Are you a giver or a taker?

When it comes to t web, the simple truth is that we are all both at some time or another. Whether yo

When it comes to the web, the simple truth is that we are all both at some time or another. Whether you are posting updates on Facebook or photos to Instagram you are adding to the information stored online. And when you are checking your LinkedIn updates on your iPad after work you are taking in information from the Web. And here is a simple truth, the number of people adding meaningful to the web in text form tend to still be doing so using a keyboard and mouse. I am, for instance, at a desk typing this article rather than using an iPad without a keyboard. Apple are, of course, addressing this issue as are many other wireless keyboard manufacturers, but the Lion's share of text is still composed sitting at a traditional keyboard.

The other side of this point is that the majority of receiving information is through tablets, phones and TVs and that the concept of a website itself is becoming outdated. Now media has to move and come with audio because reading is simply more work than watching a video. So where does all of this leave the copywriter in 2016?

The obvious answer is that the copywriter has to write copy for all mediums, they are fast becoming scriptwriters rather than just specialists that can make text live and breathe. Our very identity as website makers and copywriters is under glass and this comes as no surprise. Google has had a growing number of categories at the top of the SERP for many years now and although web text (all although the presence of other categories suggests this may be a misnomer) is still the first in line, many people are clicking onto images or video immediately as their chosen preference. Most web users these days often prefer to watch a documentary on something rather than to read about it. This point should not go unnoticed because it means that all new ideas have a knock-on type effect as a good idea will invariably appear in text first simply because this is the quickest medium to post. Video will come later because it takes more time to produce and a video requires experience and knowledge that many people researching ground-breaking subjects often do not have - a bad video is quite simply the worst kind of PR. So if you are a good video producer you can keep scouring Flipboard in order to make the first decent video of up and coming technologies or news. If you are a copywriter then on Flipboard you are simply reading what another copywriter has already published.

So is there a simple way of writing good copy from your tablet or phone whilst waiting for the bus? Well if it is not too noisy and no one is listening in, does voice recognition offer a reasonable alternative yet? Well if you haven't tried it I would advise that you do. The fact that I am dictating this text now does prove that voice recognition is a viable alternative. The noise surrounding you is obviously going to be a factor with any voice recognition software but if you do have a quiet moment then it is definitely worth giving it a try. The built-in iPad voice recognition feature definitely struggles with some words and requires you to be close to the tablet, but on the whole it's surprisingly effective straight out of the box. The biggest difficulty I have found is that you simply speak different words to those that you would write. If you are to keep writing the ideas that come to mind and only have a phone with you then this could be the solution.

But what about generating the other media that Google and the contemporary web users are interested in, images, music and video? Well of course generating video from a smartphone is not a very difficult task. You can record HD video on pretty much all new phones - you just have to be somewhere worth filming when it is worth filming. And herein perhaps lies a lesson on the creation of successful websites in the modern day. If you can be somewhere interesting then you can get followers on Twitter and Facebook and therefore have a popular website. If I have footage of Daisy Ridley walking down the street then people will link to it because she is a new star that everyone wants to see in normal everyday life. This will mean that Google comes and has a look and finds that people are staying with the site long enough to watch the video and that people are sharing the video on social media and so I will climb up rankings and also people will advertise my site for me for free.  So the modern day paparazzi are even more annoying than ever as they can publish what they film on any website and they will get traffic until someone copies it onto YouTube or they publish it on YouTube themselves. Of course Google video does point to other pages apart from YouTube seamlessly so there are still good opportunities for traffic. Google images follows broadly the same rules as the video - if you can get interesting images with relevant titles you will find people accessing those images through Google but not necessarily seeing the rest of your site as Google will often proxy the image onto their database and simply link to the file itself. Music is not a category on the Google search engine as Google did not manage to usurp the copyright of that industry by buying a website early enough and so having the momentum to become effectively unstoppable by the copyright sensors. A rare of case when the copyrights people had to ask for a share of Google profits rather than managing to rip down the whole site. The simple truth is that any website on which you allow individuals to self-publish on that scale is impossible to police and so is a law unto its own. As we all know pretty much any professional video is discoverable there somewhere at least in part(s).

So the givers are often on professional workstations and the takers on smartphones and we all swap around all of the time in order to share the world with each other?  It would seem, then, that the internet (or whatever it has become) is encouraging us all to live more interesting lives. If I decide to buy an olive farm in Italy and write a blog with pictures as I try to reclaim it from bankruptcy I will get a stream of visitors. If I try and row around the world in a rubber dinghy with a satellite phone and a box of sandwiches I will most likely get a lot as everyone will be waiting to see if I drown. And the latter is definitely a more interesting life, even if it is a shorter one. People enjoy endeavour and I was recommending to an insolvency practitioner today that she write a blog of the obstacles she meets as she starts up her new business. At the very least other IPs will read to see if they think their own start-up is a good idea. A good blog on any matter is a great learning tool for others as the mistakes that are made can be learned from without the hassle of making them for yourself. People are still suckers for the truth and a good blog is one-hundred percent truth. Video blogs are of course even better but they need to be planned and take practice to present well. I always recommend running a video blog of your day for a fortnight in advance of any challenge or project you plan to video blog if you have not done so before. This helps you forget about how you look and whether the light is correct etc. when you are making the video blog for real which can often make people appear less professional or accomplished. In general a good video blog is one where the film maker has a lot more to worry about than making the blog. Pick a good challenge that you are excited about and making the blog will come naturally. Just make sure you make the video when you are feeling the emotion of what has happened that day whether it be depression or joy, either way it is great media.


Add comment