David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is a thought leadership and viral marketing strategist. He is a frequent conference speaker and seminar leader and the author of several books including Cashing in with Content and "The New Rules of Marketing & PR." He blogs at www.webinknow.com.

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Articles by David Meerman Scott


If you're a loyal reader of EContent and my column (and I hope you are), you should already know that we have been living through a communications revolution. No, it isn't being televised; it's being tweeted, blogged, and filmed. In December 2011, using social media to drum up interest in businesses is mainstream-commonplace even. It's hard to imagine a time before social media now that it's become ubiquitous, but when I first started writing this column in 2003, I had to explain what a blog was. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook didn't exist. The only thing your mobile phone could do was make and receive phone calls--maybe text, if you were lucky.
Column/After Thought - Posted Dec 29, 2011
I am fortunate. For the past 9 years I have run my own business, helping people by speaking around the world and writing about new marketing strategies. It's so amazing to me that I can earn my income by doing what I love.
Column/After Thought - November 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 01, 2011
I fear we are entering a new era that I'm calling "Portal 2.0." As the major social sites jockey for position, recent evidence suggests, sadly, that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are building walls around the applications in the exact same way that the Portal 1.0 players did in the late 1990s. I'm looking at you AOL, Lycos, Excite, MSN, and Yahoo!.
Column/After Thought - October 2011 Issue, Posted Oct 03, 2011
Take a minute and imagine what it was like to be a marketing professional just a few short decades ago. In those days, marketing meant advertising, and the companies with the biggest budgets won the battle for consumer attention. To get reporters interested in what you did, a Rolodex was critically important and you needed a reliable fax machine to get those pitches out.
Column/After Thought - September 2011 Issue, Posted Aug 29, 2011
As I write this, hundreds of mainstream media reporters are dismissing Charlie Sheen as a sad example of a Hollywood star on the decline. But have you noticed that those same media outlets devote tons of ink and countless hours of airtime to each and every pronouncement by Sheen? As a creator of econtent, Sheen is #WINNING.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2011 Issue, Posted Jul 04, 2011
Imagine, for a moment, what would happen if a man went up to someone he found attractive at a bar and the first thing out of his mouth was, "Give me your phone number." What if a woman saw someone she found interesting at the local coffee emporium and started the conversation by saying, "How much money do you make?" If you're a famous celebrity - or amazingly attractive - this approach might work, but mere mortals are not likely to get far in the dating world by acting this way. The same goes in the marketing world.
Column/After Thought - June 2011 Issue, Posted May 30, 2011
In our real-time world, one person with passion and an internet connection can make a huge difference. The first few months of 2011 have been a great example of that. In January, I followed the terrible flood situation in and around Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. As a result, I've also followed the remarkable story of Baked Relief, a crowdsourced support group that emerged to help those affected by this natural disaster.
Column/After Thought - May 2011 Issue, Posted May 02, 2011
For years, I've been saying that to create great marketing content for company websites or social networks, you need to think one thing: Nobody cares about my products and services except for me and others in my organization. What your buyers care about is themselves. Make no mistake, your potential customers care a great deal about solving their problems and are always on the lookout for a company that can help them do so.
Column/After Thought - April 2011 Issue, Posted Mar 24, 2011
All these fancy new communications tools-the telephone in particular-are disruptive and unsettling. Why would anyone want to use the telephone to communicate with clients or customers? That is what letters are for. We do business with our customers like it's been done successfully since our founding. Just tell them to come to our establishment and meet with us directly. Plenty of free sarsaparilla, so come on down! Beginning today, our new companywide policy banning telephones at work will be introduced.
Column/After Thought - March 2011 Issue, Posted Feb 24, 2011
In the emerging real-time business environment, where public discourse is no longer dictated by the mass media, size is no longer a decisive advantage. Speed and agility win.
Column/After Thought - Posted Jan 28, 2011
Casual Fridays started as a parallel to the dot-com boom on both American coasts in the mid-1990s,partly led by Dockers, a clothing company. The casual trend very quickly became casual everyday, and it spread to the rest of the U.S. as well. These days, except for bankers and a few other professions, it's business casual all the time. I've noticed in the past 5 years or so that econtent has been going through a similar trend toward the casual.
Column/After Thought - December 2010 Issue, Posted Nov 22, 2010
Gone are the days when you could plan out your marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on your agenda. The idea of working on new product launch schedules that target some distant point several quarters into the future doesn't work in today's always-on world of the web. We're living in real time now, and if you're not engaged, then you're on your way to marketplace irrelevance.
