The Importance of Content Collaboration
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a small team collaborating on a project

When it comes to developing complex business ideas, there is a huge productivity problem.

Teams double up on work, with many members reading whole articles when only a paragraph matters. Each individual spends time ploughing through irrelevant content, or, even worse, they miss important studies which makes their business plan much stronger.

When you’ve found the best content, it’s even harder to action it. There is so much time wasted when employees can’t get the best content in front of the right people. It is often so confusing which channel should be used so that the right person sees the right information so they can action the right intelligence.

[quoter color=”honey”]Would it not be helpful to have an enriched digital content collaboration space online which is designed for creating business intelligence? [/quoter]

The problem is widespread through many industries:

  • According to an Economist Intelligence Unit study: 75% of global business executives say the primary purpose of seeking business content is researching a business idea.
  • And according to a 2014 Quartz survey – 75% of executives spend at least 30 minutes a day on news consumption with 36% of executives spending over an hour.
  • 91% of executives would share content if it is valuable – with 80% of executives sharing valuable content via email.

 

Content Collaboration

Email is not a great platform for content collaboration. Articles are generally sent on email as disparate pieces of information, with little context as to why it is being sent. Equally, searching for the right content in your inbox is unproductive and generally fruitless when it comes to working on a specific business project.

[quoter color=”jeans”]Email is not a great platform for content collaboration [/quoter]

Slack recognised this problem and vastly improved productivity in the workplace by minimising internal emails. However, a messaging product works best when sharing uncomplicated and simple ideas.

Similarly, dropping files in a folder like Dropbox leaves little room for developing ideas further, and creating intelligence with your teams.

What happens when the idea is complicated; there is no obvious right or wrong answer; and yet the ramifications of making the wrong decision are substantial?

Would it not be helpful to have an enriched digital content collaboration platform which is designed for creating business intelligence?

Contact us if you’d like to share your thoughts on this subject – we’d love to show you how we are solving this problem, and to hear what you would be looking for in a product like this.

Sign up for Cronycle here

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Workplace Technologies of the Future
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Business Meeting

We were interested to read about Gartners predictions for Digital Workplace Technologies.

The article looked at three general trends.

  1. Exploiting Information
  2. Tapping the physical / virtual connection
  3. Embracing Personal Digital Preferences

All the points centred on automation – like how can a machine automate a person’s desires or how can a machine understand what a business wants even before they know they want it.

However, we are quite far away from a point where artificial intelligence of this degree can replicate human expertise and knowledge. Algorithms which exist for news effectively try and guess what you may be interested in – which led many facebook users last year to know a lot about the Ice Bucket Challenge, but next to nothing about the Ferguson riots. There needs to be a step between artificial intelligence and the way we analyse information today.

And that is to empower better human decision making.

Many books have been authored on this subject recently which have come to the same conclusion like “Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots” by John. Markoff and “The Master Algorithm” by Pedro Domingos. You can read an excellent summary of them via this article by The Economist.

The digital tools we have today are not replicating the way we made complicated decisions pre-internet. They are not fulfilling the task adequately.

[quoter color=”sand”](We need to) empower better human decision making [/quoter]

We used to be able to quickly and efficiently find the high quality information from a limited number of resources, and then discuss them in a meeting room with all the decision makers present.

Now we have to filter through the noise of the internet, and rely on internet messaging and email tools to communicate about fairly complex ideas, when they are only designed for communicating simple ideas effectively. There is no enriched space to create knowledge online.

Gartner is correct, there is the need to exploit information, embrace personalisation online and also look at the way our digital and physical lives can interact. But automation isn’t necessarily just the answer. We should also look at the ways that we have traditionally got things done, and try to replicate these decision making processes online.

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The Future of Reading
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Girl Reading

We were lucky enough to be mentioned on Future Foundations YouTube blog on ‘The Future of Reading’.

It has prompted us to think about what the future of reading will be.

