Martin BelamWhat’s the value in archive content? More than you might think. Too many publishing businesses are caught up in the idea of the now, and they miss the value of the then. A huge amount of archive and historical content is shared around the blogsphere and social media every day – but too much journalism isn’t archived in a way that makes use of this.

The Guardian might have learnt that lesson. Martin Belam, one of the team that built the Facebook Social Reader for the newspaper, gave a talk at Facebook Marketing 2012, and this was a key learning from the experience:

Any page could go viral, of whatever age. It taught them to be more active in managing archive content and how it appears. A good story is still a good story, whatever its age. A 2009 story on female body image was read over 1m times in Facebook. It’s not an issue that goes away. They had over 1000 new comments in Facebook. The comments on the main site had been closed two years ago.

[my liveblog for Liberate Media]

I’ve seen metrics cuts from B2B sites where the archive content accounted for over 50% of weekly page views – but still publishers don’t take the idea of every page being the potential front page seriously – or seriously enough.