Infographic reveals online content is just digital skywriting…

The following infographic was emailed directly to me by a friend. It did not pass GO, or come via a social site.

I understand it was originally created by Intel as part of a research project.

it's impossible to keep up...
it’s impossible to keep up…

You’ll need to click on the image to read the fine print.

What is the clear message it sends?

One message could be the discovery of a miracle pill that allows us to live to 350 years of age and never require sleep. That way we can spend 24/7/365 doing nothing but reading social media and other online content. Woohoo!

The real message it makes is the majority of “content” – that stuff used in “content marketing” – is never seen, or only seen by a small handful of people.

After all, if this is what’s going on in just one minute, it’s physically impossible to keep up with all your news feed, social posts and other “real-time” content streaming into your multiple screens. When would you work, sleep, go to the loo, eat or whatever?

It appears the interweb is full of people publishing content that rarely gets noticed, let alone read. Millions of individuals and companies, focused on publishing their own stuff and ignoring much of everyone else’s. Which makes it very difficult to reach lots of people at the same time, like mass media does.

It’s a lot like skywriting really.


Skywriting is only seen if you happen to be looking up at the time the words are ‘published’ and the wind is not strong. If you aren’t watching you won’t even notice the content before it disappears on the breeze forever.

The same principle applies to social media posts. Unless you are on the page when the post appears in your news feed, you’ll never see it again. And given the volume of content being published – see infographic – there’s little chance you’ll see 1% of the content in your various news feeds, social sites, blogs and newsletters.

It’s just digi-wind, blowing in cyberspace never to be seen again.

As media channels, the digital ones are really struggling to deliver a positive ROI. Every day new advertising opportunities appear as new website pages, blogs, social sites, apps and more are created. They are all chasing the elusive (and limited) advertising dollar to fund them. These spots are becoming cheaper to buy because they are becoming less effective. People cannot view the exponential growth in the number of pieces of content – there are just not the hours in the day, nor the people available to view the content.

This is the dilemma for marketers. It’s sometimes cheaper to produce content for the interweb, but making the content perform gets harder every day, as the volume of content available to customers and prospects is growing exponentially. The one saving grace, is that every marketing activity conducted online is measurable, so you can test to see what works and what doesn’t.

What’s that you say? Over 60% of marketers never look at their online analytics or data, so they don’t know what works. Well how do they know if they are investing their shareholder’s money wisely? Don’t get me started.

Have to go now and read my Tweets, FB, LinkedIn, favourite blogs, RSS feeds, online news, email, today’s newspaper, watch YouTube, attend a webinar and listen to the radio. Not to mention post my comments, take photos of things to post, think about what to post, that’s right I have to go to the post office to collect my post and also post some mail.

I assume you’re reading this, somebody, anybody? Are you there? Please comment, please…


  1. “We’re all, comfortably numb”.

    Timely post and something I’ve been contemplating as well.

    However, the other aspect of it is that search engines love content, and generally speaking the more content you produce the better your search engine performance.

    And given that organic search results produce a great deal of leads and revenue, producing content is simply a necessary requirement.

  2. Thanks Mark

    Sad we have to run our businesses based on search engines. That’s why the stronger your brand, the less you need to optimise for generic category terms. The more people that search for your brand, the less you have to invest in SEO/SEM.

    Glad you’re also a Pink Floyd fan!

  3. Never a truer word said!

    Online is another tool in our arsenal … and i generally find most people who solely champion one “miracle cure” solution to a client are looking to advance thier bank balance not the best solution for the client . (Essentially speaking out of thier arsenal)

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