Monday, March 23, 2015

Fine-tuning a virtual newspaper

Update on my Paper.li experiment:

A few weeks ago, I set up an online newspaper called PR Nomad. This exercise was enabled by Paper.li, which allows users to select content sources that auto-generate a daily compilation of articles on a topic of interest.

And then, I pretty much left it to seek its audience. I wanted to see how auto-generated content refreshed, and whether it remained compelling. Whether I received nasty-grams or, worse, cease-and-desist orders.

That didn't happen. However...

It's now a few weeks later, and I noticed few headlines repeating as lead stories: puffery about Electronic Post Office Corporation investigating the possibility of becoming a Public Company. CIO white papers. Stuff you wouldn't find interesting, because I didn't find it interesting.

So, I've performed a little housekeeping. PR Nomad will continue as a daily opus. However, I've blacklisted CIO Whitepapers and repeated pseudo-news about Electronic Post Office Corporation -- which I'm pretty sure will emerge as a penny stock, and then vanish.

Tip No. 1: if you're going to start a tech-oriented business in 2015, using the title "post office" -- a quaint Ben Franklin-ism dating well before 1776 -- is not a sound marketing strategy. Unless you're in Asia somewhere, using a 1970s-era dictionary to name your scam website.

Tip No. 2: white papers -- or the current iteration of them as a form of content marketing -- only appealing to authors of other white papers. Many writers disagree on this subject. They obviously have time to read white papers, but most of us don't.

My opinion: they're anachronistic, and in diversity circles, "white paper" leaves an unpleasant after-taste.