Reading is simply a mechanism for processing information. @SeymourFuture believes that the future of reading will be driven by gadgets that enable us to read faster. But does ‘reading more’ necessarily mean you ‘acquire more knowledge’?

[quoter color=”aqua”]In order for reading to be valuable, you must be able to derive some actionable intelligence from the information [/quoter]

In order for reading to be valuable, you must be able to derive some actionable intelligence from the information – that is where information turns into knowledge and becomes incredibly powerful.

Why read more when you can read less, but make sure it’s always relevant content? That was one of the first questions the Cronycle founders raised when building the product. The idea developed to include collaboration, firstly because you can rely on your colleagues to notify you of articles which you should read, or are relevant for your business strategy and plan.

Secondarily, collaboration is important so your team can draw connections between different articles to find the groups opinion. You have to have the ability to add to the content by using comments to develop your ideas.

In business, it’s not the reading that matters, but what you can do with it. That’s why Cronycle is interested in ‘the future of knowledge‘ and not just the future of reading.

You can see Future Foundations video here:

https://youtu.be/FgRg-aO1z18

Sign up for Cronycle here

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What can technology do to protect freedom of speech?
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Freedom of Speech

The internet brought with it a remarkable democracy when it comes to publishing information.

Today most discover information through social media – a platform where no one has responsibility to make sure you see a balanced point of view.

The world is being radicalised – wars are breaking out worldwide which are exacerbated because individuals have one-sided information channels. Right wing parties are gaining more and more support in Europe. The UK was unable to predict their election outcome due to predominantly left wing social media sites. ISIS is recruiting by exploiting unmonitored parts of the internet. Perhaps these are all coincidences, but perhaps they also relate to the ease of which you can slip into your own echo-chamber and be constantly surrounded by people who share your own point of view.

It’s easy to bring political examples to illustrate this point. However, when it comes to your professional lives, are you too reliant on particular brands to tell you about the future of marketing? Do you only read articles by particular journalists who may have particular relationships with brands? Given the way we consume information today it is almost impossible to tell.

We believe that technology can do a lot to protect freedom of speech and this comes from having complete control over the information you see.

Most intelligent individuals don’t realise the echo-chambers they are stuck in, and if they do, they find it extremely difficult to fight their way out of them.

The new fight to save free speech

The state and society used to limit what we could read – the state was responsible for what could and could not be published, and is also the entity which controls how young people are educated.

[quoter color=”flamingo”] Our access to information is not limited by the state but by those literal points at which we access information. [/quoter]

However, today we live in a world where our access to information is not limited by the state. Instead we are limited by those points at which we access information. There is so much information available to us that we allow our choices over what we do and do not read to be dictated by robotic algorithms which are ruled by large technology companies.

At Cronycle, we believe that there is another way to increase freedom of speech, and it is by giving individuals complete control over what they read. It is by giving them transparency over what sources they get their news from, analytics to see how much you read by a particular individual or party and most important of all, collaboration software to create knowledge in teams.

Interested? You should be.

Sign up for Cronycle here

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Cronycle is a Shoreditch tech start-up and we are looking for a content intern
Reading Time: 2 minutes

typewriter

Do you have…?

An inherent curiosity…

in knowledge – you should be interested in literally everything from the beauty economy to growth hacking, to media buying to enterprise risk to business strategy to Alzheimer’s to M&A… the list goes on

in discovering how things work – when you get your hands on an interesting platform you have the ability to stretch and push the platform to make it perform in incredibly creative ways

And are you naturally…

personable – chatty, friendly and good with language

assertive – happy to speak up when they have a good idea, and to raise concerns in the right environment

 

You’ll learn about marketing, editorial, customer experience and sales. We aim to give the following skills to our interns –

  • Principles of content marketing
  • E-mail marketing
  • Building a user community
  • Customer Service
  • B2B content production
  • Content management systems (CMS)
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Editorial curation and publishing skills
  • Mining marketing analytics

Imagine being one of the first to curate the Instagram blog, or being responsible for managing the front page of Sky News. Cronycle is a brand new B2B platform and we are looking for people who are excited about curating our newsfeed and inspiring our users to push their Cronycle more.

