I Create, Therefore I Market

Monday, June 5, 2006 | comments

One of the tenets of the "2.0 wave" is that consumers are creating their own content. Does it follow that if we are all becoming content creators, we are all also becoming marketers?

After all, no one takes the time to envision, craft, and post a piece of content --- of any type --- without hoping for an audience to react to it. Even the gazillions of abandoned blogs that you run across were clearly hoping that their small voice would find a receptive ear.

If we are “all” becoming marketers, it follows that we are all also looking for “distribution” outlets. (Blogger is a lemonade stand. MySpace and YouTube are aggregators – shopping malls. Who’s got the best lemonade stand? What’s the coolest store to hang out in? Who’s the coolest kid at the mall?)

That's not to say that the content creator is marketing for a montary gain, necessarily. In the 2.0 world --- in which, let’s not forget, we are increasingly alienated from real-world communities and instead embrace our screens --- “marketing” for an amateur content creator may just mean that they are looking for validation, for authority --- not a pay-out.

By “marketing,” in other words, I am suggesting that a content creator is actively in search of an audience. If they fail, they try again: they make their content better; they post in a different forum. They are making tactical, thoughtful calculations about how to boost traffic/comments/feedback that validate their efforts. They take action in search of reaction.

Look again at the adorable kid in this picture. She probably spent an hour making those Play Doh sculptures. And I'll bet that she subsequently called out to Mommy to check it all out. She is clearly delighted that Mommy was so impressed that she ran to grab the camera! The li'l gal is a content creator who successfully marketed the value of her effort. With a click of the camera shutter, she closed the sale. Validation!

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