It's a holiday weekend here in the States, and I'll spend it doing something I haven't done in over 4 years: camping. There are 112°F where we're going, which I learnt to be 45° Celsius. While you're reading this, I'll likely be struggling to stay alive under the Southern California sun. Please enjoy your AC and the other conquests of our civilization for me.
This week we'll talk about content. I'll share:
- A framework for how agencies should think about content in today's crowded market,
- How curating content is becoming just as important as creating it,
- How to make branded content without losing your soul,
- The rise digital gardens - new individualized, creative sites that eschew the one-size-fits-all look and feel of social media.
🧠 Brain Food
5 minute read | Steve Bryant
There are lot of golden nuggets in this Twitter thread by Steve Bryant:
"Every type of story an agency might tell fits within this 2x2. The telling of these stories is a strategic activity. That is, an activity done to assist the agency’s competitive position. And, because an agency only has so much money and time for its strategic activities, the agency needs to make decisions about which stories to tell.
This is why most agencies have historically focused on The Wins and The Work. Wins get you more of work. Work can be submitted for wins. And both wins and work get the attention of creatives, who make the work that gets the wins.
Here’s the problem, tho. The market has gotten crowded. Once there were fewer agencies that offered fewer services. Those agencies serviced fewer customers for longer periods of time. The agencies had pricing power. Now there are many agencies that specialize in many different services. Those agencies service more customers for shorter periods of time. The customer now has pricing power. Classic acceleration scenario: everything has gotten much faster and more complex.
But if you want to differentiate & build an owned audience that you can influence, the opportunity is content. The opportunity is picking an audience & then understanding how the agency can help that audience be a better version of themselves."
6 minute read | Medium
"With more creators, more content, and more choice than ever before, consumers are now being consumed by a state of analysis paralysis. The real scarcity isn’t content anymore. It’s attention. When it’s impossible to absorb everything from the flood of information, the best we can do is pick and choose what matters to us most — or, better yet, find the people who can do the curating for us."
Thanks for choosing me to be one of those people, stranger of the Internet.
5 minute read | Filmsupply
A great interview with Joel and Jesse Edwards, founders of Emmy award winning production company Evolve Studios:
"If success is based on views, or the content selling, or hype, then you’ll probably make soulless content before you make soulful content. The world needs less artists that are only concerned with how many clicks, likes, or views that they’re getting, and it needs more artists that are concerned with who they are becoming because of what they’re creating; or how it’s encouraging other people to become better versions of themselves. If you can measure the success of your content based on how people are connecting with it and how it’s changing them—that’s what I’m more interested in."
6 minute read | MIT Technology Review
"Digital gardens explore a wide variety of topics and are frequently adjusted and changed to show growth and learning, particularly among people with niche interests. Through them, people are creating an internet that is less about connections and feedback, and more about quiet spaces they can call their own.
Beneath the umbrella term, however, digital gardens don’t follow rules. They’re not blogs, short for “weblogs,” a term that suggests a time-stamped record of thought. They’re not a social-media platform—connections are made, but often it’s through linking to other digital gardens, or gathering in forums like Reddit and Telegram to nerd out over code.
Tom Critchlow, a consultant who has been cultivating his digital garden for years, spells out the main difference between old-school blogging and digital gardening. “With blogging, you’re talking to a large audience,” he says. “With digital gardening, you’re talking to yourself. You focus on what you want to cultivate over time.”
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🎁 Box Of Random
Windows 95 launched 25 year ago this week. Feel old yet?
Apple, on the other hand, just made a commercial to remind us it really wants to be seen as a privacy protector.
A library of resources for newsletter creators.
56 Marketing Tools + Resources To Increase Your Productivity
Reddit’s Cheeky Marketing Campaign Encourages Users to Vote.
And if you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way. If there's something I like more than beer, it's finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.Stay classy,
-Gian🍺Buy me a beer
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