60% of your day will be spent acquiring good B2B marketing skills listed above, and 40% will be spent curating the editorial of the platform.

[quoter color=jeans] Cronycle is committed to offering quality internships [/quoter]

  • We pay a fair wage – a London wage for a graduate who has invested in their education – the equivalent of 22k a year.
  • A fixed term – you will not be an intern for longer than 4 months – we will not let the you feel uncertain about your future prospects
  • Realistic expectations – we want to give you responsibility without pressure. We expect this to be a learning environment and not an uncomfortable one.

To apply – sign up to Cronycle by emailing us and use the tool to research and write a 500 word article on each of the following topic areas:

  1. How to curate content
  2. The future of growth hacking
  3. One other topic of your choosing

Create a WordPress site and upload your work. We would like to see a curated collection as well as the article. Please show evidence that you have researched the topic using the Cronycle tool.

Please send the link to the site with short introductory email to Alice.

We look forward to seeing your ideas!

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Defining Relevant Content
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Relevant Places

There are two reasons why you may be interested in ‘relevant content’. The first is to make sure you are reading relevant content, and the second to make sure you are producing relevant content for your audience.

Ensuring the content you read is relevant

The defining characteristic of ‘relevance’ is relevance is personalised. This makes it very tricky to achieve.

[quoter color=rowan]What is relevant for you may not be relevant for me[/quoter]

We’ve spent hours and hours defining what is meant by ‘relevant content’ to make Cronycle a platform for relevant content. We want our users can find what they want and access information quickly.

Here are our findings:

Relevant content comes from relevant places

We spoke to a content marketer called Mary who works for an HR consultancy in South Africa. She knows managing your workforce in South Africa is completely different to other countries. She wants to listen to customers and newspapers which are local to her region. Traditionally, when she researches information she finds a lot of articles related to American and Australian culture – this is irrelevant and it takes her time to filter out the noise.

As a result, she only wants to read content which is written in her region. This is source is relevant for her.

Control over keywords

However, Mary is not interested in every article from her relevant sources. She wants to make sure she is kept up to date on specific topics which those sources write about. For example, she only wants to see articles which reference ‘hiring’ or ‘recruitment’.

She needs to filter her chosen sources to get relevant content.

As far as we at Cronycle are concerned; it is important that you as the reader are responsible for these filters. You can’t rely on publishers to pick and choose what is relevant for you. It is difficult to have a balanced point of view if you only listen to a particular source or person. This is the foundation of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. We want Cronycle to facilitate these ideologies.

Serendipity

You have to have the ability to ‘stumble upon’ relevant content in order to think out side of your own echo chamber. You don’t want to have a closed mind and not find new content streams.

However, by creating a serendipitous environment, you quickly can invite irrelevant content into your streams.

We believe serendipity can arise from working in teams – from having people recommend RSS streams and keywords to you.

We also believe serendipity can arise when you follow people on twitter – these people will share articles from publications which you may be unaware of.

Insight into what you are reading

Finally, you need to be mindful of the content you read on a daily basis. Perhaps you think you read articles from multiple streams, but actually only click on links from one source. We will provide the insight into what you are actually reading through analytics.

[quoter color=rowan]Is there anything we have missed for ensuring you are kept up to date with relevant content here? Message Alice with your views! [/quoter]

The next question about relevance comes through trying to make sure that the content you produce is relevant for your audiences – how do you guarantee success here?

Ensuring the content you produce is relevant

Blank Notepad

Relevance through expertise

On a recent Buffer twitter chat, marketeers discussed the best way to learn what their audience wants to read. Most answered that you should listen to your audience, and check post analytics to see which articles and content pieces do particularly well.

However, as is the case with everything, no one really knows what they want until they see it. The reason why your audience is interested in reading your content is because they think of you as an expert. You understand a particular topic better than them. They rely on you for your knowledge in your subject matter.