Column/After Thought - November 2010 Issue, Posted Oct 27, 2010
I recently updated the portrait I use on my blog, website, and social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Updating my photo got me to thinking about how essential the choice of image is in social media circles. It's amazing how much you can discern about people simply by glancing at the image they choose to represent their online persona. The photo you choose to represent you says a great deal about who you are.
Column/After Thought - October 2010 Issue, Posted Oct 08, 2010
For the past year, I researched the business practices of the Grateful Dead as I wrote (with co-author Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot) a book published by John Wiley & Sons recently called Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History. As I was preparing the manuscript, I was struck by how many lessons apply to content businesses of all kinds.
Column/After Thought - September 2010 Issue, Posted Aug 19, 2010
Crisis. Breaking news about your company. Disaster. Recall. When important news affecting your organization breaks fast, you've got to get out in front of the story immediately.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2010 Issue, Posted Jul 12, 2010
Layar is a free application that uses your GPS location to show what is nearby by displaying real-time information on top of the image on your mobile's camera (it works on other platforms as well as the on the iPhone). The founders of Layar call it "augmented reality." I call it "cool."
Column/After Thought - June 2010 Issue, Posted Jun 02, 2010
I have to admit that I am a campaign junkie. I love observing the marketing aspects of important political races. It doesn't matter who I support; it's the race that keeps me riveted, especially when one or more candidates deploy social media. So it's fascinating to have watched firsthand how Martha Coakley and Scott Brown campaigned for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.
Column/After Thought - May 2010 Issue, Posted May 13, 2010
We're living a communications revolution: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Google Wave, LinkedIn, blogs, forums, chat rooms, wikis. With the explosion of new ways for people to communicate comes debate within companies about how they should be encouraging (or restricting) what employees may use at work. Should there be restrictive use of new forms of communication or should it be used freely?
Column/After Thought - April 2010 Issue, Posted Apr 05, 2010
At the end of 2009, Google announced that (finally) real-time results will be included in Google web search. This means that live updates from sites such as Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts, will appear within Google search results mere seconds after posting.
Column/After Thought - March 2010 Issue, Posted Mar 11, 2010
You can't read a story or watch a broadcast report about the news business without hearing dire predictions of how bad things are. Yet while so many people are focused on the bad news, both Politico.com and TMZ.com, in just a very short time, have built major media companies. So what makes these two upstarts so successful while stalwarts lay off staff and struggle to say in the black?
Column/After Thought - January/February 2010 Issue, Posted Jan 20, 2010
I'm constantly fascinated by how the world of online content and social media allows organizations of all types to communicate effectively. It doesn't matter what industry you're in-B2B information, consumer ecommerce, music, nonprofit, or government-we can all learn from the smart marketing happening all around us.
Column/After Thought - December 2009 Issue, Posted Nov 24, 2009
I wish I had a buck for every time somebody who works in the financial markets or the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries said something like this to me: "We can't get into social media, blogs, Twitter, and the like because of the regulations in our industry." Nonsense!
Column/After Thought - November 2009 Issue, Posted Nov 02, 2009
In early June 2009, General Motors declared bankruptcy and launched a new "re: invention" initiative to engage with the public and share the ways that the company would emerge leaner and prepared to succeed.
Column/After Thought - October 2009 Issue, Posted Sep 30, 2009
I'd like to be bold and boil down thousands of conversations I've had over the past 10 years as well as about 5 years of After Thought columns into one word: attention.Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and business owners want people to pay attention to their companies. Marketers, PR pros, advertisers, and salespeople are on the payroll for one reason: to generate attention. Truth be told, the editor of this magazine, Michelle Manafy, my contributing editor colleagues, and I all want you to pay attention to us.
Column/After Thought - September 2009 Issue, Posted Sep 03, 2009
Many mainstream media outlets are reducing their staff journalists. At the same time, many organizations finally understand the value of "brand journalism," creating interesting information online that serves to educate and inform consumers. This convergence has opened up an entire new world for aspiring journalists to consider.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2009 Issue, Posted Jul 13, 2009
My sense is that the bigger a country is, the less likely it is that companies based there will market outside of its borders. Additionally, in my experience, the larger a company is, the more likely it is that its marketers will spend their valuable time managing up to the bosses and presenting PowerPoints to internal audiences instead of focusing on the marketplace.
Column/After Thought - June 2009 Issue, Posted Jun 10, 2009
Quality, conference-centric web content can provide an ideal confluence of on-site and online. Smart organizers create all kinds of different content that helps people to make the decision, prior to the event, to buy a ticket (or not). The content also serves as search engine fodder, driving traffic to the show site prior to the event. As I wrote in last month's column, successes such as the Singapore Tattoo Show, which used a Facebook Group called Tattoo Artistry to help drive 15,000 people to the show's debut in January 2009, are the models to emulate.
