Percolate: A Q&A With Co-founder Noah Brier

Posted by Tracy Shea on November 18, 2013

In an ongoing effort to keep up with emerging technology and platforms in this rapidly changing, content-centric, feed-filtered world, it is imperative to know what’s out there and why it may be useful to your clients, your colleagues, your family and friends or yourself. For me, it’s part of my job.

So, I’ve reached out to Noah Brier, one of the co-founders of @Percolate, to learn a bit more about his company and what implications it may have for agencies, brands and people they want to engage.

Percolate

Q: What is Percolate and how was it conceived?

A: Percolate is a technology platform that helps brands create content at social scale. What that means is we try to solve what we see as the most challenging part of social for brands: How to create enough interesting content to fulfill the brand's needs across platform. In that way, we are the only technology platform for marketers that focuses on helping brands create content, not just distribute, analyze and optimize content they've already created. What this means specifically is we are focused on building technology that helps brands with things like brand governance, content creation and asset distribution for social.

Q: Where do you consume your news?

A: Personally, I consume news everywhere. I still use some RSS, Twitter, friends, Tumblr, newspapers, magazines and wherever else I can find it (when I have time for it). I have grown comfortable with the fact I'll never consume everything so I just try to get what I can.

Q: There is also a lot of chatter about "brand journalism.” What is your opinion on brand as media entity, and do they have relevance in news gathering?

A: I don't think brands do news and brand journalism isn't quite the right way to put it. We talk and think a lot about brands as content creators, and I think this is a modern reality thanks to the massive audiences the platforms open up for these brands. But even this isn't entirely new, as brands have always been creating content in one form or another. What's changed for these brands are the scale (both total amount of content across platforms and global nature) and the shift from rented to owned audiences. Journalism carries with it a lot of baggage brands will want to avoid.

Q: If a brand could produce impartial content about a topic in their beat, what is the best way for it to become discoverable?

A: Discoverability is a funny thing for brands. At the end of the day, they have the biggest and best audiences at their disposal constantly in the form of advertising. I don't know that I think discoverability is a big goal for most brands as they already have substantial audiences. The question is how to engage and convert them.

Q: I was part of the team that developed CNN.com. What was your first foray into the dotcom world?

A: First foray? Professionally it was building the website for the New York Race for the Cure. I would guess it was 1994 or 1995, and I believe it was their first website. I was a kid, but there weren't that many people who knew how to make a website and I charged less than the professionals.

Where do you consume your news in today’s environment? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your responses using the hashtag #mcgblog.