Digital as Body Language, Content as Style

Savvy businesses are benefiting from the generous amount of time people are spending online. Thanks to technology, every day can lead to a cyber Monday.

We're now seeing the convergence of online access with offline availability, and the blending of personal and business in social networks.

The maturity of digital and social media is showing, even as it's still unevenly distributed. We're not there when it comes to conversation just yet. It's still very much about social gestures (shares/likes/+1), content, and comments.

With maturity comes a shift where technology fades in the background, and what people want to do comes even more to the fore.

Digital as body language, content as style

Which is why the links I'm sharing this week revolve around the concept of developing or using a point of view, a specific style.

When I first started writing online in a conversational style (vs. writing web copy for business) a dozen years ago, content was your body language. There was not much to do on sites, forums, or listservs but to write what you knew.

Media is much richer today. And there are many more voices. Which means there is even greater opportunity to design experiences — creation and combination both stand out based on style.

Saturday Three

The three stories that caught my eye this week are:


1It's 2011, some people have been blogging for a dozen years or more. Can you still be a successful blogger? In a very engaging interview at Australian publication The Vine, Liberty London Girl reveals how she got her start in a very competitive niche: fashion.

[…] if you are applying critical thinking, sound judgment, a balanced viewpoint, historical reference points, and an informed worldview then your view is a valid as the next print journalist. I would hold up a phenomenal critic like Alex Fury at SHOWStudio as the perfect example of the new wave of online fashion critics, whose career wouldn’t have been possible without the online space.

Having a point of view is key to developing a following and readership.


2The jury is still out on whether Q&A features make a site. What happens when the feature is what the network is all about? As reported by Liz Gannes at AllThings Digital, Quora moves beyond writing to curating content.

Quora Boards is basically a social bookmarking tool. Users can curate posts from Quora, links from around the Web, and other content. It’s similar to other sites like Pinterest — though Pinterest tends to be more visual and product-oriented — and

[…] Quora has evolved away from its original question-and-answer format. Now the service wants “to connect you with everything you want to know about.”

Will top users see Boards as a useful addition and stick around to curate?


3They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Illustrations are worth even more, because they are well suited to compress a whole story in a small space. Tom Fishburne on the 12th day of Christmas illustrates a retail trend:

Retailers started post-Christmas markdowns extra early this year.

[…] What is notably not on promotion this Christmas is the iPad2 and iPhone 4S, reminding us that it’s more important than ever for marketers to create products with real meaning.

The brands and products that help us tell better stories, the ones we connect with, earn a bigger share of wallet.


Storytelling is a type of content that will not go out of style any time soon. What's on your website?


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