Channel Peer

There’s no arguing that personal communication and the sharing of ideas has thread itself into the fabric of our lives. A variety of tools and channels allow us to share, but as new platforms join old ones, how we share is certainly changing.

Creating long-form, static content as found on platforms like blogs takes a considerable amount of time and effort, and for the majority blogging just isn’t something they want to take the time to create. Blogging is far from dead because those who create content are passionate and eager to create more, and there’s no lack of people who want to consumer that content. However, according to a Trendstream report, blog writing declined by 4% in 2010 and forum participation decreased by 11%.

This doesn’t mean idea sharing and content creation has gone down. It’s just moved to real-time social networks and microblogs, as participation on these platforms increased 20%.

Tune In to Channel Peer

Static content platforms like blogs and forums are being replaced in some but not all instances by real-time platforms, including Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, that focus on in-the-moment, up-to-the-second content sharing. People aren’t only sharing information about their lives. They’re aggregating content from around the web (some of it found on blogs) and sharing it, which is exactly why Twitter changed its prompt from “How are you doing?” to “What’s happening?”

Now, consumers can use platforms to connect with certain individuals that they feel share valuable information, whether it’s pictures of a new baby or reporters following breaking news. What is valuable is always in the eye of the beholder.

Users can tune into each other, and access each other’s thoughts quickly and easily by taking platforms like Facebook and Twitter to create a custom channel of information unique to the individual. No one’s Channel Peer is the same.

Creating your own channel really wouldn’t be feasible without real-time social media. The relative ease platforms have implemented for users to create channels makes the barriers to consume content low, and compared to other platforms, the ease to create and share content is effortless.

Facebook’s Sponsored Stories

Facebook understands Channel Peer, which essentially lives in the News Feed. Now, along with Facebook Page posts, they plan to give marketers another way to leverage the channel through Sponsored Stories.

Sponsored Stories are ads built into the News Feed, but the ads are created by users. For example, if your friend checks into Target, the update shows up in your News Feed as well as in a separate ad unit marked “Sponsored Story."

Leverage the Channel

Breaking into Channel Peer isn’t easy. You first need to get your consumers and the connections of your consumers talking and sharing your message. This may be through influencer outreach or creating an experience worth sharing, which always relies on marketers establishing relationships and being totally awesome, behavior that doesn’t happen overnight.