The value of presentation continued

My last post was provocatively titled “Fuck content, it’s how it’s presented that matters”. Good conversation occurred in the comments. But to summarise Rob Lang (of thefreerpgblog) pretty much hit the nail firmly on (or at least around) the head:

I _think_ you’re not complaining about your own “exposure” but instead feeling the pain for those people who create lovely content, which is ultimately ignored because of poor presentation. Perhaps you’re also reeling against those people who have gorgeous sites but the content is toilet.

I was surprised that there was disagreement on it, that the value of how something is “presented” (be it marketing or layout) is sometimes more important than the content itself. (Content is still important of course but…)

It’s interesting then to see this article popup in my twitter stream (via @daveconcannon): How I got a blank book to the top of the Amazon charts

He summarises how he did this in three points:

  1. A great PR company, which reported stories about the item: The London PR Agency.
  2. A YouTube Video – that showed me and the book too.
  3. Some clear, professional images.

You could argue that “content” is the novelty of the idea or that this simply proves the exception rather than the rule. But I’m no so easily convinced. For a start the “blank book” idea isn’t new (there was one done in the 70s called “Everything Men Know About Women”) and the author, Shed Simove, says this:

I’ve launched novelty items before, and arguably some have been cleverer or funnier than this book, so why did this book become a global phenomenon?

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