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International Data Group is leading the charge into a new area of custom content related to social media. Charles Lee, senior VP-strategic programs and custom solutions at IDG, calls it “unstructured content.” “Structured content” is traditional formats: custom magazines, webinars, white papers and the like. Unstructured content is, for example, monitoring chatter on social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and responding appropriately, whether with customized tweets, engaging in conversations on Facebook or LinkedIn or pointing people to existing white papers. IDG's Strategic Content Services began offering technology marketers this new unstructured content service earlier this year. “Clients were saying, "We don't know where to be. We don't know how to say what we want to say. And we don't have the resources to be managing all of these conversations in real time.' ” Lee said the response to IDG's new service has been extremely positive. “It's ramping up much more quickly than we thought it would,” he said. Lee is bullish about business media companies—many of which have been creating daily newsletters and posting hourly to websites for a decade or more—and their continuing role in this custom content revolution. “It's exactly in our wheelhouse,” Lee said. “This is what we've based our business on, building relationships through content.” M
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