If you commoditize toys, you remove the toymaker. If you remove the toymaker, the toy is only an object of consumption. It ceases to be an object of wonder.
When tasked in 2009 to “fill up the search engines,” during my time at AOL Music, we published 20+ posts a day. Anything that people might search for, let’s have something written and published.
Here we had a stable of competent, knowledgeable writers – all uniquely qualified individuals – cranking out SEO-friendly “content” to be read and indexed by machines.
As an editor this pained me.
Throw away posts about band members getting arrested got more traffic than finely written interviews with notable artists.
Therefore, feed the machine. Find the drama. Find the bleeding story in the ocean of content, attract the swarm of sharks.
At this point, the inmates run the asylum. The child screams for a cookie, so feed them cookies.
“That which is unique, breaks.”
A unique offering, built with editorial discernment, breaks.
I do not need to spoil your view with visions of this architecture, I only wonder, what have their creators ever repaired?
Who has turned the ship around? Rebuilt the damaged hull? Fixed a site? Started from scratch?
As Seth Godin says, “If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.”