About Contents, Identities, Reputations and Their Management in the Era of Social Media

While the importance of content and of managing it has been recognized for a long time, the subject assumed a good deal of primacy when sites and portals, marketing various products and services, proliferated and blogs came into their own. It has never been more important than presently,  in the era of Social Media.

The primary objective of any content is to grab and hold the viewers attention and to get the intended message across in a manner which is remembered and which triggers reshares and repeat visits to sites or blogs. Given the fact that zettabytes of content are being generated every year, managing the content and being able to categorize, classify and tag it in a manner which makes for easy retrievability & reusability, assumes a great deal of importance.

The objective of this piece is not to get into the details of content management which is a rapidly evolving subject by itself, particularly in view of the multiplying volumes of both structured and unstructured content and the multiplicity of channels where such content can be used or shared.

Since today's web is an endless 24x7x365 cycle fed by content and social actions, products and services are increasingly realizing that content is currency and social actions are the marketplace transactions which lead to the desired eyeballs and level of attention. To remain relevant, not only do products or services continually need to come up with content that is interesting, useful and timely, they also need to adapt to a 'social publishing model' that best feeds the social graph and the hungry, never-ending publishing cycle for their target segments. Getting their strategy and the mix right for owned, earned and paid media is integral to this process.

Amidst all this, the significance of content management platforms should not be lost sight of. Check out this case study about how a small experiment at the +Washington Post revolutionized its content management platform, enabling it to achieve the goals it had set for itself.

Given the growing volume and velocity of content, it being discoverable through search engines has never been more important than now. However, the transition to a semantic web has rendered hors de combat many SEOs who held out the promise of stellar search rankings to their clients in the pre-semantic era of search engines.

While 'Semantic Search' is a work-in-progress, many do not quite understand what exactly it signifies. Possibly one of the best ways to explain it simply is to excerpt the explanation from +David Amerland's book on the subject, titled "Google Semantic Search - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques ....". Check out the relevant excerpt, below.

"The best way to think of Semantic Search is like a search light that picks up all the different data nodes of the Web and follows them around, creating a picture of how they link up, who they belong to, who created them, what else they created, who they are, who they were and what they do. 
At its most basic level, semantic search applies meaning to the connections between the different data nodes of the Web in ways that allow a clearer understanding of them than we have ever had, to date."

With the transition to semantic search, online identity, variously referred to at times as 'online personal branding' or 'personal reputation management' (PRM) assumes a great deal of importance. The online identity management process has a lot to do with the quantity & quality of traffic to sites that have content related to a person or, in the case of businesses, a brand. The objective in this case is to have high rankings for as many sites as possible while searching for an identity. A related aspect is 'impression management' which can be broadly defined as the process by which people or brands try to control the impressions that others have about them. One of the key objectives in this case is to increase the 'online reputation' of a person or a brand.

Social media networks, together with blogs, portals and sites play a key role in the online identity and reputation of a person or a brand. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to monitor and manage their online identities on an ongoing basis and to have a disaster management plan in place in case of unforeseen events or contingencies which could adversely affect their online reputation.

+David Amerland's article about Identity and Reputation Management and why this is important for businesses can be read here .