Blog post 1: February 8
This week I began gathering potential people to contact to interview for my first piece. I’m thinking to start off with a profile of a content marketer. I noticed that when reading their blogs (each one has one, that’s the crux of the theory of their work), they are all absolutely and unwaveringly confident in the success this form of marketing yields for brands. Theoretically, it makes sense. There’s one particular person who I want to interview named Shane Snow, who’s book, Smartcut, I began reading. He founded Contently, a software service that manages and organizes a company’s content (or an agency’s client’s content. Same difference). They guy seems brilliant and really passionate. Another option is Joe Pulluzi, who’s book I’ve already read called Content Inc., who too believes that any ambitious entrepreneur can use this method to grow their company.
I also want to interview young entrepreneurs (Ben Marans of TabU, Saul Ancona of Prepp) to see the extent to which these kinds of strategies are on their radar. If they’re not at all, I want to know what works.
And the human aspect though, of this whole beat, is trying to figure out what it is about people that this works so well. Why do real people with busy lives stop to read BMW’s stats about modern consumption, or Chanel’s video of high fashion figures’ favorite dressing rooms. Is it a byproduct of a Postman-esque culture of interest in tedium and mind-filling content? Or is evidence of the opposite: a hunger for something more substantial than an ad? Where is the line between the two?
And the biggest question I have is what these content creators think about the increasingly blurry line between branding and journalism in terms of its implications for honest reporting and democracy. What do they think about GE being the New York Times’ client when GE has some raucous scandal that’s worthy of reporting?