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Newsletter #1054: The “Lessons from Great Content” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Great content does more than earn likes and retweets. It makes people think, sparks conversations, and in some cases, starts movements.

Here are three examples:

1. Tell the stories everyone else is missing
2. Focus on just one thing
3. Share stuff you already know works
4. Check it out: Reinterpretations of Western Fairy Tales

1. Tell the stories everyone else is missing

Thousands of people a day come and go at any given deli or corner shop in New York. And for most customers, even if they shop there every day, it’s about getting in and getting out as fast as possible. What most people don’t think about is that behind the counter is someone with a really interesting story. So Deli Deli sought to tell those stories in short, illustrated interviews with owners of delicatessens across New York. They also print small, customized books and stickers for each one.

The lesson: Interesting ideas and stories are all around you. Instead of fighting for attention with content that’s already covered to death, go for the stories no one else is telling.

Learn more: PSFK

2. Focus on just one thing

News Deeply is a media company that covers on only one news topic at a time. Their first site,, focused solely on the crisis in Syria. They curated articles about Syria from around the web, collected videos from the media, aggregated a Twitter feed about Syria, and created a conflict map of the country. News Deeply says their goal is to explore “a new model of storytelling around a global crisis.” Since then, they’ve created sites like and

The lesson: You can still add value with content about popular topics — but you’ve got to do it in a unique way. Go deep. Go interactive. Go visual. Whatever it is, just do it different.

Learn more: Digital Trends

3. Share stuff you already know works

The U.S. Department of the Interior has been using social media to show the world what they do. But instead of sharing content about policies and press releases, they share breathtaking landscape photos and videos of cute animals in the national parks they manage. The department’s Senior Digital Strategist, Rebecca Matulka, says people often use their social posts to plan vacations or reminisce about past family trips to the parks. Their videos of bears alone get hundreds of retweets on Twitter.

The lesson: If a governmental department can create content with cute animals and beautiful landscapes, you can connect to something people like to share, too.

Learn more: The Hill

4. Check it out: Reinterpretations of Western Fairy Tales

Nayoung Wooh, a Korean illustrator, created a gallery of traditional Western fairy tales, depicted in a modern Korean cartoon illustration called “manhwa.”

Check it out:

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