The grab bag makes its second appearance this year.
Again, these are topics that can’t quite stand on their own, but I found worth highlighting.
Social Buttons for Sale?
Go to virtually any online media property and you’ll find two social buttons, Twitter and Facebook. The big two dominate the sharing of media stories.
But I recently saw something for the first time.
A button for Evernote joins Twitter and Facebook on The Wall Street Journal.
It caused me to wonder if the Journal sold this real estate, perhaps with some type of payment model tied to usage.
Contently interviewed Seth Godin, asking some damn good questions that produced some damn good answers.
This exchange in particular caught my attention:
Question: But then there’s the whole obsession now with tying content to revenues — in other words, tracking whether people who are consuming your content will eventually buy something from you, and putting a hard number on each piece of content you create. Do you think that’s misguided?
Godin: Oh, I think there’s no question it’s misguided. It’s been shown over and over again to be misguided — that in a world of zero marginal cost, being trusted is the single most urgent way to build a business. You don’t get trusted if you’re constantly measuring and tweaking and manipulating so that someone will buy from you.
I don’t have any problem with measurements, per se; I’m just saying that most of the time when organizations start to measure stuff, they then seek to industrialize it, to poke it into a piece of software, to hire ever cheaper people to do it.
The challenge that we have when we industrialize content is we are asking people who don’t care to work their way through a bunch of checklists to make a number go up, as opposed to being human beings connecting with other human beings.
In short, trust comes from helping the person, not selling the person.
Business blogs at their best deliver information that the target audience values, which means staying away from promoting products.
Telling Stories is Hard Work
I stumbled across an essay in The Atlantic from 2009 called Telling Tails.
While I enjoyed the narrative, it’s the subhead that stuck in my brain.
The problem with unsuccessful stories is usually simple: they are boring, a consequence of the failure of imagination. To vividly imagine and to vividly render extraordinary human events, or sequences of events, is the hard-lifting, heavy-duty, day-by-day, unending labor of a fiction writer.
The same could be said of bringing a storytelling dimension to business communications and avoiding the dreaded “B” word.
It is hard-lifting.
It is heavy-duty.
Like any craft, it takes time and practice.
If you believe Malcom Gladwell, 10,000 hours or so gets you headed in the right direction.