'Lazysphere' Gives Brands Chance to Be Digital Curators

Steve Rubel on Digital Communications

By Published on .

To date, it's been darn near impossible to characterize bloggers as lackadaisical. It takes a lot of work to consistently create high-quality content that people want to link to. But the essays, in-depth analyses and spirited debates that permeated the blogosphere during its early days have fallen off dramatically. Enter the Lazysphere.

The Lazysphere consists of millions of bloggers who, rather than create original, thought-provoking content, simply add quick "me too" posts. Many of them are trying to catch waves. Some aim to land on high-traffic sites such as Techmeme that automatically cluster blog links around the day's top stories. Others hope Google will archive their content favorably later.

Steve Rubel
Photo: JC Bourcart
Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP in Edelman's Me2Revolution practice.
Friendfeed.com, a "life-streaming" site that rolls up all the content your friends create, is the latest rage. It burst on the scene in late February and has attracted interest from many of the web's leading voices.

Then there are the full-time bloggers. Sites such as The Huffington Post, GigaOm and PaidContent.org are ramping up and using their new-venture financing to attract top talent. And newspapers, not to be left out, are keeping up by building blog franchises around their big-name journalists on high-interest topics such as sports, autos or technology. The New York Times' Bits blog is the archetypal model.

All of this means that the competition to become an online influencer has never been more formidable. This is especially difficult for those who blog on the side. Most won't bother to try.

On the flip side, the trend spells a big opportunity for digital marketers who can invest. As the web continues to expand, it cries out for digital curators. Every niche needs someone trustworthy -- a blogger, a journalist or a brand rep -- who is willing to aggregate content, separate art from junk and add analysis.

Now is the time for brands to identify such unmet niches and to pursue them with gusto. The potential payoffs are huge for first movers: brand equity, engagement and search-engine visibility. Own your zone while you can, because the bigger the unmet vertical is, the sooner it will be met by someone else -- perhaps your competition.
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