I have 3 thesis about how we consume content: the one I want (because I like it), the one I see it has a future, and the one I can’t understand because it’s counterintuitive.
The one I like is the hypothesis that content rules how we consume news, media and knowledge. This is one of the reasons I like Medium. The content is usually of high quality even if it’s not the one I consume the most (here is where Sergio is right in his post). I would love to read all the great content in only one place without having to be opening apps and tabs.
2-The one with future
The one that I believe it has future is the way Buzzfeed create content. A mix of original content, some linking, some curation and a lot of distribution. The problem is when you focus more in the virality of the content than in the content itself. Most of their readers got used to see lists and funny content so they are not expecting good quality content to come from them (even when it actually does). That is probably the reason why I don’t go to Buzzfeed for my daily dosis of knowledge.
3-The one I can’t understand
The one I can’t understand (because it’s counterintuitive) is the one where I wouldn’t need a platform where to access the content or don’t need to identify a place with “quality content” because the news come to me and I read them where they are produce (remember with no platform, agnostic origin, no friction).
The quality is not defined by the platform but by an AI that knows myself more than I know me. The distribution is directly to my phone in the way I most prefer to consume content. It adapts the content to my preferences, keeping the quality but changing the UI to embrace my best experience.
Trying to make people consume content by opening apps or scrolling down their browser is not necessary the right way to do it. We consume the content in the way is deliver to us. We are adapting ourselves to the vehicles of distribution when it should be the other way around. Some people consume content through newsletters, other through apps, other webapps, on their iphone, ipad, or laptop. We are all different and unique but we have treat our content as this industrial last century production of similarities. We shouldn't tell the consumer how or where to consume, but give it as show wants it where she wants it. Adapt the distribution and content to our habits, not vice versa.
Don’t want the same food Mom!
Part of the conversation with Sergio went on about his post and how we end up consuming the content of our friends on Facebook, or who we follow on Twitter or the people connected with us on LinkedIn.
I believe the algorithms shouldn’t try to categorize you as a certain kind of person. The goal shouldn't be that you consume all the same content, but that you discover and learn new things. In my perfect world we would have “collateral” content being pushed to us. This content is on a subliminal way related to our preferences but directly focus on makes us learn other points of views and new information that we wouldn't have seen if we had voluntarily decided to search for it.
In the case of Sergio (example) it would be pushing content about startups and new companies that are related to his expertise (or that come from Mexico, his home) but that are not hot or not being discovered by the well-known tech media companies. We would get content for what “we will need” and not for what we need now or for what everyone else is talking about now. Let’s call it the anti-FOMO.
Concentric & Directional
This anti-FOMO comes from the thesis that we work in two gears: Concentric & Directional.
Concentric is when everyone that surrounds you is talking about the same things and conversations are always on the same subjects. They can switch and change but it will always turn to be in concentric circles. This will make you hear and read the same as everyone else that surrounds you. Kind of reading Techcrunch, Re/code and Pando if you live in Silicon Valley.
Directional (or also called Tangential) is when a piece of content doesn’t fit the concentric flow of my own circle of conversations or thoughts. The reason is directional is because my brain can't find a way of connection this new content to the flow. It cuts through the flow and makes us stop. Once the content (and knowledge) is incorporated into our thoughts it becomes part of the flow and it becomes part of a concentric circle. A think a perfect example of this is the idea of the existence of Uber or Airbnb and how do they operate. Their existence provides us of a knowledge (or content) that was not possible to understand before. Now is part of the flow.
Sorry, no grammar check or edited. Raw. ☺