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Tend Your Own Garden and Thwart the Content Farms

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In an interview in Salon, Richard Rosenblatt, founder and chief of Demand Media, defends the company’s content creation approach.

“People want the information and we are providing it,” he said, dismissing charges that Demand-owned sites like EHow are flooding the internet with poorly-produced, unwanted content. This factory approach has been blasted by luminaries such as Michael Arrington of TechCrunch and Richard McManus of ReadWriteWeb (and even little guys like yours truly) as being content farms, leading to the mass production of the lowest common denominator.

This is the same model that has doomed the major label music industry. Demand Media uses search data to drive the content they produce, determining the value of that content by the dollar value of the clicks it will generate. This is much the same model as the music industry has used for decades, deciding what albums will be released and what they will sound like based on what has sold in the past because they “know what kids want.”

I call it The Nickelback Approach to content production.

Regardless of the time and money spent producing content, is your company content to let a third party be the voice of your brand? A third party who has no interest in your reputation, the quality of your products and services, and who leeches visitors and customers from your site to theirs? A third party who will take ownership of content about you and then happily sell you advertising on relevant pages on their sites?

I didn’t think so.

Don’t let content farms like Demand Media sell your own products back to you. Take charge of your online reputation and the money you spend on search engine optimization. Your hard-earned marketing budget should enable your company to take the lead in getting your message out there.

Sure, it will cost you. But wouldn’t you rather get the credit and the conversions that come from being the experts in your field, rather than letting an outsider fence that expertise for their own profit?

Get in the game. Tend your own garden. Get in touch. We’ll help you.

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