[quoter color=stone]If you just listen to what your audience wants to read you are not transferring your knowledge to them![/quoter]

So, the question becomes how you become more informed about your subject (see above) and about how you curate this information to make it more interesting for your audience.

We think this partly comes down to collaboration. The more people you have working on ideas and sharing information, the better that pool of knowledge will become. The more opinions and consultancy you’ll pool to make your content relevant and insightful.

In order to make content relevant you must pool your expertise with your team.

Relevance through personalisation

23Stats

Another way to make your content relevant is to compile the sources that your audience will read on a daily basis. Who do you want to reach out to? What publications to they already read? How is information presented? What information will they not already see?

We want our users to compile lists of different sources which their audience reads and use these collections to understand what their audience is thinking.

This is the way you can personalise content – through the knowledge that comes when you think the way they think, when you get inside of their echo chamber.

[quoter color=stone]Are there any other ways to create relevant content? Again, please email us and let us know your thoughts.[/quoter]

Sign up for Cronycle here

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What is an RSS feed?
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Waterfall RSS

An RSS feed allows you to see when websites have added new content. They are a mechanism for you to get the latest headlines, articles and videos in one place, as soon as it’s published, without having to visit the websites you have taken the feed from.

It’s easy if you think about an RSS feed like a feed which a computer reads, which shows the updates of your favourite news and blog sites as they happen. The idea is that you can then use a news-reader to read a lot of different RSS feeds in one place, and this keeps track of the news for you.

[quoter color=rowan]Cronycle can act as that news-reader, but unlike other news readers, it offers you much more control over the articles within those RSS feeds that you read. [/quoter]

Although RSS feeds are a great idea in theory, in practice news websites publish so many stories a day that they turn into a fire-hose of information, and it becomes unmanageable to read them all. As a result, many people think that RSS feeds are going out of fashion in technology.

Typically a large news website has multiple RSS feeds – they could be one for their technology stories and one for their environmental stories, as well as all the other topics that they cover. As a result, one news source could have multiple feeds – it’s worth bearing that in mind when you are sorting your filters, and managing your collections of articles.

Cronycle uses RSS feeds as one of their content sources – for more information check out the ‘sources’ post on the Cronycle Manual

Sign up for Cronycle here

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Content Curation & Tools – Summary of a Twitter Chat Hosted by Buffer
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Image from Buffer

Image from Buffer

 

On 26th August, Buffer hosted an excellent Twitter Chat on ‘Content Curation’. Given this is a topic close to Cronycle’s heart this discussion gave us a great opportunity to talk about curation and how content marketers can do this best.

So here is a recap of the questions Buffer asked it’s audience, as well as a quick summary of the answers given. We’d also like to offer Cronycle’s own perspective – giving ourselves the luxury of more than 140 characters(!)

 

Q1: How do you learn what kind of content your audience wants to read?

Black and White Reading

Three themes were repeated here; 1) ‘Listen to your audience 2) Use Analytics to see what works best and 3) Understand what your audience already reads

Cronycle Answer:

This is a tricky question because all too often people don’t know what they want to read until they’ve read it.

You can listen to what your audience needs to create content which answers a specific question, like ‘how do I embed images in my social media’? For these types of content pieces, it’s really helpful to listen to your audience and use analytics to see what kind of material works.

However, it can’t be overlooked that readers like to be challenged. This material will need to be unique and go beyond what they think they want to hear. Articles that express new ideas are often infinitely more successful than standard topics, but they’re hard to predict.

There may be a way of finding ideas for ‘new topics’. If you look beyond the publications and influencers that your audience typically reads you can find new ideas. Most people are stuck inside their own echo-chamber, and so perhaps you can see what people are saying in a different geography, or a slightly different bias. You can repurpose and research that information to fit your audience.

Click this link to see the original Buffer post

 

Q2: Where does content curation fit into your workflow?

