30 Digital Mediums

Random Observation/Comment #729: We should all think about how our works can take different forms to reach different audiences.

Why this List?

We create a lot of digital content to communicate ideas and expressions of ourselves and our products. In a quest to better understand how my lists of 30 content and other material I create can be expressed, I just did this brain dump of application approaches that really made me think about the evolution of content consumption and creation.

I’ve found it a very valuable journey through the 2000s to today and super useful when thinking about marketing/product-market fit for some of these emerging areas.

  1. Individual’s Short Thoughts
    1. Instant messaging (AIM) away messages – The OG of expressing our creativity.
    2. Social media posts/tweets – Creation of content via these social media networks was key to collecting material.
  2. Personal Customized Websites
    1. Personal blogs – If you were high tech and Asian in 2004, you had a Xanga and MySpace page.
    2. WordPress/Blogger hosting – If you had money to buy a domain through GoDaddy, then you probably installed some of these pre-packaged content management systems (this was well established and SquareSpace could still swoop in for a design-first market share).
  3. Email lists
    1. Subscriptions for every website has still become a big piece of communication. I honestly love using email for reading newsletters.
  4. Photo galleries and edited photos
    1. One of the main reasons Facebook became popular was because of these timelines of pictures and shared friends circles
    2. The main reason Instagram became popular because it was easy to push edited photos to connected other social networks.
    3. Photography Portfolios – Professionals either created their own site or leveraged a photographer-specific network for connecting personal portfolios to buyers of event/wedding/lifestyle services. This brings up how tokens in the crypto world are looking at different niches.
  5. Advertising
    1. One of the worst things invented. There is some artwork to creating promoted content or making sponsored content look relevant. It’s just another step towards paid science experiments to make the results look favorable to a product.
  6. RSS feed news reels
    1. Man, I miss Google Reader. RSS is still so powerful and is still the backbone of subscriptions and data sharing. I really love how Twitter and other networks made this completely interactive.
  7. Stumbleupon
    1. The browser button that randomized websites based on some algorithm of tagging and grouping. So brilliant. Not exactly a digital medium, but nostalgia is powerful. I like this method of finding new content and providing reviews. Focus was on curiosity.
  8. Resharing and Liking
    1. This was more important than the content – the dopamine hit of receiving fake internet points and extra layer of data input from preferences through liking or up-voting is a short expression and data point
  9. Webcomics
    1. I was so addicted to that Wednesday morning new comic. Satire at its best – one panel at a time.
  10. Pdf research pieces behind pay walls
    1. Collecting sign-up emails based on industry research for your product is pretty old school. I guess you can use LaTeX to make any content look professional worthy of investment. Farewell IEEE gated papers; Hello random white/yellow paper of half baked ideas for ICOs
  11. Articles – Long form pieces
    1. Social media sites – Facebook notes, LinkedIn articles, Medium posts – These grew into more comprehensive newsletters and representations of individual following over branded conglomerates.
    2. News organizations have a bigger budget, team and outreach, but blogs were so much more personal and can warrant personal followings through Substack or Patreon when embedding recurring payments functionality.
  12. Vlogs
    1. Self publishing at first about the nonsense of the day, but once reporting on numbers and activities became real, this style of expression has become rampant. Consistency in videos leads to subscription and anticipation for unique takes.
  13. Video publishing for monetization
    1. YouTube – this was huge – Yes, it’s rare to profit and become a YouTube celebrity, but advertising and affiliate marketing has made this a whole fascinating industry
  14. Video streaming of movies and series
    1. Subscription-based full access – At first the deals to go from theaters to streaming, but now the direct to streaming for a larger audience
    2. On demand / Early access – Payments + video for Hollywood and Netflix/smaller funded players. We’re just at the tip of these wars for actors.
  15. Gifs
    1. Posts or in chats (Giphy) – Why do I need a video, if a well known scene in the movie can give me the range of expression I wanted for a statement or opinion?
  16. Memes
    1. Making your own or deriving from common self explanatory images is actually quite brilliant. Derivative images are so clever. Egyptian hieroglyphics were probably all joke cat memes.
  17. Pdfs shared by investment bankers that just get referred to as “decks
    1. These evolved into LinkedIn Slideshare, but it doesn’t seem to have caught on as much. Whoever figures out that they can create at tik tok video reason to invest in their private market offering will land huge deals with the new money generation – relatable to cryptocurrency pumping.
  18. Books
    1. Ebooks with Ebook formats for ebook specific devices and apps became its own vertical (see Kindle). It definitely reduced the price of production and distribution.
    2. Ebook summaries – 12 min and GetAbstract are such great ways to preview books with audio options
  19. Audio books
    1. I love authors reading their own audio books. Audible has done extremely well in this space.
  20. Aggregated Non-fiction (curated facts?)
    1. Wikis – Shared updates to a database of articles. Mostly for fact checks done by a bunch of nerds, but pretty much a huge community keeping each other in check.
  21. Mind mapping
    1. Visual representations in spider web formats. I should probably make this one into a mindmap.
  22. Notetaking apps
    1. Roam Research – Idea of taking notes and referencing different pages into a second brain.
  23. Instant messaging apps and group chats (bye bye SMS)
    1. Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, WeChat, Telegram, Signal – All aspects of direct communication has become the traditional way of informing your “close group”. I love Telegram and Signal groups for engagement to the devs of new projects.
  24. Advanced messaging platforms
    1. Slack and Discord which includes features that cover all forms of sharing, threads of interaction, and emotions.
  25. Live streaming
    1. Video games – Twitch with tipping. What ever happened to Periscope?
    2. Webinars – Crowdcast, Youtube Live, direct to Twitch, etc – Usually you can do multiple pushes of data from the streaming site to longer term storage and conversions
    3. Tipping – This is brilliant. Tip the people directly for streaming their content live
  26. Ephemeral messaging
    1. Snapchat – This has evolved into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn stories
  27. Expression through dating profiles
    1. Tinder, Bumble, etc – I never went on a date through a dating app, but I remember helping friends write creative things
  28. Podcasts
    1. As conversations and interviews about topics, I still think this is really powerful for connecting to people’s emotions
    2. Theater / Improv / Murder mysteries – It’s a great way to passively observe content
    3. Live audio-only streaming – Clubhouse – Is Clubhouse still a thing? Seems like live radio, which is just radio, but with better reporting on statistics
  29. Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality
    1. VR 3D worlds and experiences – Oculus is actually quite impressive and intuitive. I still think Facebook is going all-in on this play.
    2. Live Video augmentation – Pretty cool having those Snapchat overlays. Designers can make their own overlays and spend their time in this niche.
    3. Projected Augmented Reality – There are some interesting research projects that use projectors to make some new 3D images on blank walls
    4. Metaverse Economics – Starting with Second Life and moving into Cryptovoxels and Decentraland
  30. Super addictive AI recommendation video short clips
    1. Tik tok – More recent experimentation with YouTube shorts and Instagram reels – This type of “liquidity” gives the algorithm more points of access for preference. Better input leads to better output recommendations. Bye bye manual tagging; Hello, random all knowing preferences through hours of short watched videos.

