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This Blog Is Dead

Let’s admit it. Blogging (as we knew it) is dead.

Is your blood boiling? Are you priming your fingers to lambast this thought in the comment section of this post? Go back in time. Not even all that ago and think about the early days of blogging. What we had was place for online journaling. Posts were seen in chronological order and could be commented on and shared. It was a technological and publishing breakthrough. Suddenly, the cost of publishing plummeted to zero and publishing to the world was almost as easy as it was to print up a document from your word processor. Suddenly, anyone with connectivity could have a thought and publish it in text for the world to see. It’s obvious why the popularity of blogs took hold. It’s equally obvious why the traditional mass media also took a liking to the platform. Newspapers could use blogging as a farm team for their printed publications. They could allow journalists not getting enough ink on paper to explore their ideas on a blog. They could test different types of stories and writers to see if there was a market for their writing, and more. For a person like me, publishing a regular blog enabled me to build an audience, to have a direct relationship with people who liked the same sorts of things that were turning my crank. If an editor didn’t like a story pitch, I could just copy and paste that same text into WordPress, hit “publish” and see if the story had legs. Blogging provided me with a powerful platform that has created awareness for Twist Image, got me on the radar of speaking bureaus, major publishers, a literary agent, book publisher and so much more.

What happened?

Yesterday, Nieman Journalism Lab published an article titled, The blog is dead, long live the blog, by Jason Kottke (who publishes one of the longest continuously running blogs on the Web). Let’s forgo the irony that this piece was published on a blog and read this: “Instead of blogging, people are posting to Tumblr, tweeting, pinning things to their board, posting to Reddit, Snapchatting, updating Facebook statuses, Instagramming, and publishing on Medium. In 1997, wired teens created online diaries, and in 2004 the blog was king. Today, teens are about as likely to start a blog (over Instagramming or Snapchatting) as they are to buy a music CD. Blogs are for 40-somethings with kids. Instead of launching blogs, companies are building mobile apps, Newsstand magazines on iOS, and things like The Verge. The Verge or Gawker or Talking Points Memo or BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post are no more blogs than The New York Times or Fox News, and they are increasingly not referring to themselves as such.”

The comfort of publishing and sharing.

Blogs aren’t dead, there are just many more ways to take an idea, to publish it and to share it. Blogs were as popular as they were over the past fifteen years not because everybody wanted to write and publish, but because that’s primarily the only way they could share things. Once better, faster and more technologically advance ways came about, consumers navigated to whatever areas were easiest or more congruous to their styles and preferences. The death of blogging is – as they say – greatly exaggerated. With more choices (shall I publish text? Images? Audio? Video?), places to publish (Pinterest? Tumblr? Snapchat? Facebook? YouTube?) and styles (short-like Twitter? Middle of the road for Medium? Long-like a piece for HuffPo? ), we simply have people who are finally able to match their publishing capabilities with their actual areas of interest. This doesn’t mean that blogs are dying, it simply means that people who like more personal/in-depth pieces would trend to a blog while others might like the rapid and real-time fire of Twitter.

It’s less about blogging.

What we’re seeing is an evolution of something I called, Instant Personal Publishing (almost a decade ago). Blogging is a legacy system within that framework. Instagram is as much of a blog post as this is. Consumers interest in sharing and creating content continues to evolve and grow. Blogging is starting to leave the “everyone” stream and finding it’s place in the “blogging” stream. It’s for those interested in more depth, more insight, with a personal slant/opinion, and a regular text-based publishing pace from those who have something to write. Writing isn’t easy. Blogging is a lot harder. Less people are starting blogs because not everyone is going to have the desire or aptitude to write. People are going to read less blogs, simply because they have more options. Bloggers have to do more within other social media and traditional media channels to get their voices heard. No, blogging isn’t dead. Blogging is just starting to find its more relevant audience with people who have a true passion for writing. That’s a good thing, but we can’t be fooled into thinking that blog-type writing will somehow become more popular than creating and sharing pictures and videos and tweets. When given the choice, humans tend to like the speed of looking and snacking.

That’s nothing new.

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On Drones And Weaponizing Lego

If you think wearable technology is interesting, you have to watch this.

