NewsSpark, the social content hub, has exited its private beta phase and announced its official launch.
NewsSpark is a digital hub where creators publish original content through their favorite mediums.
Creators can publish original news, blogs, updates, photos and videos on every topic—or sparks. The hub also features catalogs of content creators, brands and groups.
NewsSpark is a free and mobile-responsive hub, and sparks published before the activation of its blaze paid plan will burn indefinitely.
“Looking at the marketplace, we believe we’re the first digital channel dedicated to publishing and consuming original content,” said Chris Ehrlich, founder, NewsSpark, whose content career has included stops at LEWIS PR and the San Francisco Chronicle. “Some may argue the claim, but the hub’s makeup and utility are clearly distinct when compared to other digital channels.”
The hub is made in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Antidote for content marketing pain
NewsSpark is designed to be an “open and organized hub where creators can complete their content marketing cycles,” Ehrlich said.
“The hub lets their content burn and work for them in ways it can’t at other digital channels,” he said.
Ehrlich explained that “almost immediately after it’s posted,” original content “functionally vanishes” from other digital channels, where he said content is an ad unit, fleeting, disorganized, unfindable, isolated or in a closed network.
“There’s all this great content being created that gets lost online—as a fleeting mention, one-time broadcast or on a virtual island,” Ehrlich said. “We wanted to create a hub where original content can be planted, judged on its merit and work as an ongoing catalyst for creators—in real-time and long-term.”
The hub is also a platform for creators to package, consolidate and digitally present their complete range of content to their audiences in a professional-grade user interface, such as a plug-and-play social content gallery, newsroom, website or blog.
“A brand’s content is diluted when it’s only fragmented across channels—and never unified in a single user experience for ongoing discovery,” Ehrlich said.
Ehrlich added that NewsSpark’s foundational configuration is different from other digital channels in several notable ways: it doesn’t have any ads; it doesn’t require ad buys to tap the hub; it doesn’t limit content through algorithms; and the only user data it has is the data users give it or display through their public actions in the hub.
During its private beta, NewsSpark set up initial member benefit and/or content partnerships with several organizations: the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America, or WMPRSA; stock video production company Uberstock; startup ecosystem Start Garden; and Michigan State University Spartan Innovations, the university’s startup innovation division.
“We’re just getting started,” Ehrlich said. “We’ll be forming partnerships on an ongoing basis.”
Sparks can be published by “anyone with great original content,” Ehrlich said.
The hub is a digital marketing tool for all organizations — small businesses, startups, enterprises, nonprofits and the public sector—as well as bloggers, photographers and video producers.
Ehrlich said early creators can “stake claims” within their industry categories and “own” relevant groups in the hub.
The open and organized hub is designed to be “a meritocracy and front-line source for anyone who consumes digital content,” Ehrlich said.
The hub is built for content discovery by customers, partners, investors, influencers, journalists and bloggers.
Creators also rate everything in the hub with a set of “stoke it,” “firestarter” and “douse it” icons, feature their sparks at their profiles, trade comments and join the community’s groups.
“Right now, the community is in its infancy,” Ehrlich said. “It will naturally grow as we grow.”
Creators can use the invite-a-friend feature to invite others into the hub.
The hub is designed to potentially increase multiple near- and long-term content marketing metrics: brand awareness, SEO and social search, audience, engagement, web traffic, coverage by media outlets and blogs, inbound leads and sales, as well as customer service, loyalty and advocacy.
“We’re simply engineered from the onset to deliver returns to creators who market their content,” Ehrlich said.
The hub is also designed to deliver cost and staff savings on managing and sharing digital content.
“Trying to manage and use de-centralized content is hugely inefficient for teams,” Ehrlich said. “And when they turn to platforms to package and centralize the content, they often run into technical or pricing obstacles.”