Bonus (because this list was too easy to write):

  1. Native crypto
    1. Cryptocurrencies are here to stay and totally disrupting the transfer of value
    2. Yay clemcoin from 2012 (old school fork of litecoin) – Apps will create tokens like websites made email subscriptions. Airdrop my loyal followers some random tokens
  2. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
    1. For Artwork – See all the cray out there. Small plug to a Messari article by Mason Nystrom that has a recent view of the NFT ecosystem
    2. As Articles – see mirror.xyz
    3. For Events – I love POAP and the idea of badges being used for permissions to gated content
    4. Design Extensions – NFTs will have value because or gaming or other design studios that add value to specific unique holdings. This could be a VR or AR skin and can span across multiple areas. Imagine hiring someone to extend your NFT purchase with the same style like a house adding value with new construction upgrades

Thinking through my own Lists of 30 side project, I’ve covered:

Coming Soon (maybe?)

  • Audiobook – Slowly recording since I have the material
  • GIFs / Memes? – There’s a list of 30 for that
  • Live streaming? – Maybe?
  • Vlogging / Shorter videos? – Maybe?
  • NFTs – Sure!
  • Personal Social token for coordinating which List of 30 topic to write next? Sure?
  • Advertising? – Absolutely Not.

~See Lemons Create More Content