The Problem That Triond Solves
Many times, the first question I am asked about Triond is “What does Triond do?” Sometimes, I’d rather the first question be, “What problem does Triond solve?” After all, problem solving is how it all began for Triond.
To understand the problem that Triond solves, let’s begin with the birth of user generated content.
Introducing a near zero-cost distribution model, the web completely revolutionized the traditional publishing industry. Servers delivering webpages on demand to browsers around the world turned out to be much cheaper than the old method of printing- shipping- delivery-selling. The web enabled a much cheaper and more effective publishing process.
Now that publishing costs were down, a lot of web publishers arose. The demand for writers increased, and more writers than ever before were given the chance to have their writing published. In the meantime, users found themselves generating online content through their participation in communication applications, such as public email lists, forums and message boards. The concept of user generated content became more viable.
Yet, there wasn’t any online application that allowed you to express your creativity, knowledge and expertise for the initial intent of consumption by end users. Publishers were still in control of this type of content generation. However, even with the boom of online publishers, there were many more people wishing to be published than there were publishers willing to publish them.
This growing demand encouraged the second revolution: Web 2.0.
No other activity marked the beginning of the web2.0 era more than blogging. While web1.0 eliminated the distribution costs, web2.0 eliminated the technology costs. The content management systems and web publishing tools that enabled online publishing were mostly proprietary and expensive during the first web era.
Web2.0 introduced the free or nearly-free blogging platforms. All of a sudden, anyone with the slightest understanding of operating a computer and a web browser could operate their own publishing service. If you couldn”t find a web publisher willing to publish your work, just publish on your own. Better yet, now that you have the chance to publish on your own, why even bother looking for a publisher?
And so blogging began.
Has Blogging Proven to be Successful?
The blogging revolution has been tracked and analyzed by Technorati almost since it began. Every year, Technorati publishes the “State of the Blogosphere” report that analyzes blogging from many different aspects.
At first, you may be astounded to know that Technorati has tracked 133 million blogs since 2002. That’s a very impressive number. But watch as the numbers shrink significantly when describing the actual activity. In the 120 days before the report was published, as few as 7.4 million bloggers had posted new posts. That’s only 5.5% of the tracked blogosphere. Narrow the count to seven days, and the figure shrinks to only 1.5 millions – a mere 1.1% of the blogosphere.
Those figures reveal two significant facts:
- Blogging is something that millions of people were willing to try.
- Most of them – however – churned.
125 million churns translates to 125 million disappointed individuals. That makes blogging one of the most disappointing activities on earth.
Generally, blogging is perceived to be rooted solidly in web culture. Well, apparently it is not. It did leave its mark on a huge number of people, and there are many successful blogs that have a very significant impact in their niche. However, a 95% fallout rate is not something that represents a phenomena with a lot of traction. If email and instant messaging, for example, had the same churn rate, they wouldn’t be where they are today. It seems that even social networking – the younger web2.0 brother of blogging – has experienced more traction.
What Makes Blogging So Disappointing?
People don’t get disappointed unless they have preliminary expectations that aren’t met. Understanding what were bloggers expectations from blogging may shed some light about the reasons for their general disappointment.
Technorati asked bloggers for the reasons they blog. Reasons and expectations are quite parallel in this instance:
Considering more than 95% of bloggers were disappointed and as a result churned, we can assume that in 95% of the cases certain expectations weren’t met. So we can go on and generalize that bloggers are disappointed because:
- They don’t feel that they are being read enough
- Their expertise and experiences are not being shared with as many people as they hoped
- They aren’t meeting and connecting with like-minded people
- They aren’t being published or featured in traditional media
- Their resumes are not being enhanced to the extent they desired
- They don’t make as much money as they were hoping to make
This is not so surprising. It is very pretentious to expect all those things to happen simply because you write something and publish it on your blog. Writing alone is not enough.
Bloggers are not Publishers. They are Writers.
Herein lies the failure of blogging as a method. It extracted the technology from traditional publishing and provided a platform that anyone could use, but that’s the only thing it extracted. It did not provide all other components that are vital for effective publishing, just the naked technology. Blogging provided the platform and expected bloggers to come up with additional services themselves.
In other words, blogging forced writers to become publishers. Effective publishing incorporates a lot of elements: writing, editorial, marketing, distribution, sales, monetization, optimization, communication and much more. However, bloggers are not publishers. They are simply aspiring writers. Bloggers who weren’t willing to take on tasks other than writing, and furthermore, to become good at those tasks, didn’t stand a chance.
Triond: A New Approach for User Generated Content
With these millions of disappointed people in mind, my partners and I looked for a solution. We decided to implement a new approach for user generated content, something completely different from blogging. Something that will enable writers to be published effectively without forcing them to become full scale publishers.
And so we created Triond, our approach to solving the problems associated with blogging.
Did we suceed? You tell me.