Everyone is a blogger. Or so it seems. Thousands of individuals, brands, journalists, companies, influencers, etc. are flooding to the keyboards to get out content.
What is happening?
We live in a unique time. The internet is being flooded with content. Our eyeballs are exposed to more opinions than ever before.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to decipher what content is good and what is bad. What is a hoax and what is legit.
It’s hard. And it’s becoming a mess.
But it is also not a bad thing.
I think we should all have a write to publish what we think (eh, to an extent ~ obviously some circumstances limited).
But how did we get here? Why is there so much content and what does this space really look like?
Good question. Owen Williams does a great job of answering it, here:
From it, I can pull out some interesting insights:
Well, it started as a gradual slide toward centralization of platforms, then everyone fell off a cliff without realising what happened at all. The content crunch happened around a perfect trifecta of technology: mobile’s explosive growth, RSS’ death and the centralisation of everything.
As social sharing of articles became the discovery mechanism of choice it ultimately changed how people wrote: many people began engineering your title, picture and other elements for likes and shares. Facebook’s algorithm quickly became the maker and breaker of content — if you found yourself in its favor you might see millions of views in a day, but other times you’d get nothing.
That shift, to a world where we can measure everything people are doing, had a positive side effect. Publishers like BuzzFeed, Upworthy and others were born, all of whom ultimately disrupted the entire industry — because they were so widely shared, consistent
And then came “Native Ads.”
Native advertising, which emerged out of a desire of the media to increase their waning revenues, became popular online around 2014 when companies like The New York Times and BuzzFeed realised there was a way to get cash for letting companies post veiled content to their own audiences.
There are hundreds of examples of both good and bad native advertising, but one that was particularly great is this post on The New York Times about Women Inmates — which is real journalism — but happens to be sponsored by Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black.
Native advertising was a reaction to a disease that publishers considered to be out of control. Adblocking, which is rapidly growing in popularity, has nearly doubled in usage every year since the mid-2000s.
The dismal state of advertising is, in part, why platforms like Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles and even Medium are succeeding, because controlled networks that build from the ground up are far safer than traditional display advertising, but publishers can’t seem to wean themselves off yet.
Anyways, read his stuff, it’s really good!