Content has been dethroned as King

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 16 March 2017 2:40 PM CAT

We’ve all lived in a world where content has ruled for many years, but this is no longer the case. According to Bharat Anard, author of the Content Trap, the companies demonstrating the highest levels of success today, are not those who have the best content but those who understand how their content drives connection.

In his book, Anard reminds us of the volcano in Iceland which erupted, spewing ash into the jet stream. As a result, flights were cancelled across Europe because visibility was so bad. Commercial flights were grounded; passenger flights were grounded, and people were stranded. Many businesses struggled to work through it, while meetings, conferences and the like were postponed.

For Schibsted, an Oslo-headquartered media company in Europe which had been around for over 170 years and had proved success in their online transition, their approach to the volcano ash crisis drove a new organisational focus.

Anard notes that many will cover this news adding information on the cause, the geological formations, the health issues etc. This was not of interest to readers and Schibsted noticed that very early on is people just posting messages on the website saying, how do I get from Oslo to Trondheim? So, while flights were grounded, people were exploring ways to connect to others who may be driving.

Within seven hours of identifying consumer behaviour, Schibsted’s IT team created an app called Hitchhiker’s Central. The user interface and functionality were simply around posting and exchanging messages. The app became so popular; it was used all over Europe.

“It gave rise to a fundamental question within the newsroom, which they now use to cover any major crisis, just how can we help readers help each other?” says Anard.

The book is about connection and platforms. When I started in the platform space almost six years ago, I met with many who believed that people were already on many platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others and probably wouldn’t adopt yet another platform. Boy, were they wrong!

Platforms and connection are fast becoming the way things are done. As we build an education utility on A Better Africa, we continue to understand how much this is needed to connect communities within the education space to deliver better, with smart collaboration and measured impact.

Connection is fast becoming King, Queen and ruler of the universe.


Janice Scheckter is a collaboration activist who is spending many hours working out how to build impactful connections. She is also the MD of Indigo New Media, digital and mobile collaboration company.


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