Column/After Thought - May 2009 Issue, Posted May 14, 2009
Since this issue comes out during the annual Buying & Selling eContent show, I've been thinking about conferences and how they're marketed. In November, I keynoted the MeetingTechOnline (MTO) Summit. Since my topic was How Exhibition and Events are Impacted by the New Rules of Marketing and PR and the organizers were game, we did a little experiment. About a month prior to the gig, I sent an update to my Twitter followers (I'm "dmscott" if you're on Twitter) and said that I would be speaking at the event, and then I offered a discount for anyone who registered using the discount code I provided.
Column/After Thought - April 2009 Issue, Posted May 06, 2009
Recently, I was checking out a bunch of people on Twitter who began to follow my updates (I'm @dmscott). When I went to @AFPAA, I was surprised to see the Twitter ID belonged to the U.S. Air Force. I sent a DM (direct message) to find out what @AFPAA was doing and received an immediate answer Capt. David Faggard, chief of emerging technology at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency.
Column/After Thought - March 2009 Issue, Posted Feb 25, 2009
Have you noticed there are a bunch of polls and research reports that ask questions such as, "Do you read blogs?" or "Do you use social media?" or "Do you go to video- sharing sites?" The resulting data often show rather small use compared to the use of other online services such as search engines or email.
Column/After Thought - December 2008 Issue, Posted Dec 01, 2008
One of the most interesting aspects of the econtent world today are widgets: third-party applications that companies build to embed into major content platforms. Used by companies to build a brand and share ideas, applications are an overlooked way to deliver content.
Column/After Thought - November 2008 Issue, Posted Oct 14, 2008
I have had an opportunity to casually explore the attitudes of hundreds of large and small companies whose employees attend my New Rules of Marketing seminars and keynote speeches. Through my process of very unscientific questioning, I estimate that more than 25% of companies block employee access to YouTube, Facebook, and other social networking sites.
Column/After Thought - October 2008 Issue, Posted Oct 06, 2008
The techniques that lead to marketing success online are dramatically different than traditional marketing taught in school or that you've likely learned on the job. In fact, to succeed with web marketing, your existing knowledge about advertising and public relations will be counterproductive.
Column/After Thought - Sept 2008 Issue, Posted Aug 18, 2008
I recently spent the day with my editor and his colleagues on the marketing, editorial, and PR teams at my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. We had wide-ranging discussions the release of the Amazon Kindle version of my book. While the Kindle is new, John Wiley & Sons isn't. I can point to a number of things that are evidence of how Wiley is tuned in today, behavior that's indicative of why it has thrived for 2 centuries.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2008 Issue, Posted Jul 14, 2008
In my 4 years of college, I don't ever recall giving the authors of the books we were reading for class any thought. I vaguely recall Milton Somebody wrote my Economics 101 text, but I don't recall any other authors' names. I never met any authors of the textbooks I used, and they were not a part of my learning experience whatsoever. There is a new model for learning today, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
Column/After Thought - June 2008 Issue, Posted May 27, 2008
Whenever I begin a speech, I ask a series of four questions and have the audience raise their hands if the answer to a question is "yes."
Column/After Thought - May 2008 Issue, Posted Apr 25, 2008
Dear Warner Music Group Executives:

The BBC reports that 20 million people wanted to purchase tickets to the historic Led Zeppelin show held at the O2 Arena on Dec. 10, 2007. Needless to say, with only 20,000 tickets available, there were many disappointed fans who couldn’t be there when the band took the stage for the first time in 19 years.

Column/After Thought - April 2007 Issue, Posted Mar 28, 2008
I have strong evidence that “negative” headlines often generate a lot more clicks than “positive” ones. Why do tabloid newspapers put scandals on the cover? Because those big, fat, nasty headlines sell newspapers. Several of my blogger friends have experimented with negative headlines with fascinating results. For example, Jonathan Kranz, a freelance copywriter who works with companies to create marketing materials has a link on his site www.kranzcom.com: “Important Reasons NOT to Hire Me.” Here are some of the reasons: “You like jargon,” “You want to play it safe,” and “You like vague messaging.” Kranz says the negative word “NOT” attracts attention.
Column/After Thought - March 2008 Issue, Posted Feb 22, 2008
As the web has made communicating with reporters and editors extremely easy, breaking through and getting a journalist’s attention using the email methods everyone else uses has become increasingly difficult. These days, anyone can find the email addresses of reporters in seconds, either through services that sell subscriptions to their databases of thousands of journalists or simply by using a search engine.