Workflow

There was a consensus that curation should regularly feature in your workflow; some people spent a couple of hours a day researching and working on curation, others once a month. It was clear that it could be a time-consuming aspect of their work.

Cronycle response:

The interesting thing about this question is to understand what you mean by content curation. If content curation is researching for a new topic, and understanding more about your industry, then this is likely to feature in your every day workflow. If it’s something a bit more proactive – finding specific articles to feature on your website or in your social media then curation takes a bit more work.

We think that content curation should be a continuous process and should almost work seamlessly with what you are doing in your day to day work. Ideally you should be able to feed off the ideas of your colleagues and community as well when you are looking for new ideas. This kind of philosophy is part of the Cronycle product development and ethos.

Click this link to see the original Buffer post for Q2

 

Q3: What are your favourite tools/resources for discovering new content?

Tools

The following tools were applauded by the Buffer chatters: twitter lists, feedly, newsletters, podcasts, medium, Google alerts and good old fashioned ‘digging around’.

Cronycle answer:

We’re not even going to try and be unbiased here. Cronycle is built for content discovery. What’s more – it’s focused on making it easy for our users to find relevant content quickly. This is how we do it:

  • Give our users complete control over sources and keywords
  • Account for stumbling across content – and encompassed within this highlight sources which may be influencing you too much
  • Listen to your network – given the tool integrates with twitter you can follow a public network. It also accounts for teams so you can quickly see what your private colleagues recommend you read, which isn’t shown on public social media channels.

Click this link to see the original Buffer post for Q3

 

Q4: When curating content, how often do you include your own content?

typewriter

Responses to this post varied – some believed it was important to make sure content is personal, and as a result you should always include your own content.

Cronycle answer:

The variety in answers to this question came because there could be many different interpretations of ‘curating content’. Does this mean curating content on your own website? In which case, yes, you should definitely include your own content! In newsletters? It’s probably best to use other content for credibility reasons as well. What about on social media? It depends on the relationship you have with your audience. We wrote a post about different types of content curation which you can see here.

Click this link to see the original Buffer post for Q4

 

Q5: How do you sift through and sort content?

Working with pad

Some people mentioned apps like feedly and pocket which aggregate different publishers content (through RSS feeds) and display the articles on one interface. Other people said that sorting had to start with keywords and preferred Google alerts.

Cronycle Answer:

We’ve got to be biased again – Cronycle is built to filter out the noise! It also incorporates features to help sort through your content with your teams. How do we do this?

  • We give you the tools to use the sources you choose – like a news reader or RSS aggregator
  • All the articles from your chosen sources can then be refined again by keywords
  • To sort content we provide boards
    • You can add specific articles to boards
    • As well as comment on articles and create specific notes
    • Soon you’ll be able to upload images and pdfs to your boards too to make them a comprehensive view of your content ideas

Click this link to see the original Buffer post for Q5

 

Q6: How do you curate content when you have a very specific niche?

Man working in coffee shop

Finding relevant bloggers was key here and using twitter lists. It was clear that when you have a specific niche, individuals are just as important to follow as publications.

Cronycle answer:

This is interesting because so often publications are created for general purposes, and when you have a specific niche it’s even harder to find exactly what you are looking for. It’s also an interesting question because everyone has a specific niche. There is no person who is always looking for exactly the same content. As a result, everyone should be thinking about how they filter out the noise effectively and make sure they don’t miss out on the content relevant for them!

Click here to see the original Buffer post for Q6

 

Q7: Let’s share! What are your three favourite blogs?

Check out responses to this question here

 

We hope you find this summary helpful and you can think about content curation with a bit more clarity. Thanks to Buffer for hosting such an amazing twitter chat.

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4 Types of Content Curation
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Office Things

A hot topic at the moment for content marketers is ‘content curation’. This is interesting because curation is an important but previously overlooked part of content creation.

However, content curation is a wider term for lots of different curation methods. It is helpful to explore what the different facets of ‘curation’ can mean so you can think about how best to curate.

