The internet is a ravenous monster. It needs to be fed content to keep everyone happy, and any content seems to do.The speed at which the web consumes and disperses information is staggering. If television gave us a short attention span, the internet has squeezed it down to an attention sliver. We want our news at the speed of light – or faster! Movies get leaked before they are even released in theaters. Albums find their way online before they are in stores.
The need to generate this “original” content has created a cottage industry that is employing under-qualified writers to produce huge numbers of underdeveloped articles and stories (see “Content Farms” on Wikipedia). In other words, we’ve lowered the bar for quality because we’ve raised the bar for volume. There are more web sites, more blogs (yes, I see the irony), more news, more reviews, more ads, more everything – but little of it stands out.
I believe that this will present a significant opportunity for those of us who are committed to doing really good work. When your well-thought-out and professionally-designed marketing message is surrounded by a sea of me-too promotions, it stands out. It works better because it’s different. The internet doesn’t need to dilute your brand promise. The internet can actually improve its effectiveness by adding contrast! The trick, obviously, is making sure that your content – whatever it might be – strategically speaks to your target audience. And that it looks and sounds better than those messages around it.