Column/After Thought - January/February 2008 Issue, Posted Feb 01, 2008
While it might seem that choosing the 100 companies that matter most in the econtent industry is our biggest challenge in this issue, I find the more difficult (and fun) aspect of participating in the selection of the annual EContent 100 list is figuring out what the correct categories are and which companies go in each. As we revise the taxonomy of econtent companies, each year we seem to have more discussions about what company goes into what category than we do about the merits of individual companies.
Column/After Thought - December 2007 Issue, Posted Nov 15, 2007
"I don't get woken up in the middle of the night these days."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - November 2007 Issue, Posted Nov 01, 2007
While releasing financial results first via the company IR website and RSS feeds and then through a news release sent to one of the press-release distribution services may seem a small and obscure change, it signals that Sun takes direct digital delivery of information very seriously.
Column/After Thought - November 2007 Issue, Posted Oct 30, 2007
"I like to be out in front of costumers as much as possible."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - October 2007 Issue, Posted Oct 05, 2007
As people use search engines to find the information that interests them on the web and browse from one site to another via links, I'm struck by how arbitrary the fences that many organizations build around their content are. The various parts of a typical corporate site or online news portal need to be broken down for the sake of visitors and potential customers.
Column/After Thought - October 2007 Issue, Posted Oct 02, 2007
The most effective way to market products and services online is to develop thought leadership-based content that existing and potential customers will actually want to read.
Column/After Thought - September 2007 Issue, Posted Aug 24, 2007
“I go out and play on the internet at least once a month just to see what is going on out there.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - September 2007 Issue, Posted Aug 24, 2007
“Regular users, readers, and drive-by people come in and let us know what they think.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - July/August 2007 Issue, Posted Jul 31, 2007
Prior to YouTube making video commonplace on the web, you’d only see small forays into corporate video and usually these efforts were mundane and predictable—things like a broadcast of the CEO speech at the annual meeting. Well, okay, some people might watch, but unless the CEO makes a dramatic gaffe, a video like that is unlikely to go viral (develop pass-along value). However, I’m increasingly seeing effective forays into viral video marketing.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2007 Issue, Posted Jul 17, 2007
I have been in and around content syndication since 1983. Just writing that sentence makes me feel like an old-timer, yet I remember as if it were yesterday how bond prices and news were the fuel of the bond-trading work I did right after college. Young men bellowed into multiple telephones—buying and selling as a result of the syndicated prices and news that appeared on the Reuters and Dow Jones Telerate screens.
Column/After Thought - June 2007 Issue, Posted Jun 08, 2007
“I work with salespeople to make sure they have the tools they need to make sales.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - June 2007 Issue, Posted Jun 01, 2007
“We come up with a method to map the current content to the new application.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - May 2007 Issue, Posted May 01, 2007
After witnessing many econtent companies start up, grow, sometimes die, occasionally go public, and often be acquired over the past (gasp) 24 years, I've finally come to the realization that the best companies follow a defined birth and growth process. Initial sparks of an idea typically come from a founder who identifies a market problem that is solved by technology. The founder-turned-entrepreneur then either self-funds or finds seed funding to build an initial product, which is typically released into the marketplace after months or years of development effort. So far, so good.
Column/After Thought - May 2007 Issue, Posted May 01, 2007
Online media rooms provide many lessons in leveraging the value of econtent. This is the one place on any type of organization’s site where marketers and communicators act like publishers to create valuable and original content that reaches all of their constituents.
Column/After Thought - April 2007 Issue, Posted Mar 23, 2007
"We drive the vision and the strategy of the product lines."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - April 2007 Issue, Posted Mar 22, 2007
As a marketer and communicator, I’m fascinated with what companies are doing in Second Life, the 3D online world entirely built and owned by its nearly two million residents. The Second Life economy is built on the Linden dollar in which millions of U.S. dollars (at the current exchange rate) change hands each month. But just as in other social networking sites (like MySpace and Facebook), marketers and communicators who participate are viewed with contempt
Column/After Thought - March 2007 Issue, Posted Mar 08, 2007
“I’m part of a team that helps the company go to market in the publishing industry.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - March 2007 Issue, Posted Feb 22, 2007
The web has transformed the once lowly news release into a strategic marketing tool used by thousands of smart organizations to reach buyers directly. What was once a paper document (typically sent via fax and only to journalists) has morphed into a way for marketing and PR people to deliver messages directly to consumers and professionals alike. Now, the challenge is to write and distribute a release that will be read by all kinds of people with access to news releases online, not just a handful of journalists.
