Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that I have built a copious body of work -- writing and thinking -- around conceptualizing, developing, and using valuable content to attract people, and not just search engines or artificial intelligence agents, as the case may be.
This blog is based upon mainly written content that I hope you find valuable enough to let it inform your thinking and doing. However, I am all too aware that you probably have time to scan my posts, and not comment (unless I write them in a way that gets you going, and I generally don't do that just to get comments).
The reason is that there are two problems with consuming valuable content:
(1.) there is already enough content out there to last us ages.
Secretly, I think that's why cloud computing was developed. Although not all content is created equal, unless you're bent on following the word from just a few, you will find amazing thinking and writing in many undiscovered places -- sites with poor navigation, bloggers without gimmicks or strong marketing bones, etc.
(2.) last time I checked, nobody got their wish to have more attention span hours in a day handed to them.
In fact, the more intellectual the nature of your work, the more you probably find it hard to sustain strong attention, that of the comprehension kind, for long periods of time. Process information is hard work. The brain just needs a break, many breaks throughout the day. When I stress about ideas, I scrub floors, nothing like good manual labor to give the mind some rest.
All this engagement is getting to us. There are times when all you want to do is nothing. I would be remiss if I didn't tip my hat to Tom Higley for the digital Big Bang concept at this juncture, as things are just getting interesting.
Because not only there's really no money in content creation, organizations are really testing their limits with the activity, too. They're just not set up to be publishers of information -- everything from the org chart to the product or service delivery floor, they both are rarely "just" content, says they are in for a master challenge.
Is ironically that of getting to keep up with generating enough really good quality content to attract and build your own community, formerly known as audience, and that of breaking through the attention barrier. Ah, the early days of social marketing pioneers, right?
It's a challenge because publishing currently falls to marketing and communications groups. And while new tools and technologies like those that make social networks and digital media possible, make it easier to share content, they don't have a machine you can crank up to populate those outposts magically, all legally approved.
Plus, maybe some brochure-ware has gone away, you still need to take care of PR, demand and lead generation, sales and channel support, in a variety of ways. Which include content generation. Only so many hours of attention in a day for this group as well.
Why useful filters rule
Going direct with social media currently means many places -- networks, tools people use, digital spaces they gravitate to because there is something cool to do for a while... and they all need content, profile data with one-line bio, to get started and attract others.
The digital Big Bang is caused by both, more tools, more content, the more it all expands. Mainstream media was considered a useful filter because they took information and news, made editorial choices, and published often unique and vetted content people could get their head around.
By proxy, they came to trust the source of that information. Even as the source is perilously thinning on the editorial side while massively expanding on the commercial, interest-based side, people do cling on to this sense of checks and balances.
When I asked is Twitter the news system of the future? this week, I got several very strong reactions to the title alone. Leave mainstream media out of it, many said. They are the news system. Yes, and they are also on Twitter. But how do you filter them? I built a list.
It comes down to influence
Not just mining the data. Because influence is a renewable resource. You can uncover and help amplify it by connecting people with shared interests.
If useful filters are the answer to the content sprawl and attention conundrum, influence is the key to identify who your useful filters are.