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content marketing: when barriers to entry are a good thing

July 25, 2010

In one of his recent posts, marketing guru and author of change (his words, not mine) Seth Godin talks about how the newspaper, magazine and book publishing industries will be unrecognizable in 10 years’ time. The logic behind Godin’s prediction? Removing paper and printing from the business model strips out time and costs, therefore removing many of the financial barriers to entry while providing more timely information and content.

On some counts this is a good thing. The new digital era of publishing means that aspiring authors and writers can get their work noticed more easily; they can create and share their content and, if it’s good, build an online following. They can promote and self-publish their material without having to rely on an agent, a publicist or an editor recognizing and nurturing their skills and talent.

On other counts, it’s not so good. Nowadays, everybody has a blog. Most are dull, self serving garbage and re-hashes of other people’s thoughts and opinions. You can now download e-books in PDF form on just about every subject under the sun. Many of these books, which can be created by anybody with access to cheap desktop publishing software, are poorly structured and littered with spelling and grammatical errors.

Just because, as Godin says, “there’s no shortage of writing, or things to read” doesn’t necessarily mean they are worthy of reading.

Sometimes, barriers to entry are a good thing.

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