Here is a list of the different ways that you can curate content:

1. Identify stories and information gaps

Like a commissioning editor, in order to create the best content for your audience, you must discover what is interesting for your audience. What hasn’t been published via the channels that your audience normally reads? What will challenge your audience? What information do like they like to see and be informed about?

2. Make your content impactful and accessible

Imagine you have 20 pieces of content, in many different varieties. There is a real skill in presenting these pieces of content in a way that gives your audience the most value. This is what a museum curator does – he adds descriptions and takes his audience on a journey. Each piece is part of a wider collective. You should aim to do this as part of your content as well, whether online or offline.

3. Give validity to your own content pieces

The best articles are informed articles. Article’s that give evidence to back up the argument in your content. Like a journalist, you must curate other articles and statistics to reference in your own content pieces. Then link to them either in the article body or as a reading list at the end.

4. Syndicate other content pieces on your platform

A DJ curates the best music that they know and presents these music pieces in a show or event. Equally, the best content creators syndicate and curate other content pieces to sit alongside their own articles and complement the mix.

Each of these things are hard and time consuming – nevertheless, by thinking through what the word means, you should give some clarity to your content processes.

Cronycle makes content curation infinitely easier.

Sign up for Cronycle here

 

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I’m biased?! No, you’re biased!
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Conversation

Maybe we’ve been listening out for it, or maybe this is a trend, but more and more people seem to be talking about bias.

It started when Tinder accused Vanity Fair of bias after their article attacking the dating app took over the media for a day. Then we noticed the NY Times were promoting their platform stating ‘Curiosity is Unbiased’. What with the media furore about the future of the BBC, who famously promotes themselves as a ‘neutral’ body – this is developing into the most misunderstood word of the summer.

Every person and every organisation has a particular bias – a leaning towards a particular way of thinking. Even an organisation which tries to be as objective as possible will only have access to a finite amount of information which will depend on previous relationships. Needless to say the attitude of ‘objectivity is good’ is a bias in and of itself.

[quoter color=stone] Nothing is immune to bias. [/quoter]

Nothing is immune to bias; statistics are biased – they were collated by a particular person or organisation for a particular need. Photography is biased – why did the photographer choose to point their camera in that direction in the first place? Science is biased – it is based on funding from biased individuals. Curiosity is biased – there is a reason why you are more curious in some interests as opposed to others.

The important thing when analysing information is to know exactly what the bias is – what is the purpose of the content, who is the audience for the content, what need is the content filling in the eyes of the writer. That way you can be privy to as much information as possible when making decisions.

But those ‘objective’ decisions will still be bias – but they will be shaped to a bias which has your best needs at heart, and not those of anyone else.

Claiming your are objective is like claiming you have a neutral accent. Everyone believes that their accent is the neutral one and everyone believes they are being objective.

[quoter color=rowan]Cronycle can help you navigate content’s biases. [/quoter]

Sign up for Cronycle here

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Marketeers: Learn from Publishers
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blog Reading

Many B2B companies are fairly new to content marketing; only in the last few years has the practice become mainstream. As a result, the profession is fighting to reach a level of maturity – there is currently no standard practice to produce and distribute content.

But there is another industry which has been producing and distributing content for hundreds of years – professional journalists and publishers! So content marketers can look to publisher’s techniques to find best practices to create their own content. And when it comes to B2B content, surely the best people to go to are B2B trade press and national press writers.

B2B publishers typically break their content production into the following categories. Each are useful and offer value to their readership.

