Promiscuous Media

This is a new term that is worth thinking about. Felix Salmon coined the phrase and Mathew Ingram describes it in a post for Giga. It is pretty simple – content creators need to put their content where readers go (be promiscuous about the platforms they use) rather than expect readers to come to their web sites.

If it is true for media companies like Buzz Feed, it is true for the rest of us content makers too. We all need to wake up to the idea that traffic on the web is fluid and it is likely to become more so over time. In this post, I will address two underlying questions

  1. whey should one be making content anyway?
  2. how to figure out where to place your content?

The first question is pretty straight forward. Creating content serves at least two purposes. First, it helps you develop ideas. Writing stuff out gets ideas to the next level and helps you track what you are thinking. Second, it helps you connect those ideas to what other people are doing. This is the first strategic imperative put forward by Lafley & Martin – figuring out who you want to be in light of what other people do. So if you have aspirations to be an intellectual entrepreneur — a person who is engaged in adding value through better thinking, you don’t really have a choice but to do this.

The second question is more challenging. The conventional wisdom has been that I should create a web page and make it really, really, really attractive. That is, to figure out how to bring folks to me. Folks invest lots of time and money in web pages to generate traffic there. They might invest instead in figuring out where people in their target groups are already going and figure out how to connect with them there.

Here is the thing – this is sort of like finding a “moveable feast” as Hemingway put it. Or a roving party. As an example, let’s say you want to sell travel ideas. In the old days, you might create a travel blog. But what platforms attract people who want to read about travel? Where do travel ideas percolate? Can you get some content on those platforms? Let’s say, for example, you are focused on Greek Islands — where do folks go to read about them? What excites discussion there? Interesting questions.

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