‘Why create anything new when there’s a mountain of freshly excavated pop culture to recut, repurpose, and manipulate on your iMovie?’

– Patton Oswalt1

There is a glut of ‘content’, but valuable ‘currency’ is always scarce. No one could possibly read everything that is being produced. Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt claims that every 48 hours we produce as much information as was produced from the dawn of civilization until the year 2003.2 And we can expect that trend to continue to accelerate.

But despite all this information, social currency is still scarce, and you’re going to need to be trading a lot of it every day. You can create some of it yourself, but the rest of it you will have to go out and find.

The early days of the social web have taught us that it’s easy to start out strong, writing blog posts every day. But, more often than not, that pace slows to a crawl. It was once said that everyone had one novel in them. Now I think we all have one great blog post in us. After that, it gets hard. The web is littered with the untended remains of thousands and thousands of blogs and social media accounts that began well then ended suddenly.

The challenge for most beginners is finding ‘original’ things to write about. But that was their big mistake. Blogs are by their very earliest definition logs of the web – collections of found things that the blogger thought worth noting. So, what we really need to be doing is looking ...

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