Solving real problems

Yesterday, I wrote about the value of social referrals and the big-data opportunity that publishers can organize around. Earlier this month, a report on the San Jose Mercury News web site underscored the shift toward metrics.

Covering the Disrupt conference, columnist Chris O'Brien commented on "the almost total absence of social media and social networking from the conference." At first glance, that observation might undercut the value I gave to social platforms in yesterday's post.

Digging deeper, O'Brien found that the conference wasn't predicting the end of social platforms, just acknowledging their ubiquity. He captured Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg and currently a partner at Google Ventures, making this point:

"I think social will always be this layer we put on top of our content. I don't know that I'm seeing a lot of desire for new social networks. There is a lot of fatigue going on whenever there's a new app that wants me to redefine my social graph one more time."

What remains interesting, at least to the organizers of the Disrupt conference, are companies that "focus on solving real problems." That was the interesting part of yesterday's example: the Financial Times found ways to use social platforms to drive site traffic.

Of course, talking about problems (and their solutions) reminds me of what Daniel Jones and James Womack said about lean consumption: "By minimizing customers' time and effort and delivering exactly what they want, when and where they want it, companies can reap huge benefits."

Let's go there. 

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.