Community and/or Content

Community-building rather than content-delivery may be the new killer app. That’s what I extracted from the bit of circumlocution that Ross Mayfield wrote in response to the The Long Tail presentation that Chris Anderson made at a conference last week: “In a world of abundance, you can’t understate new capacities to produce. I think Chris’ talk must be fascinating for larger companies with under leveraged assets. But if they focus only on the low hanging fruit of monetizing archives, you end up with an unblogged WSJ (its kind of like producing RSS feeds as your sole investment into Social Media, which doesn’t necessarily open conversations or engage the energies of your constituents) … ” Thanks to Media Center for excerpting Ross’s comments and pointing to their entirety. I imagine Ross minced words to avoid offending Chris or appearing self-promotional. I hope that I am not judged guilty on either account for saying there may be many reasons why content delivery is not and should not be an end in itself. Rather I am beginning to envision how its more critical role might be serving as the magnet that draws people together for some subsequent purpose — and that subsequent purpose may be the business. I’ll think more about this later. Meanwhile, apropos of Ross’s remark about RSS, a piece in Online Media Daily talks about newspapers experimenting with this delivery system. “For now, less than 5 percent of Internet users currently employ RSS readers … But analysts say that RSS could quickly shed its niche status if consumers realize they … (can) pull in headlines and text continually, allowing users to create customized content from publishers, blogs, and search engines.” Finally, in the better-late-than-never department, I should have pointed to PaidContent’s continuing coverage of micropayments when I blogged about that topic last week.

Tom Abate
“Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media.”