This was an interesting article, as it talked about just what the title says–making content that was made from content, but was made from previous content to that. The article is really about taking all the information you may already have, and how to break it down and create new content as a means of content strategy. It’s hard for me to explain as cleanly as the author explains it, so I recommend you read this article directly. It’s not really a new approach, but I think it’s another perspective to add when thinking about content creation and curation.
There’s a viral video that just came out that I just love, not only because it’s funny, but it appealed to the geek in me. It’s a woman who bought a fun item for her own enjoyment, and was getting a kick out of how funny it was and how it made her laugh. What can I say? The Force was with her:
It’s a contagious video because it’s so silly, and as she said, it’s the simple joys of life that makes it worthwhile. She has so much fun with the mask, and you can’t help but laugh along with her. My husband and I were laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes.
But wait…did you catch that first part of the video? While she had not intended this to be a marketing video, this ended up being a great marketing video with great content. Where did she get that mask? She got it at a department store chain called Kohl’s. And with this video going viral as quickly as it did, Kohl’s picked up on her video and this woman’s love of Star Wars, and essentially got free advertising! Not only that, but they took it a step further:
Kohl’s was smart! They not only picked up on her mention of the store and how she was a frequent customer, but also on how much one random item at the store brought her so much joy. She had provided fantastic content that reflected well on the store! Fortunately for her, they recognized this, and did something nice by giving her all those gifts as a thank you.
Why do you think that Kohl’s did all that? As I said, they realized the value of this social content. It was all in the storytelling. People who love Star Wars items–and there are lots of them–would especially relate to this story. Even people who didn’t like Star Wars would get a good laugh from watch this woman play with her mask. Kohl’s wasn’t selling anything directly by posting these videos. (Although when I played the videos later, I did see some marketing overlays trying to sell the masks at Kohl’s did pop up, but it was still after the fact.) They did show, in showing their appreciation to the woman, that there were lots of other Star Wars things they sold as a means of indirect selling. Kohl’s showed that they appreciated the value of her sharing her good experience not only with finding her mask, but that she wasn’t discouraged because she had to return some items simply because of sizing issues, and she still found something else she liked. They showed the value of a satisfied customer, which has more value than almost any other kind of marketing or advertising. The gifts were even intended, if you think about it, as a way of keeping her as a value customer.
This is a great example of the power of social media through content and content marketing. The woman was simply sharing her experiences on video through her Facebook account, the video went viral, and as a result, she received all these gifts from the store itself to ensure that she continues to be a valued customer. Kohl’s found appropriate content from a customer that I’m sure will be helping to boost sales for a bit–at least with the Star Wars merchandise–for a while. I’m sure she never expected the attention that she’s gotten, but due to the Kohl’s gift, she extremely glad she shared it!
You never know where good content will come from. This is a great example to show that it can come from anywhere if you have the opportunity to make it or appreciate it.
What do you think of this event? Include your comments below.
“The actual context and the state of content is going to be so different to anything we can envisage at the moment–where the interplay between user and the provider will be so in simpatico…it’s going to crash our ideas of what mediums are all about.”
–David Bowie, 2000
The world is mourning the loss of an incredible musician and artist who made a huge impact on the world. David Bowie was always thinking outside the box, always changing and adapting his style and music, but was always true to himself–and admired for his boldness in doing so.
One of the things that I always thought was very cool about David Bowie beyond the music, fashion, and Ziggy Stardust makeup was that he was an Internet pioneer. No, really, he was! I remember many years ago reading about how much he was playing and investing in websites and creating content for websites. Some of the websites and content stuck, and some of it didn’t, but Bowie wasn’t afraid to give things a try. The best example I can think of off the top of my head was a children’s music site. Bowie’s daughter is about a year older than my own son, so I thought it was pretty cool that he was curating musical content that was age appropriate for our children, but not so dorky/corny stuff that parents wouldn’t want to listen to it as well. It was an amazing site that closed down later, but it was a significant step towards digital music content as we know it now. He may have done some other experimental sites with music, but I was only tuned into the children’s music at the time.
If you do a search on “David Bowie Internet Pioneer”, you’ll see many articles out there right now telling you more details about his heavy involvement. He knew that the internet was all about CONTENT, and he tried to be one of the earliest content providers.
One of the things that popped up in the many memorials to him was this interview about the role of the Internet and content and the wide possibilities. The interview below was done in the year 2000, just as internet access was starting to become more mainstream (AOL was the big provider at the time, to give you some perspective), and he was SO ahead of his time.
Hopefully, as technical communicators, we can not only learn how to be creative individuals like Bowie was with his music, art, and fashion, but also think beyond our current scope of thinking to what content–not just the arts that he represented, but much more and beyond–can truly be, and have a better understanding of what our relationship to content should be.
This past week, I presented a workship at the IEEE ProComm Conference, which was held in Limerick, Ireland. It was a great experience, and different from other conferences I have attended thusfar (a blog post will be reflecting some observations in the near future).
In the meantime, I’ve chosen to share my slides as uploaded on Slideshare here on my workshop titled, “The Future of m-Learning: Empowering Human Memory and Literacy”. This is based on the whitepaper I self-published here a while ago. I’ve also given this talk before at two other conferences on a slightly smaller scale–there’s a little bit of additional information in this version. You’ll see towards the end, there’s an exercise. I split the entire group into three smaller groups, and gave each group a different task to start thinking about what kind of tools within the mobile realm could be used. The tasks given were instructions on how to make a sandwich, what to do if you get a flat tire, and how to obtain cash. The idea was thinking about how to use images, video, GPS, how much text and how many clicks to get through to get to an answer. My idea was to have the group do some initial wireframing, but they got into great discussions about the flexibility of mobile and the constraints instead when trying to figure out what content to include. But that’s okay–the idea was to get them thinking “mobile first”, and they did. They were seeing it from the end-user’s perspective and starting to understand how to write for that perspective, which was the whole goal.
I received positive feedback on the workshop itself, so I hope you enjoy this as well, and find it useful: