Cross-pollinating content benefits you, me, Mark and Rupert

Two things made me think about how content might begin to flow across networks.

The first was watching Charlene Li at South By Southwest (the video) ask about ‘what will it take Faceboook and MySpace, Google and Yahoo play nice, and allow us to migrate data backa and forth.

The second a news item I heard Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson talk about, where The Guardian is letting developers access its API use its Open Platform to re-purpose content.

This is where all media organizations have been hesitant to go, because they see their content as the crown jewels. I don’t blame them, for now. But what happens when content tends to get created by people outside the organization? By freelancers, by citizen journalists who are so coveted by everyone from the CNNs of this world to local newspapers. Wouldn’t they want to take their content with them, to their Facebook page or blog? Facebook is learning this the hard way –via Facebook protests like this!

It’s coming to a point when cross-pollinated content –for want of a better term– will be more valuable than the original. That’s why the mash-up video is so much more compelling than the original ad, the curated content and the RSS feed more rewarding than a visit to the source.

If you take this blog post and add a new dimension to it, add a few links, sidebars and comments, my readers might find it more interesting than the original piece. Yes, we are going to bump into copyright issues, but along the way we are going to learn to ‘play nice’ as Charlene said.

Speaking of which, just today, the copyright owner Rob Cottingham, emailed me to say how much he loved the use of his cartoon in a post about Twitter on IABC xChange. He asked if I could give him credit, which I promptly did. Just that small gesture of asking and not suing made his cartoon and my post that much more valuable. (The one used above is his as well and perfect for the SXSW conference I referenced.) Who knows, Rob’s cartoons, Noise To Signal, might influence someone to think harder and bring more clarity to a topic becuase he decided to let his content migrate into mine.

Maybe Murdock and Zukerberg could learn something from Cottingham.

Josh and Charlene named “Visionaries” for Groundswell

Congratulations to Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff on being named ‘visionaries of the year‘ by SNCR, the Society for New Communications Research (whose founders are the who’s who of social media.)

By many standards, Groundswell is the most imortant book of the year that answers the Why and How of social media. It’s hard for me to stop talking about it –my upcoming article in IABC’s Communication World is about it.

The authors have demystified the social media hype and given every practitioner something substantial to turn to: case studies, ROI calculations the online Social Technographics tool etc.

Quotes for the week ending 22 Dec, 2007

“Forgive me for being an old fart, but today’s “social networks” look to me like yesterday’s online services.”

Doc Searls, on why he is not joining a debate on whether brands should build their own, or join social networks.

“If I were a brand or agency, I would be down at the picket lines seeing if some of this top story-telling talent was available for freelance work.”

Joe Marchese, in Online Spin, on the impact of the writers’ strike, and what ad agencies should be considering.

“Democrats are at least 10% more likely to do just about anything involving social technologies. The Republicans are the opposite — they’re a lot LESS likely to participate.”

Josh Bernoff, on Charlene Li’s blog at Forrester Research, commenting on the social media profile of presidential candidates in the U.S. elections.

“At the end of A Bug’s Life, the main character, Flick, finally convinces all the ants that they have to stand up to the grasshoppers who’ve kept them repressed for years …It’s what happens when we all have a voice, and distribution, and the ability to get together and say something.”

Chris Brogan, co-founder of Podcamp, about how Social Media is a Bug’s Life.

“Googlepedia is perhaps a more direct rival to Larry Sanger’s Citizendium, which aims to build a more authoritative Wikipedia-type resource under the supervision of vetted experts.”

Commenter Ben Vershbow of IF (The institute of the future of the book) analyzing knol, Google’s answer to Wikipedia, that was launched this week.

The word “weblog” celebrates the 10th anniversary of it being coined on 17 December 1997.

BBC, on the birthday of the word that got all this started!