Content Curation-Content Automation Life Cycle

I find that the second part in the automation life cycle, content curation, to be one of the most attractive steps for companies to maximize their opportunities. Consumers want to know what you find important as an executive, thought  leader, or industry leader.  However not everyone has time to write a blog post about what they find fascinating and why.  Therefore, content curate is a process that grabs all the article you read and pushes them out the audience and says, if you only read a certain amount of material today, this is what I want you to read.

In The Pulse Network’s platform, we look to curate three pieces:

  1. Articles
  2. Tweets
  3. Videos

It comes down to simplicity, so we made a one-click option to curate so that we can pull in searches, tags or channels.

Below, I explain more on the benefits of curation

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Be sure to watch my complete series on the content automation life cycle and feel free to tweet or e-mail me ssaber@thepulsenetwork.com.

Facebook – Did you know??

I was looking around facebook the other day and came across this strange bit of functionality that I am guessing very few people know about…

I had a “friend” who was tagged in a photo taken by a “friend” of his.  I took a moment and checked out this photo.  While there, I discovered that I could browse not only the picture of my “friend” but the entire “album”.  This album was loaded with photos of people whom I did not know but were in some interesting and potentially compromising positions.  There I was, able to view the photos of people that were posted by someone who had assumed that they had posted them only for “approved” people to see.

In the new online world – the definition of privacy and permission has taken on a whole new meaning.  Now, you could be at a party, someone you did not know could take a picture with you in it, that person could post in on facebook or some other online social networking site, and then people that person does not even know could be able to view that picture.  Sound complicated?  It is.  Sound scary?  It is.  Particularly scary is the fact that few people know the permissions associated with what they post.

So then – can I avoid it?

I often hear people who say – “that is why I am not on facebook” or “that is why I will not allow my kid to be on those sites”.  Well…  that is not good enough.  Can you say “that is why I am not going out” or “that is why I am not going to be around people” ?  No.  But that is what it will take.  In time, like everything else, regulation will take over once some people are sued over this.  But interestingly, I do not think the regulators are smart enough to think through this problem.  I am not sure who is?

So what do you do?

My recommendation is – 1) don’t avoid – participate – get smart by being a part of the new wave, understanding it, and then teaching yourself and others how to manage within the new paradigm, 2) educate and inform – help others to learn what is really going on – don’t fight it but educate so that people are more aware.

Your thoughts?

Could Barry Diller be wrong??

“I actually wonder if this post could have been titles – “Is there an opportunity arising that will make someone very rich…”…

But… Bary Diller was quoted as saying -The Internet ‘Absolutely’ Will Become a Paid System’. Time Projection: Within 5 Years” – http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=19552.  And he is not the first to make this statement.  News organizations around the work are grappling with this dilemma – the paradigm has shifted and their businesses and business models are proving to be out of touch and out of date.  Everyone is scrambling to tell us that real content should be paid for and people should pay.  This question is being asked by so many people and so many businesses as they struggle for survival and try to figure out the next generation of news and entertainment.  But will they?  Can you really stem the tide and change the mentality of a consumer who is accustomed to getting free content online?  Or are you just opening a door for new competitors who can think of a reduced cost business model where they can still provide free content and can get reimbursement some other way???

I think there are 2 problems with the idea that content will be paid for.  I wonder which business can be pointed to that provided free access and then successfully made the transition to paid.  I cannot recall one that did it successfully.  The internet mentaility is spilling over now and affecting conferences, magazines, newspapers, and televisions.  And second, even if there were a business model to follow – are you not just opening the door to new competitors who figure out a lower cost model and do not charge for content?  Media companies will argue that their content is superior, that their writers are true journalists and people should pay for that.  But look at the trend in local news stations – the “credible”, “senior” newscasters are being replaced with younger, lower cost newscasters.  Why?  Because credible, while important, is not a deciding factor for the consuming public.  The second issue is timing.  There is a wave of ways to get news now, and that wave is growing.  And to have these “credible sources” and “credible processes” intervening in the distribution of news slows down the process and ultimately causes these “credible sources” to be late to the game.

No question – these sources can and will become opinion pages and opinion sources and some people will be willing to pay for that.  Is that enough to sustain these businesses – I would think not – but we will see.

So go ahead, start charging.  Let’s see what happens and how it plays out.  My opinion – the door is opening for new competitors and soon we will be hearing about news and information sources that we never heard of before, and some entrepreneurial thinkers will become very rich in the process…

What should McDonald's do – what do you do when there is a public negative comment about your product??

I was debating in writing this morning’s post which of the two titles I should use for the post – so i decided to use both…  What should McDonald’s do? What do you do when there is a public negative comment about your product??

