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Content Catchup: The Art of Thought Leadership, Gigaom’s Native Ad Scandal, and More Must-Reads

Here’s what you missed while debating whether “sexy chicken” is an appropriate costume for your company Halloween party…

How to Write Thought Leadership Posts That Don’t Make Editors (and Readers) Want to Die

Contently co-founder Shane Snow goes meta with a thought leadership post on… thought leadership:

If entrepreneurship is, as Harvard professor Howard Stevenson calls it, “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled,” then business builders have a lot in common with journalists. And whereas entrepreneurs can learn much from thejournalism trade itself, some of today’s top business leaders are actually participating in journalism, with enterprise-worthy results.

The way they do it is through guest writing, and the point of attack is the Opinion section or other places where publications print expert commentary. Whether it’s the governor of New York guest writing a persuasive essay on climate change in a daily newspaper or this guest column you’re reading right now in Fast Company, most magazines, newspapers, and blogs allot space for industry experts to share their points of view.

But most publications won’t take just anyone. And they won’t print thinly-veiled marketing messages with no takeaway. Here are four tips for getting printed and breaking through the full-to-bursting inboxes at your top-choice publications: Read it.

I Explored ‘Interstellar’ Using Oculus Rift. What I Found Was the Future of Storytelling

Dillon Baker experienced Interstellar through the lens of Oculus Rift, and found that storytelling will never be the same:

What is the future of space travel? Can humanity expand beyond our native home? What would it mean if reality could be virtually recreated? These are some of the big questions that have shaped science fiction, and at least one of them is finally very close to being answered. Read it.

10 Tech Trends That Will Change the Way We Tell Stories

New tools and publishing technologies are shaking up the media world on a weekly basis. Yael Graer looks at the 10 trends that you need to know about today. Read it.

Why Is Gigaom Running an Overtly Promotional Native Ad for the NSA?

After The Atlantic‘s Scientology debacle, I didn’t think we’d see another native ad mess-up on that level. I was wrong:

Last week, we dissected Gigaom’s bizarre and inconsistent sponsored content: Some posts are high-quality analysis of industry issues; others are 100 words of product copy pasted into an article format. Now the NSA is running a sponsored post on Gigaom, and it’s 220 words of pure advertorial, recruiting cloud computing professionals for the NSA. And it could be quite troublesome if Gigaom hopes to credibly cover the NSA in the future. Let’s look at a few aspects.Read it.

The Science of Content Creation, According to BuzzFeed and Coca-Cola

In today’s media world, it’s not just about creating content; it’s about constantly testing and iterating the content you create, and experimenting with new ways to get it in front of the right audiences. Sam Petulla dishes on how BuzzFeed, Coca-Cola, and Mediabrands have boiled that down to a science:

Making creative choices may start out as an art, but as capable publishers have found out, understanding which choices audiences respond to has become a crucial science.

A/B testing, the process of comparing engagement results for two variables, is now the popular choice for testing audience preferences and eliminating uncertainties. BuzzFeed is a leader, if not the leader, in A/B testing. They experiment with everything from headlines to item No. 42 in a listicle. Likewise, Upworthy pioneered the testing every element of a piece of content, including all the elements that surround it on a webpage. Read it.

Enjoy the last bits of sunshine this weekend; it won’t be long until this is your life:

buzzfeed, coca cola, content distribution, content marketing, GigaOm, left, native advertising, NSA, Oculus Rift, storytelling, thought leadership

Image by AJ Schuster
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