“Do what you do best… and link to the rest”

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One of Jeff Jarvis’s many mantras, and particularly relevant as I continue thinking through my content strategy. Figuring out what to include–from broader things like potential eBook topics, to minor details like which news blurbs to include in a particular post–can be challenging. I started getting feedback from newsletter subscribers, and it’s been useful to see what resonates with readers so far. It’s also helpful to keep sight of my core, short-term goals and target market; I’m not supposed to be the authoritative voice for every rule and every headline in every sport ever. Just do what I can… And link to the rest (or leave that to the guys at ESPN).

We also talked about closing business deals and how hard it can be to convert leads into sales–how to turn someone who’s just interested in the product to an actual buyer. I couldn’t help but think of another sports analogy–closers in baseball. The player whose sole role it is to pitch just one inning, but the last and most important one. They’re paid a lot more than other relievers and get a lot more attention. (There’s a lot of analysis out there on average salaries, Wins Above Replacement, etc., in a debate about whether or not closers are overvalued.) Anyways, I digress. The point is that there’s something to be said for getting past that final tipping point necessary to actually get a business deal done, even if it requires a much smaller percentage of the total time it took to build the relationship with the customer.

And a few interesting tidbits from our trip to Tumblr:

  • When it comes to competition, you’re competing for people’s attention, even if it’s not with a similar product. The example given was that Time‘s main competitor wasn’t just Newsweek, but rather anything people were doing with their time that wasn’t reading Time.
  • The U.S. accounts for 35 percent of Tumblr’s traffic; Brazil is second despite the fact that it’s not translated into Brazilian Portuguese. The reason? Socioeconomic status: Because the majority of lower-class Brazilians don’t know English, using Tumblr is associated with being more educated/higher class.
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