The abundance of choices in a buffet lets us pick and choose just what we like and have a hankering for. We don’t have to wait for our order to be placed and prepared, and we’re not constrained by a menu offering a handful of entrees and our choice of two sides. Last time, VMC’s Michael Pruitt mentioned the need for a unifying framework for digital snacks. He elaborates here about this “digital banquet.”
“The digital snack pivots around the idea that we give consumers information the way they want it, but we still present it as a coherent collection. So, a blog or a video clip might be a digital snack, but we group and organize those into a “digital banquet.” Think about going to a buffet restaurant. You have lots of options. Yet, those options are grouped at various stations or tables. You go to one station for entrees. Desserts are grouped at a separate station. There’s a salad bar. A buffet uses an overriding framework that gives you all the parts that make up a meal. Subgroups of those elements – our digital snacks, metaphorically – are presented logically. This isn’t a constraint for what you put on your plate. It just facilitates finding what you need. If you want to build just a salad or stick to only dessert and coffee, you know where to find those elements. What you choose is up to you.
Even though a blog is a digital snack, a bunch of blogs without the overriding theme – the digital banquet it’s a part of – is fragmented. For example, if I’m a service tech out in the field working on a tractor, I can’t just go to a tractor blog and quickly find what I need. There’s no coherent structure to help me navigate easily to the right information for a specific troubleshooting issue. It would be like going to that buffet and finding a piece of pie sitting next to the green beans. Or, in tech world terms, it would be like developers looking for a shiv to solve a programming problem. If they Google it, they pull up too much information, and there’s no quick way to know whether the various pieces of code are reliable, the latest version, or even functional.
The digital banquet, on the other hand, uses a themed approach. For example, technical information for fixing a Mercedes would be grouped into a Mercedes-Benz digital banquet that contained a set of digital snacks that the information consumer knows are current and maintained. It’s not as free-form as a blog world or Google. There’s just enough structure to find the specific information needed for the task at hand. It’s how we enable information consumers to make efficient, useful choices without forcing them to sift through a bunch of information that isn’t current or relevant.”
A digital banquet gives people both the freedom and framework to quickly find and digest just what they need. In content delivery, are you offering your audience options or forcing them to stick to your menu?