We are spending a lot of time thinking about wearable technology like Nike+, Jawbone’s Up and even Google Glass, but things are getting super-interesting in other areas of techno…

What Keeps The Chief Marketing Officer Awake At Night? – Part 2

The Chief Marketing Officer must better understand how information is created, stored, shared and capitalized upon.

There is a strange default position that most businesspeople (mostly marketers) take when they don’t understand why something is happening in the business world. How could Facebook buy Instagram for close to a billion dollars? What was Yahoo thinking when they acquired Tumblr for nearly the same amount? What was the point of Publicis merging with Omnicom? There is a collective scratching of the heads, the shrugging of the shoulders and then, one word tumbles out of someone’s mouth (“data!”) and everyone else nods in all-knowing way, when in truth the vast majority of Chief Marketing Officers have little-to-no knowledge of what exactly this all means.

It’s a generalization, but based on what we see in the marketplace, it is true.

In the last post (What Keeps The Chief Marketing Officer Awake At Night? – Part 1), we looked at how the Chief Marketing Officer must regain their status within the c-suite and the overall corporate function. The truth is that the CMO has never had this much access to this much information. So, if the true gold in these multi-million dollar deals that roll into the billions of dollars is about data, then why isn’t the CMO leveraging all of this data in a way that engenders them to become the true gatekeepers of the brand? We used to live in a world (pre-Internet) when brands were starving for more consumer data. Now, we quickly dove into a world where brands are, literally, drowning in the data. I jokingly tell audiences that you can’t throw a marketing professional down a flight of stairs these days without having the words “big data” tumble out of their pockets. It’s as if this part of the business has completely capitalized on the traditional reams of data, and they’re now elevated to the point that they can actually do something more. The vast majority of Chief Marketing Officers extolling the virtues of big data seem to think that it’s just like the data we have known to date… but more of it. That’s not big data… that’s more data. That’s just a lot more of the same data. As these CMOs continue on their verbal admiration of everything that big data will bring to the industry, it becomes abundantly clear that we’ve entered into the realm of marketing jargon bingo.

Why big data doesn’t matter (just yet).

In my second business book, CTRL ALT Delete, I have identified a movement (something that has fundamentally changed business forever that most brands are doing little-to-nothing about) that I dubbed, Sex With Data (chapter 4). The idea is that most brands have a tremendous amount of (what I call) “linear data” (this can anything from traditional advertising metrics to email capture to customer service information). It is the standard – or linear – data that brands collect on a daily basis. The Web has brought forth an entirely new type of data that I have called, “circular data.” This circular data is not something that brands can collect and own. It is the information that consumers are willfully creating and sharing online and on social media channels. It is everything from their personal profiles (think about LinkedIn and Facebook) to what they’re thinking (look at blogs, Twitter, Pinterest and beyond). Suddenly, brands can better connect to these individuals through these social channels, and this creates a more holistic connection to “who” their consumers truly are (pushing well beyond the standard demographics and psychographics). Sex with data happens when brands are able to bring together that linear data with the circular data to create something more personalized and valuable to the consumer. Now, before we all start getting hot and bothered about the notion of big data, how many brands have wrapped their heads around the intersection of this linear and circular data as it sits today?

The big joke of big data…

Is this: why worry about big data when the CMO is sucking at small data? It’s not about access to this information or having the technology to slice and dice these two dynamic forms of information. The technology exists, and it’s a fairly cheap process to have what my friend, Avinash Kaushik (Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google and author of Web Analytics – An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0) calls a “data puke.” It’s the hard work of turning this data into something actionable. It’s not just mining the data for insights and turning that into some kind of campaign that demonstrates how data will always beat a random creative idea. It’s about understanding the new sensitivity that consumers have not only about their personal information, but what they’re doing online and how it is being monitored. Consumers can easily get creeped out when brands use too much familiarity. And this, is the true challenge of the CMO going forward. Beyond the practical marketing needs of data and analytics, how does a corporate brand deliver such a high level of value ad personalization that the familiarity is warranted? In a world of behavioral tracking, online social networks, and constant digital public displays of attention, brands can easily know that much more about their consumers and have a profoundly powerful direct relationship with them. In this world (which is the here and now), the CMO’s role is less about how the data and analytics influences the creative advertising, and that much more about what these varied data sets look like, the governance of this data, how it is used, who owns it and how is it being optimized against the overall business strategy.

