Perspicacious Priyadarshi

Thoughts, Observations, Interpretations

Content? What Content?

Content is King. This jinxed catchphrase of the dotcom era has returned with a bang only to be reasserted with a bigger scope. This slogan was very much there on every dotcomer’s mind and mouth during the India Internet World 2000. The dotcom revolution went bust. And the slogan also evaporated. But then, it was more about words and sentences on the vanilla HTML pages of websites or portals that mushroomed without any reasonable purpose and business model. The term “content” then primarily meant the text or graphics available in electronic format on the portals and websites. I was a content writer then responsible for some 15 portals on various verticals otherwise known as vortals. My primary job was to research and write for these vortals.

That was then. Today the landscape is changed. And the term content has acquired a more value and criticality. Something known as Content Management (at large enterprise or sme levels) has evolved as a business domain where every technology vendor is prying for a footprint. Mergers, acquisitions, and overhauling consolidations of companies, technologies, processes, frameworks and products are happening for content. Services providers too have created their business units to tap the opportunities related to content and content management. This triggers some thinking. Why is content so important today? What is content after all? Content, as I understand, in today’s perspective is everything that’s data, information or knowledge utilized to serve some purpose. Content to may or may not have a business value. But content is an organizational imperative.

Today every existing information and communication system that have been built and deployed to automate manual processes takes care of content. Information is content. Data is content. Knowledge is content. Even wisdom is content. The record of the patients of a hospital is content. The user information with an insurance agency is content. The intra-organization knowledge is content. The IPR related documents of a scientific institution is content. The creative output of an advertising agency is content. The product documentation of a technology company is content. The telephone calls transcript recorded by a BPO is content. Survey reports by market research organizations too are content. A non-formal lunch with your CEO could also generate content. Media companies publish, produce and distribute content. A daily news paper or a television program or even a movie. Everything is content. Content can be made out of hot or cold processes. Content can be in print or electronic format. Or even on a wall. Content can be tangible or intangible.

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