The Altantic‘s Alexis Madrigal wrote a great article last week about sharing on the internet. It pushes for a shift in thinking away from link sharing as the purview of social apps. Instead, Madrigal argues that this should be seen as the visible, or perhaps commodifiable, portion of online sharing. While many of us link to articles in Twitter or Facebook, we also send emails and instant messages with those links. Perhaps I think that one of the ‘books of women’ cartoons going around today is particularly hilarious, but I may just want to pass it on to one or two people who share my sense of humour. At this point, I may want to choose a less public way of sharing this information.
But what is the effect of my choice? For one, it makes it difficult for the destination site to track how I learned about the item. It also makes it more difficult for the people behind the site to place the content in a manner that will make it more findable to me. Just as ever, they have to rely on its interest or value to me… which is what we’ve been hearing from the content strategists for a good long while now.
So, put away those SEO marketing materials and make sure your communications are aligned with your organizational goals. Make sure that your content creators are empowered and in a position to collaborate with knowledge holders in your organization. By all means, boost your signal on social sites. But remember that they are only the tip of the sharing iceberg.