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Staying Competitive in the Digital Era – Jeffery Rasport, Marketspace LLC

March 10, 2007

Jeffrey Rayport of Marketspace kicked off the Online Publishers Association Forum for the Future with a presentation verging on an attempt at stand-up comedy, entitled Staying Competitive in the Digital Era. Despite the comedy, he made some fantastic points about how traditional media companies need to change their thinking, gave five strategies for success and ended by talking about amateurs acting like professionals and professionals acting like amateurs…

Rayport suggested the key to sucess is to focus on:

  1. Building volume through aggregation.
  2. Building margins through engagement.

The key differences between traditional and new media in the Web 2.0 world are:

  • Community is the new engine of content creation.
  • Social networks are the new distribution channels.
  • Social intelligence is the new editorial filter.
  • Tools & applications are the new editorial bundles.
  • Multi-platform development is the new publishing.
  • Video is the new lingua franca of online content.

Five strategies for success

  1. Own the audience – overwhelm the microcosm.
    • Shock and awe with content abundance.
    • Target on
  2. Claim the community – ensure membership has its rewards.
    • Create communities of conviction, reward loyalties.
  3. Work the web – let the outside in, and the inside out.
    • Adopt open-source thinking and leverage network effects.
    • Let the outside in: allow content from the web into your site, eg widgets, rss, etc. Why not include your competitor’s news on your site? They’ll only go back to Google to get it. Progressive insurance even shows competitor’s prices even if they beat theirs – builds trust, gives confidence, increased conversions.
    • Let the inside out: Allow syndication of your content and brand through rss, widgets, open APIs etc. Set your content free. 60% of YouTube streams are on third-party sites – let your users do your marketing for you.
  4. Design for the occasion – customise interfaces for context.
    • Take the form-factor into account, eg web browser vs mobile phone
  5. Integrate the experience – multi-channel, multi-platform.
    • eg Pop Idol is across TV, internet, phone, etc.

User (or pro) generated content

Rayport posulates that there are different types of ‘user generated content’ – and even different types of professionally generated content are emerging. Each piece of content may be created by a professional or an amateur, and that person may be acting like a professional or acting like an amateur.

For example:

Interested in Web 2.0 Strategy?
Watch or download Paul Lomax’s slideshow, 10 Tips for Web 2.0 Success!

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