“Let people take your content with them”

This is an old post but I’m leaving it here for the hell of it. Failed links have been updated or removed.

Nice post from Mark Armstrong, of Longreads, arguing that we can raise the value of our content if we let people take it with them and consume it when they’re ready – whether that’s right now, on the couch tonight, during a flight next week, or in a month’s time.

Let people take content with them, and they will soon value it more highly than if it is shot at them. Content creators will be rewarded with a longer social lifespan for the stories and videos they work so hard to create. And that ultimately lifts the value of a media brand.

He refers to lessons from the Longreads community he founded in 2009 to “discover and share stories over 1,500 words. In the past year we’ve had more than 10,000 stories shared. For these stories, retweets can happen hours, days, weeks and even months after the link was first shared.”

A couple of interesting bullet points from the post:

  1. We know that mobile devices and time-shifting are affecting when and where we enjoy our content. People spend the day in “hunter-gatherer” mode, and then use evenings, weekends and commutes to dive into the content they’ve saved.
  2. We know that bylines matter: Our examination of the “most-read authors” last fall proved that readers are loyal to writers, and they are just as likely to read a 2,000-word story as they are to read a 300-word story. Attention spans do still exist, and there’s an audience hungry for it.
  3. They’re not just saving stories to read: Read It Later introduced video support in late 2010, and now video domains (YouTube, Vimeo and other major sites) account for three percent of all content saved on the platform. (More on that coming soon.)
Read the post here.