Search vs. social

The sands of the Internet are constantly shifting underneath us. One major example is content distribution and audience reach via search vs. social. So much has changed even in the last year with regard to how people get information via search vs. social. This article is ostensibly about how Google+ isn’t a Facebook killer, but the part that stood out to me was this:

“Once upon a time…you hopped onto a search engine, plugged in a search term, found what you were looking for and went your merry way. [But] sharing and following and ‘liking’ and so forth have become the primary way people gather and dispense information. Search is still a big part of the equation, but social is getting bigger.”

In many cases—many, certainly, but not all—people trust their networks more than they trust a search engine’s results. It’s a fundamental understanding that content creators must adapt to. It’s no longer just about gaming SEO to rank in search; it’s about creating quality, sharable, trustworthy content.

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Why didn’t Kodak create Instagram?

Intriguing question, Bits Blog! Following up on my previous post about how it’s nearly impossible for old media to compete with new, given their (so far justified) so-called baggage: According to a Kodak exec, “One reason that the company went out of business was that the revenue it was reaping from film sales acted like a blockade to any experimentation with new business models.”

Furthermore, hallelujah and amen:

“The challenge of creating something small and disruptive inside a large company is one that many face today.”

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Content as a product

Really interesting piece on treating content as a product and what that means for scaled production, if there is such a thing:

“You can’t apply industrial-age economics to content production. Content doesn’t get cheaper as the volume goes up. Unlike Ford’s automobiles, the cost of quality content goes up with the volume because content production involves skilled labour and very few economies of scale. Plenty of organisations try to work around this hard fact using various forms of automation.”

The author’s point is that it’s a gamble to “churn content without a plan”:

“While automated tools can be useful, letting general trending topics or ill-chosen metrics replace a strong editorial strategy will drive the relevance of your content down. Licensed or crowd-sourced content will rarely be tailored for your audience’s needs, the tone of voice they are most accustomed to, etc. Every mismatch drives relevance down and reduces your chances of the gamble ever paying off.”

I’d further argue that, content-wise, in the age of social sharing and a meme a minute, tone and trust are everything.

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Old media vs. new debate redux

Some solid thoughts here about the advantages of digital-native media versus “old” media. Conclusion: It’s hard to adapt to the changing media landscape when you’re busy running your existing business…you know, the one that pays the bills. Because even significant gains in magazines’ digital circ means they’re up to a whopping 1 percent of total circ. Yes, 1 percent. Rather unbelievable, given how often the media talks about what’s next and the mythical untold opportunities for tablet reading and product/brand integration.

And that would be why “old” media companies need to focus on their core business.

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