This post is about the poiesis of relationships on the Web and the essence of their content. In marketing communications speak, this post provides several dots to connect in order to see the new communication scenario we are all in, and start weaving the Web, accordingly.
Definitions of web content, in the context of marketing communications and related areas, omit, or interconnect in a shallow way, key characteristics of web content, such as metadata and hypertext.
In digital marketing communications web content is rarely discussed or defined as a phenomenon which is formally and functionally different from any other content. As a result both the potential reach and the impact of the created marketing content for the Web diminish because fewer content communication aspects are taken into account.
This has to change.
Knock, knock, content weaver…
Cyberspace comprises a variety of diverse participants, interacting on multiple levels with multiple purposes. The rising complexity of this space, made of writing and code, and being a public battleground for private business, calls for a strategic shift in marketing communications practices. A shift directed towards caring for the digital ecosystem we all live and work in.
To gain competitive edge companies now are to care more about the impact of their digital footprint on the Web and the way they talk, listen and engage online, in other words about the way they strategize their marketing communications.
The shift’s Why: Cybermarketscape
The shift in how an organization would approach content on the Web starts with a change in perspective.
Here’s one perspective from 1998 (sic!).
Given the nature of this cybemarketscape, to be seen, acknowledged and paid attention to, marketing communications are to care for:
a) The Web as a public sphere full of conversations [Link to a transcript of: TheSeries Intertextual Animal, Episode 1: Digital Communication and We, the Web Weavers with David Amerland]
b) The customer as a the stakeholder to be engaged in a meaningful dialogue [Google Slides link to the presentation Knowledge Graphs and the Dialogic Potential of the Web]
c) Content as semantic capital [Link to a blog post: Seeing Enterprise Content as Semantic Capital ]
d) Data as the world’s greatest free resource that grows in quality when shared [ref. Gurin, Joel. Open Data Now: the Secret to Hot Startups, Smart Investing, Savvy Marketing, and Fast Innovation. McGraw-Hill Education, 2014]
The shift’s How: The Corporate Netizen Learns to Write On the Web
Writing for the Web is different from writing for print or any other pre-Web paradigms of thought exchange, although a recent article argues the opposite. [Link to the article Myths and realities of writing for the web]
Writing on the Web is a technology we are just starting to learn to use. While writing for the Web can be seen as formally and functionally close to writing for print, such a perspective deprives it of the opportunities hypermedia environments and its texts open for us to connect, understand and know more.
To write well on the Web, we need to be aware of the metamorphoses of text on the Web [link to a transcribed talk with Cruce Saunders: The Semantic Web and Linked Data with Teodora Petkova] and the world behind our looped writer’s and reader’s eye.
The Shift’s Meraki: Things to Think When Weaving Texts on the Web
Everything under electric conditions is looped. You become folded over into yourself. Your image of yourself changes completely.McLuhan in https://bit.ly/2ET8qqY
I am not a fan of recipes. Rather of theoretical and conceptual collisions. Stories live in collisions. That is what I know in my bones and have learnt from my professor in Ancient Greek Mythology and Culture – prof. Bogdan Bogdanov.
So instead of giving some ready to bake solutions, I prefer to share with you some parallels I have arrived at during my marketing communications on the Web meanders.
Here they are (followed by some rabbit holes for us to loose ourselves in :))
1. Understanding and connecting to The Other through new interpretative routes
2. Writing as building complex molecular models with your reader
Think Negroponte (1990) and then fastforward to Knowledge Graphs:
3. Reading as navigating hypermedia cyberscapes
Think what Links, Fractals and Information Plumbing we are providing the reader (and the Web of People) with.
4. The Web as a digital tabula full of traces of semiotic processes
Think digital marginalia. and knowledge conservation.
Instead of an Epilogue: Rabbit holes.
Berners-Lee, Tim, James Hendler & Ora Lassila. 2001. The Semantic Web. Scientific American 284(5). 34–43.
Barret, Eduard. 1988. Text, ConText and HyperText: Writing with and for a Computer. The MIT Press.
Ingersoll, Grant S., Thomas S. Morton, Andrew L. Farris & Elizabeth D. Liddy. 2013. Taming text: how to find, organize, and manipulate it. Manning.
Sharples, Mike & Thea van der Geest. 1996. The new writing environment: writers at work in a world of technology. Springer.
Hoffman, Donna & Novak, Thomas. (1998). A New Marketing Paradigm for Electronic Commerce. The Information Society. 13.
Vitali-Rosatti, Marcelo. Digital Architectures: The Web, Editorialization, and Metaontology. [online]. Available from: blog.sens-public.org/marcellovitalirosati/digital-architectures-the-web-editorialization-and-metaontology/.
Egan, J. Private Business-Public Battleground: the Case for 21st Century Stakeholder Companies. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Alladi Venkatesh. 1998. Cybermarketscapes and consumer freedoms and identities. European Journal of Marketing 32, 7/8 (August 1998), 664–676. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1108/03090569810224065
Doueihi, Milad. Digital cultures. Harvard University Press. 2011.