What Is Content and Does Google Have Any?

How exactly does one go about defining what content is?

They look at wikipedia of course!

  1. That which is contained.

  2. Published information and experiences such as many novels, movies, music, game, webpages, presentations, organized data, etc.

  3. The n-dimensional space contained by an n-dimensional polytope (called volume in the case of a polyhedron and area in the case of a polygon).

I think we can skip the last one for this post, but the other definitions may help us on our quest.

Alright, so the point of this post was not really define content; rather it was to take a look at Google News comment system (if you want a good write up on it head over to Danny Sullivan’s post on Search Engine Land.

I want to get one thing out of the way, I think this idea is a great experiment and I love Google for coming up with interesting ways to think about content. All journalist’s (and consumers) know that the news is largely defined by the people who tell it, and that a firm persuasion of a thing can make it so (that is William Blake-ism).

Back to defining content:

The second definition from wikipedia highlights concepts such as information, presentation and organized data. If we were to go with this definition as gospel, Google has been in the content business for a long time. If you were to ask someone at Google this question they will tell you otherwise.

The Content Business Has Changed

My personal feeling is that the content business has changed.

  1. In older times content companies were responsible for finding, harboring and producing talent.

  2. While this is still true (to a degree), today’s content company can only be successful by providing an expansive forum for content creation/generation by both the traditional producer and the prosumer.

  3. The line between Content and the Content Forum have been blurred to the point where, those who wish to spend their time insisting that they are in the content business, and refuse to create forums for co-creation and collaboration,  will certainly perish in the annals of media.

The true reason that I love this approach is that it creates a meta-layer of content through mediated intervention.

This new layer of content seeks to be a new way to make news more fare and balanced than ever before. I truly hope that Google makes this work!

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