the 5 commandments for online content

The very fact, that the news of AOL acquiring Huffington Post, did not get a broad response in music related blogs proves once again the music industries inability to take advantage or to involve themselves into the online content business. What AOL does or plans to do will change the very basis of what we call independent content production, of how and which content will enable revenues online, and how much will this be.

So if you plan to sell content online in the near future, you should be aware who sets which standarts and why.

This is the core of the leaked internal AOL manual of how to generate revenue online. It’s rather simple, no rocket science, and can be boiled down to five bullet points:

  • Identify High-Demand topics (top search phrases e.g. via google or existing CMS), means what do your readers search for?
  • scan existing content and make it up again or rearrange it as news
  • generate new content that fits for potential sponsors
  • hook up to third parties/ providers that already generate a lot of traffic before putting effort in generating your own stuff
  • distribute and cross link everything to all channels YOU manage to channel traffic within your own environment

The phrase you’re thinking of is secondary and third usage of content.

And jip – what AOL is outlining in their master plan in order to become the biggest ‘editorial’ media channel there is, is called copy-paste journalism.

The bitter fact is, SEO and following high demand topics already do have a significant impact on the quality of content. But reading AOLs master plan could also be read as a capitulation and retreat. Not that it was AOLs business at any time to deliver quality journalism, but it sets the course of how online content will develop in the near future.

Poor, very poor.


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