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Issue No. 17              
— March 2016

The content
ISsue

 
 
Digital trend publication
blending a mix of culture,
insights and data.

A trend product by


Cereal Bowls.v2.jpg

EDITOR'S LETTER

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Of the twelve issues we will produce this year, The Content Issue will be the nearest to our hear. In any profession you take content in all day online, on social platforms, through streaming, and numerous other sources. When you take this constant feed and decide to make it your job as well; the exposure grows to a whole new level.

I'd like to say Matte Black eats, sleeps, and breathes content. But the truth is that everyone does in 2016 (we just may chef it up a bit more than the average millennial.)

 

 
 

“CONTENT IS KING.”

—BILL GATES

 
 

There are major implications to that statement. With this much exposure, standing out has become exponentially harder. What can you do to find your voice? How can you land on an aesthetic and strategy that will work?

Don't worry, we've got this. Read on.

MICAH HEYKOOP

Contributing Editor

 
 

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Editor's Letter

 
 

“Content is of great importance, but we must not underestimate the value of style.”


Maya Angelou

 
 
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Contents

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Dig into the issue by clicking on the links below!

 

features

1. SEMAINE ✱

How does an editorial website stand out in the currently oversaturated digital world? We had no idea, so we asked the content strategist behind a site that's doing it right, Semaine.
 

— Juliette Premmereur

 

 

2. VIDEO, VR and 360 degrees

The rise in technology has evolved video content to new heights. As a brand or content creator, this is your change to win the attention of your consumer.
 

— Jay Melilli

 

 

3. The Power of data in the modern age

When thinking about content, we're used to what's on the surface - the words of the article or the photos we're scrolling through. But sometimes, it's what's under the surface that matters most - the data.

 

— Katharine Hargreaves

PORTRAIT

5. MATT CRUMP

Creating unique content can be a challenge for a lot of people, brands especially. Meet Matt Crump: TIME'S Instagrammer of Texas and creator of the colorful #candyminimal movement.

 
 

OBSERVATIONS

6. COLOR THEORY

7. FOCUS GROUP

What does happiness look like? We asked our favorite creatives to create on piece of content based off of a singular emotion.

madex

4. THE BUFFET

We know the thought of all this juicy content touching your lips and taste buds makes you...hungry. Come dine with us.

 
 
 
 

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Contents


✱ No Login Required

 
As an agency, it’s our job to scour the Internet for the best of the best blogs, editorial and e-commerce sites. With that said, we see a lot of it. Some good, some not so good. And then came along Semaine, a whole different player
in the digital ball game of fashion influence and shopping. Created by two women who worked for one of fashion’s most famed photographers, Semaine offers a unique take on content that we haven’t seen before.
— Editor's Side Note
 
 

SEMAINE.

                              —JULIETTE PREMMEREUR

Semaine.com is an integrated media and e-commerce platform launched in September 2015 by Michelle Lu and Georgina Harding. Having both worked in-house for fashion photographer Mario Testino, they had years of experience producing and planning photo shoots from casting, concept, and production, working with brands and publishers alike. Coming out with a strong sense of trend forecasting and a wide network of lifestyle personalities, they wanted to completely rethink the traditional magazine experience. No more clippings, no more page cutouts, but rather an immersive and highly curated shoppable experience.

 

Following their motto “Forget the look, shop the life,” Semaine allows users to truly shop the lifestyle of the magazine pages. Michelle and Georgie had started noticing a shift in fashion media; women were increasingly interested in design, travel, wellness, and leading an overall balanced life. The platform presents an aspirational world: from working out like Madonna’s trainer, buying a first piece of art for the house, to traveling to luxe food and hospitality destinations around the world. Online users don’t just buy anymore, they want to elevate their taste and understand what informs their product choices. Semaine's content strategy encompasses the diverse aspects of a multi-facetted life through a mix of industry tastemakers and original video content.

 

What has been the source of Semaine’s success? Its focus on content.

 

By offering both low and high ends of the content spectrum, Semaine presents the current ever-changing notion of luxury. The site champions brands like Cuyana, From Afar Crafts, and The Arrivals, which specialize in timeless essentials. Producing in limited quantities, these brands are committed to providing quality at affordable prices while maintaining their core focus.

 

For content platforms today, luxury no longer means expensive big brands, but rather a unique curation of the user experience. Just as the “How to Collect Art” feature shows, anyone can now buy art as an experienced collector does. Living a life of luxury is no longer just for the elite. Semaine has turned the exclusive inclusive.

 

For online sales platforms, users need to be led through the shopping experience, which can often be overwhelming and daunting. Take the example of buying contemporary fine art. People are often intimidated by the white cube gallery and unsure of how to penetrate a seemingly exclusive and inaccessible world. In Semaine’s feature on auctioneer and Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes, viewers learn practical tips and tricks on how to collect. The platform then features a selection of artworks curated by Alex, all of which can be immediately purchased online.


With the rise of social media, it’s been ingrained in us that tastemakers have become brands in their own right. 

