Conversation or Content. Who Rules the Internet?

Brand MysteryCorporate BrandingSocial Media

After doing some research for a speaking engagement, I ran across this quote by Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing:

“Content isn’t king. If I sent you to a desert island and gave you the choice of taking your friends or your movies, you would choose your friends…. If you chose your movies, we would call you a sociopath. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.”

It made me think hard about my opinions on content and and what… ultimately… is more important: content or conversation? There are many times when the ideas surrounding “conversation” is missed by many Internet and social media users. It is excellent if you are at the top of Google search for your keywords but what happens when the potential customer clicks through to your site?

Are you selling them? Or did you just waste a PPC campaign? Better yet, did you just waste all the sweat, tears, and years of writing on your blog?

The question you should be asking yourself is this…

Do you have the necessary tools and systems in place to create conversations with the users influenced by your search ranking? Is it even necessary? Absolutely it is necessary. We are seeing an overwhelming demand for the businesses of the world to call consumers… PEOPLE… and not the other way around.

Customers are people first and buyers second. It is important to create excellent content in order to push the conversation but… Conversation leads to Relationships. Relationships lead to the strengthening of the brand (personal or corporate). A strong personal brand leads to acquisition. Acquisition leads to financial gain and a successful company.

Maybe the question should be focused in a different way. Which comes first? Conversation or content. Do they work hand in hand? How do they apply to the idea of personal branding?

What do you think? Is content king or did conversation just take the throne?