This is the true convergence.

The Chief Marketing Officer of tomorrow will have as much knowledge and experience in understanding data, as they currently do when it comes to running an advertising campaign or putting their brand name on a sports arena. So, while advertising agencies trot out the old slogan that the work is all about the convergence of data and creativity, we are starting to see the nascent stages of that agency marketing rhetoric become the true convergence point for these marketing leaders. It also engenders a marketing model that is more agile, while moving marketers away from quarterly and seasonal campaigns. Agile will best be defined in the marketing department as a place that is in a constant state of testing and learning. Small, incremental tests and iterative adjustments where true lifetime value of a customer meets a mathematically sound cost per acquisition strategy. The data and analytics allows for these types of definitive metrics today.

Maybe some CMOs will see this as panacea. Maybe other CMOs will see this as true performance marketing.     

In the next post (in about two week’s time), we’ll look at how the Chief Marketing Officer must have closer ties to IT and technology. If Gartner is right, and that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO, what does the marketing department of the future look like? How does technology (beyond data and analytics) affect everything from personalization and localization to contextual marketing and automation tools? The next few years are going to get increasingly more technical and technology-driven for the CMO.

And, in case you missed it…

There are five core foundational reasons why the Chief Marketing Officer’s role within the organization is in such a fragile state. Over the next few months, we will deconstruct the following five areas that the Chief Marketing Officer must pay increased attention to, in order to figure out what the next decade of marketing will look like for businesses.

The five areas that Chief Marketing Officers need to pay attention to:

As always, please feel free to add your perspective below…

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #167

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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The Internet Needs A Morning After Pill

Buyer’s remorse. Opps, I did it again.

Everything has a publish button. Every publish button is quick and easy to use. Every publish button puts it out there – in text, images, audio and video – for the world to see. In real-time. The Internet needs a morning after pill. It’s one thing to make a purchase and then have buyer’s remorse, it’s another to publish something in the heat of the moment. The truth is that many of us have posted something – from a simple tweet to a YouTube video – that we wish we could take back. In fact, according to the MediaPost piece, Think Twice (Or More) Before Social Posting, it happens more than we know. From the article: “29% of users of Facebook, between the ages of 18 and 34, have posted a photo, comment or other personal information that they fear could someday either cause a prospective employer to turn them down for a job, or a current employer to fire them if they were to see it. The survey covered Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and other popular social media. A form of ‘day-after remorse’ seems to be evident, says the report. Close to the same percentage of young social media users, 21%, say that they have removed or taken down a photo or other social media posting because they feared it could lead to repercussions with an employer.”

Be the media.

We need to be making the case that people – young and old – need more formal media training. We used to live in a world where editors and fact-checking gave content creators the space to breathe, edit and reconsider whatever it was that was going to be published. Furthermore, that content would have to be printed or aired, giving it even more time to decant. That world no longer exists. Once you take a picture, the ease with which you can publish it is equal to the ease with which that you can close the lens. What seems like a good idea now can turn into an, “it seemed like a good idea at the time” within seconds. Yes, we’ve made some inroads helping consumers to better understand and use their privacy settings (according to the same news item, “82% of young social media users say that they pay at least some attention to their privacy settings. Only 6% said that they pay no attention and only use the default settings when using social media.”), but there doesn’t seem to be a more public outcry to better educate our population about what the ramifications are when we’re not recording our every waking moment, but broadcasting them to the world.

It’s nothing new.

We are decades into this, but seemingly nowhere in terms of this evolution. So, if people are starting to tinker with their privacy settings and better understanding how public we all are because of social media, we may want to enlist the power of a morning after pill for the Internet – something that detonates that stupid post or idea that we had that should have never made it past the organ between our ears. Of course, the problem is that no matter how many safety valves we create, anyone can grab our stupidity, copy it and turn that into a brand new piece of content. Ahh, the joys of everything digital!

Be smart.

