Share the conversation

Focus on conversation


This morning I read an interesting essay here called Death to the Mass – Media must rebuild its business around relevance and value, not volume. 

The title caught my eye because a central aim of Ballymena Today is relevance and value in our content. We are not as concerned about the volume of content we create and share. We are more concerned about the conversation that happens as a result of what we say, what we do and how we say and do. That has always been a priority. Focus on conversation even though the conversation of others cannot be held in our hands or controlled by us.

I want to pull out two very important quotes from the linked article –

…imagine instead if news were a service whose aim is to help people improve their lives and communities by connecting them not only to information, but also to each other, with a commercial model built on value over volume. Imagine if news understood its role not as a vertically integrated industry that owns and controls a scarcity — the printing press, the broadcast tower, delivery trucks, the audience, space or time in media, and lately attention — but rather as a member of the community it serves and as a player in a larger, complex ecosystem of information, data, technology, and relationships

Our Ballymena Today team does not merely want you to come here, read and then share the content we create. We want you to connect to each other. Customer to business. Citizen to organisation. Person to person. We strive to encourage the ecosystem mentioned above. Information, data, technology and relationships.

Last year, I attended VidCon — the Comic-Con of YouTube — where I learned that in young people’s lives, content is not a product to be consumed. For them, content is a social token that feeds their conversations / If we follow this notion to its logical conclusion, content is no longer a product or a destination — and perhaps no longer a brand — but merely a cog in someone else’s conversation.

All of the images, articles, status updates, tweets and snapchats… it’s all conversation. A lot of this is a one-way conversation with users shouting into the wind and never receiving a response but, maybe that’s ok! What if you have an audience? A customer base? A community?

What are you saying? More importantly, what are people saying to you? Are you paying attention?

If you are a local Ballymena business and you are trying to figure out social media then, maybe you need to stop thinking about one-size-fits-all tricks and tips to boost reach and blah blah blah.

Focus on value, relevance. Focus on conversation. Listen more.

Then focus on conversation again!