The New Media Puzzle-The Impact Equation

Delivering interesting information to people who care about it is harder than ever. Chris Guillebeau

I really bet you wanted me to say easier. The tech is easier and easier. I can create stuff on my iPhone (or Android) that wasn’t even vaguely possible even as recently as 2007. And yet, as this technology grows, our consumption has shifted. I’ve seen huge changes in how people interact. I’ll tell you a little bit about my experience, so that you might glean what you will from it.

We were told social networks are everything. But then most of us got there and they maybe “worked” for a little while and then stopped. We were told to get publishing on YouTube. And though I still highly recommend this, not many people are saying, “Wow! I’m getting a lot from what I do there.” (Some are.)

What I think comes next is figuring out a delicate balance of media making and in that, you’ll find some recipes for impact. I’ll share a bit of my own recipe, if that’s okay.

The Human Business Works Approach to New Media At Present

  • Blog 1x a week. (Rarely twice.) – This is down from 1x/day.
  • Tweet/post social 4x a day for business – This is hard to measure a change, but I know that response to my social efforts is lowering as my subscriber count is raising.
  • Provide high quality content in a free private newsletter on Sunday (in my case). Sunday was a day I picked because of the personal nature of my newsletters and because I wanted to set a very specific vibe. So far, this is amounting in huge weekly double-digit growth of subscriber percentage growth, plus bigger and bigger open rates.
  • Provide useful audio podcast for people who want to consume on the go.
  • Write helpful books for the offline places and for folks to read on planes.

What’s changed from earlier? (Almost)Everything.

  • I started 2012 saying video, video, video. While I agree, I’m just not seeing the ROI unless you’re really committed to going deep. Video has moved from meal to appetizer for me.
  • I started 2012 still blogging daily (a years-long experience). It used to really amp up subscriptions. Not as much.
  • I used to count on Twitter and Google+ for more business via my OUTPUT. As I’ve been advocating for years, listening is far more valuable. My click rates are low on useful content.
  • I didn’t have a podcast at the start of 2012. Though there’s work in making it, the value/reward is huge. I’m getting 100% growth and more, month over month (easy when you start at zero). And that’s driving even more adoption and relationship-building.

What You Can Take From This

It’s up to you to work up the recipe you need for your type of business, but I’ll tell you what I know:

  • The shiny part of everyone clicking any old thing on the social web feels over.
  • Great content rules, as it always has and should.
  • What defines “great,” however, has changed (brevity, simplicity, eat-on-the-go, cross-platform, and more).
  • Attention is a wily beast and you’ll have to work on contrast and standing out from the crowd.
  • For my biggest lesson learned, sign up to my Sunday newsletter (It’s free!)

But the puzzle is fun to figure out. I’ll grant you that. That’s why Julien Smith and I bothered to write The Impact Equation in the first place. Right?

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