites which now get less traffic, because as more content gets to Pinterest there is less reason to ever leave.

 

Going to close my garret curtains now, a bit worried iamlost is hacking in to those spy satellites again. 





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