We’re looking for filters, privacy settings and better technology to solve this. We’re looking for a solution in all of the wrong places. Here’s the best filter and privacy setting ever (and it will work for everyone): before publishing anything (from a tweet or Facebook comment to a blog post or video on YouTube), ask yourself one, simple question: “If my children were to see this, long after I have passed on, would they be proud?” No, this doesn’t mean that everything you tweet must have the depth of Hemingway, but it does mean that cumulatively, the many platforms of publishing equal something that serves to honor your family (past and present). You don’t need to have kids to play along. Simply think about your parents, the family legacy, whatever.

Amazing.

It’s an amazing world that we live in. To think about how we connect through smartphones and social media in a much grander and powerful way is something that we should all be doing more frequently. We’re humans. We make mistakes. We say the wrong things. In the absence of a morning after pill for the Internet, give yourself a couple of seconds pause before hitting that publishing button.

Remember: just because it’s there, it doesn’t mean that you have to publish it right away (it’s something we all wish people like Anthony Weiner would do).

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Are Brands Confusing Advertising With Marketing?

It turns out that the major advertising networks think that Yahoo made a mistake in the acquisition of Tumblr.

That’s the news you get when you read the Business Insider article, Marissa Mayer’s Biggest Problem With Tumblr, Summed Up In A Single Quote. Digital advertising people can’t figure out the social aspects of Tumblr or where to put all of those ads that their clients want to spread out to as many eyeballs as possible. As much as brands toss the words engagement and content marketing and social media and mobile around the boardrooms, they’re still ultimately looking for one thing: a quick impression… or another place to put an ad.

Welcome to the post-impression era.

Digital is not television. No newsflash there, but it doesn’t take much scratching beneath the surface to see that when digital media does things like get a mass amount of consumers to follow and connect with a brand, the conversation (from the brand side) swiftly turns to, “ok, when can we start pushing them to buy stuff?” It seems like the greater goal of what digital can deliver gets lost in the mix as the brands and traditional agencies fall back on the dogma of the mass media industrial complex. We just can’t seem to shake it off. No matter how hard we try.

Epiphany!

Several weeks ago, I was giving a presentation to an executive board of a major international brand. At the end of the presentation, one of senior marketers approached me and asked about how we could best take the concepts from CTRL ALT Delete and bring them into the organization. Personally, I was mystified as this brand had just announced a brand new agency of record relationship with one of the big, multinational shops. This marketing professional then said, “I think that they don’t get digital,” which surprised me even more considering this agency’s known reputation for quality digital. Digging a little deeper, it became clear that this agency is skilled at taking advertising, spinning it for digital and creating highly effective digital advertising, but they lack any ability to do anything more than digital advertising. It may seem like semantics, but it’s not. Being able to take an advertising campaign and make it work in digital channels is no small feat. It’s a complex and highly fragmented platform with many players vying for attention in some strange ways. What the media professionals who complain about Tumblr don’t understand is this: it may not be just about where the ads go, but rather about what a brand can do in this channel to create something interesting for the Tumblr community and make a name for themselves. In short: it’s not about advertising, it’s about marketing.

It’s not just Tumblr.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, whatever are ambiguous. They are neither great for brands or bad for brands. They simply are. They are publishing and content channels that enable the content to be as shareable and findable as possible (when done well). Tumblr’s business may not be to convince the traditional media buyers that the true revenue and value will come from how many ads can be plastered on it. It’s a tough pill for the big advertising networks to swallow. They balked at Google, until they were forced to embrace performance-based advertising. They balked at Facebook, until they were forced to understand that the work is about creating social stories that make sense in the context of the newsfeed. And now, they’re balking at Tumblr. Even while they are forced to divert media spend to Google, Facebook, Twitter and beyond, this shifting of media dollars still constitutes a minor effort. This isn’t about whether more effort needs to put into Tumblr (that’s a strategic decision that every brand will need to make for itself). This is about the perception that advertising is the gateway and metric for success in these channels. The opportunity for Tumblr (and other channels), is for the brand to figure out a strategy, voice, level of engagement and commitment to provide some semblance of a utility that creates an additive effect for the people who are connected there. If you strip that last sentence down, it’s not something that traditional ad agencies or media buyers do all that well.

