Content is NOT king


Reduce - Reuse - Recycle ImageReduce, reuse, recycle.

This feels like an old adage for someone like me who grew up hearing this phrase used in elementary school. While the era of recycling has been around for ages some would say this is a “green” statement and others say it’s a sound business plan. I say they’re both right but at this point I’d like to take up a few minutes of your “flipping through the web” time to talk about what this phrase means from a business perspective.

When you think of “reduce, reuse, recycle” the first thing that probably pops into your brain is that symbol with the arrows rotating in a triangular fashion ( ). When I hear the term I immediately think of our paper recycling box next to the printer here in the Loveland office.

My point is this: most of us think recycling has to do with something physical.

Get past the obvious and find the granny gear in your brain–it’s time to step back and take a hard look at what matters most in this business: Content.

(For those of you who have never driven a real truck – a granny gear is the lowest gear out there…it’s lower than first gear…it’s the gear that goes the slowest, but gets you out of the muck fastest).

Content is NOT King

They say content is king. I say Content is queen and the Web is the doting, loving, infatuated king obsessed with showing off his beautiful, holy-crap-I-can’t believe-your-mine-because-you’re so-flippin-amazing wife. Content was made for the Web and Web was made for Content–they’re a match made in heaven.

You may be wondering where print falls in this analogy? These days I hate to say it, but Print is the jealous boyfriend that used to date Content. Sure – Print and Content still hang out as “friends,” – but let’s face it–he’s sitting on the sidelines at the dance watching Content and Web dance on center stage–madly in love and surrounded by onlookers curious to see what moves they make that will inspire the rest to join in. Content still remembers the good times she had with Print–but sadly, she’s forgetting less and less about those good times as she’s so infatuated with Web.

To Print I say this: It’s okay–it’s not like the Web put your head on the chopping block or sent you to the front lines of some far off war. You’re still here, but your ex-girlfriend is happy with her new husband and now you’re stuck waiting to find your true love.

You’re Not an Editor Anymore

ThinkerYou’re a content strategist.

In the past an editor would help pull together a story that would run in an upcoming issue. Now editors need to be thinking about how to re-purpose and repackage that article to be used on several playing fields. Here are some of the places some of you are repurposing those articles:

  • Adding it to your Web site
  • Sharing it with your e-newsletter readers
  • Blogging about it on some key sites outside your own (or on your own)
  • Creating a video or podcast based on or related to the same story

But what else can you do with that article? How else can you repackage your content in order to get more eyes on your content?

At this point if you work for Penton Media you’d be reading all about my latest initiatives I’ve helped create that address how to reuse your content in ways that increases web traffic, up your subscriptions, and help overcome the problems print publishers are facing. Alas – these are secrets I cannot reveal and I must stop here…sorry.

Chris Sigfrids
Online Product Development Manager
Penton Media


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2 Responses to “Content is NOT king”

  1. Tim Rueb Says:

    “Reduce, reuse, recycle” brings back images of when I first learned OOP (Object Oriented Programing). I think it was Turbo Pascal or Turbo C, maybe both at the same time. 8)

  2. uxarchitecture Says:

    “Reduce” is the quiet hero of this metaphorical drama. As Andrew Pinder, Tony Blair’s e-envoy, said of UK goverment sites in 2003, “‘We have 5 million [pages] – and that’s probably 4 million pages too many.’

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