Isn’t Talk Of Malls So 1.0?

Scoble posted a fascinating one today. I have a feeling he’s opened an interesting can of worms that I least I will dive into.

In his piece he speaks of “Content Malls.”

Which is just a way of calling something a Network without calling it a Network. He lists the usual suspects, PodTech, TWiT, Calacanis, Podshow, FM, etc.

And, of course, the pitch: “And, yes, we’re looking for great “stores” to join our “mall.” My email is robertscoble@hotmail.com if you’re interested.

But here’s my problem/issue with this line of thinking:

I remember 2006 1996 very well. People were trying to gather “Malls” of stores online. IMall anyone? What are they trading at these days? How many Internet Malls have you visited in, say, the last 5 years?

But people began to realize, very quickly, that what matters in the real world (location, location, location) doesn’t matter in the slightest when you are, at the most, one URL away from everything. If I’m curious if Borders has the book cheaper while searching at Amazon, it just doesn’t take a whole lot to open a new window and check.

Content malls are no good, and simply don’t matter, to the consumer. To his credit, Scoble admits that in the piece.

Do they matter to the producer? Scoble writes of how “you and I can’t walk into the ad buying group at a car company, but many of these content malls can.

Is getting a Ford Escort commercial here the big deal? Is that what this new media revolution is about? Isn’t there something more to this?

Our end game in new media is getting enough people to join us so that we can act like the “old” media?

I can’t help but think of Jack Nicholson running into the room and asking “What if this is as good as it gets?” (little film shout out for Geoghegan).

Now, the benefit of branding I can see.

When Ninja launched Hope is Emo, I gave it a watch – because Ninja told me to. And I always do what Ninja tells me to.

When PodTech nabbed Geek Entertainment TV, I added them to my queue.

When TWiT launched TWiL, I gave it a try.

If I were to join any of these “Malls” I’d 5x my audience overnight. That’s a good thing. People who know like and trust someone from one of these malls will start consuming my stuff with a level of intimacy I could only dream of because Scoble or Calacanis or Geoghegan or Curry encouraged them to do so.

Of course, that is great value for me – not the mall.

So, what am I trying to say here? Great question.

As we watch the album die with the 99 cent electronic single, as we watch DVD sales plummit when people buy just one episode instead of the whole series (to considerably higher profits none the less), as we enter a world where the top television show can only get a single digit penetration, I suggest that we all remember that there is plenty of pie out there.

Why go for the biggest piece of pie when you can have a pie all to yourself?

And, by the way, that pie that everyone is fighting for a piece of? That pie that apparently is located in the ad agency for some car maker, … it’s old pie.

And who doesn’t like fresh hot pie?

Mmmmmmmm. pie …..

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  • http://www.briefingsdirect.com Dana Gardner

    You’re right — outdated mode before it’s even attempted. A 40% split for the content producer won’t work. The audience these folks get will be of a mass nature, not the granular level required for marketing and lead generation. They are still in the ad business, which will go volume at cost to the qualifying value. Better to make good, targeted content, blog on it best you can, and let the sponsor take more of a role in defining and targeting the audience. Those sponsors who pay to gather audience miss the point. They should be paying to help gather and reatin the qualified audience through the quality, targeted content. Also, search, tagging, meme aggregation, and ranking all will add more value to generating such a targeted, qualifying audience than paying these guys 60% to put your purported storefront in front of more “buyers.” If the quality of the content is good, you won’t need a storefront.

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