Just An Online Minute... Searching With Battelle
Normally, earnest people bug me. Their enthusiasm is cloying. I wonder if they're for real. But Battelle has the added dimension of seemingly indestructible self-deprecating charm. It appears natural. And the thing is, he actually seems interested in people's questions and ideas, and wants to have a conversation. I respect that.
Battelle gave a kind of "where have we been, where are we going" state-of-the-union talk that didn't offer so many new insights; it's just that they were packaged up in such a way that I found myself connecting the dots on each point. In his view of how Web 2.0 is different than Web. 1.0, Web 2.0 is all about the content and services, not the Window. Platforms and networks now embrace open data, access, and portability. In the mid- to late 1990s, it was all about Window-Netscape versus Microsoft.
With Web 2.0 and the rise of consumer-generated media, marketers must seek permission and establish a dialogue. Online creative should invite a conversation, not demand attention. Consumers can be tapped to create new products, services, and campaigns. The participatory economy lets your customers build your business. Examples of companies that have done this to positive effect are MySpace, Linux, blogger, flickr, and SixApart.
Against this context, media is no longer ruled by distributors. In fact, Battelle says, search is now the "great distributor of attention." I'm not sure I totally agree with the assertion that media is no longer dominated by distributors. What about major online networks like Yahoo that syndicate enormous amounts of content, and TV and cable networks? There are still powerful media interests that will control how content/programming is monetized and distributed. On a truly organic basis, of course, blogs and other Internet-based media can spring from anyone and be distributed quite easily by individuals.
Battelle posed the question: "How do you market in a conversational medium like blogs?" He likens the medium to talk radio and says blogging has "unleashed a conversation led by authors." So if you're a marketer, you might want to get in on the conversation. Battelle spoke of the possibility of Federated Media blogs having sections of authors' blogs where if they're fans of Audi cars, they could actually crow about Audi and potentially attract the advertiser.
"Blogs are extraordinary link farms," Battelle says, that create a "cycle of link love" and the "point-to economy." Anything that pushes your company up on the Google results pages is good. And here's another good point he makes: media should be perceived as a service, not a packaged good. Forget about a "site-based" model and think about how to get people to your content. "It's not about the site," Battelle says. It's about "intent over content," and intent-based marketing--just another way of saying, search-based marketing. Amen.
With regard to content, Battelle made an important observation: that the innovation and value is in the assembly and delivery of content. "How you aggregate content, manage the innovation in assembly, and analyze the complexity" is where the value is. Editors can do this; monkeys cannot.