What I Think of Micro-Content or Micro Blogging


Like many buzzwords and phrases, everyone has their own definitions for terms that reflect their own ideologies, goals, and processes. So I’ll start off with what Google Dictionary says on the subject.

Microblogging: the activity or practice of making short, frequent posts to a microblog.

Wikipedia attributes the term micro content to Jakob Nielsen, described as small groups of words that can be skimmed by a person to get a clear idea of the content of a Web page.

My own thoughts on the two terms are interchangeable, and I use them as part of a top-down approach to producing content and maximizing the effectiveness of well produced written pieces (although this can apply to vlogging too).

Trickle Down Creative

For the purposes of small to medium sized businesses that are already investing in quality long-form written content, micro content derived from those longer pieces can; act as a way to guide readers towards the larger piece, provide a snapshot of value or entertainment to deliver certain points or messages clearly (as Nielsen suggests), or become a vehicle to recycle aspects of previously published written content.

Once an editorial, article, white paper, blog post, etc. accumulates enough engagement you can begin to identify (by reading and responding to comments) which sections of the piece need further explanation, correct, revision, or are simply the most frequently liked/cited.

Use a shorter form medium for written word to readdress, republish, or continue the conversation on single specific sections of your most read long form articles. You can also simultaneously push micro content posts natively within app ecosystems like Twitter or where 3-4 paragraphs capture the same attention as 3-4 pages such as within an Instagram caption.

Spontaneous Originality

The tongue-in-cheek remark that marketers ruin everything is often true; as at least part of the mindset of a marketer involves figuring out how to utilize or take advantage of a system to reap exponentially beneficial results-- with the goal of earning a weighted reputation for your brand or business.

While re-distributing elements of a piece of anchor content (long form article) into smaller pieces of micro content is a great way to maximize value of that original piece and update your viewpoint to incorporate community driven ideas or responses-- I suspect this strategy might only succeed as a supplement.

While interesting or valuable, my feeling is that this type of strategic micro-content will not perform as well as creative developed specifically or natively for a micro-blog or micro-content medium.

Example: You create an informative white paper for your business that helps teach customers save money, leveraging your service offer as a way to do so. After promoting and distributing that article for months you get a lot of comments, feedback, and engagement (Yay!).

You then break down the article section by section, using the top three points of interest to create three individual pieces of micro-content.

You’d definitely be creating a new thing that has some value… but I think it might not perform as well as a piece of micro-content that’s designed from the ground up with the micro-content landscape in mind.

My gut reaction would be to suggest taking the content of that to-be micro-post, and make new creative that’s a cool infographic, short two-to-three panel comic, or meme that conveys the same information. simply cutting and pasting existing content intended for an alternative medium might not pass the taste test for most consumers of micro-blogging.

Ryan CaldaroneComment