What does this mean for content strategy across media and industries? The curator is the key to unique, user driving content. Whether they are selecting product for e-commerce to make sure consumers can feel good about their purchase, or brand storytelling from a unique point of view, the curator lies at the heart of successful content-creation.

Stuck on what makes good content? Start by considering the tastemakers in your industry and examine how you could incorporate them into your platform as a content partner, curator, or storyteller.

What we can learn from Semaine is to think outside the box when it comes to content strategy. Whether you’re a brand or an editorial platform, your focus on original, inspirational, or simply attractive content will be the key to generating new users and getting them to come back to your site.

Content differentiation creates brand distinction.

 
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—Findings

BUSINESS

 

APPLE SAYS NO TO THE FBI

"A letter to our customers."

Read more ➭

 

BUILDING A BRAND THAT MATTERS

Three moves that every startup founder must make.
Read more ➭

 

90% of this brand's sales comes from a facebook group

Talk about a social media win.

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

It's about time

Instagram is rolling out multi-account functionalities and social media managers everywhere are rejoicing. 

Read more ➭

 

THE presidential Popularity contest

Here's how the election would play out if Facebook likes counted as presidential votes.

Read more

 

FACEBOOk + nonprofits

Facebook launches a new site and new features for nonprofits.

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

TECHNOLOGY

 

Stalking. I mean, performance art.

One artist created an app that gives you the option to be followed, in real life, for a day.

Read more ➭

 

The future of video is 360 degrees

Cosmetics company NARS partnered with Facebook for a 360 degree, interactive makeup tutorial.
Read more ➭

 

would you ride in an uber that could drive itself?

The company expands to build test roads for autonomous vehicles. 

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

CULTURE

 

MONEY TALK

Being a money-making art professional in NYC isn't easy, so how do people deal with their finances? i-D chats it up with 5 creatives to see how they make their money work.

Read more ➭

 

is it too late now to say sorry?

29 celebrities do a dramatic reading of Justin Beiber's hit song. 
Read more ➭

 

JETBLUE for the win

The airline offered 150 passengers free round-trip tickets, if they could agree on where to go.

Read more ➭

 
 
 

—FINDINGS

design

 

hypershoot, pinterest for designers

Get it while it's still free.

Read more ➭

 

Not everything in life is likable

Facebook faces a major UX change.
Read more ➭

 

Zen out

Meditation pods for Headspace App.

Read more ➭

 
 
 
 
 
 

"the art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, it's simplicity."

— WALT whitman

 
 
 
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colophon

 
 

Editor-In-Chief  
Chelsea Matthews
@chelseamatthews

 

Managing Editor
Delanie Billman
@delanie___

 

Contributing Editor
Micah Heykoop
@micahheykoop

 

Creative Direction
Nolan Goff
@nolangoff

 

Art Direction + Design
Jesse Ligo
@jesseligo

 

Coordinator
Nicole Best
@nikkbest

CONTRIBUTORS

 

Photography

Carlos Quinteros Jr.

@carlosquinterosjr

Juliette Premmereur

Strategy consultant for brands, digital companies, and startups globally with a focus on the fine arts and design. She provides services with content acquisition, business development, project management and digital strategy including social media. Originally from Paris, France, she is now based in New York and works with brands globally. 


Author to read: Elena Ferrante

Life goal: To travel and collect art around the world

Childhood comfort: Vietnamese food in Paris

Movies or Netflix & Chill? Movies! Preferably at Angelika, Film Forum or IFC

Nasty habit: Working in my PJs at home all morning

Jay Melilli
@jaymelilli

Innovative content creator and designer based in San Francisco. He currently works in design at Vevo and is the founder of Pride & Guilt. 


What do you order at a bar? Last Word with Mezcal

Most inspiring city: London, UK

Pet peeve: Loud eaters
Last song played: "Something About You" by Majid Jordan

Guilty pleasure: Ke$ha

Streaming on Netflix: House of Cards

brian-delaney

Katharine Hargreaves

UX designer and strategist living in Los Angeles. She is the Co-Founder of Fresh Conceptual, a design studio transforming communities and companies through educational tools, design thinking, and disruptive technologies. 

 

Most inspiring city: I'm all about Rome right now

Person you'd like to meet: Ilana Glazer
Favorite throwback song: No Scrubs by TLC

Guilty pleasure: Dressing like JLo

Night in or night out? Let's be real...night in

Matt Crump

@mattcrump

Recognized by TIME Magazine as the top Instagram photographer in Texas for his signature use of surreal candy colors, minimalist compositions and iconic, offbeat subjects. Matt sparked a digital-art movement when he branded his style on Instagram with the #candyminimal hashtag and sells prints at mattcrump.com.

 

Guilty pleasure: Buying lots of colorful things whenever I see them.

Most inspiring city: Venice, CA
Streaming on Netflix: Battlestar Galactica.

Last song played: "Make Me Like You" by Gwen Stefani

Alcoholic beverage of choice: Vodka + Soda