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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Content Rotation Durable Link to this BLOG
What is Content Rotation ?

Content Rotation is the technique by which content publishers (TV studios, magazine publishers, websites etc.,) recycle previously published contents, to reach audiences missed during an earlier broadcast. It is an effective way for content producers to get ROI (Return of Investment) on popular content that they own. In the television world it is called the re-runs, in Cosmopolitan it is called How to have Great Sex, and on MSN, Seven Stocks to Watch.

The idea is same -- great content is extremely hard to produce, so sell popular old content over and over again.

Website Content Rotation

The Internet advertising industry is the champion of content rotation, although it is the advertising banners that they rotate. The decision to show which and how many banners is decided based on sophisticated user and surfing profiles. The Web publishers can learn a lot from their experiences.

A simplistic content rotation just involves picking a random story or picture and displaying it. Picture intensive sites like Corbis do this; every time you refresh the page, you see a new picture. An arbitrarily generated number determines which picture to display. Our Kaleidoscope is implemented this way. It is an inexpensive way to amuse visitors for a long time.

But you do know that not all content is equal. Some photographs are prettier than others, and some episodes more popular. A good CMS (Content Management System) must adaptively rotate superior content more frequent than inferior or unpopular content. A sophisticated, personalized content server would actually learn (like Tivo does) a users habits to suggest most relevant content.

Content Rotation Tips

  • A publication based on news has a much smaller place for content rotation (imagine seeing last week's news on or last year's weather on !), than a website like ours where the content has much longer life-span.
  • There is danger in rotating just popular content; the users might feel stale. The trick is to blend popular content (most read pages) with quality content (editors' favorites) that for some reason did not receive the exposure it deserved.
  • The designer should find an order in the chaotic world of random numbers (randomization is the essence of content rotation). For example, on Kamat's Potpourri I have segregated the rotations by the type of media (pictures, blogs, articles), by dates and periods (latest, other), or subject categories (theme or genre).

  • (Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, October 13, 2001
    Last Modified: 5/24/2002

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