We are all content hustlers

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It’s ironic Google+ allowed the digital elites such as Chris Brogan early access to Google+ while asking corporations to hold off creating brand profiles. Just about everyone I know on Google+ (including me) uses the social platform to hustle their own content as well as any corporation could.

We are all content hustlers now. In fact, it’s the proliferation of platforms like Google+ and check-in sites like GetGlue that continues to transform everyday consumers into marketers of our own content.

You check into GetGlue on a Friday night to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and the next thing you know, someone responds to your check-in by asking for your opinion, and then you write a mini review in reply. In a matter of minutes, you become both moviegoer and amateur critic.

Case in point: yesterday morning, I needed to do some quick online research to find a business and its street address. I visited Google to do a simple search. Immediately I encountered a Google Doodle that cleverly honored Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday by playing snippets of I Love Lucy via the image of an old-style console TV. How cool! I just had to share the Google Doodle with my friends.

But sharing wasn’t enough: I needed to add my own opinion (my contribution to your content stream) about how the Google Doodle brilliantly synthesized utility and entertainment. Within minutes, I posted a CBS News article about the doodle, plus a brief comment on my Facebook, Global 14, and Google+ content streams. I also wrote the obligatory tweet.

And I wasn’t even working up a sweat – or tapping into the many other platforms I could have used to spread my content (however brief it was) across the digital world.

Within minutes, my mindset had changed from searcher of information to publisher. And then I did what any good content publisher does: checked my metrics. Did I get any retweets? Facebook Likes? +1s? Had I found a responsive audience for the content I was hustling?

A few take-aways:

  • A Google search became an exercise in content publishing. But I also forgot to complete my original Google search, ironically. The content publisher lurking inside me was competing with the simple reality of getting on with my life.
  • Although access to social media sites makes it easier for us to hustle content, not all the content we create is worth hustling. As guitarist Jack White said in the documentary It Might Get Loud, ease of use does not make us more creative.

Yes, we are all content hustlers. But just because we can does not mean we should. Fortunately we can block and manage content, too, by paring our friend lists and curating our information streams (e.g., with Google+ Circles), although doing so is not always as easy as it looks. I’ll let you judge whether I’m hustling content you care about.

9 thoughts on “We are all content hustlers

    • Right on, Guy! I use Alltop each day as I curate content for multiple platforms. I have my fingers crossed that Alltop will index my own Superhype blog for marketing. Thank you for everything you do to push me to improve.

  1. Great post. It\’s a powerful shift in human communication and information sharing, web for the masses that aren\’t digital geeks like us. Thanks for the insights.

    • Thank you, Tarah. And speaking of content: I have been enriched by your ideas from your blog, tweets, and posts on Facebook and Google+.

  2. It really is amazing how usability– really good integration of multiple functions in this case– can change our behaviors without us even thinking about it. The one thing I noticed just the other day is that while I almost always log out of Facebook when I\’m done (unlike my Millenial friends, admittedly), I haven\’t logged out of Google+ since I first signed on. Somehow it feels more natural since I\’m a Gmail user. Perhaps Google+ is on its way to being my content-hustle-platform of choice 🙂

    • Well said, Melissa. I think you\’re correct about how Google+ is appealing because it\’s connected to other utilities like Gmail. Google got it right by making it so easy to jump from one communication platform to another. I\’m sure this \”content connectedness\” feature will take hold as more people use Google+ and brands are allowed to play in the sandbox.

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