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A plethora of unconsumed content

via giphy

Movies, books, magazines, music, and podcasts. There’s too much content and too little time.

We can try to keep up and multitask or listen to podcasts 2x their speed. But it’s a zero-sum game. The internet never ends. There will always be another Netflix show to catch up on.

Yet we mustn’t fret. We only have so many hours in the day.

An overdose of content. An underdose of time.

Attention competes with sleep.

We spend 18 hours of our day staring at the rectangular glow. How much of that time is consciously doing versus seeking distractive entertainment?

As tech journalist Jonathan Margolis points out, we’re consuming ever more media but not necessarily getting more intelligent. Yet, the sales of physical books are up! Go figure.

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Can I share this?

Here’s a frightening thought: once you send someone a digital item (text, snapchat, etc) it’s theirs to keep forever.

Sure, they don’t technically own it but there’s nothing you can do in preventing them from sharing your content further, even after they’ve manipulated it.

The age of flying files and texts is also one of incredible trust. In principle, we shouldn’t share each other’s content or forward emails without the original provider’s consent. Anything we share publicly via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram however is fair game to be reshared or talked about.

Content is king. We use it to communicate on the web. Images and emojis or images with emojis embedded are becoming the new status updates. But within the excess of sharing comes context. Where and why a person shares something is squally as important as who they share it with.

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Google Plus You Equals $$$$

You’re just logged into some bullshit while browsing the Internet. This next part, however: “… and gives Google that common understanding of who you are.” Now we’re chewing on something a bit meatier—as in, an admission from Google Inc. that Plus mostly exists to gives the company a better “understanding” of you.

The G+ network is merely an excuse to gather more data about you. No utility whatsoever. We. Are. Ads.

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Content economics, part 5: news

Social media made blogging easier:

Twitter and Facebook — and Pinterest, for that matter, and the rest of the social media universe — did two important things. Firstly they made publishing incredibly easy; and secondly they rewarded publishing by giving contributors immediate likes and replies and favs and other evidence that people really cared about what you were publishing. It was the endorphin rush familiar to old-school bloggers, democratized and accelerated.“

People share the news on social networks and therefore serve as aggregators. No wonder no one knows what RSS is.

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Audio never goes viral. If you posted the most incredible story — literally, the most incredible story that has ever been told since people have had the ability to tell stories, it will never, ever get as many hits as a video of a cat with a moustache.

Nate DiMeo on what goes viral
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Time to get out of the message business

Memory actually works through the creation of connections.  A brand is simply a set of connections and associations in the brain. We form and access memories of brands by creating and activating these networks of associations.

So people don’t consume and file away abstract ideas and propositions. They consume (as Robert Heath has shown, they often with fairly low levels of attention) all the visual, verbal, audible, tangible characteristics of our content – and these create new connections and in the brain.

Marketing is just a series of connections, i.e. memory creation.  Its success depends on the brand’s creativity, or content.  

Creativity isn’t some kind of distraction tactic, bait or bribe. It isn’t a wrapper or envelope for a message.

It IS the content.

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Here’s what’s happening in the content industry now

So here’s a quick summary, the rise of internet provided a fair playing field for everyone to start building their audience; pageviews got diluted; new genre of curated sites optimized for pageviews was born; internet reach increased; and videos rose as a new medium for content. All, compete with media outlets for pageviews. At the same time, they cannot find a way to go over ad blocking technologies.

In addition to more native looking ads, we also need better writers.  

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The Economist rethinks ‘lean forward, lean back’ model

Readers should not remember the particular device on which they read an article or saw an ad, whether in print, on a smartphone, tablet or desktop.

“If we execute this correctly, all devices should fall away and leave nothing but the content,” he said.

In other words, the goal is to make content agnostic to the inevitability of format shifting.

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This Is What Happens When Publishers Invest In Long Stories

We hoped the “slow live blog” approach would give us more flexibility and speed when it came to writing and producing news. Instead of starting with a fresh article every time we want to cover something inside a regular beat, which might require a long catch-up introduction, context, background and so forth, we could just put fresh news at the top and let the reader scroll down to read previous updates if they hadn’t been following this story.

Updates on top, context on the bottom.  Kind of like Wikipedia.  

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“When people start stealing shit, you know there’s a market out there.”

Theft is an estimation of demand.

Despite the fact that content providers have made it easier and more affordable to consume content online, primarily through streaming, people still steal stuff on the Internet because it’s easy and it feels free. “Everyone is doing it.”

But mass consumption means a lot of the stuff that gets stolen also gets trashed or ignored.

Value resides in the stuff worth keeping.

The paradox of free is a devaluation of the product. The product is just the marketing vehicle for upselling other stuff (events, tickets, merchandise, etc); basically the stuff that’s tangible and much harder to steal.

Free is a large market that creates other sales opportunities. The paid market is much harder to convert.