First up, a good reminder on a core question to ask frequently:

In 1960, Harvard professor Theodore Levitt published a landmark paper in Harvard Business Review that urged executives to ask, “What business are you really in?” Even today, a half century later, his challenge still resonates.

By pointing out that no industry grows forever, he gave rise to many concepts we still recognize, such as the customer centered business, Porter’s 5 Forces and value chains.  Many executives who seek to be modern are often merely repeating Levitt’s insights. The One Question That Should Drive Your Strategy

Have we always scanned content or is this a new phenomenon that is rewiring our brains? What does that mean for the future of content and content marketing?

Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

To cognitive neuroscientists, Handscombe’s experience is the subject of great fascination and growing alarm. Humans, they warn, seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online. This alternative way of reading is competing with traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia. Via washingtonpost.com

 

First, let’s talk about the hubris of thinking that one generation of people can drastically change the wiring built by 1000’s or hundreds of thousands of  years. While these trends might not be rewiring our brains they could be training future generations how to consume content.

Which leads to the next story. The best traffic you can get comes from direct referrals…

Audience Routes: Direct, Search & Facebook

This study focused primarily on the three main paths internet users take to get to the 26 most popular news websites: Direct visitors who either type a URL into the browser or use a bookmark; those who come through a query on a search engine; and those who get news by following links they see on Facebook. Of the three, users who navigate directly to news sites provide the highest percentage of traffic to online news content. Direct visitors accounted for at least 20% of the total visitors to more than half (15) of the 26 sites studied. Via journalism.org

This makes sense as most visitors who come to your site via a direct route are visiting for a reason. Either they’ve heard of your brand, your company or your site. So the intent is greater. What’s interesting is the numbers on Facebook… more proof it’s a network you can’t ignore.

Finally a pretty cool piece of technology from NASA:

Meet NASAs new supersonic flying saucer, for future Mars landings

The LDSD is on a pretty aggressive schedule, with seven major tech demos over the next 24 months, and could be used in a real mission to Mars in 2018. The test vehicle will then use a rocket to reach supersonic speeds and raise its altitude yet further to 180,000 feet (54.8 kilometers) and then it will cut its engine and begin to free fall back to earth. The SIAD slows the craft down to around Mach 2, whereupon a massive 30-meter-diameter parachute will then be used to bring speeds down to subsonic landing speeds. Meet NASAs new supersonic flying saucer, for future Mars landings