Column/After Thought - January/February 2007 Issue, Posted Jan 25, 2007
“I help people from the planning phase through to the actual implementation.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - January/February 2007 Issue, Posted Jan 23, 2007
On the web, marketing and communications has shifted from the one-way, one-size-fits-all approach of TV advertising to delivering just-in-time and just-right content to consumers and internal audiences. Successful web marketers understand that online, content sells ideas. It brands an organization as worthy to do business with. Companies, non-profits, political campaigns, and rock bands are the new publishers, delivering ideas and stories just like traditional media companies--and RSS needs to be part of the publishing plan.
Column/After Thought - December 2006 Issue, Posted Dec 05, 2006
For marketers, one of the coolest things about the web is that when an idea takes off, it can propel a brand or company to fame and fortune. For free. Whatever you call it—viral, buzz, or word-of-blog marketing—having other people tell your story drives action.
Column/After Thought - November 2006 Issue, Posted Nov 17, 2006
"I use a statistical approach to get data into sensible and usable form.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - November 2006 Issue, Posted Nov 09, 2006
So what does a publisher get when the editors choose to purchase an “exclusive” piece of content? How about when it’s baby pictures and the price tag is several million dollars? From a marketing perspective, People Magazine in the U.S., Hello! in the U.K., and New Idea in Australia invested to secure the rights to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt’s baby pictures in order to build tremendous buzz. Sure, print copies of People Magazine jumped off shelves, generating revenue. But enough to pay the tab for the rights to be the first to show the world Shiloh’s plump baby lips? Probably not.
Column/After Thought - October 2006 Issue, Posted Oct 24, 2006
“We want to know about their relationships with the computer.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - October 2006 Issue, Posted Oct 05, 2006
“Our profiles are written by real people and are not just boilerplate.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - September 2006 Issue, Posted Sep 08, 2006
Before the web created micro-markets for virtually any business niche or quirky hobby, people were without information and places to do business. Not anymore. Yet while most content executives understand that there is now information available on the web on any topic, many are still unsure how to take advantage of the opportunity.
Column/After Thought - September 2006 Issue, Posted Sep 01, 2006
“It’s about your investment in your home and what upgrades you can make to it.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - July/August 2006 Issue, Posted Jul 25, 2006
The big takeaway for me is the perception that our industry faces a new content cannibalization scare. The old scare, “free information will cannibalize fee,” which was intense for much of the early 2000s, is still simmering on the back burner. The new scare, the idea that offering micro-content will cannibalize subscription sales as well as the sale of large reports, now tops many publishers’ lists of professional neuroses.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2006 Issue, Posted Jul 18, 2006
Marketing people in technology companies don’t know what winning looks like. It’s not that we marketers don’t want to win. We do. But we have a collective difficulty aligning our departmental goals so that they are in sync with the rest of the company. Think about the goals that most marketers have. It usually takes the form of an epic to-do list: let’s see, well, we should do a few trade shows, maybe create a new logo, produce some T-shirts, and oh yeah, generate some leads for the salespeople. Well, guess what? Those aren’t the goals of your company!
Column/After Thought - June 2005 Issue, Posted Jun 19, 2006
“Leading the standards efforts gives us an earlier awareness of worldwide adoption.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - June 2006 Issue, Posted Jun 16, 2006
Communicating with target audiences through Web content initiatives is also an extremely cost-effective form of marketing. If you’ve got an hour or two a week to devote to it, a blog is virtually free to produce. Contrast that to, say, an expensive direct mail campaign. Other forms of marketing also take time to produce, but cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to execute. As much as I rant about Web content as a viral marketing tool on the speaking circuit and riff about it on my blog, I’ve never had detailed insight into the specific metrics around one viral marketing effort using Web content—until now.
Column/After Thought - May 2006 Issue, Posted May 09, 2006
“I make certain that we get a positive ROI.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - May 2006 Issue, Posted May 02, 2006
“We make being a reference for EMC Documentum fun.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - April 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 17, 2006
In our dynamic industry, new companies form all the time. Start-ups in the content technology business as well as online publishing ventures appear at such a rapid clip that it is difficult to keep up. Imagine what it’s like for the executives of a new company in this business to get their brainchild noticed in a crowded field. A typical launch involves months of planning, lots of hard work, and often a substantial budget for PR, analyst relations, and advertising I found it remarkable, then, that a new company called Squidoo was successfully launched in late 2005 without any of the traditional marketing and PR techniques.
