Context is King

When I first started working on web projects many years ago, everyone was running around, clucking that "content is king". This fueled the growth of many "internet companies" and also led to their failure. But now, as we are entering (or in the midst of) a second expansion, there are many conversations that sound very familiar. I am getting a sense of deja vu.

Seth Godin neatly points out that, while content is important, it is the context that is MOST important on the web. And while we had an inkling of this importance many years ago and corporatised it with statements like "levelling the playing field", marketers are now becoming aware of the power of the conversations (and recommendations) delivered via blogs, social networks/bookmarks and lenses such as Squidoo. But, of course, not all marketers — there are a number of ostriches out there masquerading as marketers — are interested. But, hey, they don’t read blogs.

Do a small test on this. Write a story on your blog about someone. Put the link into the post and provide some context. Also put that link into your blogroll list in the margin. Then send your friend an email and ask how many referrals occurred via each of those links. I bet you can already guess which one performed the best.