I have been reading Chris Brogan’s great post on how to improve blog-writing, and today I am implementing just one of his wisdoms: keep things short. Reduce. Cut the fluff. Yes, well, alright: I have been guilty of not doing that (you may have noticed). Enough.
Here are 10 ideas for future success in what used to be called Print Media (i.e. newspapers & magazines etc):
- Decentralize your digital assets. Syndicate your strong content everywhere (and in niches, in particular!), offer full feeds, on all platforms (mobile being the top priority), make everything searchable. Finding and being found is what will make or break you. Distribution trumps destination – it’s no longer just your homepage that counts; it’s all those other doors, links, tags and tweets to your content – even if they are not yours!
- Participate rather than be participated. Give permission for your content to be used, accessed, blogged, remixed, forwarded. Every ounce of protection aka friction will pull you further down to the bottom of this new ecosystem. There is real money in permission – and there is zero money in enforcing the laws that may have protected your dominant position in the past.
- Micro-chunk. Fragment and re-aggregate. Send your content headlines out via Twitter and other micro-blogging platforms. Allow people to snack, have a light meal, or pig-out and gorge on your content. Offer all options. Slice and dice your goodness.
- Mobilize….totally! Offer your content via mobile apps (and please, not just on the iPhone) that are easy to use, with simple UIs and strong functionalities. You may find you can sell the apps even if you can’t sell the content, initially. Most of the future value may just be around the content, not just in the content.
- Integrate the bloggers, the people formerly known as consumers, the professional-amateurs and UGC. The NYT has some very good initiatives in this turf, and so does Wired (check out their blogs and How2Wiki)
- Engage. Engage again. And then engage some more. Talk to your readers i.e. users, get them talk to each other, and offer a unique and powerful platform for these conversations… around your content. Aggregate the conversation. Bundle it. Wrap it.
- Filter. Curate. Contextualize. Inter-connect. Make sense of things. We, the users, need this more than ever and we will pay you to filter for, with and even through us!
- Personalize and customize. Allow me to be me when I spend time with you. Allow me to widgetize, change my profile, look and feel, make your assets mine. Inject a bit of Netvibes and iGoogle into your pages.
- Connect me to ‘strangers like me’. Don’t stop at making connections only between yourself and me – also connect me to your other users that might be of interest to me, that might generate added values for me; again, using your platform. Amazon has this down to a science!
- Dive into Freemium models. Give me something for free that represents real value to me, but costs you very little. And please, upsell me from there – to all the other good stuff you have to offer. See: Flickr, Google, Skype.
Short enough? Tell me. Comment below or Tweet.