Content – uh, Data – is King

dataBeing the media hound that I once was, in a previous life, the mantra was always “Content is King.”   Okay.  So, for example, people go to Perez Hilton’s website is because of his snarky gossip upon his (poor?) victims.  Whether you like it or not, Perez Hilton has  relevent, branded content.  For me, personally, I enjoy cooking and I go to Epicurious.com for recipes.  I know they come from Cooking Light or Gourmet, and I love those two brands.  Sports Illustrated is another wonderful example of Content is King.  The SI Swimsuit issue is a staple in life, we all look forward to it, and want to consume as much information about it as possible.

So on the one hand, Content Is King. But is it monetize-able?

I have been thinking about data lately.  Data on people, data on shoppers, data on internet activity, data, data, data. Ok, I am also a self-professed data junkie who likes to find correlations in data.  I like to find the answers to questions by data mining.  Some days, I actually enjoy data mining.  However, I am not the best at this – there are others that this comes naturally.  I have to work hard at it, as I am not a natural at deciphering mountains of data and putting them in pretty charts.  But, I still do enjoy it.

Anyways….

Social Mediums now, (ie: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), all have a tremendous amount of data on each of us.  They know what we like, who our networks/friends are, what applications we choose to add to our profiles, what our music tastes are, what our email and blog addresses are, where we work, what our kids look like, what we are thinking at a particular moment in time.  Personally, they know that I am single, I am quitting smoking, I have lived in over 4 states, I have a college education, I live in NYC, etc., etc.  This data is worth its weight in gold to an advertiser that has a product that is geared to traveling single women who have extra cash (from not smoking) and like a certain type of music (food, drink, etc.)

I wrestle with the concept of what will make money on the internet – what is the next new monetizable product to come out of it.  Social media, I do not believe, is the best way to make money.  It could be a good advertising avenue for products, but it is probably not going to make you any money.  It goes against the grain — I don’t want to pay for anything when it comes to social media – I don’t want to pay to talk to my friends or put pictures of my family up.  It won’t happen, not for me anyways.  If I had to pay to “tweet” my 140 characters out, forget it.  Wouldn’t happen.

Will the metrics to determine a target audience change?  Probably.  What about demographics?  Will it still be a demographic/target audience of 25-45, females or, will it be 23-29 females with 1 or more roommates who work a full time job and freelance on the side, who spend time on social media outlets, and tweet more than 5 tweets a day, and visits and spends a lot of time at Bluefly.com but spends her money at Kohls.com? (No, I’m not talking about me!)  I am beginning to think it could be the latter.  There is such a plethora of data out there on all of us, that each advertiser could feasibly advertise specifically to me.  Me, the single woman who is not travel avert, who likes to read and write, and works in tech, who is active in social mediums and really needs our new product.

Let the advertiser advertise straight to their specific customer.  But, perhaps, maybe, the social media content pages will be the vehicle for that?  I don’t know.  I need to mull on it a bit more.  What do you think?

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