Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Floating The Good Stuff from NYMIEG

I attended Bill Sobel's NYMIEG (New York Media Information Exchange Group) this morning at Gallaghers' Steak House on 52nd steet. First the event was worth the cover charge just for the steak and potatoes that were served with breakfast. Check Zagat's for how good Gallagher's steak can be and you can imagine the rest.

So Roger Black gave a compelling prezo on his new venture called Indigo. See an early version here. Dorian Benkoil, the moderator has a good play by play version of the talk on his blog MediaFlect. Roger's talk sparked many debates but the one that jumped out is how media sites can "float the good stuff" for their readers. I couldn't agree more, as this topic really caught my attention. I spend most of my waking hours and some of my sleeping hours trying to solve this exact problem over at Outbrain.

For folks like Roger, who are starting new media ventures, the act of floating the good stuff *every* time readers visit their site is a huge opportunity to increase page views, drive traffic, obtain new readers and increase overall stickiness. For example, I may visit Indigo and find several posts/articles that I love. You many also visit Indigo, see the same posts/articles and find little to no value in them. This is the challenge for media ventures, big and small.

Readers are suffering from information overload and will continue to do so. Just look at the state of the rss reader environment as an example of info overload. Media companies that just add more feeds for readers to further bloat their feedlist is not the answer to true content discovery. Further, some publishers think that displaying a "Most Read" or "Related Links" list is a solution to floating the good stuff but in fact it is not. These lists may be relevant to the site itself, the article itself or the audience as an aggregate group, but not necessarily relevant for me, you and other readers on an *individual* basis.

Think about how many gems were published today on the web that you would have loved to read if you knew they existed. If any of those were from Roger's Indigo, he would have lost valuable page views and the chance to pick up new readers. I would love feedback on this issue from any of the attendees of the breakfast or anybody else. You can comment here on Upwelling or shoot me an email at john (at) outbrain (dot) com. See you at the next NYMEIG event on February 28th.


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