Everything isN media. At this
point most people have the ability to create content, whether that means taking a picture with their phone and posting it to the web, publicly saving a link or writing a blog read by millions, individuals are content creators and media owners.
The medium is theO message.
"The message of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs."
Content was never thatP important.
Sure on a micro level it can matter, but the types of changes were seeing are macro, not micro, and focusing on content can cause you to lose the forest for the trees. (McLuhan once wrote that the "content of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind.")
The majority ofthe content onthe
web wasnever created tobe monetized.What’s particularly interesting about this explosion incontent creation is the different players. Whereasworlds and business models used to be segmented,they all now sit in the same sea of content, competingwith one another.
It’s alwaysdangerous to ﬁghtthe guy
withnothing to lose.Brands make money differently than media companiesand then consumers generally don’t care about makingmoney at all off their content. Things can get messy.
For the ﬁrst timethe consumers
ofthe news are alsoits creators.That unprecedented look has provided them with anewfound fascination with how news moves.
The real contentof any web
storyis how the storyspread."As more and more Americans become aware of thepatterns and forces that shape culture, they begin todevelop their own hypotheses about what will spreadand what wont. Online with minimal cost or risk, theycan test these theories, tweaking different versions oftheir would-be viral projects and monitoring the results,which in turn feed back into how future projects aremade. In viral culture, we are all driven by the ratings,the numbers, the Internet equivalent of the box-ofﬁcegross." [Bill Wasik, And Then Theres This: How StoriesLive and Die in Viral Culture]
Try things anditerate.Face it, you’re
not as good at predicting success as youthink you are. It is well-established that things becomepopular mostly randomly. Sure you can spend againstit, but even that isn’t a guarantee.
Stay out of themiddle.This is
where content producers are really beingsqueezed. As The Economist put it, “As sales becomeever more concentrated, it is becoming both moreurgent and harder to establish a foothold near the topof the market. A book or ﬁlm that fails to attract a massaudience tumbles quickly into the depressed middle.”
Build on priorsuccess.Too many brands
rebuild their audience for everycampaign, spending the same money to reach thesame people over and over again. Even if you’re notsure what to do with it yet, you’ve got to recognize thevalue of building an audience.
Stop focusing onthe content.If I
am to leave with one thing I want to leave withMcLuhan. "The message of any medium or technologyis the change of scale or pace or pattern that itintroduces into human affairs." If you want to betterunderstand how things are changing, dig in to themedium, not the content.