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Austin start-up provides a marketplace for proven perspectives

It may have been the umami flavors melting my  mouth at a recent Vietnamese lunch at Elizabeth St. Café, but I swear the more Marc Smookler spoke, the more I thought he was on to something. Marc is a consumer process automation junkie—a real guru of the last moment of the last mile, as his previous exit from Fonality shows. He also carries a sumo title as the world’s largest Sake etailer, Sake Social, alongside his heavy weight partnerships in all things Austin, like Capital Factory and TechStars.

The Unmournable End of SEO Content

One of his new start ups,, found me—asking for a license to a specific page on, the site for my tech PR firm.  Hmm. I had to know more, and Marc obliged  . . . all while obliterating a small plate of octopus.

You see, lots of companies are tired of riding the Adwords filly and the SEO optimization buckaroo. They’re both fickle racers at best. Instead of optimizing the meta tags of the micro tags of your images (kidding), what if you could just commandeer the finest fleet of content on your topic? Then, your site would curate the cream of the content around your perspective.

The Birth of Purchased Perspective?

Not to leave out the writer, instead of the writer eking out pennies from Google’s parasitic placed promotions—many of which may be contrary to the spirit of the content—the writer is rewarded by licensing their content to a host that truly appreciates it. No lesser talents in creating perspective than Florence’s Brunelleschi benefited from set ups like that.

So let’s review. “Written” is in beta with a few major consumer brands at the moment, but it will soon have its public launch. So when Written is an option, and has worked out the kinks of pinpointing the finest content based on actual engagement, your content marketing and public relations efforts will have some choices, such as:

1)   Write your own amazing content, and compete for ranking and traffic. (Terrific if you have your own editorial team, underworked public relations staff or stable of award winning writers.)

2)   Pick the action words out of content, and pay Google market rate to bring them to you via sponsored advertising. Because after all, in the latest update, you’ll never even know which words drive organic traffic.

3)   Use Written’s licensing platform to continuously find, acquire and activate the world’s top content in your arena. Hmm, the noodles are gone but I find myself still wandering how Marc and his team do that!

So while Marc and I didn’t discuss fees, from a strategic perspective, option 3—when it works– builds traffic, terrific publicity and control in new platform. I’m looking forward to watching Written write some history.

  • Got a big consumer brand? Bug them to make you a beta trial at
  • Killer content? You wait; they’re coming.