Content Commodities

    October 8, 2007

Steven Hodson is so bored with blogging that he wrote a blog all about it. Heh. I feel Steven’s pain. Instead of blogging about it I just hung out all weekend with my sons and a raft of great bloggers. You’d know that already if you read Twitter (the other way to spend time when you’re bored with blogging).

Which brings me to the title of this post. After reading feeds for the past few hours and doing my link blog I’ve come back to an observation I’ve made a few times over the past few months: great content is now a commodity.

We have too much great content. Heck, I’ve been slowing down my feed reading and blogging and I’m still awash in great content.

In just the past hour I’ve put up about 24 really good blog posts and I’m not even close to being through my feeds.

And much of what gets onto my link blog never shows up on TechMeme, Digg, Google News, Slashdot, or any of the other places that one can find aggregations of tech news and such.

So, now that we’re awash in great blogs and other news, what does that all mean?

Well, it’s getting harder to get noticed. I have seen this problem in companies. Where it used to be just fine to get one blogger to talk about you (remember how CoComment launched? I was the only blogger to do that and they got tens of thousands of people to sign up for their beta in the first day. Today, to get onto Techmeme you need to have dozens of bloggers writing about you. TechCrunch MIGHT get you that coverage, but you can’t count on that, so you need a group of blogs to write about you, all at one time.

What does it mean for bloggers themselves? Getting noticed is tougher. Which is why I am seeing more growth lately in Twitter. People want to be heard and what’s the most likely way that you’ll get heard? Join Twitter, where thousands of people are hanging out all day long? Or write a blog where you aren’t sure anyone even sees it? I see the answer, even though Twitter is causing its own commodification to happen.

One way I dealt with competing with commodity thinking? My link blog. I figure if everyone is going to write great content once in a while I might as well create a publication of my own. Turns out that has pretty good value. FastCompany is using it. It’s being reprinted over on Twitter, and on Facebook, and I’m finding some other venues to make even more value out of it.

Another way? Do a video interview every day. On Friday I put up a video with the CEO of who was getting ready for Demo when he came over to Half Moon Bay for a conversation about his project-management tool. It’s amazing the people I’ve met in a year and had conversations with.

I wonder who’ll come into my life this week?

Anyway, that’s just a long way to tell Steven that if you’re getting bored with all the noise then get out there and find some way to separate out the wheat from the chaff and/or find a way to bring more smart people into my life (and, hence, yours).