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Chuck RichardBeyond the Book’s Chris Kenneally Interviews Chuck Richard
According to the old Russian proverb, where there are crumbs, there will be mice. On the Web, content mice — that’s us, folks! — feast on information and leave trails revealing their interests.

Building on that basic observation, Outsell Inc. Vice President and Lead Analyst Chuck Richard suggested on Thursday that publishers can track these trails for important leads on how to build their online businesses. In a short chat following his talk with Beyond the Book‘s Chris Kenneally, Chuck also cautions that re-thinking content leads inevitably to re-thinking staff and management assignments.Outsell Logo


Last panel of the afternoon. While the prior one was lively with plenty of questions, I’m not sure that this is engendering the same level of energy.

The initial speaker, John Lustina of Intrapromote, was actually the most informative of the three in making the key point that ideally publishers will begin to seed interest in their content by placing content assets (tables, diagrams, photos, podcasts, images, etc.) across a variety of social platforms.  He was discussing the concept of the Social Media Timeline. Essentially, that plays out as follows:

  • Right Now – Distribution points for assets (links, Rss feeds, widgets, gadgets, applications, videos, images, etc.)
  • Near Future — objects in universal search (Objects as autonomous search results.) — known future; all of those things that exist outside of your blog or adjacent to your blog become searchable objects in an of themselves.
  • Long Term — social network as algorithm. Lustina suggests that this is the direction where Google is headed — Google may factor in how well-connected a content creator may be throughout a set of social networks and allow that to influence the ranking algorithm for pointing to information or content assets.

This is why syndication is so critical. Syndication of blog content, videos, photographic images is driving social media, according to Eric Olsen of DFJ Portage Ventures. It’s a basic building block and content providers at all levels should be leveraging it across a variety of platforms to drive traffic to your site.  Olsen suggests that this promotes trust in your content and broadens awareness.

Finally, Ian Freed of Amazon Digital offers a demonstration of the Kindle device.  While not necessarily saying anything new about the device, it is clear from the audience’s interest that they find the approach intriguing for electronic delivery of content. His best line was an off-the-cuff remark about what he tells his product managers “Your job is to make a great product, not necessarily add feature after feature”. Clearly they have thought through their approach.  (My personal reaction to the Kindle appears here.) Others are asking if I have mine with me.

David Perlmutter is a professor at the School of Journalism & Mass Communications, University of Kansas. He received his BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is the author or editor of seven books on political communication and persuasion.

He has also written several dozen research articles for academic journals as well as more than 150 essays for U.S. and international newspapers and magazines. He has been interviewed by most major news networks and newspapers, from the New York Times to CNN and ABC and most recently, The Daily Show .

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September 2008
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