Column/After Thought - April 2006 Issue, Posted Apr 09, 2006
It’s been fascinating to both observe and participate in the debate about blogs and wikis in the enterprise. Just like the hand-wringing over personal computers entering the workplace in the 1980s and echoing the Web and email debates of the 1990s, enterprise IT executives and content professionals seem to be getting their collective knickers in a twist about blogs and wikis these days. Remember when executives believed email might “expose a corporation to its secrets being revealed to the outside world”? How about when information professionals worried about employees freely using the public Internet and all of its (gasp!) “unverified information”?
Column/After Thought - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 13, 2006
"It's so much easier to be a student now!"
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - March 2006 Issue, Posted Mar 08, 2006
“Many customers are under deadline and they need to have access to the information as quickly as possible.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 20, 2006
With the number of blogs now in the tens of millions and the availability of niche blogs on virtually any topic, attention has shifted to the hot space of blog search. The simple truth is that it isn’t easy to find a blog post on subjects of interest. Some nifty new tagging features are beginning to make a big difference for users, but the dark side of marketing may hamper the growth of tags.
Column/After Thought - January/February 2006 Issue, Posted Jan 13, 2006
So what’s with all the nonsense words being thrown about by well-intentioned marketing people at econtent companies? Nearly every Web site I look at and almost all the press releases I receive are laden with meaningless jargon that’s just plain annoying. As I was cruising around looking at econtent company sites and press pages while serving as part of the EContent 100 decision-making group, it became clear that most companies in this business just aren’t communicating well.
Column/After Thought - December 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 16, 2005
I witnessed on television what I’ve often been critical about in Web multimedia use in business: the inability to search and quickly click to the precise part of content that I’m interested in. I’ve tried messing around with podcasting for things like listening to conference panels and keynotes that I missed, but my efforts always ended in frustration because I couldn’t go directly to the spot in the audio that I was most interested in. In other words, I couldn’t search on a big fat audio stream.
Column/After Thought - November 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 03, 2005
“If you are a researcher who goes to many different data sources or search engines, we can make all of those come together in one place.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - November 2005 Issue, Posted Nov 01, 2005
"The Internet has so changed the role of information for large global brands."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - October 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 12, 2005
The new wave of marketing professionals manages by the numbers, and technology companies have emerged to serve their needs. While the market is mostly fragmented into products that serve specific marketing niches, savvy marketers are increasingly leveraging content management tools to help them work more efficiently and effectively.
Editorial/Feature - October 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 04, 2005
Analysis of free versus fee content invariably focuses on content that must be paid for by consumers in its original form (such as newspaper and magazine articles) but that is often offered for free at an advertising- and sponsorship-supported Web site. Many pundits believe that if content is offered for free in one medium, it will cannibalize another, and that’s all they obsess about. Yet despite all the debate about free and paid content business models, market observers have largely missed the flip side of free content: valuable information that individuals are eager to give away for no charge and that smart companies then aggregate for profit.
Column/After Thought - October 2005 Issue, Posted Oct 04, 2005
With my new book Cashing In With Content: How Innovative Marketers Use Digital Information to Turn Browsers Into Buyers soon to be released, I decided to check out the book’s new Amazon.com page. Well (I thought), as long as I’m here, I might as well click my name on the author link and pay a long-overdue visit to my first book, Eyeball Wars: a novel of dot-com intrigue. OK I admit it: I was deeply into a therapeutic session of vanity searching. Heck (I justified to myself) all I’m doing is listening in on a conference call. Being a multitasking sort of guy, I might as well poke around a bit while others are talking away.
Column/After Thought - September 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 07, 2005
"Business people crave a little humor now and then."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - September 2005 Issue, Posted Sep 01, 2005
I’m sick and tired of the media elite bitching and moaning about their diminishing role in society. There’s lots of blame and finger-pointing going on at big media these days: people don’t watch network TV news “because they work long hours”; newspaper and magazine revenues are down, which is “the advertiser’s fault”; and everyone’s favorite scapegoat—blogging—is “not real journalism.” That’s the world according to traditional media. I disagree. The news cycle has changed, and with it, so must many of the rules of the game.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2005 Issue, Posted Aug 05, 2005
“We help publishers by identifying problems and solutions.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - July/August 2005 Issue, Posted Jul 29, 2005
“When we know what’s going on internally, we can compare that to what’s going on in the outside world, and we look for bridges between different technologies.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - June 2005 Issue, Posted Jun 15, 2005
As I evaluate and use information products and services, one thing I look for is evidence of right-brain thinking—in products and services offered as well as in companies’ marketing and communications approaches. Sadly, we are primarily a left-brain industry. This obsession might seem trivial, but I guess my right-brain outlook on life causes me to take a holistic view of the information marketplace.
