As you hopefully read in my last post about our new branding
, Floor64 has separated out the Insight Community
brand from the Techdirt blog. However, that doesn't mean the two won't still work together happily. In fact, we're also launching a new effort today, that will allow Insight Community cases to appear directly within Techdirt. You will see the first such integrated Insight Community case on the site in a short while.
Starting a Real Conversation, Rather Than Advertising
The idea here is similar to what we started last week with American Express sponsoring
an Insight Community case concerning how small businesses are responding to the current financial crisis, the results of which are starting to appear
on American Express' Open Forum blog. In situations like that, where we believe the wider Techdirt community would be intrigued by, and benefit from, the wider conversation, we'll be placing those cases directly on the Techdirt blog. Thus, a selection of Insight Community cases that are relevant to the Techdirt community will start appearing directly on the blog, allowing members to jump right in to respond (and for non-members to join up and participate).
This evolution fits in nicely as one of the many ways that the new Insight Community can be used by companies to generate insight and engage with the broader community. Integrating Insight Community cases into Techdirt is based on our strong belief about content and its relationship to advertising
. Traditional, annoying, intrusive advertising is a market that won't last -- especially in economically troubled times. It's based on the false belief that there are still captive audiences.
While the online advertising market is still a big one, it's going to need to change. It's entirely focused on a one way push. Companies that buy advertising are pushing a message to an audience. The site is just the one-way pathway to get to that audience -- and that audience often doesn't care about the message being pushed. That's simply not that effective for the advertiser. And yes, before people point it out, we do include some advertising on Techdirt, though we think that the companies buying those ads could spend their money more effectively by actually engaging the community here.
Engage the Community, Reward the Community and Get Value Back
So, rather than focus on that one-way street of merely pushing "message" at an audience, we believe strongly that the concept of "advertising" needs to diminish, and in its place, the focus should be on providing good content
that provides real value
to all participants. That means not just viewing things as a one way street, but actually engaging
the community of folks a company is trying to reach by getting back insight from
them and then rewarding
those in the community who provide that insight. This is much more of a win-win situation than advertising. It's about actually creating value -- about building an insightful discussion that everyone benefits from, and then making sure that those who participate can be rewarded both monetarily and through reputation, rather than just being seen as a "target" market.
Thus, rather than focusing on "advertising's" one way street to pushing a message on our community, we're asking companies who are interested in the Techdirt community to actually engage
with them via the Insight Community
, where not only can they start a real dialogue, they can learn from the community, gain valuable insights that can be used elsewhere, and reward the community for participating. That seems a lot more effective and valuable than "advertising." It's about good content and a real conversation where everyone benefits.