Content as Conversation
Nico Flores, BBC blogger, has updated a very interesting content-related post called "Aggregates go mainstream" and he links to several new contributions that relate to his original post. One post Nico mentions is Jeff Jarvis' follow-up called Context is Content.
Both are worth a read.
Content is nothing on its own. It only exists as part of conversations -- understood not in the usual 'blogsphere' sense of deliberation, but as shared concerns (not my term), concerns that we must partake in to be part of communities. When I buy a novel I choose it not just because I think I might enjoy it, but also because it is also being read by other people, because it's part of a larger movement that I'm interested in, or because it is relevant to something else I read. Reading is satisfactory only if I bring with me a certain baggage; and reading will add to my baggage, allowing me to appreciate other works and, crucially, to have more of a shared background with people around me. My point is that content--or, more precisely, the transaction of consuming content--is only meaningful as part of a wider conversation that is made up of countless related transactions.
A few months ago Terry Heaton wrote an influential essay on 'unbundling', in which he used the term 'smart aggregators' to refer to something like my aggregates. At some point last year, Umair Haque published his New Economics of Media presentation, and recently he wrote, in connection to ABC's ad-supported hit-show trial, that "rebuilding is where value creation will happen...where branding will be reborn".
In a recent post, John Hagel argues that "in addition to unbundling and rebundling of content, media companies face a choice: do they want to remain product businesses or do they want to become audience relationship businesses?" And in a related note, Jeff Jarvis reflects that "the future of media is not distribution, it's aggregation" -- it having been previously established, of course, that content is not the thing either.
Technorati Tags: content, media, unbundling
Sunday, May 28, 2006