Con­nec­tions Mat­ter

The Insider - - AUDIENCE -

Fu­eled by hu­man­ity and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions, we are now liv­ing in of what mar­ket­ing guru, Seth Godin, calls the con­nec­tion econ­omy, where value is cre­ated by the con­nec­tions we make and not by con­form­ity fos­tered by in­dus­tri­al­ism.

The con­nec­tion econ­omy em­pow­ers peo­ple to do what they do best – con­nect; and it lets them do it at a mas­sive scale. Ac­cord­ing to Godin, through con­nec­tions, peo­ple can cre­ate the ex­tra­or­di­nary, do some­thing important and make a dif­fer­ence.

The busi­nesses that of­fer peo­ple more op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­nect are the ones equipped to cre­ate more value for them­selves and their cus­tomers. It wouldn’t be a stretch to sug­gest that so­cial me­dia is win­ning over pub­lish­ing in the con­nec­tion econ­omy.

To­day, dig­i­tal con­nec­tions be­tween in­di­vid­u­als and me­dia are typ­i­cally made through com­ment­ing, ei­ther on pub­lish­ers’ web­sites or on so­cial net­works. It was a great first start, but it’s lim­ited com­pared to the kinds of con­nec­tions peo­ple re­ally want. So­cial net­works, for ex­am­ple: - Do not cre­ate unity around peo­ple’s opin­ions

- Re­strict dis­cus­sions to within a cir­cle of friends/ fol­low­ers

- Are not op­ti­mized for dis­cov­er­ing like-minded peo­ple

- Force users to fol­low ev­ery­thing their friends/ fol­low­ers say and do In ad­di­tion, com­ments are: - Quickly lost in the stream of other peo­ple’s di­a­logue, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for in­di­vid­u­als to stand out from the noise

- Per­ish­able and short-tailed be­cause they are at­tached to stories that be­come ob­so­lete when to­mor­row’s news hits the wires

Wait…do you hear that noise? It’s op­por­tu­nity knock­ing!

Imag­ine a so­cial net­work specif­i­cally de­signed to host full-con­tent news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines and fa­cil­i­tate mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions that sup­port: - Non-per­ish­able opin­ions that take on a life of their own

- The abil­ity to eas­ily dis­cover like­minded peo­ple and con­nect with them around topics of in­ter­est

- Team­build­ing of in­di­vid­u­als around their opin­ions

- The op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to be­come pow­er­ful in­flu­encers in and out­side the net­work

I’ve of­ten heard pub­lish­ers say that read­ers aren’t re­ally in­ter­ested in com­ment­ing. And they would be wrong. There is al­most a zettabyte (725,776,772 ter­abytes to be ex­act, in other, more sci­en­tific words, a huge

num­ber) of usergen­er­ated data on the in­ter­net to­day. So if th­ese pub­lish­ers aren’t see­ing much in­ter­est in com­ment­ing on their sites, then that begs the ques­tion, “What’s wrong with their sites?” I think we all know…

Data proves that given the op­por­tu­nity to gen­er­ate con­tent in a wel­com­ing, safe and fric­tion­less en­vi­ron­ment, peo­ple will con­nect and share opin­ions and con­tent in mul­ti­ple me­dia forms.

User-Gen­er­ated Con­tent does not only add value to the ex­ist­ing con­tent for other mem­bers to en­joy, it can also el­e­vate the contributors’ rep­u­ta­tion within the com­mu­nity, giv­ing them more rea­sons to re­turn to en­gage with new fans/fol­low­ers.

It’s di­a­logue or die time

Met­calfe’s law states that the power of any net­work is the square of the num­ber of “trusted” nodes on that net­work. In other word, the most valu­able des­ti­na­tions on the in­ter­net are the places that con­nect us.

Face­book is all about con­nect­ing peo­ple around con­tent and it’s mak­ing bil­lions. So I ask you, if you are push­ing con­tent down a oneway street to your read­ers and then telling them to head over to so­cial me­dia to chat about it, how’s that strat­egy work­ing for you?

Re­mem­ber, if your read­ers’ opin­ions don’t mat­ter to you, then you won’t mat­ter to them.

It’s not too late to open up a di­a­logue with your read­ers, in­vite them to par­tic­i­pate in the con­tent cre­ation process and help them con­nect with other like-minded peo­ple through your news.

Let’s talk!

Sup­port the opin­ion.

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