A new dawn.

Thinking that a fully integrated ad agency will solve all of these challenges is going to cause some serious brand/agency relationship challenges moving forward (and yes, it is in my vested interest, as a digital marketing agency owner, to say this). Coming out of the Mirren New Business Conference this past May, it seems like the key search consultants agree. Most frequently, the smartest brands are now looking for “teams of record” over the old “agency of record” model. They are looking for both subject matter experts who have depth of both the industry and niche that they serve. Brands now need business solutions to solve the marketing challenge, not just an advertising one. Thinking that the only way Yahoo will recoup their billion dollar investment of Tumblr will be through an integrated advertising opportunity is probably very shortsighted.

Are brands still confusing advertising with marketing or are they simply struggling to adapt to the new reality?

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Are We At The Beginning Or The End Of Publishing?

What would you make out of a question like that?

Regardless, that was the exact question that Alistair Croll (co-author of Lean Analytics, BitCurrent, Year One Labs and one of my weekly link buddies) asked of Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto and my other weekly link buddy), Julien Smith (Breather, co-author of Trust Agents and The Impact Equation and author of The Flinch) and me at today’s International Startup Festival. Under normal circumstances, this is a tough question to dissect and answer in a cogent way. We were asked to answer this during a concurrent session being held outdoors in a tent set-up with people mingling and networking outside. Trying to create some energy and excitement in the room (err…. tent) made my attempt frazzled. I’m hopeful that this blog post can clear it all up.

Traditional publishing still matters.

This isn’t about big book and magazine publishers killing trees and maintaining the transport industry while feeding a distribution channel to retail. It means that these big publishing houses still have professionals who love and care about content in a way that allows customers to get true value from the products that they are buying. These products may be physical, digital, audio, digital audio or whatever. When I look at the people who work at Grand Central PublishingHachette Book Group (the publishers of my two business books, Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT Delete), I do not see the same type of professionals that I was subjected to for over a decade while I was in the music industry. These book publishers know and understand that the landscape has changed, they know and understand that their consumers are buying their products and using them in new and different ways and, they’re trying their best to not make the same bad decisions as those in the music industry. It’s not perfect. They are some ugly things happening. There is going to be more messy stuff as we wander this road through business purgatory. Still, traditional publishing matters. It brings long form content to a bigger and more diverse audience. Not every author is going to have a shared experience, some will get book deals because they have a lot of followers on Twitter, and others will get a book deal because some editor believes that their content could set the book world on fire. As Seth Godin likes to say, your mileage may vary.

Self-publishing matters more than it ever did.

Take a look at the bestselling business books on Amazon‘s Kindle ebook page. Along with the expected slew of new and notable business books, you will find self-published and independent authors rocking this list with books as cheap as one dollar. With minimal technology and investment, anyone who wants to write a book can do so. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to work, and it doesn’t mean that it’s going to sell, but it does mean that they can not only write a book, but have access to a viable marketplace to sell and promote it. This doesn’t mean that big book publishers go away, it simply means more competition and more choices for the consumer.

Digital publishing opens up a world of opportunities.

It is very alluring. Anyone can have a thought and publish it in text, images, audio and video instantly (and for free) to the Web (and to the world). Whether it’s a simple tweet or all the way up to building a robust online publishing platform like Tumblr or Medium. The opportunities and the ideas are endless when it comes to digital publishing. With each and every passing day, we are seeing new and creative ways for people to publish – look no further than what is happening on Vine or what people are creating with Instagram‘s 15 second video.

It’s just the beginning…

People crave content. It has never been easier to get content published or to make the decision to become a publisher. With that, more and more startups will launch new and inventive ways for content to find an audience. Will other kinds of publishing disappear? Possibly. Is it the end of the book as we have known them to date? Doubtful. People will still want and enjoy this type of content and media. I can’t imagine an end to books or magazines. With that, this moment in time is a new beginning for the publishing industry with no end in sight.

What do you think? Are we at the beginning or the end of publishing?   

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The New Face Of Content Marketing

How much content is too much content when it comes to a brand?