First let me set up the situation

Watching “Morning Joe” this morning (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/), they were announcing the anniversary of the launch of the first McDonald’s restaurant.  At that point, Willie Geist – (@WillieGeist1) – brought out a bag of McDonald’s breakfast food to “celebrate”.  He handed out certain pieces to each commentator.  At that point,  Mika Brzezinski – (@morningmika) – quickly said “No……” and refused to accept the food – citing that she would not eat it and “that food is bad…” (please note that these quotes are the closest to what I recall – not exact quotes but give the sentiment of the comment).  If that was not bad enough, when Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) starting eating a McDonald’s hash brown, Mika reached over, urged him to stop, and told him that “if he were to squeeze the hash brown he would see fat and grease oozing out”…

Now why do I care – what is the lesson

I wondered the same question to myself.  I have lots to worry about in my life – why did this bother me so much.  Then I realized, it caused me to think – what is the appropriate reaction when someone makes a blanket, public, negative comment about your product?  Any honest CEO will tell you that he / she has faced this problem at least once in his / her career.  Sometimes they are grounded in fact.  Other times, they are just perception – but perception that can drive a lot of momentum.  In business school we studied in earnest the Tylenol case – a case in which they reacted “quickly and decisively” to the scare surrounding the issues around their pills in the drug stores.  But we are also taught that sometimes ignoring the comment is the most effective solution.  So how do you decide?  Is it simply weighing the PR impact versus the opportunity and cost?  Is it weighing the character of the person who made the comment and deciding that way?  Also – has it changed now that social media and internet communications have become the backbone of viral communication?

So – what is the appropriate reaction when someone makes a blanket, public, negative comment about your product?

I think it is a combination of all of these that is factored into the decision as to what to do and how to act.  Most important, I think, is to look at the potential opportunity cost if the perception were to spread out of your control and also the opportunity to leverage this into a win for your organization.  To that end, if I were in McDonalds, I would seize upon this as an opportunity.  There is this perception out there that their food is bad as represented by Mika Brzezinski  on the show.  Most people are aware of it, and I am assuming that McDonald’s is as well.  To that end, why not capitalize on this poor exchange on TV to promote a new message about McDonald’s.  In essence, take this negativity, surround it with truths about the value of the product and what McDonalds offers, and create a strong and supporting viral campaign.  Here are some ideas -

  • Turn it into a fun but valuable YouTube video – with real people commenting on your product surrounding the comments by Mika Brzezinski.
  • Launch a web site talking about the experiences of real people who eat your food and why they think it is good
  • Search out experts who can comment about the menu you provide and why it is not “bad”
  • Stress the other items on your menu on this site that are healthier in nature
  • Stress the good things that McDonald’s does for the community – with a slogan as simple as “Are we that bad when we do so much good” (or something much more savvy than that…)
  • Use Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and Youtube to your advantage to really rally people around your brand and your products – make this comment an example of the people who are driving tis mis-perception
  • And finally… offer a promotional program to people to have a coupon to get a hash brown for free or some very reduced price and encourage them to take a web video of themselves eating it and speaking “back to Mika”

In this day and age, the times have changed.  The proliferation of the internet and social media tools have afforded companies like McDonald’s to really launch into a viral campaign to send a message and drive its brand.  In a recent interview on Ellen, P. Diddy stated that he liked Twitter “Because it allowed him to talk to his people directly without filters”.  The same can be said for companies and their brands.  My recommendation is to take advantage of this and to leverage this negative “perception” comment into a strong and positive viral communications program.

Am I off?  Do you agree?  Should McDonald’s take another approach?

Communities or Channels – that is the question of the day…

Recently, I have been debating with Chris Brogan (www.chrisbrogan.com) – president of New Marketing Labs (www.newmarketinglabs.com) about the difference between communities and channels and which will be the future of internet communications.  While I believe “pure” communites have their place – particularly in social settings, I am becoming a firm believer that is the channels that are the true future of the Internet.

First – the definition

Before I explain my thinking, let me first explain the differentiation as I see it.  Communities, in their truest sense, are made up of a large number of equally important individuals meeting each other, sharing ideas, and communicating with and amongst each other.  While a community might havea community manager and / or a community leader, all people are – for all intents and purposes – treated equal.  Channels – on the other hand - still have many of the same aspects of community – the ability to communicate, comment, share ideas, and connect – but they are focused on a certain, designated group of content providers who formulate the thought leaders of the group.

Why I think Channels are the future…

With that definition in mind, here is my reasoning behind Channels over communities.  When communities were small and the sharing of ideas was concise, the ability to read all, identify the poignant ideas, and get the most value out of the community site was possible and very accomplishable.  But now, as communities have grown, it is becoming increasingly impossible to discern who is providing quality content and who one should read versus the noise of the larger community.  Take – for instance – Twitter.  While most Twitter users are following hundreds of people, they are truly only following a select few people and paying much looser attention to the others.  In fact, for new Twitter users – the first questions are always the same – who should I follow – who is worth listening to.  They are readily admitting that while they will follow many, they will only listen to some.   The same is true in most other community sites where the numbers are sizeable.

Is this a new phenomenon?

I would argue – it is not.  For those of us who used to read the newspaper (and those who still do) – is this not a channel?  By choosing which newspaper to read, were we not choosing who was “important to listen to”?  And for those who watch TV – are we not making that choice all the time?  Yes.  It is not different.  In fact – even in our social lives and school lives – we chose – amongst all of the people we have met – who to spend time with – who to share ideas with – who to “listen to”.

So why is this important?

I believe it to be important for the following reason – as everyone is trying to figure out the new communications mechanism that are arising with the proliferation of social media and social platform tools – those that choose to create these platforms and tool with a channel-centric perspective will emerge victorious.  Their content will be considered the most useful, their site the most valuable, and their business the winners.