Niche editorial more important than ever to counter information overload

Filed as News on October 31, 2009 12:02 pm

Listening to some people talk, editors are a dying breed because we’re in the age of user-generated, crowdsourced content.

Yet consumers are relying on the human touch to help them find the best information and resources online, according to a number of speakers at the Digital Media Conference in San Francisco earlier this week.

We have access to unprecedented levels of information, but not all of it is useful, and the sheer volume leads to a complete overload of the senses.

What web users increasingly want are specialised sites that either create or aggregate quality content in one place.

Sometimes, the likes of Digg and Delicious cut it, but not always. Relying purely on algorithms and user voting (which is often biased by power users) doesn’t always cause the cream to rise to the top.

This is surely good news for bloggers and traditional media outlets (presuming that they find the best medium to publish in).

Simply aggregating content is unlikely to cut it any more, but intelligent commentary and linking on niche sites will still draw an audience.

Yes, some niches are highly crowded and unfortunately quantity often reigns over quality, favouring larger media organisations, but that isn’t to say that independent bloggers can’t carve a niche for themselves with original content.

In a world of Twitter’s short messages and a preference for posting short blog posts on the go, it’s easy to believe that longer, well crafted editorial is on its way out, but I don’t think that’s the case.

If you have the passion and expertise in a niche subject, you can still build up an audience, if you continue to post authentic, compelling content. You don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles that many people add these days, either, though a healthy social media presence isn’t a bad thing.

Even more so than when blogging first became popular, anyone and everyone can publish anything and everything.

That creates a lot of noise.

Not everyone can write compelling content, and not everyone can sift through the flood of information and then publish only the really good bits.

Can you?

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