News Stories

Breaking news

Typically shorter articles with short sentences and monosyllabic words

Limited number of sources to verify the news story – and comes from people who the reporter has spoken to personally

Photographs

Features – Analysis and Commentary

Analyse the causes and effects of major stories

Take longer to be written as they aren’t a knee-jerk reaction to an issue

The feature writer interviews experts and take reference from a wide number of sources; news articles, other commentaries, literature and wider ranging socio-political events

Typically longer in length and attempt to take a balanced point of view

Step-by-step guidelines

Practical information on how to apply wider trends to your business

For an example; this is a step-by-step guideline (admittedly with opinion fleshing out the wider points)

Opinion Editorials

Simply an opinion written by someone

Tends to lack that many references

Places the writer in the middle of the action

Have the highest impact when the writer is an authority on the subject

Now, the majority of the articles that we read by B2B brands fall into the opinion category, even though they are trying to be analysis and commentary. And why do they fall shy of the mark? Simply because there is not enough substantiated evidence for their point of view.

Are you communicating too much opinion and not enough analysis?

This article was written by a former publisher who produced B2B special reports for UK national newspapers.

Sign up for Cronycle here

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What is Cronycle?
Reading Time: 2 minutes

London

[quoter color=”honey”]What is Cronycle? [/quoter]

Cronycle marks a new era for content creators.

Cronycle marks a new era for you. Everyone is a content creator – everyone produces quality insight that is relevant for them and their teams. Everyone forms opinions using available evidence to satisfy their own curiosity.

The digital age marked a new world where information was freely publishable and freely available. Our world changed with the speed of communication; by our ability to collaborate and understand what is happening globally. The universe felt smaller, and barriers to entry felt lower. Opportunity permeated through the developed world.

With the advent of this new age, power lay in the hands of those who could access and filter through the web. Search engines and social sites rose and fell through the ranks of influence, with the most successful creating vast and huge empires.

Today, more and more information is available and access to the best analysis is harder and harder to do. Search engines and social networks use algorithms which leaves the user helpless and out of control. Workers share information using private messaging applications which are tricky to manage.

Cronycle marks a new era for accessible knowledge.

We believe in transparent choice. You should find what is relevant for you. You choose your sources. You control your feed.

We believe in collaboration. You should work with the people in your team and create intelligent analysis and aggregate understanding.

We believe in serendipity. You should stumble upon articles and information which lie outside your existing network. You should escape the echo-chamber and open your mind to new opinions.

What is Cronycle?

It puts meaning back into content.

It is for the content creators.

[quoter color=”sand”]It turns information into knowledge. [/quoter]

Sign up for Cronycle here

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You Are What You Read
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Martin Sorrell

‘I read a lot’ – claimed Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist in the 90s, when asked how he managed to create original and stimulating content on such a regular basis.

Such advice makes sense. The more you read, the more information you expose yourself to and the better you can create an accurate picture of the world around you.

But does this piece of advice stand true for the content creators today?

The short answer is ‘yes’, but with a new caveat. ‘Reading a lot’ today does not guarantee a greater understanding of the world in the same way it did in the 90s. It is now very easy to read a lot of rubbish. The cost of publishing content to a potential worldwide audience has fallen dramatically and, as a result, the information available to you to ‘read’ has increased exponentially.

Traditional news sources are not necessarily the best bet to ‘read’. Specialist blogs are often a better authority on niche subjects which you want to be knowledgeable about. Conversely, everyone has noticed the spiralling quality of newspaper content. It is not enough to believe that picking up your favourite newspaper means you always digest the best information anymore.

This problem has not gone unnoticed. For example; in ‘To Big to Know’, David Weinberger looks at a new theory of knowledge in a world with an abundance of information. JP Rangaswami blogs about information and the best way to filter through content.

However, when it comes to mainstream thought, I have infrequently heard professionals talk about whether they take responsibility for the information they read, in order to make sure it is always relevant for them.

[quoter color=”flamingo”]I (have not) heard professionals… take responsibility for the information they read [/quoter]

This is despite the fact many professionals attribute their success and knowledge to processing large amounts of information. One of the most intelligent speakers I’ve ever seen, Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP, is reported to rarely look up from his mobile, not even if he is sat watching the Wimbledon final in centre court. His knowledge on all markets is astounding, possibly because he is always so switched on.

There are some resources available to help professionals manage content streams and take charge; search engines, news readers, RSS amalgamators, and social filters (like friend’s recommendations) – however, none really seems adequate for professionals who need consistent information on niche subjects.

