Kicking off Web Content 2008 in Chicago is Dick Costolo from Google speaking on Hypersyndication and the Future of Media. Dick made up the word “hypersyndication” to refer to a world in which all content is distributed everywhere, where content is shared, remixed, socialized and put in places the original creator did not expect it to be put in. A great example of what Dick is so passionate about is the current Reuters website. In the right-hand column occupying prime spaces that are usually sold for ads are two sections: “related blog posts” and “related web news.” Both are operated by third parties and pull content from third parties all over the Internet to the Reuters website. Though it seems rather counterintuitive, providing such “hypersyndicated” content helps Reuters generate more traffic, can result in recirculation of their own content and lends a sense of authenticity to the brand. Other features on the website like Comments, RSS Feeds and Share are more evidence of how completely distributed and social content has become in just three years. Three key points that Dick made were that: # Feeds are everywhere: everyone is using them and content provides have to distribute their content in order to be seen # Community is everywhere: media today is shared, the conversation is growing in importance, and influence and authenticity trump authority # Activity streams are up and coming: these streams, like FriendFeed, are reaggregating conversations and then distributing them too A few more takeaways: * These days you are able to create a brand around smaller and smaller units of work, such as comments (e.g. Disqus, Intense Debate) * An implication for advertising is that the same monetization strategy can’t be used for distribution as for the website * As content distribution becomes more social, the challenge is how to participate * An interesting example of participation through customer service is getsatisfaction.com Dick did a great job outlining a trend that is just in the beginning stages, but that is slowly yet surely shaping the future of both media production and consumption. I’ll leave you with some of his wise words: “If everybody’s against it, that’s probably a good sign that there’s disruption in the market and you should pay attention to it.”