Andy Capaloff
February 10, 2014

Context Broadens Audience. Questions Broaden Discussion

To Break free of the Silo, look outside of it.

Seems obvious, right?  But somehow, whereas the problem is evident to many, a broad solution remains elusive.  Indeed, as communities form within the Content Marketing world, could it be that the culture is exacerbating rather than alleviating the issue?

It is what prompted me to write the article Why Thought Leaders Need Provocateurs.  However, the phenomenon is certainly not limited only to thought leaders.

In response to this surprisingly overlooked article on Social Context by Anastasia Ashman, ‘Judy’ commented: “Is there a risk that by creating our individual cultures we are also creating silos of people just like us? While I understand the need to focus, it’s also important to poke our heads up above the parapet occasionally and check in with what’s happening in the wider world.”

Well said, Judy!

Insularity is something we carry with us from the sandbox to the social clique at school; then at every step along the way including our move into the burgeoning world of Social Media.  It would be difficult to find a better representation of this than the following quote, by Douglas Adams, the sadly deceased, brilliantly satirical author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series:

Douglas Adams Quote

We are talking to each other and not doing a great job of disseminating our messages to the broader universe.  In many ways, we are not even showing a full awareness of the broader universe.

We are the newest form of media but very clearly, we are at the specialist magazine end of things, not the big market newspaper end, and maybe that is the way it must be.  But we must still ask the question of how many of us are succeeding in that more modest goal and how many are simply reinforcing messages amongst ourselves.

Now that my point has been made regarding an issue some may not even be conscious of, I have a suggestion about how to start chipping away at this.

Maybe it is a sign of my own insularity, but for all of the various IT skillsets I have picked up over the years, I see Quality Assurance as the one that is most easily transportable, and not necessarily in the way some may imagine.

QA is more a mindset than a profession.  It requires that people don’t look only where others are looking.  Quite the contrary!

Re-confirming that which is already known is simply a rubber stamp that will never highlight missing pieces. 

Templates and roadmaps are a wonderful means for people to achieve known objectives, but they also set the boundaries within which those objectives can be achieved.  They reinforce the limits of our experience. 

The only way to find different answers is to seek them elsewhere.

The common wisdom that to get different answers, you need to ask different questions, is at least partly inaccurate.  That only holds true within the confines of a siloed community.  By expanding the community to people with different experiences, you need only to ask the same questions again, to break free of the self-cast mold.

The takeaway here is clear: If a definition of Curation 1.0 is the wrapping of Context around Content in order to reach a new niche audience, perhaps Curation 2.0 needs to add new questions and new answers to Content. 

After all

Context broadens the audience but questions from outsiders broaden the discussion.



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Andy Capaloff

Andy Capaloff is the COO of Curatti. Prior to moving into the world of Content Marketing, Social Media Management and the day-to-day running of a Digital Marketing company, Andy spent over 3 decades in various aspects of IT. It is here that he honed his writing and technical skills, and his ability to ask uncommon questions.