Turn Anything Into a Social Something

But more specifically, turning any sort of media from a static object to be consumed into something to share, repost, discuss, and to consume in formats beyond the original intention.

What we’ve seen Posterous be able to do, and we’ve seen what I see as it’s key differentiator, the power it now gives users to communicate using different forms of media instead of only just video, image, or text. This is the way we already consume media on a daily basis, that’s been supercharged with a layer of social potential.

An example of how things worked before the social layer:

Before where a conversation I had might be the inspiration for a great blog post, the extra layer of work in getting it online involved writing a recap of the conversation, posting it to my blog, both adding to the time needed, to the reliance I had on different tools (in working how I needed them to work, and being accessible where I was), and it added to the chance of me to forgetting key quotes from the conversation, or accidentally changing ideas discussed due to my imperfect memory. Afterwards, users would consume the recap of the conversation I produced, through a medium that makes it difficult to hear the emotion, or emphasis of the many different points covered.

Now imagine this example applied to video, presentations, or essays, and you see the sort of problem Posterous has been able to solve. The fact that I can post everything from wherever I am using email is also a great part of the tool. Email itself is not anything special, but the sheer portability I have with email (from my smartphone or from my laptop) makes it great for putting content online in a speedy manner.

What does this sharing of many types of media do for blogging? Being able to share different types of media is key in being able to communicate ideas more purely. As heavy media consumers we all consume many different types of media daily, being able to share that experience of consuming a particular type of media itself, and not the telling of our story of consuming a particular type of media is a new way of thinking about creating or sharing content online.

What the sharing of different content objects in their original media formats also does is transform these media objects that we are consuming into “social objects”. Like Flickr turned photos into social objects and how YouTube turned videos into social objects, the freedom to share content from a wide variety of media formats directly is giving us the power to create experiences, ideas, and conversations from powerpoint decks, pdfs, mp3s, and other formats more reflective of the author’s original intent.

How are your media sharing habits changing now that you can finally share many different types of media in an easy and beautiful way? How has that changed the way you can communicate ideas with others?


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4 Comments

  1. I like the idea of breaking things down to the core element — this definitely helps us examine and predict what people may want to share and determines the value of the social currency… but I bristle at the term "layer" when describing these social elements, influences and influencers. Am I too sensitive?

  2. Thanks for the comment Craig

    This idea about the extra layer may be something to think about then, because I already have planned another blog post on this idea of this "layer" that's being added. I'm hoping this next post will help reveal this layer that not only Posterous is helping to define, but other services as well which I'll examine.

    The idea that the directness I described being valuable in also discovery is great as well. To think about that for a moment, we can move our analytics away from the elements of our translation or other things we needed to do to be able to communicate what we wanted, and now take a direct look at the objects themselves.

    If that's too far off from what you meant let me know, because it seems like something that will be foundational to a blending of stream-like publishing and media-centric sharing.

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