Why it doesn’t matter if not all user-created content is great…

Youtube users are currently uploading an hour of content every second, or 60 hours every minute.

Assuming 0.25% of all content being uploaded is great content, that’s 3.6 hours of amazing videos every day. That’s 25.2 hours of great content per week, with the average TV viewing in a UK household somewhere between 20 and 30 hours per week.

Pretty amazing, and also why the follow-up attempts to enact laws such as SOPA and PIPA will occur with regularity in the U.S, and the influence of the U.S will be increasingly felt on every country around the world which might be encouraged or persuaded to enact such laws.

It isn’t about piracy. It’s about copying, creating and the disruptive effects we have all had

The thought process has changed…

So it used to be a case of having a thought, and then deciding whether to act on it. Now that’s changed as I have to:

  • Tweet it with a short link and hashtag
  • Then Facebook it, ideally with a picture
  • Then give it a businesslike description for LinkedIn.
  • Then +1 it, with a few more words
  • Then Tumblr it, ideally with the picture and a link
  • Then blog it here, with a lot more words
  • Then Stumble that post with a nice description
  • Then bookmark it with Diigo and Delicious
  • And maybe bung it on Reddit, Digg or HackerNews.
  • Oh, and maybe any relevant old school forums

And then I need to monitor all of those sites for social validation that it wasn’t a terrible idea. Or I could just decide for myself anyway and go right ahead and get the minimum viable product out there – is it any wonder that the ratio of stuff actually being created to the amount of required self-promotion deemed necessary for success is becoming so skewed?



The evolution of TheWayoftheWeb

If you’re reading this on the blog rather than as an RSS feed, you may well have already spotted the design of the site has changed somewhat.

There’s a few reasons for the evolution, but the main one is that I’m currently supporting myself (and my family) through freelancing for a number of clients, and therefore it made sense to link up my main presence on the internet to the freelance services I offer.

Plus I was never really happy with the Cutline theme I’d been using – the theme itself is fairly old and isn’t really being developed any more. Plus the design itself seemed to encourage me to overload both sidebars with far too much junk.

It’s part of a conscious effort to re-evaluate everything I’ve been doing and working on to ensure I’m devoting my efforts to the right things and in the right order, which at the moment is:

  • Ensuring my freelance clients get the best possible service.
  • Everything else, including my personal business projects….

It’s very much a work in progress, so expect things to keep changing as time goes by – particularly in the run-up to Christmas. Some sites will be mothballed, some projects will either be finished or ditched, and I’m slimming down some of my other commitments, or looking at ways to evolve them fairly quickly.

With that in mind, it’s probably a good time to get in touch if you need work in the near future, have any interesting opportunities that you feel I might be interested in, or might be interested in buying the 140Char domain…

The two digital publishing models of the near future

Two approaches to digital content creation and publishing are taking hold – and sadly neither of them are equivalent to the way most traditional publishers are set up.

The first is the ‘battery farm’ approach – as seen by aol. and several companies targeting content creation for primarily SEO purposes. Gather as many writers and journalists as you can keep in a warehouse, and get them to churn out as much content as possible for as many places as possible. And in the case of some companies, develop and use tools to see what people are actively searching for at the time to create the right content to capitalise on that interest (e.g. Yahoo).

The second is the ‘blogger’s niche’ approach. Start projects with just one or two people trialling an idea, see if it works, and if sustainable, built into a network model which can mean virtual offices and teams spread out wherever someone has an idea for niche content which could work. This is where you’re more likely to find great writing and insight in terms of longer, more thoughtful articles by people who can wax lyrically about their subject. See the likes of b5media, Techcrunch, Mashable, etc, etc.

The problem for traditional media companies is that they’re not geared up for either of these plans. They might have large numbers of content creators, but these people are grouped around specific products in the magazine industry, for example. The groups are too small to churn out content – and aren’t geared up yet for producing content for anyone else. Meanwhile they’re too large to use the network model – only the very smallest print magazine editorial teams are anything near compact enough, and even then the infrastructure and processes already in place mean it would be easier to scrap it all and start again.

This is all assuming a business model predominantly based on advertising revenue, which requires increasingly low costs in order to drive any profits. Other production method will exist hand-in-hand with different business models. But they will need to be created around the new business model, rather than vice-versa.