The CMI strongly advise that brands produce quality content and provides some excellent arguments as to how it will help achieve marketing objectives. This thought-leadership echoes similar advice by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Economist Intelligence Unit, and many other bloggers, thought leaders and agencies.

Which is true, content producers do need to focus on creating quality content. But equally, individuals need to take responsibility for reading quality content. And to close the loop, v?

So, how do you ‘read a lot’ in 2015, so you can produce content which parallels Bill Emmott in the 90s?

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What is content?
Reading Time: 2 minutes

ContentThe meaning of the word content has changed a lot in the past 5 years. Previously when someone spoke about the word ‘content’ it seemed to be the meaning behind the platform. You probably heard the word ‘content’ used in the following contexts:

“There was no content to the article” – i.e. the article was full of waffle and didn’t really express any new idea in a coherent way

“The play lacked content”, “the painting lacked content” – saying something lacks content is like saying there is “style without substance”

Content used to be the information or the experience which is irrespective of the medium it was delivered on. Content was an extremely human entity because although a computer could interpret the language the content was delivered on, only a human would truly understand what the point to be made was.

However, that definition of the word seems to be changing. Content seems to simply mean ‘stuff’. An organisations content is simply all the ‘stuff’ that it has at it’s disposal to communicate it’s message. It is no longer a term which refers to the quality of a message, or the emotional connection you have to a medium, or whether it generates any sort of understanding.

Given the rise of content marketing, both of B2B content marketing and B2C content marketing, it seems that this new definition is going to stick. Marketers like to call their marketing ‘content’, irrespective if their content does lack content.

So when we at Cronycle refer to content, we’re referring to digital ‘stuff’ that is attempting to convey meaning. Articles, photographs, videos and audio all fall into this mix – and it is getting to the stage where finding exactly what you need is getting harder and harder.

However, we’re also assuming that as a user of Cronycle, you care about the best content. And you want to make sure the content you create is as insightful and informative as it possible can be. Which is why we hope when people talk about content created using Cronycle, it comes back to the original meaning of the word content – the information that is relevant and meaningful and your readers will thank you for saying it.

Sign up for Cronycle here

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

We know that quite a few of you have put a lot of work into your feedly and Inoreader accounts – you’ve made sure your collections are populated with the right feeds so you can read relevant content every day.

We also know that many of you would like to use the features on Cronycle which aren’t available on feedly and Inoreader like;

  • Filter your custom feeds for keywords to get the most relevant content right away
  • See the articles the accounts you follow on twitter are sharing
  • Analytics on sources – track which sources shout the loudest about niche topics to monitor your biases
  • Work from boards with your teams to create new content ideas

Luckily, there is an easy way for you to transfer all those feeds on your Feedly account across to Cronycle. It’s by creating an OPML file, and here we’ll walk you through the steps for transferring your Feedly sources into Cronycle.

What is an OPML file?

An OPML file is simply a large group of RSS feeds.

How do I find my OPML file?

Feedly

Click on this link to download your OPML file. Head to the sources page and click on the OPML file link which will show you how to upload your folder to Cronycle.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 14.28.05

When you refresh the page, you will have your all sources neatly arranged into folders.

Inoreader

To download your OPML file from Inoreader go to:

Preferences > Import/Export.

Under ‘Export’ click on the link “Click this link to export your data”. Finally, click on the link “Download OPML subscriptions file only”.

Then go to the sources page of Cronycle and Import your OPML file.

Using Cronycle to filter

We can imagine you’d like to take all the sources in one folder and filter the articles in them.

  • Click on the label you’d like to filter
  • Make sure all the sources in the folder are checked in the tick box
  • Click Bulk Action to use all the checked sources in a collection
  • Name your custom feed, set up your filters and you’re ready to go!

Equally, you can add your twitter account and start to include these twitter handles in various different folders to keep your sources organised.

Let us know how you get on!

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