It’s a slippery slope for most brands when it comes to their engines of content creation. We live in a day and age when the term, “content marketing” stumbles out of a brand’s mouth almost as much as “big data” and “native advertising.” Woe the brand that is not creating, publishing and curating relevant content. Still, many brands struggle with their digital content. They struggle with everything from the strategy to the editorial content to the creation of it, and even the best places to publish and share it effectively. Many new media pundits will tell you that the brands that are moving the needle are enabling their success by having in-house newsrooms or former journalists on the payroll to help uncover the more interesting stories to tell, and how to get those stories to spread. Regardless, we also live in a day and age when the half-life of content is shorter than ever. In a river of tweets or a flood of a Facebook newsfeed, even the most interesting of content will last a few hours (maybe a day or so… if you’re lucky). This is further complicated by the fundamental nature of social media: which is the place where friends and acquaintances connect and not, necessarily, the ideal place for a brand to try to make some noise.

So, what’s a brand to do?

Gary Vaynerchuk has a platform (or two). He built his initial following by producing an irreverent wine tasting video podcast that he converted into a massive Twitter following (closing in on one million followers), two best-selling business books (Crush It and The Thank You Economy) with a third one on the way (Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook), a lucrative speaking career and his ever-growing social media marketing agency, VaynerMedia. He responds to almost all of the inputs he gets (from tweeting to leaving comments on blogs) and created a tiny tempest in a teapot last week by declaring that he plans on, “tripling down” on content – because doubling down doesn’t begin to describe how important he thinks it is,” according to the Forbes article, Why Gary Vaynerchuk’s New Social Media Strategy Should Change The Way You Do Business. With that, he has also hired a social media content assistant to help him capture, create and nurture whatever is brewing under those eyebrows to keep the pace increasing. And, that’s where the tempest started brewing. Ford Motor Company‘s global head of social media, Scott Monty, responded with a blog post titled, The Last Thing The World Needs, citing this as more “digital clutter” in a world where individuals are struggling to capture anything and everything they already have in their feeds. What are these poor consumers going to do if every brand follows the Vaynerchuk strategy of tripling down? Will this push consumers to the breaking point? Will this have them running for the virtual doors at Facebook, Vine, Tumblr, Google + and beyond? 

In a word: no.

Some will find themselves having an internal dialogue about the classic “quality versus quantity” debate. In rebuttal to the pushback that Vaynerchuk’s comments received, he astutely asks, “why not both?” Why can’t brands create a lot of high quality content? Sure, some of this content will work and some will miss the mark. Not all attempts will result in a viral homerun, but we live in a real-time world, where individuals are increasingly looking for more context from their content. Content providers are going to have to play a very different game. A personal case study comes to mind. On May 21st, I published my second business book, CTRL ALT Delete. Along with a digital experience to compliment the launch of the book, my digital marketing agency, Twist Image, took the interesting stats and data from this experience and created a SlideShare titled, 25+ Mind Blowing Stats About Business Today – CTRL ALT Delete. Instead of simply tweeting and sharing the link throughout my online social spaces, I respectively shared some of the unique stats (which would be akin to Vaynerchuk’s tripling down theory). My impression was that this deluge of content would upset my online community, and that there would be some semblance of negative comments and pushback. Much to my surprise, the SlideShare quickly surpassed 100,000 views, and the amount of new followers and friends coupled with the retweets and shares sent my overall analytics through the roof. Yes, creating what Monty refers to as “digital clutter” seems to have been the most effective strategy to get the word out. How did this happen? People aren’t “on the ready” just because I decided to hit a publish button. The frequency of posting matched with the quality created a greater attention and focus on the message. It’s a tough lesson for new media thinkers to hear: traditional tactics like frequency and repetition work.

What we think vs. what is.

Those who follow Gary Vaynerchuk, respect him. They like him. They seem to want more. By creating more, he is not only appeasing his most heavy users, but he is also giving them (and those who don’t even follow him) additional opportunities to find out more, share his thinking and help him spread his own gospel. Tripling down on mediocre content helps nobody. Tripling down on relevancy, being contextual and adding value will always help a brand to expand its audience. Is this hard to scale? Absolutely. Will every brand get this right? Absolutely not. What Vaynerchuk (and other successful content creators) knows is this: the pulse of his audience. Through the years, the smartest content marketers are the ones who understand not only the pulse of their network, but how to pulse out that content in a way that is congruous with the audience. Vaynerchuk may be gambling by tripling down on his content creation, but while some may rightfully see it as clutter, my guess is that Vaynerchuk (and other successful content creators) will be analyzing the results and tweaking it until they uncover a formula that works better than their old one, which is a million times better than those who have no vision, no formula and are simply worried about the clutter that they’re creating.

