Jaron Lanier calls them the Siren Servers. Our social nets, search engines, sharing apps. They implore us to build our digital doubles, bit by lowly bit, seducing us to invest ever more time and resources into creating more and more data. The Sirens’ voices form visions of Visibility, Celebrity, Business Opportunity or maybe even Fame and Wealth. You, of course, hear a very different song than I do.
Jaron Lanier thinks we’ve lost our way for the Sirens.
I frequently wonder if the current fever of Content Marketing isn’t a symptom that we are indeed being driven just a little crazy by the song of the Siren Servers.
Content Marketing is the Siren’s carol this year-ish. Last year-ish it heralded Engagement. Before that the chorus was Transparency, which stepped it up from Authenticity. Way back when the strain was Connection. And in very ancient digital generations the song was of Human Communication.
Content marketing is a special kind of digital rhythm.
Sirens get rather rich and powerful consuming us in the form of our content. Platforms need ever more content to sell to advertisers. Ever more content turns up the volume for the value of The Platform, producing ever more data as content magically appears. Content creators – and we digital strategists – sing of incessantly feeding The Sirens as a means of achieving our goals.
The Platform (The Network) sings of Freshness, so we toil to create never-ending content. The platform whispers of Intent, so we work to create, find, share or curate precisely the right content to teach the Platform about Intent – while using the work of others so that We may appear the most Relevant. The Platform decides when and how we will be Visible and to whom, so we hire specialists to tutor The Machines.
Stop for a second and question for whom you are doing Content Marketing.
It is People who buy you or your product. It is People that need your Content. Is your Content Marketing really for Us?
photo credit: Mike Licht, Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License