Column/After Thought - June 2005 Issue, Posted Jun 02, 2005
It seems like every week there’s an announcement about yet another Internet mainstreamer like Google or Amazon making a foray into the world of scholarly content. What’s going on here? Why are broad-based, general-purpose companies moving into the rarified atmosphere of academic search? Perhaps they see an opportunity to help users in an area that many of the proprietary online services have not done well with: facilitating browsing. Our friends at Google and Amazon figured out long ago that consumers don’t just search—they also love to browse.
Column/After Thought - May 2005 Issue, Posted May 12, 2005
“Librarians: they’re smart, they’re organized, and a little subversive, which is cool.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - May 2005 Issue, Posted May 05, 2005
“I look at how we can improve the process—and the information is the lifeblood of the process.”
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - April 2005 Issue, Posted Apr 14, 2005
With consumers in control, the digital content industry is thriving. Today, businesspeople integrate information into daily work seamlessly, salespeople see news about customers when they’re ready to pick up the phone, and individuals control how they search and browse for content.
Column/After Thought - April 2005 Issue, Posted Apr 12, 2005
"Information is the lifeblood of strategic sourcing work."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - March 2005 Issue, Posted Mar 24, 2005
With all the political blog hype during the 2004 election cycle, many observers missed the quieter emergence of blogs in the business world. My guess is that we're just getting going here and that business blogs will grow rapidly in numbers and importance. I'd predict that before long blogs will displace many existing KM technologies for information sharing inside businesses as well as communication tools used by organizations to reach external audiences.
Column/After Thought - March 2005 Issue, Posted Mar 22, 2005
The influence of business and political blogs has become too large to be dismissed by the econtent industry. Blogging provides experts and wannabes with an easy way to make their voices heard in the Web-based marketplace of ideas. Companies that ignore independent product reviews and discussions about service quality found on blogs are living dangerously; information aggregators and distributors need to do some soul searching to determine where blogs fit in to their offerings; and info pros should be prepared to advise their organizations on the impact of blogs on a day's work.
Column/After Thought - January/February 2005 Issue, Posted Feb 21, 2005
"Blogs are my passion because they're a collaborative tool."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - January/February 2005 Issue, Posted Feb 11, 2005
Search engines aren’t just popular, they’re indispensable; almost one-third of respondents said they couldn’t live without Internet search engines. And business people, in particular, are open to experimentation as new search tools emerge.
Column/After Thought - November 2004 Issue, Posted Nov 12, 2004
"The system is always evolving rather than a slice in time."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - November 2004 Issue, Posted Nov 02, 2004
While the core business model remains virtually unchanged, the new wave of content being syndicated today comes from non-publishers like organizations and corporations.
Column/After Thought - October 2004 Issue, Posted Oct 13, 2004
"I'm a part of everybody's team because I can spread information."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - October 2004 Issue, Posted Oct 01, 2004
Setting up the technology for major events means creating the infrastructure equivalent of a temporary city. At the Democratic National Convention held in Boston’s Fleet Center July 26-29, more than a year of planning culminated with Verizon, the main contractor, employing 200 people for several months to install 4,000 miles of cabling to support convention organizers, the real-time econtent requirements of the media, and the massive security operations.
News/News Feature - October 2004 Issue, Posted Sep 29, 2004
Other than improved business, what are companies talking about this year? Based on decidedly unscientific measures, solutions and anything XML are hot.
Column/After Thought - September 2004 Issue, Posted Sep 06, 2004
"Not eeryone can look at a press rlease and, within seconds, find the really important news buried in it."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - September 2004 Issue, Posted Sep 01, 2004
"I'm upping thr skill quotient of our end users."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - July/August 2004 Issue, Posted Aug 09, 2004
I’m a diehard news junkie. My particular interest? Anything at the convergence of politics, business, and the media—especially the way the media covers itself.
Column/After Thought - July/August 2004 Issue, Posted Aug 06, 2004
Understanding information arbitrage affords intriguing opportunities worth exploring, if you’re on the sell side of the econtent business, or exploiting, if you’re an information consumer.
Column/After Thought - June 2004 Issue, Posted Jun 04, 2004
"The amount of information that has been created just in the last two years is more than in all of human history before."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - June 2004 Issue, Posted Jun 02, 2004
With the traditional financial newswire, if you don’t think to ask, you won’t likely stumble across something uniquely useful unless you stare at all 50,000 stories passing by in a typical day.
