Here at Outbrain, we just released a new program called OutLoud. Check our blog post here for more information. The idea behind OutLoud is to allow anyone to submit content they want people to read– then we take that content and find where it should be recommended across the thousands of sites where our recommendation platform is installed.
There are a lot of reasons I really love this product (wouldn’t have wanted to help build it otherwise!). Here are just a few of them that may be slightly different than what you’ll see on our web site:
1) I love that we’re pioneering a system for great content syndication and finding ways for marketers to leverage content. In all my years working in online advertising and marketing, I’ve always had mixed feelings about the quality of some of the “offers” that monopolize publisher pages. While I totally saw the value from the advertiser’s perspective, I wondered how many real people got something worthwhile from these ads. Obviously enough people *did* find it valuable to make the advertiser’s ROI work, but most marketers needed only only 0.2% of people to engage to make the media buy profitable — they could leave 99.8% of people annoyed or simply disengaged with no negative ramifications.
With OutLoud, we are a *content only* network. We only accept articles, videos, etc. that allow people who are reading and consuming content on other sites to continue that activity. I really believe this fits a big hole in the digital publishing landscape by allowing publishers to profit by helping their users find interesting content, which is what publishing (and reading!) is all about.
2) I love that the marketing applications of content amplification are so broad. Picking an article or two that you want people to read can benefit all kinds of businesses and people in ways I probably haven’t even thought of yet. For instance, I’ve already come across one person who wants to use OutLoud to expose larger audiences to her scientific research (which has practical implications for the types of devices we buy). I’ve know an artist whose work was showcased in a well known interior design store and wanted people to read about that. I’ve got a brother who just wanted to rub salt in the wounds of a rival sports team when they were mocked online on a well known blog, and for $10, he was happy to share the love. And of course we run into small and medium sized businesses every day who are putting out interesting content– or being covered in other publications– and want to get the word out. Almost everyone I tell about our program seems to have a use for it…..and the majority of them are not Internet marketers. It’s exciting when you can’t totally predict how the world might use what you’re creating.
3) I love that we’re allowing any piece of content, no matter how “small”, to be showcased on some of the biggest web sites out there when they are likely to be interesting to a specific audience. As we all know, content proliferation on the web is a beast….100,000 new blogs created a day, some say. And yet it’s impossible to find 99.9% of it. If you are like me, then you probably visit a handful of content sites day in and day out who as a rule you’ve learned to trust. You know there’s a lot more great stuff out there but don’t have time to sift through the layers and layers of noise to find it, and so you live in a self-contained echo chamber. With our program, we’re trying to bridge that gap: an article written by your next door neighbor can be showcased on Chicago Tribune, or Seattle Times, or USATODAY as long as it’s highly relevant and as long as readers tend to respond to it positively. So for all those people who, like me, spend most of their time reading the same 10 content sites, there’s now an opportunity to be introduced to really interesting stuff from places they would simply never find on their own. And that’s pretty neat.
So that’s my self-promotional plug for the day. But hey — if you can’t get excited about what you’re working on, you shouldn’t be working on it.