On Sunday morning at SXSW Interactive, renowned author and digital media speaker
spoke about the way information sharing is changing. His talk was filled with real life examples that outlined one basic theme:
Sharing information is different than sharing goods and services.
When people share goods, for example, they expect something in return such as money as payment for an item. When people share information, they don't expect anything in return and in fact actually get a positive feeling for doing it. People enjoy providing value to others.
As an extension of this sharing concept, Shirky described "rainbow unicorn" sharing, which is a type of sharing that helps you but not anyone else. On the other hand, sharing that helps more than one person and has an impact on a group or society is called "jack hammer" sharing, because it chips away at existing opinions and transforms them into new ones. He continued to reinforce the idea that democrotized sharing provided by the Internet has the ability to have a great impact on society.
Abundance is a bigger problem to society than scarcity, said Shirky, meaning when something is scarce, it is easy to handle by simply increasing the price of the item that is scarce. When something is in over-abundance, people don't know how to manage it.
His conclusion was that now that information is easy to share, people have the opportunity to share in a way that benefits society, not just themselves.
Inbound Marketing Takeaway
People feel good about sharing information that helps people. When developing an
inbound marketing content strategy
, don't forget to think about your customers' online and offline networks. Outbound marketing was always about targeting customers; inbound marketing means focusing on more than just your customers, but also their customers. Creating content and an inbound marketing strategy that solves problems for your customers' end-users will empower them to advocate and promote your product.