Column/After Thought - May 2004 Issue, Posted May 03, 2004
"I understand how to use technology in interesting ways to drive business forward."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - May 2004 Issue, Posted May 01, 2004
What role does marketing play in the econtent industry? Marketing is developing and positioning an econtent product so that someone will actually want to buy it.
Column/After Thought - April 2004 Issue, Posted Apr 23, 2004
"No matter how the industry changes over time, it always comes down to what business problem a product can solve.
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - April 2004 Issue, Posted Apr 19, 2004
Back in the days of print domination, there were basically two choices an author had to publish content: Try to garner the interest of a big publisher or do it yourself. But times have changed and so has the definition of publisher.
Column/After Thought - March 2004 Issue, Posted Mar 10, 2004
"It's not just about giving them just something, it's about the right content."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - March 2004 Issue, Posted Mar 08, 2004
For decades, the econtent world had been rather unaffected by changes in laws and regulations—at least in the U.S. Mostly, it’s been business as usual… but not any more.
Column/After Thought - January/February 2004 Issue, Posted Jan 27, 2004
"it has been amazing to me how radically the Internet has changed Presidential politics."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - January/February 2004 Issue, Posted Jan 01, 2004
Thinking about the strange phenomenon of surfing your inbox, I was struck by how many other bits of econtent are best viewed in applications far removed from the original user interface
Column/After Thought - December 2003 Issue, Posted Dec 16, 2003
"The customer database itself becomes valuable and will define new business models."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - November 2003 Issue, Posted Nov 17, 2003
We’re in the econtent business, people! We’re not buying and selling something that can be touched and held. Instead of the visible stuff, we’ve got to focus on communicating how our services facilitate people doing their jobs better.
Column/After Thought - November 2003 Issue, Posted Nov 10, 2003
"I spend a lot of time serving as a link between EPA staff and the commercial vendors."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - October 2003 Issue, Posted Oct 20, 2003
Finding one-off statistics and stock photography used to be a pain in the butt for marketing professionals, but times they are a-changin'.
Column/After Thought - October 2003 Issue, Posted Oct 01, 2003
What’s really at stake with the over-hyped concept of branding—in fact, what branding’s really about—is a focus on the customer.
Column/After Thought - August/September 2003 Issue, Posted Sep 19, 2003
Typically with B2C, much of the fresh content is free and includes ads, but readers are charged for archived data. That’s all well and good for B2C, but what about business-to-business publishers and their online properties?
Editorial/Feature - August/September 2003 Issue, Posted Sep 11, 2003
"I can apply my great mix of business and intellectual property experience to help customers."
Editorial/Faces of Econtent - August/September 2003 Issue, Posted Sep 10, 2003
The consolidation of vast amounts of information into simple visual representations is one of the best ways to communicate and emerging visualization tools have potential to alter the way we navigate information.
Column/After Thought - July 2003 Issue, Posted Jul 18, 2003
Before the Web brought real-time information to everyone, there was a dramatic distinction in what was considered financial news and information. Now the separation simply doesn’t exist.
Column/After Thought - June 2003 Issue, Posted Jun 09, 2003
Not only is it exceedingly simple to buy listings by keyword and phrase, search engine pay-for-performance is now a billion dollar industry and the fastest growing form of advertising anywhere. Now whenever and wherever a business- or consumer-related search is entered, the results are likely to include ads.
Editorial/Feature - May 2003 Issue, Posted May 23, 2003
The Columbia Shuttle disaster demonstrated that digital content is simply the best tool available to understand a major unfolding news story.
Column/After Thought - May 2003 Issue, Posted May 07, 2003
Anyone who thinks the econtent industry staid and boring needs to get up and fly to Japan immediately. There, you’ll witness an econtent revolution so profound it impacts even before the cabin doors open at Narita Airport.
Column/After Thought - April 2003 Issue, Posted Apr 30, 2003
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the biggest re-organization of the U.S. government since the creation of the Department of Defense some 50 years ago, is really all about Information Technology. Let’s just hope “CIO” Tom Ridge has caught on to that fact.
Column/After Thought - March 2003 Issue, Posted Mar 01, 2003
Econtent professionals have a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in our organizations by working directly with marketing and sales people to offer compelling content directly to customers. And, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, all businesspeople are searching for the elusive key to success. Look no further.
Column/After Thought - February 2003 Issue, Posted Feb 01, 2003
It seems to me there are exactly two ways to use and deploy econtent. As econtent professionals, I think we’ve focused too much effort on one way: answer my question, while not spending enough energy on the other: tell me something.
Column/After Thought - January 2003 Issue, Posted Jan 01, 2003