Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Go Long on Good Writing (Investors: here's another great stock tip)

Here's a bold statement: At this moment in history, the quality of written content is more important than it has ever been. It is more important culturally and commercially, to a larger percentage of the population.

Notwithstanding bad grammar, abbreviations like "thru" and "nite" (pet peeve), and the proliferation of acronyms like "nbd" and "WTF?", good writing is like an undervalued stock right now. Google and social media are raising the value of the written word. And if businesses want to get people's attention, they are going to have to pay more attention to writing and writers.

Why? Indexing, ranking, and the social media. Google's search algorithm is based not just on how many keywords are on a page, but more importantly, how many other sites link to a site. Then there are social media tools like Digg, del.icio.us, and dozens of others, which allow people to rank and bookmark their favorite content. Popularity drives traffic--and quality drives popularity.

Here's an article on a blog called SEOBook: If People Hate Your Writing, Google Hates Your Website. It discusses how automatically generated and repurposed content--which appears to be the bane of good writing--just isn't going to fly in the Web 2.0 world. Why? Because if actual people don't start reading it, it won't go viral; and if it doesn't go viral, it won't build traffic.

If The Content Factor were a publicly held company, my advice would be: Buy and Hold. Hey, Paul, ever consider an IPO?

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