Staying under mainstream radar while releasing meaningful and original contents is a good way to attract people actually interested in your activity, thus making easier – as Seth Godin said – turning strangers into friends and friends into customers.
An empirical look at the way people and companies use profiling and stats suggest that to get more traffic (i.e. pay-for-click ads) contents are shaped just to attract people rather than to provide actual information.
Think of the usual effects of looking at your analytics: you take note of the queries made by users and you shape your content accordingly, to be sure to attract people who use these words. The price you pay for being that “smart” is that you’re not the one who controls the content of your website because you let the users (or, better, Google) do it on your behalf.The result is that all websites are made equal and turned into some sort of digital brochure. In other words, is the tail that is wagging the dog.
Personally, I’m more at ease with Henry Ford’s quote
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’