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Don’t Be An Island: Connecting and Relating Online

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Last week, I wrote about how Shane from Contently spoke about the future of content online, but he wasn’t the only speaker at BlogWorld NY to delve into this topic. Shane co-presented with Andraz from Zemanta who also had a few tips for online content creators who want to safeguard their practices for the future. Most importantly, in my opinion, is that idea that we as bloggers, podcasters, and web TV producers can no longer be islands, out there working by ourselves. A vital part of successfully creating content online is connecting with others.

“Building bridges is what content marketing is all about.” – Andraz Tori, Zemanta

This goes beyond convincing other people to like you and spread your content. In fact, this type of connection is not what the “don’t be an island” advice is all about. It’s true that you do need to connect with people in order to distribute your content well, but first, it’s about connecting with people to ensure that the content you create is good before you even start to distribute.

Citing Your Sources

Others, such as Dave Copeland, also talked about the importance of citing your sources when you’re reporting. And they are right. When you reblog and reblog and reblog of a press release, information gets lost or mixed up along the way. We also have a tendency to skip the legwork of following links all the way back to their original sources, and we instead give credit to someone else who reblogged along the way. This is not only unfair to the original source, but it is also a disservice to your readers. Link out to your sources to make your content better.

Find Inspiration

Connecting with others can also help you find inspiration for your own content. I think this is an important tip because it encourages bloggers, podcasters, and web TV producers to all open lines of communication. Remember, don’t be an island. If someone writes a blog post and you don’t agree with it, write your own post and say why. Link back to that original post and encourage others to do the same. Conversation through online content can be an awesome way to engage you followers.

Better Content

Finally, connecting your readers to more content through links simply makes your content better. Sometimes it isn’t about citing a source or providing a link to the person who inspired your content. Sometimes it is simply about connecting in order to give the reader a place to find more information about a topic. For example, you might link to the background story for a news piece you are writing. Or you might mention a topic in passing and link to a place where readers can find more since you don’t want to devote the space to it. Better content is only possible if you connect with others. We simply do not have enough hours in the day to be the one-stop resource for everything, so we have to turn to our fellow content creators and work together to create a better user experience.

Want to hear more from Andraz and all of our BlogWorld New York 2012 speakers? Consider picking up the virtual ticket to get access to all of the recordings from the show.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


Feedback

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  • MTRHost

    I have had the pleasure of meeting Shane at a Zemanta event and he is a class act. In working with Zemanta I have learned the value of sourcing our work and most importantly ensuring the core content remains unchanged. Their panel was awesome and they work hard.

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