Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Explode Your Content Online - NPR

Exploding your content means allow your content to be accessed in whatever way and place anyone wants, whether they are human or machine. Now that the NPR API is live, other content providers should follow suit. They need to build APIs, many feeds and other technologies to explode their content onto the internet everywhere.

History has shown that the audience will find your content with or without your help. The audience wants to be entertained and they will go elsewhere if they can't get it from you. The audience wants to watch what they want, where they want, when they want. If you work with them you have some influence on how. If you don't, they'll track down the pirated version instead.

The audience wants to pay you, and engage with you. Let them and make it easy.

Fail to let them buy from you, and they'll still get your content, but not from you, and not from someone working with you (like not from a site using your API).

It's still your content no matter where it ends up. With feeds, APIs and allowing embedding you can monitor use, see what the audience likes and dislikes and wants to mash up. Making it easy for the world to get your content from you, even if it's in a new context, keeps you in the conversation.

If you try to keep total iron-fisted control over the how and when your content is accessed, you have two options:

  1. Fight a future that is already here.
  2. Lose your audience.

Working with the reality that the internet is designed to share information gives you many options and keeps your audience engaged with you (and not engaged with a pirate). It lets you do things like integrate an easy way for your ads to still be shown with the mash ups and new creations; you still can make money everywhere your content was going to to end up anyway.

With your content accessible in many forms, it can actually be made more valuable too, to both your bottom line and the world. Imagine:

  • a radio show player that integrates real time twitters from Twitter's search (formerly Summize), keeping the conversation about NPR in NPR's reach
  • a service that puts all of NPR's content together with others, filters and informs the content using Yahoo's BOSS, AideRSS's Postrank or other services
  • this is the tip of a very big iceberg

You can choose, as NPR has, to be ..looking forward to the inventive ways that you will use our content (from

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