The Death of Columns - Long Live the Tiger Cage
It wasn't so long ago that the web was young, wild, and free. Uncontained voices called bloggers ran roughshod across the landscape called Google. Any schmoe with an email and a few bucks could start an online journal, and if they were witty and wise enough, gather the attention of all the cool kids.
Opinions mattered. Viewpoints mattered. Style mattered.
Then, without warning and slowly like waterboarding, Google crushed the collective aluminum can known as the blogosphere and turned the Internet on its head. Opinions no longer mattered. Only search terms and SEO mattered.
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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
Google made it easier to find all the information you were desperately seeking, but also darn near impossible to find the trendy, edgy, and refreshing voices you craved; voices that defined the very heart of the Internet.
It was an era that delivered a death blow to legends. Sure, there will always be pockets of opinions floating around the web. Comments. Reviews. Forums. Even Facebook. But more and more these opinions and personalities were being forced to conform to standards that revolve around cash flow and monetization.
Advertisers are afraid of scandalous, fringe thinking; or so we are told. Color within the lines or fear the banhammer of death.
Just ask a few dead YouTubers. They'll tell you a whopper of a story.
But is this anything new?
For a long time, newspaper columnists played an important role in sales. You might be too young to remember Dear Abby. It was an advice column founded in 1956 by "Abigail Van Buren," the pen name of Pauline Phillips.
Everyone knew about Dear Abby. Everyone. Think I'm joking? The Dear Abby column has its very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. True story! How's that for notoriety?
By 1987 over 1,200 newspapers featured the Dear Abby column. To put this number in perspective, know that during this time there were only 1,611 newspaper in existence in the United States. Currently, only 1,286 newspapers are still in print.
Abigail Van Buren was a rock star! Then... Then! The Internet slowly dismantled the power of the newspaper.
The hard-charging ability to change opinions and the cultural landscape transferred from print to web; from columnists to - one could argue - bloggers. But this power was short-lived.
All the legends are dead. Well, most of them. A few loud voices still manage to stay afloat above the desire for straight no-nonsense, non-watered down facts.
Most of the old school legends are dead. But we are not hopeless.
These days, fitness "legends" use Instagram and YouTube to gather eyeballs and ear holes. Heck, I do it myself. The only difference is that they are (generally) required to be a little more tech savvy.
Know how the SEO and #hashtag systems work, understand the nature of clear, concise content, and you might have a chance.
But, even this content tends to be more information-centric and lacks, to a degree, the boisterous and borderline obnoxious ability to change public opinion with a few brief paragraphs.
And, So What?
What does this have to do with your goals, and for Tiger Fitness? Good question. Let me explain.
As the Editorial Director for Tiger Fitness, I live in a Google world; an SEO world. My job is to not only made articles readable and easily digestible but to also allow them to be found.
Content that can't be found in Google search results is useless. Or is it?
I want to find out.
In firing up the Tiger Cage it was my goal to open up a section of content that was the wild west; a section that was more about opinion and social sharing than it was SEO sauce.
The Tiger Cage is a centralized hub for opinion. It is meant to educate, entertain, and enlighten using old school methods that are about gossip rather than pragmatism.
Sure, we'll still deliver the tips, tricks. and workouts that will drive your progress. You have our word there. But Tiger Fitness also promises to bring you more of what made the web great...
An exciting degree of randomness and the unexpected.