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For creators, searchers, readers, and curators

Diagram: the cycle of content

All content goes through a life cycle. First content is created. Then people discover the content. People read the content. Finally, people share the content. By sharing the content, it becomes recreated like how a DJ recreates music by making it into a mix. The content is then discovered by other people, consumed, and reshared. The cycle goes on and on.

As mattmaldre.com celebrates its three-year anniversary today, I reorganized my blog post categories down to just four. All are specific to how we do each of the steps on the content cycle:

How we create
Writing, photographing, drawing, designing. Blogs, photos, and art doesn’t exist until it’s made by someone. The most popular posts for creators:

How we discover
How do we discover the content out there? We have a plethora of options that are changing all the time, from walking the aisles of a library to skimming through Google results. The posts that resonate most with searchers:

How we read
While not everybody creates content, everyone certainly consumes it. In my blog, I strongly argue how publishers need to think of reader’s needs first. Platforms for reading like the Kindle, Facebook, and Twitter are all built for readers–or are they? My top posts for readers:

How we share
Once you read something, what do you do with it? Two things: you either use it as inspiration to create or you share it with someone else. The very act of sharing can be considered an act of creation. Some posts that curators would be interested in:

Don’t put your readers into a bucket

When the categories of this blog were narrowed down to four, for a couple days I had them set to “For curators, for searchers, for readers, for curators.” I liked targeting the audience. It answered the question who is this blog for? But something didn’t sit well with me. I personally identify myself with all four categories of audiences. In fact, most people probably identify with all four categories. Is there a really a distinction people make that they are a reader, but not a curator? Or a reader and not a searcher?

Verbs are often better than nouns

These four audiences blend together so much, that it wasn’t quite making sense to use them to distinguish my blog posts. While going through my archives for this anniversary blog post, a post written a year ago inspired me, How we create, read, and share. In this post three main verbs were briefly covered in the content cycle. Today I add “discover” to the cycle, because discovery is important how we actually find the content to read.

Using the verbs to categorize my blog made much more sense. This blog is more about the study of creating, discovering, sharing, and reading. Less about the audience types, but more about the actual verbs.

The before and after for the categories:

  • For creators –> How we create
  • For searchers –> How we discover
  • For readers –> How we read
  • For curators –> How we share

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Matt Maldre
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I would like to thank Marco Buscaglia for inspiring to me continue writing on this blog. Mattmaldre.com started in January 2011 with nine blog posts written in one month, but then the site saw a 13-month hiatus with no posts. In March 2012 Marco wrote about challenges of distractions while reading a tablet, which inspired me to respond back and write a blog post, “The distractions from reading.” Ever since that blog post, I have written on this site every month for 23 consecutive months (and counting). This truly demonstrates that the act of writing is heavily tied into the act… Read more »
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