Myth #1 – Compelling content…

… is the same as a content rich site. Not so.

A content rich site is where you put up fotos and videos, information packs, games, forums, blogs, personalities, favourites, interviews with blah blah, breaking news, advertisements, competitions. And so on. And maybe it will work. And maybe it won’t and you’ll end up with a content rich digital graveyard. And if you followed the format of your competitor, chances are you both will end up with an over-priced, under-used portal. Only MySpace can be MySpace.

Compelling content can be an empty site, brand spanking new, a video server (empty), forums (empty) and lots of nice tools. But give it a subject heading that captures people’s imagination and they will come, running, even if it’s initially to post a “w00t! I got the first post!” message. The Dialogue is The Content. Create the infrastructure and the subject heading and your members will create the content. Too much probably.

In fact there’ something compelling in a simple easy to use empty site. Sort of like wanting to spray paint graffiti on the freshly painted wall.

Note: I learnt this from a number of places, but the one that springs to mind is Jinx, the online community for T-shirts. T-shirts!! I hear you say? Well, the first few posts on a new t-shirt are always “I was here first! Go me!” It took a while but I eventually realised that members who care about a community want to post first. Feel the love. šŸ™‚ Jinx went from being a small niche gaming t-shirt site to being purchased by IGN (NewsCorp) and the official and coolest IMHO t-shirt supplier for Blizzard’s 9 million user World of Warcraft community, amongst others. And they haven’t changed a thing. Not even the “I was here first” posts.

Hmm. Perhaps we should call it “compelling subject” rather than “compelling content”? Nah, the content becomes compelling around an interesting subject.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbesā„¢ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazineā„¢) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAgeā„¢). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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