With every month and year that passes, the internet expands and improves and by extension the web grows and improves with it. Digital content and the way it is published and distributed among us is also changing, and fast.
Increasing numbers are sharing content online; this is due in no small part to the quality and options readily available to us. The ability to publish web content has grown to a scale that would have been deemed inconceivable only a few short years ago. As more and more web content is published, the need for better quality services to publish this content becomes a necessity.
The explosion of social media use in recent years has seen a swing in the way that web content is shared, users are now sharing, saving and reposting more than ever before, they are becoming an entity within themselves in terms of being a separate type of search engine, no longer is Google or other search engines the main method of uncovering content.
One to many and one to one
The days of being told what ‘news’ is or what you should be reading and listening to are drawing to a close, there is a new dawn in the ways that we, the consumers get to choose what we find relevant and what we want to consume rather than the traditional method of ‘one to many’ where the editor of a publication would deem what was newsworthy.
This is now shifting towards a ‘one to one’ scenario, where the consumer can choose the content that is relevant to them and have a publication dedicated to them that reflects this.
Previous methods of visiting a webpage being the only way of checking information has also diminished, digital content now, more than ever, has the ability to wander, it wanders through our social media accounts, being shared and reposted, it literally can take on a life of its own from its original home of the URL where it was born.
A stream of digital information
There is no doubt that the sheer volume of content published on the web makes it near impossible to take it all in. We have to find a way of picking out the pieces that are relevant and important to us as individuals, a bit like conveyor belt of apples and you are picking off the ones that are the most appetising and attractive to you.
A particular favourite of mine when it comes to describing this type of publishing web content was written by John Borthwick when he said;
“a real time, flowing, dynamic stream of information — that we as users and participants can dip in and out of, and whether we participate in them or simply observe, we are a part of this flow. Overload isn’t a problem anymore since we have no choice but to acknowledge that we can’t wade through all this information.”
This is not to say that the traditional methods are dying but rather the way that publishing web content has changed over the years, methods of content consumption are evolving and instead of traditional print media looking on this a threat, it should be embraced and methods of intrinsic and evolutionary advancement employed.
So how do we do this?
The answer to this is the use of news aggregators, or rather the link ups and amalgamations between existing industries and in particular traditional publishing houses with news aggregators and content curation software.
This is perfectly summed up in another favourite quote of mine by Dave Wiener:
“But there’s another kind of reader, an aggregator, that works differently, and I think more efficiently for the human reader. Instead of having to hunt for new stories by clicking on the titles of feeds, you just view the page of new stuff and scroll through it. It’s like sitting on the bank of a river, watching the boats go by. If you miss one, no big deal. You can even make the river flow backward by moving the scrollbar up. To me, this more approximates the way I read a print newspaper, actually it’s the way I wish I could read a print newspaper — instead of having to go to the stories, they come to me. This makes it easier for me to use my brain’s powerful scanning mechanism. It’s faster, I can subscribe to more, and my fingers do less work. “
Last year The New York Times and Flipboard linked up in just such an embracement of industries, running both a free overview of stories and a subscription based full version for the entire service. This not only creates revenue through subscription and advertising but it a crucial way of maximising audience retention.
Most organizations that deal with publishing web content are already creating their own content, by using content curation tools such as 3D Issue Hubs you are essentially ring hooping the content and drawing traffic back to your own site.
An essential component of staying ahead in terms of the audience retention, which, at the end of the day is what, drives all online business.
For online businesses and publishers to stay ahead and evolve with the times, the use of news aggregators is a necessary advancement that would be foolish to ignore, in fact I would go far as to say it could be fatal to their future interests if not given due consideration, which as we see by the example earlier with The New York times is already happening on a large scale.
Why not try Hubs for yourself today and see the difference it can make for you and your business.
Image thanks to the nice folks here.