What do you think? Is the future of content a tripling down effect?

The above posting is my twice-monthly column for the Harvard Business Review. I cross-post it here with all the links and tags for your reading pleasure, but you can check out the original version online here:

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Reboot Life

What are you going to do with your life?

Can anyone remember where that line is from? The year was 1985. The band was Twisted Sister. The song was ‘I Wanna Rock.’ For your reference…

Do you wanna rock?

My latest book, CTRL ALT Delete, came out on May 21st. The book is divided into two parts. The first part (Reboot: Business) is about the five movements that have changed business forever, that brands are doing little (to nothing) about. The second part of the book is called, Reboot: You. In this part i talk about what kind of people we need to be in this brand new (and ever-evolving) business landscape. Right before the book came out, it was announced that Yahoo would acquire Tumblr for over one billion dollars. The founder and CEO of this contemporary blogging platform-meets-online social network is a web developer and entrepreneur by the name of David Karp. Karp is 26 years old and is the embodiment of this new generation of worker. He has the digital-first posture, he believes in squiggly careers and he’s not too concerned about things like pension plans (especially now that he’s a multi-millionaire). Shortly after the acquisition, Karp made his first appearance on the Charlie Rose show. It’s a stunner. Put aside his age and his passion. Watch his story. Hear how his parents encouraged him. Try to understand what motivates him. Karp is a exemplary case study for the second part of CTRL ALT Delete. It’s also a story we should all watch, share and talk about.

Ready to Reboot You? Watch David Karp’s story… 

Charlie Rose interviews Tumblr’s David Karp.

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The Billion Dollar Branding Play

What is Yahoo going to do with Tumblr? What is Tumblr going to become with Yahoo?

Those seem to be the billion dollar questions, these days. After it was announced that Yahoo would be acquiring Tumblr for a little over a billion dollars, the online ch…

Welcome To The One Screen World

Channel surfing got weird.

There was this episode of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice this season that revolved around each team’s ability to create a television ad for the consumer electronics company, LG. It wasn’t really about a particular model of te…

Designing A Better Website

It seems like online publishers are starting to think about the digital-first experience.

In the past short while, we have started to see what could only be described as "true online publishing" taking on a new (and pretty) look and feel. It…

The Small Wins From Social Media

Big brands are trying to make big moves in social media.

There is an arm’s race – of sorts – for brands to reach a million fans (or more) on Facebook. Brands will look to see how many people are connected to their number one competitor (or the industr…

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #147

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitori…

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #145

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitori…

The Marketing Agency Of The Future

Is there a future for the advertising agency as we have known it to date?

In recent months, there has been a slew of articles about advertising agencies and their future/fate in a world that is so dramatically changing when it comes to the marketing o…

End Of Blogs

I love my blog. I love your blog. I love blogs.

Call me old-fashioned. Loving blogs has nothing to do with me not loving the newer stuff. I love Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other places to publish, share and connect too, but I have a soft spot for …

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #140

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth:…

Professional And Courteous

The plumber’s promise.

As I was gazing out of the window on the Florida highway heading back to the airport, I spotted a very rundown truck. The exhaust was pushing gunk into the environment that would be heartbreaking to Mother Nature (especially on …

Robots And Makers And Drones… Oh My!

Something new about something new.

At the beginning of this year, I started a new blog. Shhh, don’t tell anyone ;) It’s true. It’s on tumblr and it’s called: We, Robots. It’s not a blog like Six Pixels of Separation is a blog and I’m sure many people …

Maybe Nobody Knows Nothing

Consumers are fundamentally ahead of brands when it comes to technology and social media.

You may have heard this line before. I use this line in my presentations, in articles and in past blog posts. It is the battlecry by which us marketers hope to s…