Since my last blog post, a lot has happened with Chattr. We launched our website chattr.com.au, and we’ve been growing on every platform! Today however, I want to take a step back and talk about the content of Chattr. We used to post one or two videos a week, which were our classic Vox Pop series we started at UOW.
Over the last few months however, we’ve been posting videos every single day, alongside of 2-3 articles! Views on the website, and our reach on Facebook has been growing exponentially since. Here’s a great article written by Bernie Clarke, about the changes to Wattamolla, a beloved treasure in the southern suburbs of Sydney.
Although I could talk about the content over at Chattr all day long, I decided to keep looking into the theoretical parts of what makes up Chattr. Henry Jenkins and his mates have delivered yet again in their collectively written book ‘Spreadable Media‘, which is turning out to be the back bones and ‘How to’ manual for creating Chattr! I researched deeper into the text this week, and came across two concepts that directly relate to Chattr. Spreadability and Sticky Content, and Centralised vs Dispersed Media.
Spreadability and Sticky Content:
Spreadability refers to technical resources that make it easier to circulate some kinds of content than others. While the Stickiness of content refers to the need to create content that attracts audience attention and engagement. So spreadability is about how content becoming viral, like using Youtube as a medium. Stickiness is about what becomes viral, and where that content is. These are essentially two different “business models” when it comes to creating viral content.
A great quote that i’m going to shamelessly include directly from the text, originally by Malcolm Gladwell, in his text ‘The Tipping Point‘ (2000) “There is a simply way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible. All you have to do is find it”. So basically he’s talking about making cat videos right?
Under the stickiness model, companies gain economic value by offering merchandise through a subscription or service fee, or selling the space to advertisers. This focuses on monitoring and generating specific data on the actions of each site visitor.
Centralised vs Dispersed Media:
Centralised media refers to content that can only be viewed at a specific location, for example a website (common online media model), this concept is called the “Roach Motel”. It sounds lovely doesn’t it? Dispersed Media refers to content that can be viewed in multiple locations. An example of this is youtube, and through it’s easy embedding.
There are perks in both.
Centralised; You may sell more advertising space, you can remove the back button essentially trapping the user on the page (increasing bounce rates)
Dispersed; easier to share, more views, user friendly
Jenkins, Ford and Green state that the key to stickiness is to keep the users in a centralised location, drawing them there, and keeping them there indefinitely to boost analysts (bounce rates). The key to spreadability is to produce content in an easy to share format.
You can think of it like network topologies, a centralised media platform is similar to a star topology – because it forces you to actual go to their website for the content, while a dispersed media platform is more of a distributed network – because you can view a youtube video from multiple locations.
So through researching about the different spreadability/sticky models and the centralised/dispersed media models, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no clear outlier here, some models work for some people, and others work for another. It really comes down to the content and the audience. For my final digital artefact submission, I’ll be submitting alongside the website, a contextual video explaining which of these methods Chattr has decided to go down, after experimenting some more with each solution!
Jenkins & Ford & Green, HJ SF SG, 2013, ‘Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture’, Spreadable Media <http://reader.eblib.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/(S(p2asztgthxy5k0lzakczmk2x))/Reader.aspx?p=1114591&o=580&u=G5EYdrpLLwc%3d&t=1459300270&h=609E551031458E46719C38A8D7B96C18D9FABC4A&s=43523509&ut=1771&pg=1&r=img&c=-1&pat=n&cms=-1&sd=2>