As I analyse what types of blogs/content I enjoy reading (and publishing), it’s made me think more about the current media landscape.
As creators, we obviously want to attract our few eyeballs to our articles, and perhaps even create some raving, foaming at the mouth fans who love our work.
To do this, we website owners must seek to deliver value.
After all, attention is an economy these days, and to tempt people to spend their deliciously fun free time consuming your information instead of watching Frasier re-reruns (looks away guiltily), there needs to be a fair value exchange.
So, what exactly is the juice that most website visitors are extracting?
Types of Website Content
Well, clearly it depends on the site and their intentions, but after some focused staring into space and beard twiddling, I’d say most websites have three main aims:
- To inform
- To educate
- To entertain
Let’s take a look.
A good example in this category is your traditional news organisation. They would traditionally report on the worldly goings-on to keep you abreast of important affairs. The information was pretty factual and allowed you to join in with the water cooling tutting about the latest MP expenses scandal.
This area has seen an explosion with the proliferation of Internet goodness. In the Jurassic, pre-tinterweb days, we actually had to pay to attend educational institution to learn the secrets of the Universe. Now we can get it free from our favourite YouTube vlogger.
Not much explanation needed here. Often we need to be distracted from the drudgery of life, and entertainment in the form of 327 seasons of Lost or a dancing cat video fit the bill quite nicely.
You’ll also notice that the categories move from an objective to a subjective frame of reference and from a skillset requiring curation to creativity.
The Ultimate Combination
I think that increasingly if sites can cater to all three categories, it’s a winning combo.
Social media sites like YouTube are probably the best example of this…
Do I want to watch a video on the state of current affairs? I’m covered. Do I need to learn how to put up a gravity-defying shelf that actually supports my possessions? Check. Do I hanker after a bad lip reading video? Yes, please.
I don’t really think I’m anywhere close to such splendid edutainment bloomsoup, but here’s to trying.