When talking about content, the first premise to consider is that for most companies, competing online via “new technology” has become more and more difficult. The truth is, regardless of company size, there can only be a select few winners in the contest to be the best “technology-driven” business online.
True, the technological lead sometimes changes hands, like it did away from AOL and MySpace to the current leaders in their respective fields. But those occurrences are becoming rare. Companies such as Google have gained so much mass, brand equity and momentum that it may be years before they are supplanted in any meaningful way. They won’t be handing off their lead in many categories anytime soon.
No, the way to compete today is by becoming a purveyor of content. Drive traffic to your website, platform or service by creating and sharing valuable information to your target audiences. Fill a niche market. Find a group or segment with unmet needs, and fulfill them.
And this is exactly what AOL and MySpace have done. AOL bought the blog network Weblogs, home to many popular blogs, such as Engadget and Joystiq; and they now employ over 3,000 freelance writers and more than 150 full-time journalists. More >
I recently read an interesting article that explored the histories of two former online titans, AOL and MySpace, web companies that seemed to have the world on a string. Once the leaders of two gigantic categories, Internet Service Providers and Social Network Media, what went so wrong?
While some bad business decisions, such as the disastrous “merger of the century” between Time Warner and AOL, certainly share some of the blame, that isn’t what killed either AOL or MySpace. No, what took these companies to the brink was the outdated technology they offered to consumers.
AOL’s core business in the ’90s was dial-up Internet, which was wildly profitable then. Their groundbreaking platform was many people’s first introduction to the Internet and World Wide Web, including my own. (akl26jimbo, for those of you that have known me long enough to remember) But it seems that very quickly the introduction of Cable Internet and DSL made AOL’s technology obsolete. The tides turned quickly, and the company was too slow to respond.
MySpace had a similar experience. They were the first company to introduce social networking technology to the masses, and grew rapidly at the beginning. But their platform, while groundbreaking and innovative, was also unrefined More >