Last week I had the great pleasure of sharing at the InterVarsity Press staff retreat. They asked me to come and share about the concept of a content ecosystem and I was glad to take the time to invest in their team.
This idea is critical to understanding how content thrives in today's world. My main point was that content, just like energy in a natural ecosystem, is generated, transferred and recycled all the time. The challenge is how to understand this content cycle and harness it to empower ideas.
If we think of the ground as the cause, the plants as the content and the living organisms as the community, then we see how these ecosystems are set up. By having a rich and deepening cause, it grows dynamic content which then helps the communities thrive as they consume it.
The biggest challenge to this idea is looking at publishing holistically. Instead of seeing our job as manufacturing books, we must see our job as birthing, growing and cultivating ideas that transform readers.
The organic metaphor is so important to helping us see content as alive and dynamic. If we simply see content as dead words on a page we are destined to kill the very ideas we are trying to bring to life.
So do you understand your cause, content and community? Do you treat your ideas as an ecosystem that needs every help to thrive?