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The King is dead. Long Live the King!

Today I ran into this funny visual from David Armano:

It really captured my attention for two different reasons.

First is that I have been pondering the reality of ever-decreasing attention spans for readers. It seem like anything over 500 words is a thesis these days as most people, including myself, have time only for a quick scan of any communication. A long email, an extended blog comment or a web page with words and no pictures all seem unusual even from a visual perspective. In the context of electronic media this is partly because of the size of the screen and how much people are able to see without pressing the down arrow. While I do bemoan the PowerPoint mentality and complain sometimes about people looking for life in bullet points, I also appreciate the challenge of stating the things briefly and to the point. Crisp and clear communication is good. I think of it like reduction in cooking – done right, you get a richer sauce at the end of it !

My second point about this visual stems from this. What is the motivation to write if someone else has got the essence of the idea? If someone else has said it, and said it well, why should we say it again? Like, Share, Retweet are all great ways to make sure the idea gets communicated. It looks like this visual was made a few years ago. Today photographs and repins are also in this category.

The web is an insatiable beast that constantly demands content. In the beginning we responded by producing more and more – more words and more images. Now we have figured out that social and sharing are the fun elements here and so there is a lot of content curation. We now know that the key in new media is not just the content but the relationships and networks. Connecting and reciprocating are as critical as creating.

I believe it is time to say it. Content is no longer king. Let me rephrase that; it’s a team thing now – Content & Community Rule the Web!