Trinity Media Experiments With UsvsTh3m
We've been watching Us vs Th3m with interest since its launch - and when we say 'watching', we mean 'trying and failing not to get stuck in its timesink claws' (apologies for the mangled metaphor). The site, which launched a few weeks ago and is spearheaded by Martin Belam and Rob Manuel (of B3ta fame), is a daily concentration of smart, funny internet stuff - some made by the editorial team, and some gleaned from elsewhere online (hence the site name).
What it also is is part of an experiment by Trinity Mirror media group in adopting a new approach to online content - fast, agile, humorous...very much 'of' the internet, and exactly the sort of thing which 'big' media has traditionally been really bad at. Evidently worried about the potential threat of Buzzfeed and similar sites, this is the first attempt we've seen of a large-scale conglomerate trying its hand at something a little more...homespun.
It's an interesting move, and one which Belam looks at in great depth in his recent blogpost - you can read it here. To quote Belam's intro, "UsVsTh3m has been funded by Trinity Mirror. It is part of a series of initiatives the company is doing to invest in digital. I think they would be the first to admit that historically they have under-invested in the area, and the idea was to try and launch something that would attract an audience that the group don’t currently reach with their existing national and regional brands. Essentially we’ve been charged with proving that, divorced from the existing production methods and priorities, Trinity Mirror can produce web content that people want to share. And they wanted to test a more lightweight way of publishing".
Go and read the rest of it - it's fascinating not only from a media industry perspective, but also as (further) proof that noone really knows how to make things that are guaranteed to go viral, despite what your digital agency may be telling you.