Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Portability is the new pointworthy: Why links won't matter

I often advise teams creating content to focus on doing what is worth pointing at - the pointworthy.What I mean by this is that the web is awash with repeated press releases.

They don't stand out so you're less likely to have your half-heartedly re-written and rushed-out version pointed at by the fickle citizens of the web than something they find genuinely, stand-out, useful (and relevant).

Do loads of what everyone is doing and you're lost in the blur. Do the right stuff and other people will point you out.

But, with the shift towards portability in rss, widgets, gadgets, apps (etc) distribution becomes more complex; less about a central destination from which to broadcast (and to which to be pointed) and more about networks of people looking at and sharing among each other.

In the world of user as destination we have to think about a web in which links don't matter.

It's hard to imagine, isn't it?

Links perform a fantastic task in extending networks of trust. They point people who are interested in one piece of content, or one person's view, at another they might find useful.

They did a great job at discovering people through content.

But we're entering a world in which content is discovered through people.

Here being pointed at is less important than being taken with.

Of course you still have to have something useful and relevant for someone to choose to take your service or content with them.

And your service or message should be adaptable by the receiver so they can better shape it to be relevant to the community of purpose they are currently interacting with.

The rules that make something pointworthy remain true. You can't just make your press releases into an rss, for example.

But portability is the new linking.

It's how we share stuff with each other, through our connections with and to each other.Users are off on their own journeys and if you aren't ready or useful enough to be taken with them and shared among them, you'll be left on your own.

By the way, you can take FasterFuture with you (latest posts and tweets) in the widget you'll find at the bottom of the left column.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?