I have a weird habit. Weird in my head, may be drilled by some near and dear ones till I figured that it is the new normal. The pace at which we live our lives, trying to achieve that much overrated work-life balance, I always found that the departmental store next door is the best solution. One roof, central cooling, from monthly grocery to diapers, you are sorted!
Well, the internet for me does the same. They loosely call it digital. They also call it the fourth industrial revolution. While the world debates how the fourth industrial revolution will be actualised in the virtual world, I feel that we don’t care enough to define how the ever burgeoning digital universe is impacting the human race. For me, it has truly brought democracy in its right form to every homo sapien who has access to the internet.
Internet is that highway which gives every individual the democracy of choice. Like that departmental store which never ends – where you are transported from row to row, shelve to shelve according to your need and your demand, your wish and your list – where you can pick up exactly what you want and nothing will be shoved down your throat.
A Babyoye has made sure that young parents visit them even when the big daddies of e-commerce: Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal offers the same products in their marketplace. NICHE is in play.
And that holds true even in the world of news and information. The world right now is dealing with an overkill of information. Previously, and even now, it deals with news organisations throttling down your throat the content they want to feature. Mostly, across board, they are the same. It is a maze. Period.
Over 20 years working as an “investigative journalism”, I have never wrapped my head around the word ‘content’ with much glee. But here I am going to use it. Because at Buffalo Soldiers, we inherently believe, that the space in the world of journalism is being radically redefined. How you treat content and how you position content is more important than the basic content itself. What you define as content is an existentialist question that will probably never be answered. Why? Because almost everyone, and their grandmother, has a take on it.
The likes of Vox, Vice or Mic have changed the ballgame and have created a content-revolution. And the casualties of this new media revolution have been the ostrich-minded-octopuses – the legacy media houses in the West.
India stands on the cusp of a news media revolution with the advent of 4G mobile technology. A revolution that no traditional media outlet understands, let alone equipped to ride. For the “promiscuous” news consumers — “amazing” content is no longer enough. To catch and keep the audience, you need to create compelling experiences that keep them coming back.
The answer lies in disrupting the legacy media eco-system and creating a topical, market-focussed habitat where news can be the driver for niche end-to-end digital eco-systems. And then comes predictive analysis. The biggest players in the content universe do not know which drink to serve me when it starts snowing. Because that’s the only season when I love my coffee. But I have already gone to Flipboard and told them that I love my tea, brewed. Flipboard is a good genie, but not an intelligent one, yet! And it doesn’t know when my preferences have changed.
So if you aren’t tracking behaviour and change preferences without asking the consumer, then you become the maze in the long run. And that, my friends, is the puzzle to solve!