Make it, break it, or take it?

I’ve been thinking about content creators and the couple hundred subscriptions in my Google Reader.  When thinking about the content that shows up every day, there are people who

  • Make it.  These people are few and far between and even these “makers” aren’t posting new stuff all the time. But more often than not, they’re coming up with fresh content that makes you think.  Makes you wonder if some of them actually sleep or not.  These blogs typically have a high volume of posts that hit on a regular basis.
  • Break it.  These people are known for having the scoop, being on the inside track, and tell the rest of the world about stuff first.  Most of the tech bloggers rose to popularity with this style.  These blogs publish sporadically but you will usually be able to track a story back to them given all the inbound links on Twitter, Friendfeed, etc.
  • Take it.  These people aren’t first to the feed with information, but they digest the facts, analyze them, and make a story their own.  These blogs make you think are filled with posts you star and save for later. They usually post with a slower cadence than other blogs.

The kind of content I don’t subscribe to comes from the people who fake it.  They’re easy to spot at the extreme: spammers looking to leverage the hard work of others.  Unfortunately, there’s a lot of grey area out there – sponsored conversations, ghost writing, even blatant plagiarizing – and the noise vs. signal has only gotten worse.

I haven’t linked to any blogs as examples here on purpose. (Please don’t take it personally.)  But do let me know who some of your favorite people are who make, break, and take content well.

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  1. i’d like to nominate another category: those that “bake” it. i spend most of my time gathering the right ingredients, coming up with the right recipes and then spending most of my time in the [corporate] kitchen getting things done. i am remiss not to make more time to write a cookbook, admittedly.

  2. Over the past year I’ve decided to focus on output. I try to get a post out every business day. Usually this leads to decent traffic, high quality commenting and a community being built in a relatively short amount of time.

    Am I going to step back and lessen posts in the next year? Perhaps, but I tend to like the general rhythm that I have gotten myself into.

  3. Astute analysis on the behaviours in the blogosphere — i would say that these are traits that are rampant in the Twittersphere as well. Probably applies to almost any social network where information and ideas are openly shared. I fear the evolution of publishing ideas and information may alter the concept of authorship (it shouldn’t). But ethics and integrity should not have to be compromised regardless the medium. I know you wrote this piece — anyone else purpetuating these concepts w/o reference to you will have no cred. with me. Will the community preserve these ethics or just buy into whomever they heard it from last? I hope the former.

  4. Let’s not forget about those who “rake it”. Apply any definition to that as you see fit.Though in baseball, if someone “can rake”, it means they can absolutely hit the ball everywhere-so definitely applicable. Or perhaps it could define someone who beats a story or topic to death.. and or it could be someone who prefers to rake others over the coals at their expense and to the bloggers delight, a la a TechCrunch. Either way, good start here Peter.

  5. I’d like to think that my own writing is a combination of make it and take it. I’m not sure that I’ll ever break it and I can’t imagine a scenario when I would either shake it or quake it.

    At least once a year I choose to lake it and occasionally I have been known to for-goodness’-sake it. Whenever it’s sleeping I like to gently wake it but when everyone else is on, I sometimes flake it.

  6. Thank you for addressing this phenomena.

    I have also been noticing the tweeting of blog posts without acknowledging the blog name, or author in the tweet. It conveys that the tweeter has composed the blog, vs. doing the “RT @peterkim post name, hyperlink” protocol.

    I suppose there will be those who will tweet “Make It, Break It, Take It” plus hyperlink and ignore your re-tweet button.

    What are your thoughts on this observation?

  7. Ha! Great post! How I would love to be one of those who actually breaks it, but I feel that at times, I’m out of the loop. Lol. But good call on those who fake it. There are much too many of them already! More than even I want to handle.

  8. Interesting taxonomy.

    I tend to do different ones at different times. If you’re a make it person, it’s hard to post frequently just doing that. Unless you are Seth Godin 😉

  9. Exactly – continually creating fresh content is nearly impossible. I’d say that most analysts operate with a “take it” approach, while many of the Silicon Valley bloggers are “break it” people.

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